Law enforcement officers, campus administrators, and victim advocates from across New York are at SUNY Geneseo today for a day-long training session on the response to and prevention of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.
The training is being provided by a special division of the New York State Police that deals with sexual assault on college and university campuses.
Dan Strozyk, a senior investigator from State Police Troop E, says an important part of the training is teaching investigators how to conduct an interview with an alleged victim in a way that makes the victim feel empowered and better able to share information.
"Because there is no one person who intentionally goes into a situation to be assaulted. Sometimes you get yourself into situations that suddenly become beyond your control, and a lot of that has to do with age and everything else."
Students can decide whether to report an alleged assault to local or state police or the county sheriff's office. They also have the option of only informing campus security, but either way, Strozyk says it’s important for victims to preserve evidence with the help of medical professionals.
"They can decide later not to go criminal and just have the school do their investigation, but at least that evidence is secured should they decide to go the criminal route."
The State Police are planning a similar training session at Monroe Community College on July 11 and 12.