Our Commitment to Recognizing Respectful Relationships
Each member of the UWSP community has a right to have respectful relationships, as well as a responsibility to foster respectful relationships. Relationships are highly complex. As such, we make a concerted effort to inform our members about the risks and rewards of both social and sexual relationships. The academic community at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is steadfastly committed to an environment of respect for all. In April 1990, the Faculty Senate approved a policy that states:
This institution will…
- foster an environment of respect for the dignity and worth of all students, employees, and guests of the University.
- provide an environment that is conducive to the free and open exchange of ideas.
- strive to eliminate bias, prejudice, discrimination, and harassment in all forms and manifestations.
The campus concern about sexual assault, and related consequences to both victims and perpetrators, is comprehensive. Sexual intercourse or sexual contact without consent is not only inappropriate…it is illegal.
The following information is provided as a resource and should not take the place of consulting with a university official if help is needed.
Sexual assault is any forced or coerced sexual intercourse or contact. It is a crime of violence in which assailants, whether known to the victim or not, are motivated by a desire to humiliate and/or exert power over the victim. (Wisconsin State Statutes 940-225 and 948.02)
In short, any sexual contact that is not wanted is sexual assault. There are four degrees of sexual assault in Wisconsin*.
*For more information about the four degrees of sexual assault please see Wisconsin Law below.
First Degree (felony charge)
Sexual intercourse or sexual contact accomplished without consent, while armed with a dangerous weapon or anything used or fashioned like a weapon; assault while aided by another person; sexual activity with a child 12 years old or younger.
Second Degree (felony charge)
Sexual intercourse or sexual contact accomplished without consent, through the use or threat of violence, or with a person under 16 years old; assault that includes injury to the victim such as illness, disease, impairment of sexual or reproductive organs, or mental anguish requiring psychiatric care; assault with a person who the perpetrator knows is unconscious, mentally ill or mentally deficient.
Third Degree (felony charge)
Sexual intercourse accomplished without consent and without the aid of another person or use of weapons or other stipulations aforementioned with first and second degree sexual assault.
Fourth Degree (misdemeanor charge)
Any sexual contact with a person without that person’s consent. *A more extensive set of definitions can be found on the Web at http://www.uwsp.edu/stuaffairs/pages/rightsandresponsibilities.aspx.
Penalties for Conviction
Penalties for conviction of a criminal or civil action based on a crime of sexual assault range from fines, financial restitution, and probation to imprisonment depending on the degree of the assault.
A primary concern of UWSP officials is that victims of sexual assault receive appropriate support and assistance. We understand that confidentiality is of the utmost importance to victims.
Procedures for campus action are published in UW Chapter 17 located in your UWSP Community Rights and Responsibilities handbook or at the UWSP Website http://www.uwsp.edu/stuaffairs/pages/rightsandresponsibilities.aspx. Penalties for perpetrating sexual assault range from probation to suspension or expulsion.
Sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
A complete definition, as well as complaint and grievance procedures on sexual harassment, can be found in the UWSP Community Rights and Responsibilities handbook. You may also refer to WI State Statute 947.013.
Dating violence is any purposeful act of violence perpetrated against a dating partner, which may include sexual assault, physical abuse, and psychological or emotional abuse. Signs of potential violence are often evident before an incident of dating violence. These factors are most commonly associated with dating violence:
- Touching another person in a sexual way with no regard for their wishes
- Sexualizing relationships that are NOT sexual
- Using inappropriately intimate conversation
- Telling sexual jokes at inappropriate times or places
- Making inappropriate comments about women’s bodies and sexuality
Power and Control
- Being a “sore loser”
- Exhibiting inappropriate competitiveness
- Using intimidating body language
- Playing emotional games
- Restricting another’s choices and friends
- Repeated attempts at assigning guilt to another
Hostility and Anger
- Blaming others when things go wrong
- Transforming others’ emotions into anger
Acceptance of Violence
- Using violence to get a point across
- Approving observed violence in others
- Justifying violence
- Hitting, punching, or other vandalism
- Adopt a healthy, respectful philosophy. Always actively seek consent rather than thinking I’m going to do what I want to do until someone tells me not to.”
- Avoid, or limit, alcohol consumption. Alcohol reduces inhibitions, clouds judgment, and impairs motor skills. Alcohol, known in some circles as “liquid courage,” may facilitate your perpetration of rape because you feel powerful and dominant.
- Seek consent and listen carefully. Take the time to ask for consent to sex and hear the response. The truth is that “No” means “No.” If you hear “No” to sexual contact, stop what you are doing immediately.
- Avoid making assumptions. If a person consents to kissing or other sexual intimacies, do not assume this is consent to have sexual intercourse.
- Avoid, or limit, alcohol consumption. Alcohol is present in 9 out of 10 sexual assaults. Alcohol releases inhibitions, clouds judgment, and impairs motor skills. Never drink to the point of intoxication.
- Trust your instincts. Your instincts are usually correct. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, get out of that situation as soon as possible.
- Be clear about what you want. You know yourself better than anyone else and it is important that you set your own limits.
- Stick with a group. And remember that many acquaintance assaults happen in private spaces, such as an apartment, not in public spaces.
A primary concern of UWSP officials is that victims of sexual assault receive appropriate support and assistance. We understand that confidentiality is of the utmost importance to victims. If you or someone you know is sexually assaulted, the following is recommended:
- SEEK medical attention immediately. A hospital visit is highly recommended.
- SEEK assistance from an advocate. Free support and advocacy is available through Sexual Assault Victim Services.
- REPORT any sexual assault or attempted sexual assault to a University official. No action will be taken unless desired by the victim.
- CONSIDER the option of initiating disciplinary action through the campus and/or the city.
- SEEK assistance from a professional campus counselor. Free counseling is available at the UWSP Counseling Center.
Sexual assaults often go unreported, making it difficult to accurately determine how many incidents occur annually. Current statistics are available through the Student Rights and Responsibilities Office; however, the following statistics were available at the time of publication: Nationally in 2005, there were 93,934 sexual offenses reported (Federal Bureau of Investigation). In Wisconsin, 5,357 sexual assaults were reported in 2005. Across the UW System Campuses, there were 191 sexual assaults in 2006…138 of which were acquaintances. At UW-Stevens Point, there were 5 reports of sexual assault during 2007. Five of these sexual assaults were acquaintances.
Assault is a crime. It is never acceptable to use force in sexual situations, no matter what the circumstances.
There is no sure way to prevent becoming a victim. Remember, even if you take many steps, some steps, or no steps to prevent sexual assault, you are never to blame if you are assaulted.
- Student Health Promotion Office 004 Allen Center, 346-4313
- Student Health Services Delzell Hall-2nd Floor, 346-4646
- Student Rights and Responsibilities Delzell Hall-1st Floor, 346-2611
- Counseling Center Delzell Hall-3rd Floor, 346-3553
- Protective Services 001 George Stein Bldg, 346-3456
- Equity and Affirmative Action Office 210 Old Main, 346-2002
- Women’s Resource Center Lower Level, Dreyfus UC, 346-4851
- Residence Hall Directors 346-3511
- Community Connections, 345-5976
- Family Crisis Center 1616 W. River Drive, 343-7125
- Portage County Health & Human Services, 817 Whiting Ave., 345-5350
- St. Michael’s Hospital 900 Illinois Ave., 346-5000
- Portage County Sheriff’s Dept. 1500 Strongs Ave., 346-1400
- Stevens Point Police Dept. 1515 Strongs Ave., 346-1500
- Sexual Assault Victim Services (SAVS) 1608 W. River Drive, 343-7114