Campus Contacts

Link to help, information, and resources on your UW campus.

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Help is available to survivors on college campuses, even if they choose to not report to law enforcement.

Students at UW System campuses have the right to report to law enforcement, and the right to decline to report to law enforcement.  Regardless of their choice to report to law enforcement, survivors can request changes from their campus to help keep them safe, such as changes to their working, living, academic, or transportation situations.  Campus Title IX Coordinators can provide information and assistance to survivors about their rights and options to report to campus, to law enforcement, and/or request supportive measures.

Understanding sexual violence and sexual assault

What is the difference between sexual violence, sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, and Title IX?

“Sexual violence” is used on this website as an umbrella term to refer to instances of sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence, and domestic violence.

Sexual assault is defined by Wisconsin statute §940.225 as sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of that person.

Rape is a severe form of sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is rape [Wis. Stat. §940.225]. For its Uniform Crime Reports, the FBI defines rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” RAINN. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects employment or education and interferes with work or academic performance. See University of Wisconsin System, Task Force On Sexual Violence and Harassment: Glossary. Dec. 2016.

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in educational programs on the basis of sex.  It states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”  The courts and federal agencies have interpreted Title IX to cover certain action or inaction by colleges and universities related to sexual violence on campus. Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972 20 U.S.C. §§1681 et seq.

What constitutes consent?

Consent is words or overt actions by a person who is competent to give informed consent, indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact. A person is unable to give consent if the person is incapacitated because of drugs, alcohol, physical or intellectual disability, or unconsciousness [§ 940.225(4), Wis. Stats.].

How do I know if I’ve given consent or if my partner has given consent?

In Wisconsin, consent is defined as “words or overt actions by a person who is competent to give informed consent, indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact. A person is unable to give consent if the person is incapacitated because of drugs, alcohol, physical or intellectual disability, or unconsciousness” [§ 940.225(4), Wis. Stats.].

For example, Tim and Ashley met at a party, and have an immediate attraction.  Later in the night, Tim notices Ashley is having a hard time standing on her own, is slurring her speech, and even leaves to throw up. When Tim asks if Ashley wants to have sex with him, Ashley is unable to respond. Tim has sex with Ashley.

Tim has violated the Sexual Violence policy. Ashley has not, and is unable, to consent because she is not able to freely give informed consent, and is incapacitated because of alcohol or drugs.

Example 2: Kevin and Darius went on a great first date together, and decided to watch a movie in Kevin’s dorm room.  The two begin to kiss, when Kevin asks Darius if he wants to have sex. Darius is surprised things are progressing so quickly, and is uncomfortable and not ready to have sex. He says nothing, and is very stiff as Kevin begins to have intercourse with him.

Kevin has violated the Sexual Violence policy. Darius did not “indicate a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.” Although a verbal response is not mandatory, it should be clear through either words or actions that both parties are willing to engage in sexual activity.

What can I do to help as a member of the UW System community?

All students, faculty and employees must receive appropriate sexual violence and harassment training, as mandated by their institution.  Such training particularly addresses the notion of bystander intervention, which seeks to change social norms supporting sexual violence and empower individuals to intervene with peers to prevent violence from occurring.  See, e.g, Sexual Violence: Prevention Strategies from the CDC.

All employees who witnesses a sexual assault on campus or receive a report from a student enrolled in the institution that the student has been sexually assaulted shall report to the dean of students of the institution. This is a requirement of state law.

In addition, certain employees who are designated as “responsible employees” have additional reporting obligations.

All members should strive to do their part to help promote cultural and societal change in the area of sexual violence.

Does the UW System offer education and training for students and employees on sexual violence issues?

Yes. Sexual Violence and Harassment training is required at all UW institutions. Please contact your institution’s Title IX coordinator for additional information.

Getting help

Something happened to me and I think I’ve been raped. How do I know?

Rape, or sexual assault, occurs when an individual has sexual contact with another person without the consent of that person.

If you wish to speak to someone about what happened, please visit the Get Help link on this website.

I’ve experienced sexual violence. Where can I go for help?

If you or someone you know is in danger or needs immediate help, call 911.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence or harassment but are not in immediate danger, find support and services on your campus.

Can I report anonymously?

Most institutions, police departments, and community agencies will allow you to submit an anonymous report.  However, please be aware that filing an anonymous report may limit the actions the organization can take on your behalf.

I’ve been sexually assaulted. Can I get a professional medical exam?

You can get a medical exam within 120 hours of your assault by an expert Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE).  SANEs specialize in providing timely medical care and emotional support, using legally sound forensic methods that will preserve evidence for court. These examinations are more commonly known as a “rape kit.”

SANE nurses are on-call to respond to sexual assault victims at Wisconsin locations found here. More information about the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program is available at http://www.wcasa.org/pages/Intervention_SANE.php.

If you are seeking a medical exam after 120 hours, please follow up with your health care provider.

If I talk to campus resource or my Employee Assistance Program, will my personal information, such as my name, be kept confidential?

Those who are identified as Confidential Employees or Confidential Resources do not have to report your personal information. Other employees at UW System institutions cannot maintain confidentiality.

A Confidential Employee is any employee who is a licensed medical, clinical, or mental health professional, when acting in that role in the provision of services to a patient or client who is a university student or employee. A Confidential Employee will not report specific information concerning a report of sexual violence or sexual harassment received by that Employee in the Employee’s professional capacity unless with the consent of the reporting individual or unless required by the Employee’s license or by law.

Confidential Resources are individuals or agencies in the community, whose professional license or certification permits that individual or agency to preserve the confidentiality of the patient or client.

I just want to talk to someone and I don’t want to file a report, or I’m not ready to decide if I want to report yet. Can I still get help?

Yes. Your institution provides information concerning those employees and resources who can maintain confidentiality.  Some community resources that might be helpful include: WCASA, DAIS, End Abuse Wisconsin, Forge, and the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.

If I experienced sexual violence off-campus or before I enrolled or started working in the UW System, can I still get help?

Yes. Institutional resources, as well as local resources, are available to all students and employees

I’m concerned that the person who did this to me might retaliate.

When an individual reports an act of sexual violence against them, that individual is offered what is sometimes referred to as “interim measures”—steps that can be taken to support that person’s welfare during a sexual violence investigation.  These may include no contact orders, counseling, changing residence halls, and classroom changes among other things.  In some cases, the accused individual may be placed on emergency suspension.

In addition, university policies prohibit retaliation.  If you think someone is retaliating against you based on your reporting of an incident, contact your institution’s Title IX coordinator.

Some individuals also want to obtain a restraining order.  Your campus police or security can provide you information about restraining orders should you choose to pursue this option.

Filing a report

I haven’t decided if I want to file a report yet. Can I talk to someone to better understand my options?

Yes. Your institution will have confidential resources that do not require you to file a report. You can also connect with community resources such as WCASA, DAIS, End Abuse Wisconsin, Forge, and the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.

How do I file a formal report about sexual violence I’ve experienced?

You are encouraged to contact the Title IX coordinator at your institution who can assist you with your reporting options.

Can I report anonymously?

Most institutions, police departments, and community agencies will allow you to submit an anonymous report.  However, please be aware that filing an anonymous report may limit the actions the organization can take on your behalf.

Will information that I report be confidential?

The confidentiality of the information depends on to whom the information is reported.  Institutions have confidential resources, such as trained counselors, whose professional license permits them to maintain confidentiality.  Many professional advocates likewise may maintain confidentiality.  Other individuals, such as Title IX coordinators, police officers, or deans of students, cannot guarantee confidentiality.  However, all these individuals will treat the information sensitively.

In addition, if the individual is a minor and is a victim of sexual violence, because all UW System employees are mandatory reporter for child abuse and neglect, the employee may not keep this information confidential.

If I decide to file a report, will there be an investigation?

Your institution’s Title IX coordinator will determine if the complaint necessitates an investigation.  In many cases, an investigation is conducted following a report of sexual violence or harassment.

Will the university investigation result in disciplinary action for the accused?

Much like in a civil court case, respondents must be found responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.  If the evidence in the case is found to have met this standard, the appropriate disciplinary action will be applied.  Contact your institution’s Title IX coordinator to find out more about the disciplinary process at your institution.

What is the UW System’s policy on retaliation against someone who files a formal report?

Retaliation is explicitly prohibited against those who are involved in the reporting of an incident of sexual violence or harassment. Your institution will identify remedies for those who have been subject to retaliation under the Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment policy.

Education and training

What are the sexual violence education and training requirements for students and employees in the UW System?

All current employees and students must complete appropriate web-based training modules covering the general topics of sexual violence and harassment on campus.  All new employees must complete the training within one month of their start date. Contact your institutional Title IX office for additional information.

What concepts are covered in the UW System’s education and training program?

General training for employees and students includes such information as sexual harassment prevention, Title IX, the Campus SaVE Act, VAWA, Title VII, and bystander intervention.

In addition, employees with higher-level responsibilities at each institution, such as supervisors, managers, directors, responsible employees, investigators, hearing examiners and panels, and campus police will receive additional training in the following areas:

  1. Setting expectations for harassment-free workplaces, classrooms, and campus environments
  2. Preventing unlawful harassment
  3. Responding to Title IX and VAWA complaints and reports
  4. Reporting requirements of the Clery Act and under state law
  5. Specifying when the disciplinary process regarding sexual violence or harassment is involved
  6. Employing survivor and trauma-informed interventions and strategies
  7. Identifying roles and responsibilities of Title IX coordinators and deputy coordinators
  8. Identifying employees serving in the role of investigator
  9. Identifying employees and students serving on hearing panels

Do I have to take the education and training every year?

All students must complete the training within the first six weeks of the start of their first semester enrolled at the institution, and complete a refresher training annually.

All employees must complete the training in 2017, and complete a refresher training at least once every three years.

Do students, faculty, and employees take the same education and training course?

No. Although some of the topics will be the same, others are tailored towards the employment context or student experience.

If you have been accused

Where can I go for information and help if I’ve been accused of sexual violence or harassment?

Your institution’s Title IX coordinator will provide information, resources, and  a timeline regarding the complaint against you.  Additionally, the Wisconsin Administrative Code and related policies outline the disciplinary procedures for faculty, staff, and students [UWS 4, 7, 11, and 17; UPS Operational Policy GEN 28, and GEN 14].

What are my rights as an accused individual?

Accused students and employees have certain rights, which include the right to written notice of the allegations; the right to provide relevant information and evidence and names of relevant witnesses as part of the investigation; the right to request or be granted a hearing; rights associated with the hearing; the right to a written and timely decision, outlining the results of the investigation explaining the basis of the conclusion, and outlining the proper course of appeal. Lastly, you have the right to appeal the outcome.  For more information, contact your institutional Title IX office.

If I’ve been accused, should I hire an attorney?

The choice of whether to hire an attorney is a personal one.  The role of attorneys in disciplinary proceedings is addressed in applicable policies and varies from the attorney serving only as an adviser to the attorney serving as a representative.  Contact your Title IX office for additional information on an attorney’s role at your institution.