The #MeToo movement and more conversation about sexual assault and sexual misconduct has coincided with a jump in sexual assault reports.
In 2016, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse reported 58 cases of sexual assault, including 12 on campus. That’s up from five in 2015.
But the assaults themselves are not increasing, says violence prevention director at UW-L, Ingrid Peterson.
“Not happening more than it ever has,” she said. “I certainly think over the years, as our responses become public, and we talk more about this, and people know there’s help available, that definitely more people are coming forward. I definitely believe that.”
Peterson and other counselors, along with district attorneys and law enforcement are currently wrapping up three-day training on sexual assault and how to interact with victims while trying to get information.
“The training is about trauma informed investigation,” Peterson said. “So, helping investigators and people that respond better understand the effects that trauma has on victims.”
Peterson says getting all of the professionals in the room together to learn will strengthen their response to a future incident.
The program was part of a grant through the Wisconsin Department of Justice.