Spokane sheriff's office crowd funds doorbell cams for sexual assault survivors

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and community members are chipping in to buy Ring doorbell cameras.

Updated: April 25, 2022 - 11:32pm

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The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) is seeking to help survivors of sexual assault feel secure at home by providing them with a Ring doorbell surveillance system.

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and community members are invited to help by donating to the SCSO Chaplains Office nonprofit fund, which will assist in purchasing the cameras. All contributions are tax-deductible and 100% will be dedicated to the project.

Even if perpetrators of a sexual assault are arrested, they are often released without bond pending trial with limited supervision over their whereabouts or actions, according to a press release issued by Corporal Mark Gregory, spokesperson for SCSO.

Survivors of sexual assault struggle with a loss of power and control, often in what should be the most secure place, their homes, he stated.

“Following a sexual assault, survivors may be left with fear the perpetrator will learn their home address or location. This fear can spread to other aspects of the victim’s life, leaving the victim feeling powerless and revictimized,” Gregory wrote.

The SCSO’s Sexual Assault unit is hoping to purchase at least 10 cameras. These cameras only need a wi-fi signal and do not require the presence of a doorbell. Officials say they are easily installed using limited tools and are user-friendly.

The cameras collected by the SCSO will be donated to Lutheran Community Services Sexual Assault Advocacy program. Advocates will anonymously provide the Ring cameras to survivors.

A GoFundMe campaign toward this end was launched on April 15. On Monday, it had raised $4,750 of a $6,000 goal.