Sexual abuse in detention facilities is a vastly underreported crime. As in the community many victims of sexual abuse behind bars do not report due to shame, or a fear that they won’t be believed. It is also common for victims to face retaliation for speaking out. In recognition of these barriers, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards include provisions to make reporting safer and easier for victims of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.
A third party reporter is someone who reports sexual abuse and sexual harassment but is neither the victim nor the abuser. This person may have been told by the victim about the abuse or harassment, or witnessed it first – hand. “Third party” includes other inmates, members of staff, family members, lawyers, contract employees, service providers or community or religious volunteers, among others.
Stutsman County Correctional Center will respond to any and all reports of sexual abuse or sexual harassment from a third-party in the same way that they would respond to one made by a victim. The jails protocols for responding to a report include keeping the victim safe from retaliation and informing that person about the progress of the investigation.