Your Option. Your Control.
The Riley County Police Department’s new sexual assault reporting policy gives voice to victims by providing options in the investigation process. We are calling the new policy, “Your Option. Your Control,” because you have control over choosing 1 of 3 investigation options for your case. We hope to increase reports of sexual assault by eliminating as many barriers to reporting as possible. We believe this will increase identification and prosecution of sexual offenders in our community and give voice that a crime has occurred against a victim. Finally, we want to decrease sexual assault victimization and make Riley County a safe place to live and call home.
It's estimated that 3 out of 4 sexual assault crimes are never reported to law enforcement. If there is an emergency, or you would like to report a sexual assault that just occurred, please call 911.
Through "Your Option. Your Control," you have 3 options of investigative strategies:
- Complete Investigation: includes all investigative steps necessary to develop a prosecutable case. A complete investigation provides police and prosecutors with the opportunity to seek justice on the victim's behalf and call the perpetrator to account.
- Partial Investigation: includes only the investigative steps designated by the victim, to include follow-up with a detective. A partial investigation allows the victim to have control over which steps of an investigation are taken and which are not.
- Information Only: includes only information which the victim or a third-party reporter provides and entails no investigation or further contact unless initiated by the victim. An information only report gives voice that a crime has occurred against a victim. There is NO statute of limitation on rape or sodomy in the State of Kansas, so the victim can provide additional information when and if she/he is emotionally or physically ready.
Methods of Reporting:
- In-person: You can come to the Riley County Police Department, 1001 S. Seth Child Road, in Manhattan or call our non-emergency phone at (785) 537-2112. In cases of information only or partial investigations, the report can be made to the officer through the non-emergency number or in person at RCPD. However, in cases of a complete investigation, the preference is for a police officer to speak with the victim in person at a place of their choosing.
- Third-party: Someone other than the victim, such as the RCPD Victim Advocate Coordinator, another victim advocate/therapist, family member/friend makes an information report on the victim's behalf with the victim's consent. A partial or complete investigation can be initiated by a third party, but will require police contact with the victim.
- Anonymous reports: Reports can be made to an officer, through the non-emergency phone line, or through the Victim Advocate Coordinator. These reports will be filed as information only reports.
"Your Option. Your Control," is for victims of sexual assault 18 years and older, but in some circumstances may be applied to someone 16-17 years old. The investigation is controlled by the victim. Your selection of the investigative option can change with no time limitations, restrictions or pressure at any time. Whenever possible, the investigation is conducted by an officer or detective formally trained in conducting trauma-informed interviews. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance. No outside people will be notified regarding any element of the case without consent of the victim. An alleged perpetrator will only be listed as a suspect in a complete investigation. Under the other two options, the alleged perpetrator will be listed as an 'other involved' individual in order to protect their rights to due process.
In 2019, the Riley County Police Department hired Melissa Mosher as the newly established Victim Advocate Coordinator. Melissa's role is to assist victims of crime with emotional support and accompaniment during a traumatic experience. She will provide systems-based advocacy services to victims of crime during each step of the criminal investigation process. Through the Victim Advocate Coordinator, you will be able to receive referrals for direct social services. Melissa is working to strengthen RCPD's community collaborations and relations with citizens through education and advocacy. Melissa is in the office Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. unless otherwise requested by a victim of crime. You can reach her at (785) 473-2390 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April 2020, Victim Advocate Coordinator Melissa Mosher spoke with the Safe Zone in partnership with the Center for Advocacy, Response & Education (CARE) to educate the student population about "Your Option. Your Control."