FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Tuesday, March 31, 2015
CONTACT: Sara Rabern, (605) 773-3215
Attorney General Jackley and SD Board of Regents Prepare for
National Sexual Assault Awareness Month
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley and the South Dakota Board of Regents announce that April 1st marks the start to National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. To commemorate this month, a heightened awareness to combat sexual assaults on South Dakota campuses will be the focus.
“Our colleges and universities work hard to ensure that our students live and study in safe environments. Law enforcement is joining with campuses across South Dakota to increase sexual assault awareness and to be proactive in prevention efforts,” said Jackley.
South Dakota’s public universities also are taking a very proactive approach to eliminate acts of sexual violence and harassment. Through actions of the South Dakota Board of Regents, which governs the university system, this topic has been given higher visibility on each campus.
“We have worked diligently to improve awareness of this problem on behalf of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Jack R. Warner, the Regents’ Executive Director and CEO. “One of our most effective efforts has been ‘bystander intervention’ training, which informs people who witness an act of sexual violence or harassment about how they might respond.” Warner said, “We have improved our processes to report sexual assault and violence as well, including creation of confidential reporting websites and phone systems. We also have conducted system-wide Title IX training, along with specialized training to ensure that personnel who investigate reports and adjudicate charges involving sexual violence understand how this trauma may affect victims.”
Law enforcement statewide works daily on preventative measures including keeping sex offenders registered and in compliance. The compliancy rate for registered sex offenders is 99.1%. Currently 3,350 sex offenders reside statewide with just 28 identified instances of non-compliance. State law requires those convicted of sex crimes to register as a sex offender within three business days of coming into any county to reside. Additional state law requires sex offenders to reregister every six month.
South Dakota’s Sex Offender Registry was the fourth state in the nation to become certified. To be certified the State must substantially implement the provision of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). To date, South Dakota is one of twenty states whose registries have met the national SORNA certification requirements.