Alleged incident calls attention to sexual assault reporting

The recent allegation of a sexual assault on campus has brought significant attention to the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. “We put a lot of effort into encouraging victims to come forward to report sexual assault,” UW-Green Bay police chief Randy Christopherson said Friday. According to annual security reports, UW-Green Bay is the highest among UW System campuses when it comes to assault reporting per student. Data compiled by the UW System shows UW-Green Bay had 31 reports of sexual assaults on campus from 2005-2009. That’s an average of approximately one report for every 1,000 students. In that same time period, for example, UW-Madison reported 59, UW-Oshkosh reported 44 and UW-Whitewater reported 34. The numbers include initial allegations only, and do not track the number of cases that are eventually substantiated or result in criminal prosecutions. The UW System compiles annual reports on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment. Click here to see the full report.

Education, reporting are priorities at UW-Green Bay
Officials say reporting of all crimes, especially sexual assault, is a major priority for the University. “UW-Green Bay works very hard in encouraging our students, and creating an environment where our students feel comfortable in coming forward to report if they believe they were a victim of sexual assault,” Christopherson said. He adds that the “University works very hard at reinforcing that all faculty and staff are required to report if they receive a report of a sexual assault, and they know that we take these seriously and that we act on these reports.” The University makes the issue prominent in student orientation and periodic awareness campaigns. Brenda Amenson-Hill, dean of students for UW-Green Bay, says the University focuses significant resources on preventing sexual assaults and encouraging students to notify authorities if they believe a crime has occurred. “We know this is an underreported crime, nationally, and we want to address that. That’s why having higher numbers is not a bad thing from an advocate standpoint,” Amenson-Hill said. “We are very aggressive in this community about sexual assault reporting. Not just with us, but countywide,” Christopherson added.

Media coverage: Students weigh in on safety issue
According to a report on Fox 11, UW-Green Bay students are not overly worried about their safety, despite reports of an alleged assault on campus. Reporter Lou Hillman also looked at the numbers of sexual assaults — both on- and off-campus allegations involving students — reported last year at UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh. The story says there was one report for every 600 students at UW-Green Bay and one report for every 700 students at UW-Oshkosh. Officials interviewed said the numbers are likely lower than reality. “We believe those individuals reporting is just the tip of the iceberg. There are other individuals that haven’t come forward who are maybe suffering in silence,” Petra Roter, the vice chancellor of student affairs at UW-Oshkosh, told Fox 11. Click here to watch the story.

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