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UW-Madison to participate in sexual assault climate survey in 2019
Beginning February 11, 2019, UW-Madison will again participate in the Association of American Universities (AAU) Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault Climate Survey to gauge the campus climate of sexual assault and sexual misconduct.
“The results of this survey will provide an understanding of how these issues impact our students and the campus community in order to guide policies that best support a healthy, safe, and nondiscriminatory environment,” says Dr. Bill Kinsey, UHS medical director and UW-Madison chief health officer.
The survey was last conducted in 2015, when UW was one of the participants. The results prompted numerous actions by the university to add or expand programs and services. As one of more than 32 institutions participating, UW-Madison will examine how sexual violence and misconduct has changed since the 2015 survey. Two UW-Madison staff members are part of the AAU survey design team that collaborates with the survey administrator, Westat, on customization of the survey tool.
All undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students will receive the survey via email. Participation is confidential and voluntary. Any experience a student discloses will not be considered a report to the university. Student survey responses will be compiled and shared in aggregate only; individual responses will never be shared in a way that identifies an individual.
“UW–Madison is proud to once again be part of a national effort to better understand, prevent and respond to sexual misconduct,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “I encourage students to participate in the survey and make sure we hear about their experiences.”
Results of the survey will be communicated with the campus community during the fall 2019 semester.
The 2015 survey showed that more than one in four (27.6 percent) undergraduate female students report experiencing nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching; of that, 12.6 percent includes attempted or completed penetration by force or incapacitation. Other key findings included:
- Perpetrators were overwhelmingly identified as other students who are male, often a friend or acquaintance.
- Of female students who experienced penetration by force, 26.1 percent reported the incident.
- Seventy-six percent of sexual assaults that occur at UW-Madison involve the use of alcohol by the victim, perpetrator, or both.
In response to the 2015 findings, 12 recommendations were made to address gaps in students’ education around sexual violence, develop additional programming for incoming students and new programming for graduate and professional students, increase bystander intervention training opportunities, and hire more staff in the UHS Violence Prevention and Survivor Services units.
To date, 11 recommendations have been met. Campus leaders continue to engage underrepresented students to determine services and specific needs to those populations.
“The results of the 2015 survey were significant in guiding policies and programming,” says Lori Reesor, vice chancellor for student affairs. “We look forward to receiving data from the spring survey to support our ongoing efforts to create a community where everyone feels safe and can thrive.”
CONTACT: Marlena Holden, University Health Services, (608) 265-9058, firstname.lastname@example.org