Sexual assault

Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

A business owner in the Quad Cities wants to teach people how to defend themselves with or without a gun. Jeanelle Westrom opened Davenport Guns and Shooting Club about three years ago.

Michelle O'Neill reports Westrom's store and employees offer a lot more than guns and a place to practice shooting.

Davenport Guns and Shooting Club teaches courses that include hours and hours of safety education and training. That comes before anyone fires a shot. 

And whether you love or hate guns, owner Jeanelle Westrom wants women and men to learn what to expect from criminals and be prepared.

A new bill in Illinois could help sexual assault victims have their day in court. This week, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Joint Sexual Assault Working Group introduced the bill to require that every police department train officers to handle sex assault cases.

Illinois State Senator Scott Bennett says the goal is for all full and part time officers receive to be trained at least every three years. 

911 operators would also be trained within four years on how to deal with reports of sexual assault. And victims would have the right to check the status of rape kits.

WVIK Staff

When it comes to sexual assault on campus, a local college is ahead of national trends in some areas, but behind in others.

Brooke Axtell

A survivor of sexual assault and human trafficking will share her story with students in the Quad Cities this week. Brooke Axtell spoke about sexual violence at this year's Grammy Awards, and on Thursday, will be on Augustana College's campus.

Becky Lorentzen, from Family Resources, says as a child, Axtell was trafficked by her nanny, and also suffered from an abusive relationship as an adult. She addresses both issues as a speaker and writer.

And Lorentzen says Axtell's story is all too common.

And, it's important for college students to be aware of all forms of sexual violence.

SafePath Survivor Resources serves victims of sexual violence in six local counties. Lorentzen says last year, it served over 424 rape and sexual assault victims. 139 of those victims were under the age of 18, and 48 were males. SafePath also responded to nearly 700 sexual assault crisis calls. / Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University has launched a new campaign to "take a stand" against sexual assault.  President Jack Thomas appears in a public service video that's been distributed to television stations, cable, and on WIU social media.

Western, along with other colleges and universities, has revised its policies and procedures to comply with the Violence Against Women Act. Its "Sexual Misconduct Policy" is now more specific and prohibits:

Photo capture from Haven video /

Colleges and universities in the Quad Cities are working harder to prevent sexual violence. It's their response to new requirements in the "Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act," or "SAVE" Act, which must be implemented this year.

The Rock Island Police Department has ended its investigation of a sexual assault reported by an Augustana College student.