Ensure Access to Services in All Communities

The Current state

Sexual violence is a problem across Alaska but access to victim services, safe shelters and legal resources varies widely by location.

For example, rural communities must call a 1-800 number that varies across the state to reach a trooper post. It can take troopers days to reach a community.

Few communities have a clear plan specifically for addressing and responding to sexual violence. In some it falls to under-trained individuals to help victims of violence.

Data collection on these issues is inconsistent, making it difficult to determine reporting, conviction, and successful prosecution rates.

Why it’s a problem

Everyone deserves to be safe no matter where they live. Having a clear plan for addressing sexual violence would help ensure the safety of people across the state.

Data is essential to making informed decisions. Official data related to sexual violence is inherently messy, as most sexual violence crimes go unreported. However, state agencies’ response to sexual violence can be measured quantitatively. Further, a lack of transparency makes it difficult to assess the efficacy of resources allocated towards combating sexual violence in Alaska.

How to change it

  1. Ensure every community has a plan for addressing sexual violence. Train local Government Specialists to help the communities develop these plans. Each plan should include:

    • A process for reporting violence to law enforcement;

    • Accessing emergency services;

    • Ensuring the victim’s safety;

    • Defining the victim’s rights.

  2. Improve the consistency of data from the Alaska Department of Law, Criminal Division, including:

    • How many sexual assault and child sexual abuse cases are referred by law enforcement;

    • How many are accepted for prosecution;

    • How many are successfully prosecuted;

    • Demographic data for each.

  3. Collect outcome data to assess service gaps and ensure program accountability of state funded programs.

  4. Continue collaboration with tribes to ensure access to services throughout the state.