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  • Sexual assault

    The updated UW-La Crosse Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation can be viewed here: DiscriminationPolicy.pdf

    Where to go for help

    If you, or someone you know, has been sexually assaulted, you are urged to speak with someone about it immediately.  Supportive and experienced staff in any of the following campus offices can assist you: 

    Sexual Assault Information 

    ***CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING FORM***

    This form should be filled out as completely as possible by anyone who has received a firsthand report of sexual assault. The expectation is that the form will be completed only after talking with the victim, not during the conversation. When the form is completed, it should be turned into the Office of Student Life, 149 Graff Main Hall.  For more information, see below.

    What is it and What to do?

    Any sexual contact without consent is sexual assault. That includes incidents involving the use of force, the threat of force, coercion, and/or intoxication.  Refer to Wisconsin State Statutes 940.225 and 948.012. Sexual assault is not limited to certain communities, locations, or people. Everyone needs to be aware of what sexual assault is. Sex without consent is not accidental: it is sexual assault.

    The majority (but not all) of the victims are women, and the majority (but not all) of the perpetrators are men. Thus, while can be helpful for women to educate themselves about how to avoid risks, the primary responsibility is on men to educate themselves (and each other) about what consent is and to practice enthusiastic consent as a core part of any sexual activity.

    The University urges victims to seek immediate help and to report the crime through one of the several mechanisms outlined below. Your confidentiality can be maintained and the information might prevent other individuals from being victimized.

    Title IX and Sexual Assault:  Title IX's prohibition against sex discrimination is for the protection of students, faculty, and staff in federally funded education programs.  The law applies to every aspect of the program, such as admissions, recruitment, academics, employment, athletics, and student services.  Title IX's broad prohibition against sex discrimination also includes sexual harassment and sexual assault.  Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.

    Title IX based grievances may be filed with the UW-La Crosse Affirmative Action Office and/or the State of Wisconsin Affirmative Action and Civil Rights Compliance Office.

    Legal Definitions of Sexual Assault in the State of Wisconsin:

    First degree sexual assault - Whoever does any of the following is guilty of a Class B felony:

    (a)  Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without consent of that person and causes pregnancy or great bodily harm to that person.
    (b)  Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without consent of that person by use or threat of use of a dangerous weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim reasonably to believe it to be a dangerous weapon.
    (c)  Is aided or abetted by one or more other persons and has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without consent of that person by use or threat of force or violence.

    Second degree sexual assault - 
    Whoever does any of the following is guilty of a Class C felony:

    (a)  Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without consent of that person by use or threat of force or violence.
    (b)  Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without consent of that person and causes injury, illness, disease or impairment of a sexual or reproductive organ, or mental anguish requiring psychiatric care for the victim.
    (c)  Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who suffers from a mental illness or deficiency which renders that person temporarily or permanently incapable of appraising the person's conduct, and the defendant knows of such condition.
    (cm)  Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who is under the influence of an intoxicant to a degree which renders that person incapable of appraising the person's conduct, and the defendant knows of such condition.
    (d)  Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who the defendant knows is unconscious.
    (f)  Is aided or abetted by one or more other persons and has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of that person.
    (g)  Is an employee of a facility or program under s. 940.295 (2) (b)(c)(h) or (k) and has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who is a patient or resident of the facility or program.
    (h)  Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with an individual who is confined in a correctional institution if the actor is a correctional staff member.  This paragraph does not apply if the individual with whom the actor has sexual contact or sexual intercourse is subject to prosecution for the sexual contact or sexual intercourse under this section.
    (i)  Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with an individual who is on probation, parole, or extended supervision if the actor is a probation, parole, or extended supervision agent who supervises the individual, either directly or through a subordinate, in his or her capacity as a probation, parole, or extended supervision agent or who has influenced or has attempted to influence another probation, parole, or extended supervision agent's supervision of the individual.  This paragraph does not apply if the individual with whom the actor has sexual contact or sexual intercourse is subject to prosecution for the sexual contact or sexual intercourse under this section.

    Third degree sexual assault - 

    Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person without the consent of that person is guilty of a Class G felony. Whoever has sexual contact in the manner described in sub. (5) (b) 2. with a person without the consent of that person is guilty of a Class G felony.

    Fourth degree sexual assault
     -

    Except as provided in sub. (3), whoever has sexual contact with a person without the consent of that person is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

    UW-L Procedures For Reporting Sexual Assaults

    In order to protect UW-L students from victimization and to comply with Wisconsin and federal statutes on the collection and reporting of campus crime statistics, UW-L follows the procedures below to report sexual assaults. We urge your cooperation in reporting campus crime and in joining the University community in decreasing it.

    1. Sexual Assaults Reported to Law Enforcement (victim is a UW-L student, assault occurs either on or off campus)
      1. When University Police respond to a sexual assault that has occurred on the UW-L campus, they notify the La Crosse Police and meet them at victim's residence. (If the victim asks University Police not to call the La Crosse police, they will honor the request. However, they will encourage the victim to report the alleged crime.)
      2. When the La Crosse Police respond to a sexual assault directly reported to them, whether on or off campus, University Police solicits information on UW-L students from the La Crosse Police on a monthly basis. Sexual assaults occurring outside the jurisdiction of the La Crosse City Police Department may be reported to Protective Services by the responding police department.
      3. In cases of sexual assault where alcohol has been consumed, both the city police and the University Police will not issue a citation to the victim for underage drinking.
    2. Confidential Reports of Sexual Assault (victim is a UW-L student who does not wish to report the incident officially)
      1. Students are encouraged to report assaults and seek help from the staff at the Counseling & Testing Center, the Office of Student Life, the UW-L Student Health Center, and if appropriate, Residence Life.   Names of victims are confidential.
      2. Faculty and staff who come in contact with a student who has been a victim of a sexual assault should be compassionate and supportive.  Assure the student that names of victims are always confidential. 
        Staff from the Counseling & Testing Center, the UW-L Student Health Center, and the Office of Student Life have created a confidential reporting form. This form should be filled out as completely as possible by anyone who has received a firsthand report of sexual assault. The expectation is that the form will be completed only after talking with the victim, not during the conversation. When the form is completed, it should be turned into the Office of Student Life, 149 Graff Main Hall. The confidential forms will be used to compile sexual assault statistics that are reported to UW-System and the federal government on an annual basis. It is in the best interests of the campus community that all sexual assaults be reported by using this form, even if they are not reported to law enforcement officials. It is NOT intended that the form be completed by the victim nor is it to be used as a questionnaire.
    3. Office of Student Life
      1. OSL is responsible for compiling the data for compliance with UW System, state, and federal reporting requirements, with the cooperation of the campus community.
      2. OSL is also charged with the responsibility for the investigation and formal adjudication of all disciplinary cases involving UW-La Crosse students.  Students should understand that the campus judicial system operates independently from the criminal justice system and that the University strongly encourages the survivor of an alleged assault to report the incident to the OSL.
      3. Following an alleged assault, the OSL can assist the survivor, when requested, by working with the appropriate agencies to explore options in modifying academic schedules and living arrangements.
      4. As with any allegation of academic or nonacademic misconduct, the accused party in a sexual assault case will be afforded substantive and procedural due process.  If the accused student requests a hearing, both parties (the accused as well as the accuser) are entitled to be accompanied by a person(s) of their choice during the disciplinary proceedings.  It is also the policy of UW-L to notify the accused, as well as the accuser, of the findings and of the recommended sanction of any campus disciplinary proceeding.
      5. Sanctions levied against students involved in misconduct can vary.  Due to the seriousness of the offense, sanctions for rape, acquaintance rape or other sex offenses (whether forcible or nonforcible) will generally be either suspension (for a period of time up to two years) or expulsion.

    Procedures for Sexual Assault Victims

    If you are a victim of a sexual assault, which may include either stranger or acquaintance assault (often called date rape), you have the right to proper medical care, privacy, freedom from harassment, and support services. If you are a victim of a rape, you are encouraged to:

    • Preserve the evidence. Don't clean up, bathe, douche, or change clothes.
    • Go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. UW-L University Police or the city police will be glad to take you there. If you wish, a sexual assault counselor will be contacted to provide support, explain procedures and options, and offer initial counseling that can be followed up with counselors on campus.
    • Write down the details you can about the assailant (name, height, weight, hair color, physical oddities, clothing, etc.), and circumstances as soon as possible.
    • Report the crime to UW-L University Police, 789-9999, or the La Crosse City Police, 911 or the UW-L Office of Student Life, 785-8062, or informally to UW-L Counseling & Testing Center, 785-8073, as quickly as possible.  Reporting an assault does not commit you to prosecute and you can remain anonymous. Reporting the crime immediately is the best way to keep your options open and to help insure the safety of other students.
    • Get help for yourself no matter how long ago or under what circumstances you were assaulted. Immediate and ongoing help is available from First Call for Help, 782-8010 (24 hours), and the UW-L Counseling & Testing Center 785-8073 (both 8:30-4:30 Monday through Friday).  The sexual assault services at the local hospitals are also available for support, counseling, and information about the different options that are available to you.  Franciscan Skemp: 791-9720 or 1-800-362-5454, ext. 2291 or Gundersen Lutheran: 775-5950 or 1-800-362-9567, ext. 5950