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Violence jackpot

Elaine Howle turned up the heat on SDSU because the school didn’t have a confidential advocate 
for victims of sexual violence.
  • Elaine Howle turned up the heat on SDSU because the school didn’t have a confidential advocate for victims of sexual violence.

California state auditor Elaine Howle strongly criticized San Diego State University last June for not having a so-called confidential advocate for victims of sexual violence. “When UC Berkeley establishes its new position, all of the four universities we reviewed except San Diego State will have a confidential resource advocate in place,” noted Howle’s report. SDSU officials initially balked, saying, “the advocate duties are dispersed across campus,” then later told auditors that the university was “in the process of identifying a current employee or, as necessary, a funding source” for the position.

In the meantime, a spate of rapes and other sexually related incidents broke out on campus, drawing national headlines. Two weeks ago, the school finally announced it has managed to come up with “a full-time sexual assault victim advocate on campus.” The $200,000 annual tab is being funded by a three-year grant from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “It will also allow for a part-time police officer dedicated to sexual assault prevention, training and investigation.” In addition, “The grant will also allow the university to expand its Sexual Violence Task Force to include representatives from community agencies and local law enforcement.” What happens when the grant runs out was not mentioned.

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