Sexual Misconduct and Intimate Partner Violence

Sexual Misconduct and Intimate Partner Violence

Sexual Misconduct and Intimate Partner Violence

Title IX of the Higher Education Act at the UW-Whitewater

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UWW) is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free of sexual misconduct, violence, harassment and stalking. Please visit for more information.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 106, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. The Clery Act requires annual reporting of statistics for various criminal offenses, including forcible and non-forcible sex offenses and aggravated assault. VAWA's SaVE Act provision adds domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

Dating/Domestic Violence
Dating or domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, is a pattern of ongoing power and control by one dating partner over another.  Examples of dating or domestic violence include threatening a partner or their family, coercing them into doing something they don't want to do, constantly belittling the, controlling what they can and cannot do, deciding who they can go out with and when, isolating them from friends and family, controlling their finances and access to resources, or physically hitting, kicking, punching, slapping or scratching.  Dating and domestic violence can also include sexual violence or stalking.

Domestic violence can happen to people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and religions.  It occurs in both heterosexual and LGBYQ relationships.  While it is important to remember that we all have different cultural practices, beliefs, and experiences that shape our view of what intimate relationships look like, everyone deserves to feel safe and respected.

No one deserves to be abused.  Abuse is never the victim's fault!  If you have been the victim of dating or domestic violence, you are not alone.  Help is available.  Please visit the links below for resources and for more information about dating and domestic violence. 

National Domestic Violence Hotline -
Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) -


Wisconsin's Stalking and Harassment Laws

  • Stalking is committed by one who intentionally engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person; AND
  • The actor's conduct did actually cause the specific person to suffer serious emotional distress OR to fear bodily injury or death to themselves , or a member of their family/household; AND
  • The actor's conduct would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress OR to fear bodily injury or death to themselves , or a member of their family/household; AND
  • The actor knows or should know that at least one of the acts will cause the person to suffer serious emotional distress OR place the person in reasonable feat of bodily injury or death to themselves, or a member of their family/household.
  • Serious emotional distress includes feeling terrified, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or tormented.

Penalties for Stalking

Stalking is a Class I felony punishable by up to 1-1/2 years in prison.  The penalty for stalking increases to a Class H felony punishable by up to three years in prison if the stalker:

  • Has a previous conviction for a violent crime
  • Has a previous conviction for a crime involving the same victim within the past seven years
  • Gains electronic access to the victim's personal records
  • Intercepts wire, electronic, or oral communication OR
  • Stalks someone under the age of 18

The penalty for stalking increases to a Class F felony punishable by up to 7-1/2 years in prison if the stalker:

  • Caused bodily harm to the victim or a member of their family/household
  • Has a previous conviction for a violent crime involving the same victim within the past seven years OR
  • Used a dangerous weapon in any of the acts

If the Dean of Student's Office finds a student responsible for stalking, the penalty may range from a reprimand to expulsion for the university, depending on the situation.  A more detailed description of the UW Systems Student Nonacademic Disciplinary Procedures is available buy by contacting the Dean of Students Office at 262-472-1533.

Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence including sexual harassment, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation discrimination, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and domestic violence.

All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to Elizabeth Ogunsola, Title IX Coordinator, Hyer Hall 330, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, WI, Phone: 262-472-5669, or Mary Beth Mackin, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Students, Hyer Hall 200, Phone: 262-472-1533,

In accordance with Title IX regulations, the University has designated Elizabeth Ogunsola as the University's Title IX Coordinator. She is charged with monitoring compliance with these regulations. Questions regarding Title IX, as well as concerns and complaints of non-compliance, may be directed to her. Ogunsola is responsible for receiving complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, against employees and affiliated members of the university community. 

Mary Beth Mackin, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, is responsible for receiving complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct against University students.

Complaints may be brought by students, employees, and others. This policy applies to all institutional activities, including conduct that may have occurred off campus, if it impacts the educational environment.

All complaints are treated with consideration to their sensitive nature. Complaints will be considered confidential to the extent possible. However, certain disclosures may be necessary for the University to conduct a thorough investigation, comply with state and federal law and, comply with its own procedures and regulations.

Retaliation or retaliatory harassment is prohibited against a complaint, a participant in the process and/or a witness. If retaliation is alleged, suspected or experienced, the compliant should contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.


Inquiries or complaints about employees or third parties regarding Title IX:

Dr. Elizabeth Ogunsola
Title IX Coordinator
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Hyer Hall 335
Phone: 262-472-5669

Inquiries or complaints about students regarding Title IX:

Mary Beth Mackin
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Dean of Students
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Hyer Hall 200
Phone: 262-472-1533

Title IX inquiries or complaints can be addressed to the Office for Civil Rights:

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475
Chicago, IL 60661-4544
Telephone: 312-730-1560
Facsimile: 312-730-1576

Sexual Harassment

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is proud to affirm its commitment to a community in which all students, staff and faculty are accepted and judged as individuals, independent of ancestry, social background, physical characteristics or personal beliefs.

The university has no tolerance for discriminatory or harassing behaviors. The Board of Regents has clearly stated that discriminatory harassment based on race, sex, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry or age is contradictory to the goals of the institution. If you witness or are subjected to behaviors of this kind, there are offices and services to offer you support, counseling and advice.

Sexual harassment has been defined as . . .
Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature. It includes instances when such conduct is indicated to be a term or condition of an individual's decisions, interferes with an individual's academic or employment performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic or employment environment.

The following examples are intended to illustrate sexual harassment behavior. They are drawn from actual cases.

  • It was common practice in a professor's lectures during the first week of class to show a technical anatomical slide show that included unrelated slides of nude women taken from popular magazines. Complaints had been filed with the dean, but the practice had continued.
  • Margaret, a work study student, applied for and accepted a job in a department even though several of her friends had warned her about the harassment other women had experienced there. She saw the calendars of nude women in men's offices and heard sexual innuendos being made about fellow female workers or students whenever she went to the employee lounge. Two weeks after she started the job, she saw a male supervisor grab a woman from behind and fondle her breasts. The woman struggled and ran from the room. Margaret filed a complaint.
  • Jay, a sophomore, requested a meeting with his instructor to discuss a low grade he received on an essay exam. In her office, the instructor made advances toward Jay and placed her arm around his waist and hugged him to her. She told Jay that he could get an "A" if he would go to bed with her. Jay did resist her physical advances, but declined to go to her apartment. He received a final grade of a "D" for the class. It is all too common for someone accused of sexual harassment to say, "I didn't realize that she (or he) would be offended by that."

All members of the university community should become more knowledgeable about sexual harassment, and be sensitive to the impact of their behavior on others. Members of the university community who supervise others have a special responsibility in this regard. They must help create an environment that actively discourages behavior that could be viewed as sexual harassment. Everyone is encouraged to speak out when they see, hear of or experience incidents of sexual harassment.

If you feel that you may be the victim of sexual harassment, talk to someone you trust about the situation. You may feel embarrassed to provoke the unwanted behavior, but you have a right to pursue your education or perform your job in an environment free from this type of experience. Sexual harassment can be as subtle as a look or a blatant as a grope. It can occur within and beyond the classroom and workplace. Both men and women can be sexually harassed, although women are most often victims. Verbal harassment may include humor or jokes about women, sex or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment often occurs in situations where one person has power over another, but may also occur among peers.

You may also contact the Title IX Coordinator at 472-5669 for assistance or to file a complaint.

Frequently Asked Questions:  Sexual Harassment

Q.           How do I know if someone's conduct will qualify as "unwelcome"?

A.            In general, unwelcome sexual conduct may be, but is not limited to, any of the following acts or behaviors that are not explicitly invited by the recipient: unwanted sexual advances, subtle or overt pressure for sexual activity, unnecessary or unwanted touching, stalking, sexually suggestive displays, deliberate molestations, demands   sexual favors, promises of gifts in exchange for sex,  lurid telephone calls, obscene messages and e-mails, or being improperly followed or watched by an instructor, employer or peer.

Q.           If I am uncomfortable with someone's sexual conduct toward me, what should I do?

A.            If someone is saying or doing something of a sexual nature that may be inappropriate or unwelcome, you are encouraged to tell him or her that you are uncomfortable with that behavior and/or disapprove of it.  However, if you are unwilling or afraid to do so, you should report the behavior to your supervisor, the appropriate office designated by campus policy, a co-worker or a friend. No matter what, take steps to stop the harassment.

Q.           If I think I have been subjected to sexual harassment, what should I do?

A.            You should immediately notify your supervisor, the office designated by campus policies, a trusted faculty member or someone who can help you.

Q.           If I make a complaint of sexual harassment, will my complaint remain confidential?

A.            Although every effort is made to handle harassment complaints in a confidential manner, it may be necessary to provide information to other relevant persons to effectively investigate the complaint.  In addition, the alleged harasser has a right to know the details of the complaint in order to adequately respond, such as the name of the complainant and/or witnesses to the incident and the nature of the alleged harassment.

Q.           May a supervisor choose not to investigate a sexual harassment complaint on the basis of protecting the confidentiality of those involved?

A.            No.  Supervisors are required to investigate and address a complaint of harassment or refer it to the appropriate office for investigation.

Q.           Can a hostile work environment arise on the basis of only one incident?

A.            Yes, if the incident is sufficiently severe so as to alter or change the terms or condition of the work or academic environment.  A physical assault is an example of such conduct.

Q.           Is it sexual harassment for an instructor to display a sexually explicit picture during a lecture?

A.            Not necessarily.  In limited circumstances, sexually explicit material or other forms of expression with the potential for hurting or offending members of the university community may nevertheless be part of meaningful discourse in the classroom.  Where such material has no educational purpose, it is more likely to be unlawful.

Q.           What is sexual assault?

A.            Sexual assault is a criminal act.  It occurs when an individual is forced, threatened or coerced into sexual contact against his or her free will or without his or her consent.  Sexual assault may include date or acquaintance rape, sexual molestation, unwanted sexual touching or having sexual contact with a person while knowing or having reason to know that the person is incapacitated in some way (i.e., due to drugs or alcohol).  Sexual assault is one of the most extreme forms of sexual harassment.  A person should seek and obtain unmistakable, clear consent from the other person before engaging in any form of sexual activity or behavior.

Q.           What should I do if I think I was sexually assaulted?

A.            If you believe you have been a victim of sexual assault, your first priority is to get to a safe place.  Then, immediately contact the police or dial 911.  It may be helpful to contact a trusted friend or family member to be with you during the investigation into the incident.  You may also contact a campus official, such as your supervisor, the Dean of Students, the Affirmative Action Office or any other official who can help you.  No matter what, reach out and get the help you need.

Source:  FAO: Sexual Harassment, Office of General Counsel, University of Wisconsin System
For more information: Sexual Misconduct Information website:





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