Violence Prevention

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1. Introduction

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is committed to maintaining an environment in which all students can pursue their academic goals free from harm. The University System, the Governor, and the Wisconsin Legislature recognize that an important component of this commitment is working to provide an atmosphere which prohibits sexual assault.

UWL, in an ongoing effort to prevent sexual assaults on campus, will continue to provide education and prevention programs, investigate complaints of sexual assault, and dispense disciplinary action when appropriate. The UWL Student Life Office will provide complainants with support and information regarding resources on and off campus, as well as information on pursuing criminal action.

Any alleged violation of UWL sexual misconduct policy will be investigated and handled under UW-System Code Chapters 17 & 18. To view Chapters 17 and 18, go to the Student Handbook under Student Resources at: Student Handbook

Where a violation of any University policy is found, appropriate sanctions will be taken by the University to create a safe educational environment.

To view UWL's complete policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation, go to: Non-Discrimination Policy

2. Scope of the Policy

  1. The University's policies on sexual misconduct apply to all students and employees, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The policies also apply to all affiliated third parties.
  2. All UWL Faculty members, Staff members, and Resident Assistants are considered Responsible Employees for the reporting of sexual assault under both Title IX and Wisconsin state law, 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: Resources
    If the name of an alleged perpetrator is disclosed to a UWL faculty or staff member, the official reporting form should be completed: Official Report Form. Victims should be advised that this will initiate an official University investigation.

3. Options for Assistance Following an Incident of Sexual Misconduct

  1. Is there continued threat of harm? If so police should be contacted: 911
  2. If no threat of immediate harm, do they want to report to police? If so call:
    • If assault happened on campus call 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 UWL Student Life Victim Advocate 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 Victim Advocate are confidential.
  3. Victims who are unsure about whether they wish to pursue an investigation should be immediately directed to one of these resources to receive confidential assistanceResources
  4. Encourage a health assessment & a sexual assault (SANE) exam. Sane exams must be done within 120 hours of an assault, and at one of the two local medical centers (not the Student Health Center):
    • Gundersen Health System SANE: (608)775-3128
    • Mayo Clinic Health System SANE: (608)392-7000
    Contact the Student Life Violence Prevention Victim Advocate for information about financial resources to assist with health care costs.
  5. The Student Life Office will provide complainants with support and information regarding resources on and off campus, as well as information on pursuing criminal action.

4. Title IX Coordinator

Any individual who believes he or she is being subjected to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation prohibited by the University's policies may file a complaint with the Office of

Affirmative Action. At the request of the complainant, a preliminary consultation with the Office of Affirmative Action for advice and direction may take place prior to the filing of a complaint. The filing of a written complaint with the Affirmative Action Office initiates formal procedures.

Title IX Complaints may be filed by contacting:

Nizam Arain, Affirmative Action Director
131 Graff Main Hall 
narain@uwlax.edu

To view UWL's complete policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation, go to: Non-Discrimination Policy

5. Definitions

Sex without consent is sexual assault.

“Consent must be freely given with words or overt actions that clearly communicate an individual’s agreement 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 impaired mental capacity.” (From UW Madison)

Someone who is incapacitated by drugs, alcohol, or for any other reason is incapable of giving consent for sex.

Conduct prohibited by the university includes sexual harassment (including hostile environment caused by sexual harassment), sexual assault (includes non-consensual sexual contact and non-consensual sexual intercourse), domestic violence, dating violence, sexual exploitation, stalking, retaliation, and intimidation, as defined by state statutes: Wisconsin Statutes

6. Reporting Policies and Protocols

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: Resources

If someone discloses a sexual assault to a UWL Faculty or Staff member, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Assess immediate safety:
    Is there continued threat of harm? If so police should be contacted: 911
    If no threat of immediate harm, do they want to report to police? If so call:
    • If assault happened on campus call 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.  
    • Reports made to the Violence Prevention Specialist are confidential.
    • Reporting an assault to law enforcement does not commit an individual to moving forward with prosecution.
  2. Responsible Employees:

    All UWL Faculty members, Staff members, and Resident Assistants are considered Responsible Employees for the reporting of sexual assault under both Title IX and Wisconsin state law, 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: Resources

    If the name of an alleged perpetrator is disclosed to a UWL faculty or staff member, the official reporting form should be completed: Official Report FormVictims should be advised that this will initiate an official University investigation.

  3. Encourage a health assessment & a sexual assault (SANE) exam. Sane exams must be done within 120 hours of an assault, and at one of the two local medical centers (not the Student Health Center):
    • Gundersen Health System SANE: (608)775-3128
    • Mayo Clinic Health System SANE: (608)392-7000

    Contact the Student Life Violence Prevention Specialist for information about financial resources to assist with health care costs.

  4. Give the student a Violence Prevention Resource Brochure: Brochure
  5. Responsible Action Policy (assaults that involve underage drinking): for information about UWL's Responsible Action Policy go to: Responsible Action Policy

7. Investigation Procedures and Protocols:

information about investigation procedures and protocols is available in the Student Handbook under Student Resources at: Student Handbook

8. Grievance/Adjudication Procedures:

Information about grievance and adjudication procedures is available in the Student Handbook under Student Resources at: Student Handbook

9. Prevention and Education

Prevention Education begins at UWL when students arrive on campus for New Student Orientation in June, with a brief introduction by the University's Violence Prevention Specialist to the topics of sexual assault on campus, the University's sexual assault policy, and prevention strategies. All incoming students are then expected to complete Campus Clarity's online training program "Think About It" before their arrival on campus in the fall. "Think About It" is a comprehensive program that addresses sexual assault and harassment, dating violence, alcohol and drug use, and bystander intervention. Follow-up sessions are held during Orientation Weekend at the start of fall semester. All new students are given the link to the University's online Sexual Misconduct Guidelines. Throughout the year, the Student Life Violence Prevention Specialist provides numerous programming and classroom presentations on sexual violence prevention.