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Number Of Sexual Assaults Reported At UW-Madison Increases By More Than 100 In 2016

325 Sexual Assaults Reported In 2016 Compared To 217 In 2015

Tom Fassbender (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The number of reported sexual assaults at the University of Wisconsin-Madison rose by more than 100 in 2016, when 325 sexual assaults were reported. That’s up from 217 reports in 2015.

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of reports increased by only 45, a university spokeswoman said in a statement.

Meredith McGlone, UW-Madison spokeswoman, attributes the increase in reports in 2016 to the university’s prevention, education and outreach efforts.

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“We have made a concerted effort over the past several years to break down barriers to reporting of sexual assault and to encourage more students to come forward and seek assistance,” McGlone said.

“Things we’ve done include hiring a full-time Title IX coordinator, hiring additional victim advocates, improving training for staff who may be contacted by survivors, requiring (sexual assault) education for graduate and professional students, and requiring additional sexual assault education for all incoming undergraduate students.”

In order to comply with Title IX, all institutions that receive federal financial assistance must designate at least one employee as a Title IX coordinator, according to U.S. Department of Education.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has launched four investigations looking in to whether UW-Madison violated Title IX, the federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sex in schools in its handling of sexual violence on campus.

Of the 325 incidents reported in 2016 at UW-Madison, 217 were reported to a confidential source, such as a mental health counselor or victim advocate. There were 108 non-confidential reports, but in only 21 of those cases was the accused attacker affiliated with the university, McGlone said.

Out of those 21 cases, 15 of them were reported to the university’s Title IX coordinator for investigation. So far, six students have been held responsible and have either been suspended, expelled or put on probation, according to the statement.

A 2015 survey found roughly one-in-four undergraduate women at UW-Madison reported having experienced sexual assault or misconduct, Mcglone said in the statement.

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