Sexual assault awareness
Information and resources below borrowed from UW-Madison University Health Services.
WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?
Sexual assault is any sexual contact made without consent. Consent must be freely given with overt words or actions that clearly communicate an individual's desire to engage in sexual activities. Consent is a clear yes, not the absence of a no. Consent cannot legally be obtained if an individual is incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs, is unconscious or asleep, or has limited mental capacity.
Examples of sexual assault include unwanted touching, kissing, fondling, or penetration of the mouth, vagina, or anus with a finger, penis, or object
AM I AT FAULT?
NEVER. Sexual assault is always the fault of the perpetrator and not the fault of the victim. Whether or not the victim has been drinking is irrelevant. The victim's previous sexual activities, behaviors, actions, and/or dress is irrelevant. No one deserves to be the victim of sexual assault. Always remember: consent is a clear "yes" - not the absence of a "no."
I'M A VICTIM - WHAT SHOULD I DO?
We hope you'll TELL US. Please call the UW-La Crosse Police Department at (608) 789-9000 or come to our lobby at any time (605 17th St. North) and ask to speak to an officer. Our highly trained police professionals will document important information and explain your options. Our officers will be sensitive to your requests for safety and privacy, they'll progress at a pace that works for you, and they'll make sure you know your rights and options as a victim
WHAT'S THE POLICE PROCESS?
First, we're going to make sure you're safe - and we'll attend to any medical needs you have. It's also important to know that you're in control , and we will move at whatever pace you're comfortable with.
Our highly-trained, sensitive officers will do an initial interview to better understand what happened. Then, we'll collect evidence from you which includes the clothing you were wearing at the time, bedding (if applicable), etc.. With your permission, we'll take you to Gundersen Health System or Mayo Hospital for a private SANE exam (Sexual Assault Nurse Exam) with a medical professional. This will assist us in obtaining forensic evidence as well as assuring your medical wellbeing. Officers will not be present during the exam, but you're welcome to bring a friend or family member to help make you feel more comfortable. Once the SANE exam is complete, officers will collect all of the evidence.
I'M NOT READY TO TELL POLICE
While we hope you'll turn to us for help, we understand that you might not be ready yet. But, we encourage you to at least tell someone.