6-14-11: A Community’s Role in Stopping Sexual Assault
Last week, a woman was raped while moving into her apartment in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. The police received a description of the attacker from the victim. They then contacted the neighborhood’s community association, which sent out a description of him via an email listserve. A suspect was arrested later that evening.
In light of this, we want to ask: what role can a community play in responding to a sexual assault—and how can they help prevent them from occurring in the first place? We ask Jason Curtis, President of the Mount Vernon Belvedere Neighborhood Association about how they developed their response system, and developed their relationship with the police department.
We also discuss how a community can foster a relationship to make victims feel more comfortable reporting those assaults in the first place. In the case in Mount Vernon, the victim reported the rape to the police, and then worked with them to help find a suspect. We wondered: what can a community do to encourage reporting? And how can they stop sexual assaults from occurring in the first place? We talk with Lisae Jordan, the General Counsel for the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault.