The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is an intellectual
community founded on mutual respect and is committed to providing a living,
learning, and working environment that is free from sexual assault.
WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT & WHAT QUALIFIES AS "CONSENT."
Sexual assault is actual, attempted or threatened sexual
contact with another person without that person’s consent. Consent of all
parties involved is a critical factor that distinguishes acceptable sexual
behavior from unacceptable sexual behavior. Consent is informed, and freely and
actively given. Consent is communicated through mutually understandable words
or actions that indicate willingness by all of the involved parties to engage
in the same sexual activity, at the same time, and in the same way.
Elements of Consent
cannot be freely given if the person’s ability to understand and give consent
is impaired. Examples of those who are impaired and therefore cannot give
Any person who is incapacitated due to the use
of alcohol or drugs
Any person who is unconscious or for any reason
is physically incapacitated
Any person who is mentally impaired
Any person who is less than 18 years old
Any person who has experienced the explicit or
implicit use of force, coercion, threats, and/or intimidation.
Ideally, consent is given verbally. However, consent (or
lack of consent) can be given through gestures, body language, and/or attitude.
For example, active reciprocation could express consent and pushing someone
away or simply moving away, could express lack of consent.
Silence does not equal consent
Consent to one form of sexual activity does not
necessarily imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent may be
given for specific activities and not for others.
Any party has the right to change their mind and
withdraw consent at any time.
A prior sexual history between the participants
does not constitute consent.
A person’s ability to freely give consent may be
jeopardized if the initiator is in a position of power over the person.
How common is Sexual Assault?
National statistics indicate that 1 in 5 young
women experience sexual assault during college.
In the vast majority of these crimes -- between
80% and 90% -- the victim and assailant know each other.
Half of the student victims do not label the
incident “sexual assault." This is particularly true when alcohol was
involved and there is no weapon or sign of physical injury.
Alcohol does not cause sexual assault but it is
often involved or used as a tool.
FOLLOWING A SEXUAL ASSAULT
Whether you have been sexually assaulted by an acquaintance,
partner, family member or stranger, it is not your fault. There are things you
can do right now to help yourself and to facilitate your recovery.
safe place away from your attacker
person whom you trust, or call one of the following resources for support
Protective Services: 715-346-3456
Sexual Assault Victim's Services (SAVS):
Counseling Center: 715-346-3553
Health Services: 715-346-4646
OPTIONS FOR REPORTING THE INCIDENT TO LOCAL OR CAMPUS AUTHORITIES
A common response to sexual assault is to feel guilty and
ashamed. Survivors often wonder if they “provoked” or “asked for” the assault
somehow, or feel they should have somehow prevented the assault. Remember, the
responsibility for sexual assault is ultimately and completely that of the
assailant! Nevertheless, feelings of guilt and shame can make it difficult to
reach out to others for support or to report the assault as a crime. It can
help to know what options are open to you and to understand the consequences of
telling others of your assault.
Reporting at UWSP
If a student would like to pursue action through the University:
Contact the Dean of Students Office (715-346-2611)
The Dean of Students Office can provide you with resources and can initiate an investigation. The Dean of Students Office can take steps to assist you or protect you on-campus.
If you are unsure about pursuing action through the University, the Dean of Students office can describe the process to you and answer your questions for you.
Making a police report
Making the decision to file a police report can be an
extremely difficult decision for sexual assault survivors, especially if you
know your attacker. Sometimes survivors also fear making a police report
because they may have been drinking or engaged in some other illegal activity.
You should know that law enforcement will not issue tickets for underage
drinking if there is a greater crime involved, such as sexual assault.
Reporting the assault to the police can be a way for you to take back control
in your life, it can help to protect the larger community, and it can also be a
way to ensure that your assailant can get help and treatment.
You can choose to report sexual assault to the
local police whether or not the assault took place on campus, and whether or
not the assailant was a student at UWSP.
If you decide to go to the hospital and get an
evidentiary exam, the Stevens Point police will be called to speak with you.
Everything you say in an interview with the police is confidential (if you choose to say anything at all), and the
police will not move forward in pressing charges without your consent.
You may have a Sexual Assault Victim's Services (SAVS) advocate present in an interview
with the police, and one is automatically called if you show at the hospital and report experiencing an assault. You can also directly call the Sexual Assault Victim Services at 715-343-7125 to speak to an advocate and ask questions if you like. The advocates are fully informed about all proceedures and legal options available to you, including those on campus. However, they will not take any actions on your behalf without your approval.