It is a criminal offense for a person to engage in sexual contact or sexual intercourse with any other person without their consent. Sexual contact is the intentional touching of a person’s intimate parts for the purpose of sexually degrading or humiliating the victim, or sexually arousing or gratifying the perpetrator. Penalties for one convicted of this offense range from a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 20 years.
FACTORS THAT MAY MAKE THE OFFENSE MORE SERIOUS OR ALLOW AN INCREASED PENALTY INCLUDE:
- The sexual intercourse resulted in pregnancy or great bodily harm to the victim.
- The sexual intercourse or contact was accompanied by the use, or threat of use, of a dangerous weapon.
- The sexual contact or intercourse was aided or abetted by another person, or by use of threat or use of force.
- The sexual contact or intercourse was with a person suffering from a mental illness or deficiency rendering that person incapable of appraising their conduct, and the perpetrator knows of such condition.
- The sexual contact or intercourse was with a person the perpetrator knows to be unconscious.
Sexual Assault of a Child
It is a crime for any person to have sexual contact or sexual intercourse with anyone under the age of 16 or have sexual intercourse with anyone under the age of 18. The maximum penalty for one convicted of this offense may be a fine of up to $10,000, and 10 to 20 years imprisonment depending upon the age of the victim. Consent of the victim is not an issue for this offense.
Sexual Exploitation by a Therapist
It is unlawful and criminal for any person who purports to be a therapist to intentionally have sexual contact with a patient or client during an ongoing therapeutic relationship. Such conduct is a crime regardless of whether or not it occurs during any treatment, consultation, interview or examination. Consent of the victim to sexual contact is not an issue. Persons included under the title “therapist” are physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, chemical dependency counselors, members of the clergy and all other persons, licensed or not, who perform or purport to perform psychotherapy. The maximum possible penalty for this offense is a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to five years.
A Serious Problem
Statistics from the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance show how prevalent sexual assault is in the state. According to the agency, in 2004 there were 200,781 reported rapes and sexual assaults in the U.S. and 5,628 sexual assaults reported in the state of Wisconsin in 2004.
- 85% of all sexual assault victims are women
- 88.9% of offenders were males
- The drug most often used for date rape is alcohol
- 75% of male college students and 55% of female college students involved in date rape have been drinking or using drugs at the time of the incident
- 88.9% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by someone known to the victim - an offender was arrested in 53.9% of these reported cases
- 58.6% of all rapes occurred in either the victim’s or offender’s home
Sexual Assault and Your Rights
Rape prosecutions are generally made under state law, except for the comparatively fewer instances of sexual assault occurring in areas under federal control. These laws restrict admission into evidence information concerning the victim’s past sexual relations. Most states require a meeting and judicial determination of relevance before evidence of the victim’s past sexual conduct can be heard by a jury. Reforms removed the resistance requirement deleting legal provisions that forced victims to prove they resisted sexual attacks to the utmost of their ability. The consent standard was also changed and rape equated to other crimes in this regard. Gender neutral terms in new definitions redefined rape to enable prosecutions against both men and women for a wide range of behavior, including sexual assault with an object and homosexual assault.
After an Assault
A sexual assault is very traumatic. It is not unusual for a sexual assault victim to feel afraid to talk with anyone after the attack; however, it is very important to seek safety and qualified assistance. If the attack occurs at NTC, call the Wausau Police Department at 911. If you are not on campus, call your local police or sheriff’s department.
Reporting to the police will ensure that you will receive medical attention, will allow contact with appropriate community services, and will further help police in gaining information, which may lead to the arrest of a suspect and possibly aid in the investigation of similar assaults. Even when you do call the police, you are not obligated to go through with pressing charges if you do not wish to do so. The choice is always yours. For more information on the procedures, please talk to the Director of Security or the Director of Human Resources.
While there are no guaranteed steps that you can take to prevent rape, there are several things you can do to avoid possible assault.
- Remember that rapists need opportunity. Don’t give it to them. Normal crime prevention safety tips include locking doors and windows, and checking the back of your car before entering, should be habits no matter how “safe” the area or circumstances.
- Follow your instincts. Take immediate action if a stranger is acting suspiciously or if a dating situation is getting out of control. Don’t hesitate to seek college staff or police to assist you or escort you.
- Avoid dangerous situations. The stranger outside your door with a compelling story can wait there while you make that “urgent” phone call for him. When alone, avoid dark and secluded areas and let others know where you are.
- Don’t appear vulnerable. Walk assertively and purposefully, staying in well lit areas when out alone at night. Restrictive clothing and high-heeled shoes may be fashionable but are useless if the need to run or fight arises.
Sexual harassment is primarily an issue of power, not sex. It occurs when a person with power abuses that power. Sexual harassment may be described as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal abuse, and other physical conduct and expressive behaviors of a sexual nature, which interferes with your employment, academic education or work atmosphere.
What Can You Do About Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment of or by students to students or employees in their relationships with students, visitors or other employees is entirely inconsistent with NTC’s philosophy of concern for the well-being of others and is strictly prohibited. NTC will:
- Investigate every complaint of sexual harassment reported
- Provide remedies when sexual harassment complaints are validated
- Impose appropriate sanctions on offenders in a case-by-case manner
Contact the Equal Opportunity Officer or your Campus Dean for procedures on resolving your complaint. For more information, see the NTC Equal Opportunity and Employment Policy.
In addition to the Lifeline Office and Human Resources, a number of agencies offer assistance to victims of sexual assault/abuse and provide workshops on how to protect yourself. These agencies include:
|Avail, Inc., Antigo||715.623.5177 (Office)
715.623.5767 (Crisis Line - 24 hrs/day)
|Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin, Wausau||715.848.1457|
|Domestic Abuse Crisis Line||715.842.7323|
|Family Counseling Service of Wausau||715.842.3346
|Langlade County Department of Social Services, Antigo||715.627.6500|
|Langlade County Sheriff||715.623.6411|
|Lutheran Social Services, Wausau||715.842.3181|
|Marathon County Department of Social Services||715.261.7500|
|Marathon County Sheriff||911 (Emergency)
|Mid-Wisconsin Psychotherapy, Stevens Point||715.344.2016|
|Price County Department of Human Services||715.339.2158|
|Price County Domestic Abuse Advocate||715.339.4521|
|Price County Sheriff||715.339.3011|
|Taylor County Domestic Abuse Hotline||715.748.5140|
|Taylor County Human Services||715.748.3332|
|Taylor County Sheriff||715.748.2200|
|Women’s Community, Wausau||715.842.7323|