Violence Prevention

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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. Any of the supportive and experienced staff listed on our Resources page can assist you.

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 a victim, not during the conversation. When the form is completed, it should be turned in to the Office of Student Life, 149 Graff Main Hall. For more information, view the Report incident page.

Procedure for Reporting Sexual Assaults

In order to protect members of the UWL community from victimization and to comply with Wisconsin and federal statutes on the collection and reporting of campus crime statistics, UWL follows the procedures below to report sexual assaults. In non-emergency situations, it is strongly suggested that an individual who is considering reporting an assault consult first with the Student Life Violence Prevention Specialist in order to receive information about the full range of available reporting options: Ingrid Peterson, ipeterson@uwlax.edu; 608.785.8062. Reports made to the Violence Prevention Specialist are confidential.

Reporting an assault does not commit you to moving forward with prosecution.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you are urged to speak with someone about it immediately. Any of the supportive and experienced staff listed on our Resources page can assist you.

I. Reporting to Law Enforcement
  1. If the assault occurred anywhere on the UWL campus, contact University Police by calling 911 or (608)789-9999.
  2. If the assault occurred off campus but within the city of La Crosse, contact the La Crosse Police Department by calling 911 or 608.785.5962.
  3. If the assault occurred elsewhere in La Crosse County, contact the La Crosse County Sheriff's Office by calling 911 or 608.785.5942.
  4. If you wish to report a sexual assault that occurred outside La Crosse County, contact the Student Life Violence Prevention Specialist at 608.785.8062 or University Police at (608)789-9999 for assistance.
  5. Responsible Action Policy (assaults that involve underage drinking): 
II. Reporting to the University
  1. Accused is a UWL Student
    The UWL Student Life Office is 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 Student Life. Reporting an assault does not commit you to moving forward with an investigation.

    Following an alleged assault, Student Life staff can assist the survivor, when requested, by working with the appropriate offices to explore options in modifying academic schedules and living arrangements.

    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 UWL to notify the accused, as well as the accuser, of the findings and of the recommended sanction of any campus disciplinary proceeding.

    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.
  2. Accused is a UWL Faculty or Staff Member
    Any complaint naming a UWL Faculty or Staff member as the accused party should be made to the UWL Affirmative Action Director.
  3. The UWL Student Life Office is responsible for compiling the data for compliance with UW System, state, and federal reporting requirements, with the cooperation of the campus community (See Confidential Report Form: link).
III. UWL Faculty/Staff Reporting Responsibilities

Faculty and staff who come in contact with a student or colleague who has been a victim of a sexual assault should be compassionate and supportive.  The following steps should be taken:   

1. Assess immediate safety:
  • Is there continued threat of harm? If so police should be contacted. (608) 789-9999
  • If no threat of immediate harm, do they want to report to police? If so call:
    • If assault happened on campus University Police (608) 789-9000
    • If assault happened off campus call La Crosse Police 608.785.5962

In non-emergency situations, it is strongly suggested that an individual who is considering reporting an assault consult first with the Student Life Violence Prevention Specialist in order to receive information about the full range of available reporting options:  Ingrid Peterson, ipeterson@uwlax.edu; 608.785.8062.

2. Mandatory Reporting:

Many Faculty and Staff members are considered Mandatory Reporters of sexual assault under Title IX, unless they are specifically designated as Confidential Reporters. Whenever possible, inform a student or colleague who wishes to disclose an assault of this obligation prior to any details being given.  Victims who are unsure about whether they wish to pursue an investigation should be immediately directed to one of these resources to receive confidential assistance:  Link to Resources page

If the name of an alleged perpetrator is disclosed to a faculty or staff member, the following steps must be taken:

  1. If the alleged assailant is a UWL student:   Report to the Assistant Dean of Students in Student Life for investigation:  John Palmer, 608.785.8062; jpalmer@uwlax.edu
  2. If the alleged assailant is a UWL Faculty or Staff member:   Report to the Affirmative Action Director: Nizam Arain, 608.785.8541; narain@uwlax.edu
  3. Fill out Confidential Reporting Form
3. Encourage a health assessment

Encourage a health assessment, and a forensic (SANE) Exam. SANE exams must be done within 120 hours of the asault, and at one of the local medical centers: 

 Gundersen Health System SANE:  (608)775-3128

 Mayo Clinic Health System SANE:  (608)392-7000 

Give University & Community Resources:  

  • Student Life Violence Prevention 608.785.8062
  • Counseling and Testing 608.785.8073
  • Student Health Center 608.785.8558
  • Gundersen Health System Domestic Abuse/Sexual Assault Services (608) 775-5950 (24 Hours)
  • Mayo Clinic Health Systems Safe Path (608) 392-7804 (24 Hours)
  • New Horizons Shelter and Outreach Centers (608) 791-2600 (24 Hours)
  • Great Rivers 2-1-1, Information, Referral and Crisis Line Dial 211 (24 Hours)

Violence Prevention Resource Pamphlet should be given to victim if available

4. Responsible Action Policy

(assaults that involve underage drinking):  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 Student Life Office, 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.

Procedures for Sexual Assault Victims

If you have experienced a sexual assault, which may include either stranger or acquaintance assault, you have the right to proper medical care, privacy, freedom from harassment, and support services.  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.  University Police or the city police will be glad to take you there.
  • Write down any details you can remember about the assailant (name, height, weight, hair color, physical oddities, clothing, etc.), and circumstances as soon as possible.
  • Consider reporting the assault to University Police, 789-9999, or the La Crosse City Police, 911 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 the following resources: