Alternative Reporting Options for Sexual Assault: An Overview of the You Have Options Program

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90 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 26, 2016

Carrie Hull
Detective Carrie Hull
Program Director, You Have Options Program, Detective, Ashland Police Department
Christia Currie
Christia Currie, MSW

Led by law enforcement professionals working in partnership with victim advocates and experts in the field of sexual assault response and prevention, the aim of the You Have Options Program (YHOP) is to make the law enforcement response to sexual assault more effective. Specifically, YHOP focuses on changing two fundamental elements in the law enforcement response to sexual violence:

Increasing the number of victims who report to law enforcement, and thoroughly investigating identified offenders for serial perpetration.

Traditional law enforcement response to sexual violence tends to discourage sexual assault victims from seeking assistance through the criminal justice system. As a result, law enforcement often fails to receive the information needed to hold sexual offenders accountable, and perpetrators go on to re-offend. By removing as many barriers as possible, victims are better able to report their sexual assault and provide law enforcement with information they would otherwise never have received.

Law enforcement agencies participating in YHOP recognize the need for a victim-centered and offender-focused response to sexual violence. When victims are given the ability to control certain aspects of a sexual assault investigation – such as who is contacted and whether an arrest is made – law enforcement and victims both benefit. Victims provide investigators with more accurate information, are more willing to identify their assailant, and are better able to participate in the investigative and judicial process. Victims are also provided with the time they need to make a decision that is right for them, independent of the needs of the criminal justice system, and are more likely to report a positive experience with law enforcement regardless of the judicial outcome.

During this webinar, discussion will focus on the “Twenty Elements” of the YHOP program, and the implementation process for participating law enforcement agencies.


At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Explain the options offered to sexual assault victims when they report to a YHOP law enforcement agency through an overview of the program’s “Twenty Elements.”
  • Describe ways law enforcement can work with victims to identify and address the unique barriers victims face when choosing whether to pursue an investigation and possible prosecution.
  • Outline the seven phases of implementation for law enforcement agencies after attending a YHOP Introductory Session.


EVAWI is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing to provide Continuing Education contact hours for nurses (Provider #15641).

Registered Nurses may purchase 1.5 contact hours after completing this webinar.

This project is supported by Grant No. 2013-TA-AX-K045 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

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