According to Wisconsin police and public reports, a University of Wisconsin female student was sexually assaulted by a fellow male student in the male student’s apartment. After denying his sexual advances, the victim was allegedly held in the apartment and repeatedly sexually assaulted over the course of several hours, including being choked into near unconsciousness as the assault was being perpetuated.
After the assault charge was made public, police stated that other women have come forward alleging that they were also sexually assaulted by the same person. On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that the student was formally charged with assaulting five women between March 2015 and October 2016.
Lawyers for the student are denying all charges, and have stated that any sexual activity between the student and the other women were consensual.
What Happens Next – How Can Campuses Be Made Safer?
According to a University of Wisconsin official, the student has been placed on emergency leave from the university, and at this time, he is in police custody. As with all persons charged with a crime, we must presume that the student is innocent unless he is proven guilty through our court system.
Our society is still left with the question of how we can make our colleges and university campuses safer from rape and sexual assault. We believe that mandatory sexual assault awareness training should be implemented for all incoming students, so that there is a common awareness of this problem and students know better how prevention can be undertaken.
More specifically, all students need to have an understanding about the types of sexual assaults that are not consensual. Historically, on college campuses, many sexual assaults have been committed by men who did not take “no” for an answer, or who took advantage of a female who was intoxicated. All students need to be educated to understand that such actions are, in fact, criminal, and that perpetrators of such actions can face criminal charges.