Sexual Violence Prevention at UWS

In the cusp of autumn 2013, a UWS female stu­dent went to an off-campus party with her friends. She was drink­ing and con­vinced her friends that they could leave and she’d get a ride from some­one else. As the night car­ried on, she met a boy who told her to come with him to his apart­ment. She was too drunk to fully under­stand his threats but she felt afraid. She went back to his apart­ment, and while throw­ing up in his bath­room was able to call her room­mate and have her bring her home to the res hall.

Luck­ily for her, she came out of that sit­u­a­tion untouched and okay, but nation­wide, one in every five col­lege females will be the vic­tim of sex­ual vio­lence, accord­ing to a study con­ducted by the National Insti­tute of Jus­tice. They also found that 90 per­cent of sex­ual vio­lence was done by acqui­es­cence. Only 12 per­cent of vic­tims will go on to report their experience.

Health Ser­vices Coor­di­na­tor Dr. Dawn Schulze said the rea­son stu­dents don’t report is because they think they put them­selves into that sit­u­a­tion. She said the chances of peo­ple report­ing sex­ual vio­lence often varies with edu­ca­tion. She also added that The process of report­ing can be off-putting. The peo­ple sta­tis­ti­cally most likely to report are the ones who were raped when defined in the legal sense of the word, but what con­sti­tutes as sex­ual vio­lence can vary from per­son to person.

Some of the def­i­n­i­tions change or become more inclu­sive,” said Shulze. “A pat on the butt to some is sex­ual assault or it could be seen as a friendly gesture.”

In 2010, there were two sex offenses in UWS res­i­dence halls. In 2011 there were four, and in 2012 there was one off-campus inci­dent, accord­ing to the Annual Cam­pus Secu­rity and Fire Safety Report. Cam­pus safety reported five sex offense “events han­dled” in 2013, one of which was off-campus. Of those five, they reported there were two “tick­ets issued/arrests made.”

The vic­tim has the right to not press charges,” Gary Gul­brand­son, direc­tor of the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety at UWS said recently.

The five 2013 cases were all fourth-degree offences.

Fourth degree gen­er­ally relates to touch­ing,” Gulbrandson explained.

Gul­brand­son said he thinks the num­ber of UWS vic­tims who report is prob­a­bly even lower than the 12 per­cent esti­mated by the National Cen­ter for Jus­tice. “Its been known for years that the vast major­ity aren’t reported,” he said. He also said that some­times vic­tims will go the the local police depart­ments instead of Cam­pus Safety, or they go to the dean of stu­dents or to health ser­vice, which he would only find out for when Cam­pus Safety writes their Clery Act report.

The Clery Act (“The Jeanne Clery Dis­clo­sure of Cam­pus Secu­rity Pol­icy and Cam­pus Crime Sta­tis­tics Act”) was signed into law in 1990. It was named for Jeanne Clery, a  Lehigh Uni­ver­sity stu­dent who was raped and mur­dered in her dorm in 1986. This inci­dent pres­sured cam­pus police to report crimes on col­lege cam­puses for fam­i­lies and stu­dents to see.

In bath­rooms all around cam­pus are Sex­ual Assault pam­phlets for stu­dents to take. Writ­ten on the front is “UW-Superior encour­ages indi­vid­u­als to speak out when they are affected by sex­ual assault.”

The pam­phlet describes sex­ual assault, gives phone num­bers for nearby hos­pi­tals, and shows statistics.

Some­one in the U.S. is sex­u­ally assaulted every two min­utes,” the pam­phlet, dis­trib­uted by the Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion and the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Net­work, says.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Cen­ter Against Sex­ual and Domes­tic Abuse (CASDA) is the Gen­der Equity Cen­ter every Fri­day to be avail­able to any stu­dents who want to know more.

 

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