Rep. Chris Taylor and Sen. Patty Schachtner, D-Somerset, introduced a bill last Friday that aims to provide further assistance to victims of sexual violence and harassment on University of Wisconsin campuses.
In a press release, Taylor and Schachtner said they want students who are victims of sexual violence to be able to have reasonable accommodations when it came to academics and housing at no cost to the student.
According to the bill, upon receiving reports of sexual violence, UW System schools would be required to notify victims about potential academic or student housing accommodations.
“These accommodations are an important step forward to address trauma and help students recover,” Schachtner said.
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Jordan Krieger, legislative assistant for Schachtner, noted the definition of sexual violence used to create the bill includes stalking and domestic violence as well as sexual assault.
Schachtner called sexual assault on college campuses a “persistent problem.”
“Sexual assault on college campuses is a serious, pervasive issue that has long-standing consequences for students,” Schachtner said.
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The number of reported sexual assaults on all UW campuses has doubled since 2013, according to the press release. There are 13 four-year colleges in the UW System and assaults on campus have increased by 44 percent overall.
Twenty percent of females and 7 percent of males will experience sexual assault during their time as a university student, according to Project Callisto.
UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone said the university is currently reviewing the new legislation and is in communication with the sponsors of the bill.
“UW takes seriously the need to provide reasonable accommodations to survivors of sexual assault so they can continue their education,” McGlone said.