Rockford sexual assault survey to see first review

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- A survey created to solve one of the biggest struggles in our community will soon be used to create solutions.

"A victim's voice in framing what the system will look like is so very important," said Remedies Vice President of Operations Karen Gill.

Gill knows how much sexual assault and domestic violence impact our area.

"We're at a point in this community where we're making great strides in addressing domestic violence," said Gill.

In 2017, Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling found that around 25 percent of its clients were sexually assaulted by a partner. That's why organizers say treating sexual assault victims and domestic violence vicitms often go hand-in-hand.

In early April, the City of Rockford and Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling created a survivor survey where victims describe their experience and share which resources they used. The victims then rank the resources on a one through five scale.

"What I have done with that information is compilled it and added it to a document that we are using to drive our work and inform our work," said Mayor's Office of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention Manager Jennifer Cacciapaglia.

The first round is about done. More than 50 people took the survey.
Groups will meet this Friday to begin discussing the results.

"What we need to see here is a survivor council that can continually inform every decision our office makes so that we can ensure that their voices have a critical place at the table in what we do here moving forward," said Cacciapaglia.

While more than 50 people taking the survey might not seem like many, organizers say they are happy with it because it is tough for survivors to share their stories.

Cacciapaglia hopes to eventually have survivors speak in person about their experiences in the system.