UW-Green Bay reports positive climate for sexual assault prevention and treatment

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. At UW-Green Bay, students reported overall positive perceptions of the school climate in dealing with sexual harassment and working toward assault prevention, response and treatment, although University officials acknowledged that there is always room for improvement.

The responses were reported in the College Experiences Survey (CES) Campus Climate Survey Validation Study, and results were recently released to the nine participating colleges and universities. Surveys were completed by 23,000 undergraduate students across the nine campuses.

Sexual Assault Awareness Infographic (pdf)

The survey, conducted by RTI International and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, collected data on UW-Green Bay’s campus climate and sexual victimization during their academic career. Of the 2,445 UW-Green Bay students completing the survey, 1,691 were women, and 754 were men. Some findings:

  • About 97 percent of men and 94 percent of women said they strongly agree or agree that sexual harassment is not tolerated at UW-Green Bay.
  • In addition, about 93 percent of men and 92 percent of women reported in the survey that UW-Green Bay personnel would take their case seriously if they were sexually assaulted.
  • Seven percent of undergraduate females reported experiencing a sexual assault since the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year. For both rape and sexual battery incidents, more than half of the victims reported that the perpetrator was not affiliated with the school. Most commonly, the perpetrator was someone the victim knew casually, and most incidents of rape and sexual battery took place off campus.
    • Sexual Battery was defined as any unwanted sexual contact without penetration
    • Rape was defined as unwanted sexual contact involving penetration
    • Sexual Assault was defined as a sexual battery and rape during the same incident.
  • Although students are encouraged to report any and all incidents of sexual assault, victims who did not report the incident to school officials most commonly responded that they did not need assistance, did not want any action taken, or did not consider the incident serious enough to report.
  • About 63 percent of men and 53 percent of women said they are aware of, and understand, the school’s procedures for dealing with reported incidents of sexual assault.

According to UW-Green Bay Assistant Dean of Students Mark Olkowski, sexual assault, and where to seek help if an incident was to occur, is a topic that is addressed to UW-Green Bay students early in their college experience.

“Sexual assault is an issue we talk to students about early in their college career,” said Olkowski. “It is part of our first-year student orientation, and we continue with a variety of programs related to the topic throughout the year. By the University talking about the topic, it becomes easier for the students to talk about it and get help if they need it.”

Olkowski said surveys like these demonstrate that the University’s educational efforts are working and provide a chance to educate the campus community about the prevalence of these incidents on campus, as well as the procedures in place to respond to them. For instance, did you know…

  • UW-Green Bay has six specially trained investigators (3 females, 3 males) for instances of sexual harassment and assault. UWGB Public Safety also has trained police officers of both genders available.
  • The UWGB Sexual Assault Response Team meets monthly to review any new reports, confirm follow up and services have been provided to victims, and look for options to prevent similar assaults.
  • UWGB has a multi-disciplinary Title IX team to review and improve our campus efforts to prevent and address gender discrimination in all its forms.
  • The faculty, staff and students who hear cases of sexual misconduct receive annual training about sexual assault related to trauma, substance use, facts vs myths, and how to be supportive of victims.
  • Fight, Flight or Freeze are the three ways the human body responds to stress or trauma. Freeze is a very common response to a sexual assault while it is occurring and immediately after the event. This is also known as tonic immobility.
  • “Tonic immobility” is when a person freezes during a sexual assault.  It is a biological response, and does not mean the person was “giving in” or consenting.
  • UW-Green Bay adopted an Amnesty Policy last year, stating that it will not proceed with criminal actions or seek implementation of certain disciplinary sanctions for violations of the campus alcohol policy for incidents in which victims of sexual violence or bystanders who assist victims of sexual violence request emergency assistance.

What one should know if he or she has been assaulted:

  • Go to a safe place.
  • Call 911 if in physical danger.
  • Preserve evidence.
  • Seek medical care ASAP.

For more information:

www.uwgb.edu/counseling-health/sexual-assault
www.uwgb.edu/title-ix

For more information regarding the survey or related topics, please contact Mark Olkowski at olkowskm@uwgb.edu.

Summary by Amy Bauer and Sue Bodilly, Office of Marketing and University Communication and Mark Olkowski, Dean of Students Office. Infographic by Kimberly Vlies, Office of Marketing and University Communication.