Employees in Philadelphia who have experienced sexual abuse now have a new outlet which to report their trauma.
On Feb. 20, Philadelphia Controller Rebecca Rhynhart announced that a new phone line has been opened to report incidences of sexual misconduct. The phone number is 215-988-8024.
According to PhillyMag.com, Rhynhart said the purpose of the line is to “better understand the policies, processes and procedures in place from the perspective of the individual who has to go through [sexual misconduct].”
On Jan. 23, the City Controller's office announced that Rhynhart had hired staff to conduct an audit on Philadelphia's sexual harassment and misconduct policies to gauge the validity and efficiency of the procedures for training employees on sexual assault as well as reporting allegations to the city.
Employees of the Controller's Office will work the lines, keeping the callers’ identities confidential. The information collected from the line, however, will be used to create a review on “payouts, policies, and procedures" of sexual misconduct.
“I want to encourage past or present City employees — female or male — to call the phone line," Ryhnhart said to PhillyMag. "Every person should feel safe and supported in their workplace, improving the City’s sexual misconduct policies and procedures is a step in the right direction.”
Sexual assault reporting has been a topic of note on Penn's campus as well. At a Penn Professional Staff Assembly event last month, staff members raised questions to Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett about the effectiveness of the University's current process for reporting sexual assault on campus.
At the most recent University Council Open Forum on Feb. 21, students spoke of sexual assault on campus and their experiences reporting incidents. They largely advocated that there was a need to change the process. This came a day after a Daily Pennsylvanian interview, in which Pritchett said, "We haven’t had feedback that [the reporting policies] are deeply problematic," but that "we’re going to continue to ask that question."