UHS rolls out new bystander program to help prevent sexual assault and dating violence
Updates on campus recommendations to the AAU survey
In fall 2015, UW-Madison released the results of the campus’s participation in the Association of American Universities (AAU) Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault Climate Survey. After analyzing the survey results and listening to student feedback, UW-Madison safety, health, and student life units responded with recommendations to improve campus safety and climate. Key findings include:
- More than one in four (27.6 percent) undergraduate female students report experiencing nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching.
- Perpetrators were overwhelmingly identified as other students who are male, often a friend or acquaintance.
- Of students who experienced penetration by force, 26.1 percent reported the incident.
- Eighty-six percent of sexual assaults that occur at UW-Madison involve the use of alcohol by the victim, perpetrator, or both.
Gaps were identified in students’ education around sexual violence. University Health Services (UHS) added a mandatory in-person training requirement for all new undergraduate and transfer students to supplement the required online primary prevention training. The completion rate is greater than 90 percent.
Population-specific programming was offered to communities who they survey reported were disproportionately impacted by sexual misconduct (i.e., LGBTQ students, international students, students of color, and transfer students).
The Provost’s Advisory Group on Sexual Assault and Misconduct was created to provide overarching leadership on campus efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault and sexual misconduct, advise senior campus leaders, and ensure the coordination of campus prevention, response and accountability measures
The Division of Student Life was reorganized to separate student assistance from student conduct and created more mechanisms for students to report (online, in person). Recommitted efforts to reduce the number of times a victim has to recount their experience to authorities
To accommodate student survivors’ present and future needs, UHS hired two additional victim advocates and one violence prevention specialist to increase accessibility for students. “Previously, open access drop-in hours were offered three days a week, and now we are able to offer it five days a week,” says Sam Johnson, UHS Violence Prevention Manager. UHS was also able to add one additional support group per semester.
New online violence prevention education for graduate students was implemented during the fall 2017 semester. Lead by the Graduate School and Dean William Karpus, a registration hold was put into effect for students who did not complete the program.
“This is an important step toward helping all graduate students understand the problem of sexual violence and that everyone plays a role in preventing it,” says Alissa Ewer, assistant dean for professional development and communications in the Graduate School.
Professional schools also adopted this training, with 100 percent of Law School, Medical students, Veterinary, and Pharmacy students completing the training.
In July 2017, mandatory training for all employees, “Preventing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence,” was launched online, through group trainings, and in multiple languages. Faculty and staff compliance is near 100 percent.
- UWPD launched its “Start by Believing” campaign in Fall 2017
- Provided focused training on sexual violence and alcohol for fraternity and sorority student leaders
- Finalized the UW-Madison Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy
- Re-established Sexual Assault and Dating Violence Coordinating Council
The newly formed Office of Compliance (2016) will continue to continue collaborate with Office of Human Resources to improve recordkeeping through a centralized data tracking system, training, and referral processes. There are also plans for campus to implement central reporting system and database for sexual harassment and sexual assault reports and complaints.
“Two years after the survey, we can look to advancement in UW-Madison's allocation of resources, and I look forward to making the process even more accessible and eliminate any potential barriers. This database is a step in addressing issues on campus and coordinating effective and timely responses” says Lauren Hasselbacher, UW-Madison’s Title IX Coordinator.
- Pass and implement the UW-Madison Employee Consensual Relationships Policy
- Develop and launch Title IX Responsible Employee Training to ensure all reports of sexual misconduct are made to the Title IX Coordinator
- Align related Title IX trainings (i.e., Preventing Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence at UW–Madison, Clery Campus Security Authority and Title IX Responsible Employee) to achieve learning goals and minimize content redundancy
- Develop on ongoing education and awareness campaign regarding sexual harassment and sexual violence
- Develop a communication strategy that consolidates information and resources in single web space
UW-Madison will participate in the AAU survey again in 2019.