UW-System makes training about sexual assault and harassment mandatory for all employees

OSHKOSH, Wis (WBAY-TV) As students get back to campus, the UW-System has made it mandatory for staff to take a training course about sexual assault and harassment.

In 2016, UW-Oshkosh took 57 reports of sexual assaults. That’s more than it did in the previous two years.

It's important to note that when the reports were made not necessarily when the incidents happened.

"Awareness, being aware that you know these things happen and through awareness you can work through prevention and education," said Shaniqua Crawford, UW-Oshkosh Investigator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator

That awareness, the university says will improve among everyone on the payroll from librarians to cafeteria workers.

Faculty and staff must take 90 minutes of online training about sexual assault and harassment.

"That way they know the signs, they know how to stop it,” Crawford said. “If you're not aware of it, you can't prevent it, you can't take the necessary steps to try to make sure that it's handled properly or is reported."

Reach Counseling has staff on UW-Oshkosh's campus and supports the training of all employees because it gives sexual assault the serious attention it deserves.

"This is often a problem that is hidden,” Reach Counselor’s Marianne Radley said. “People don't want to talk about it, people don't want to believe it happens on our campuses and it does and that's not okay. But it's important that we recognize it."