Sexual Misconduct: Don't Know What To Do?

Sexual Misconduct: Don't Know What To Do? content

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In case of emergency, or any time there is immediate danger to health or safety, call 911.  

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted... expanding section

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, or has experienced some other form of sexual misconduct:

  • Know that you are not alone and that sexual misconduct is never the victim's fault.
  • Resources are available to provide support, help you cope and heal, and discuss your options for reporting the incident. 
  • We encourage you to contact the Violence Prevention Specialist for free and confidential support:

Ingrid Peterson
Violence Prevention Specialist
149 Graff Main Hall
608.785.8062
ipeterson@uwlax.edu

 Some other steps to consider:

  • Seeking medical assistance. 24/7 medical care is available at Gundersen Health System (608.775.5950) and Mayo Clinic Health System (608.392.7804)
  • Preserving evidence: If you can wait until Don't bathe, shower, douche, or change clothes until physical evidence is collected. Save any emails or text messages that may be relevant. Write down everything you can remember about the assualt, the attacker, the location, vehicles, witnesses, etc., and document or photograph any visible injuries.
  • Reporting the incident: You have the choice whether to make an official report to the police or to the university. Click here for more information on reporting options.
If someone tells you they've been sexually assaulted expanding section

If someone tells you they've been sexually assaulted or experienced other sexual misconduct:

  • If you are a faculty or staff member, do not promise confidentiality; remind the person as soon as possible that you have an obligation to report sexual misconduct to the university, so that they can choose whether or not they want to share more details. If they want to speak to someone confidentially, refer them to our Confidential Resources
  • Listen actively and respectfully, and believe them without questioning, judgment or victim-blaming.
  • Acknowledge and respect their disclosure; it is not easy for someone to share personally traumatic experiences.
  • Be aware of common responses to trauma. Depending many personal factors, people experience many different reactions: fear, anxiety, depression, sleep loss, emotional numbness, difficulty remembering details.
  • Don't assume the role of deciding what the person should do next. Let them make their own decisions. For many survivors of trauma, there is a need to re-assert control, personal agency, and empowerment.
If you have been accused of sexual misconduct expanding section

If you have been accused of sexual misconduct:

  • Do not contact the alleged victim or take any action that may constitute retaliation.
  • You have the right to a fair and impartial process. Students may contact Student Life for more information about the student conduct process. Employees may contact Equity & Affirmative Action for more information about investigation processes for complaints against employees.
  • Depending on the nature of the allegations, sexual misconduct can result in criminal proceedings and/or disciplinary action by the university, and the outcomes of these processes can be different.