White hall

A student walks past White Hall on Oct. 19, 2018.

After just the first day of fall classes at the University of Wyoming, a sexual assault allegedly occurred in one of the university’s dormitories, according to an email from UW.

According to UW’s police logs, staff reported the Downey Hall “sex offense” Thursday morning. The log indicates the crime occurred at around 9 p.m. Wednesday night, when a male perpetrator who was “known to the victim” assaulted a female.

“Advocacy and medical support options were provided to the victim, and the matter is under investigation,” UW’s email stated.

The email was sent for UW to be compliant with the Jeanne Clery Act of 1990, which requires universities to share information about crimes and other safety issues.

The Clery Act requires emergency notifications about imminent dangerous situations, like a tornado. It also requires “timely warnings” about a serious crime, like the one issued Wednesday.

In the last year, UW has sent out four timely notices for sexual assaults.

One of those instances later was discovered not to have allegedly occurred on campus, UW spokesman Chad Baldwin said in an email.

In that same timeframe, 14 sexual assaults were reported to UW Police.

Police logs state there was an anonymous report Aug. 21 of a sexual assault occurring in the “campus area.”

As with all its Clery Act emails, UW’s Wednesday email included numerous suggestions of ways sexual assault can be prevented, as well as a lengthy list of resources regarding sexual assault the campus community can tap — including ways to report an assault.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there were 21 reported rapes in on UW’s campus in 2017, 19 in 2016, and 14 in 2015.

A survey conducted in 2018 by UW psychologists, which had nearly 2,000 respondents, indicated that one out of four UW students have been the victim of sexual assault.

Some 15 percent of respondents reported experiencing a completed rape.

UW staff who specialize in sexual assault prevention have said the increased number of reported sexual assaults in recent years is actually a positive sign that victims are becoming more willing to disclose the crime.

In recent years, former UW President Laurie Nichols and Vice President for Student Affairs Sean Blackburn have put a particular emphasis on sexual assault prevention.

This year, administrators created four new jobs as part of its No More Campaign, which aims to provide more resources to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campaign.

This spring, Nichols re-allocated $75,000 for a student-athlete well-being coordinator, $30,000 for a psychology graduate assistant for trauma and sexual assault prevention laboratory, and $68,634 for a diversity specialist and investigator in the Equal Opportunity Report and Response office.

Blackburn re-allocated funding within the Division of Student Affairs to pay $75,000 for a sexual assault mental health counselor and trauma specialist.

As part of the No More Campaign, the Division of Student Affairs also allocated $30,000 to establish the Green Dot Sexual Assault Violence Prevention Program.

The Green Dot program was one that was recommended by a June 2018 report created by UW’s sexual assault experts.

A 2016 analysis of sexual assault prevention by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found implementation of Green Dot led to “an 11 percent lower rate of sexual harassment and stalking victimization and a 19 percent lower rate of sexual harassment and stalking perpetration when compared to two non-intervention campuses.”

“Another evaluation found that Green Dot substantially decreased (sexual violence), including sexual harassment, dating violence, and stalking in high schools, including a decrease in (sexual violence) perpetration,” the CDC report says. “Evaluations of Bringing in the Bystander show increases in self-efficacy and intentions to engage in bystanding among college students and bystander behaviors that involve helping friends.”

(1) comment


All forms of sexual violence are a violation of Title IX. Title IX isn't just "non-discrimination based on gender". Failure to fully comply with Title IX can result in loss of Federal funding for UW.

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