Universities can do more to prevent sexual assault
That's according to the obama administration.
which released several recommendations for what colleges
and universities should do to better handle assault.
News 8's Mark McPherson joins us with more.
The recommendations talk about how campuses should
handle sexual assault.
things like having a confidential victims advocate...and
conduct surveys to better gauge the frequency of sexual
UW-La Crosse says some of those recommendations are
already in place on campus.
They say they work to not only handle assualt cases.
but prevent them in the first place.
BIDEN: Rape is rape.
Don't look away.
The white house's message about sexual assault on
campus is clear.
universities need to stop turning a blind eye.
BIDEN: One in five of everyone of those young women
who is dropped off that first day of school, before
they finish school will be assaulted in their college
UW-L's Ingrid Peterson is already doing the job recommended
by the white house.
she is a confidential victims advocate.
helping people who have been assaulted.
INGRID - U-W-L has supported this position for more
than 7 years now of having somebody in that role and
in that time we saw the number of reports increase
from less than 10 a year to about 30 a year.
a recent study shows those 30.
are just the tip if the iceberg.
INGRID - 35 out of every thousand college women in
that study reported being the victim of an attempted
or completed assault, during just one academic year,
when they were doing the study.
That means we cold have a couple hundred of our female
students here at U-W-L every year probably experiencing
some kind of sexual violence while they're here
Peterson's job is to help answer victims question
about reporting an assault to police.
to the university.
even if they aren't sure they want to report it at
U-W-L message starts at freshman orientation.
teaching students about prevention.
Peterson says one important way to tackle this problem.
is to redifine the definition of sexual assault.
INGRID - So often it happens between people who know
each other, are hanging out together, or maybe having
a drink together, and victims in particular have that
same mindset and think I can't report this because
it was partly my fault, and we need to really start
moving beyond that.
IN LA CROSSE, MM, N8
Another recommendation is to set up a program to help
victims through the legal process.
U-W-L says the process can be extremely complicated.
they've seen some cases take up to 2 years to complete.
The university says the vast majority of assaults
occur off campus.
at things like house parties.
And a large number of victims are in their first six
weeks of college life.