This article is a 2018 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism award winner for Best Public Service Story or Series, Silver

One in four women and one in 18 men say they were sexually assaulted during their time as undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Reports of assault on campus have nearly tripled since 2011—but that increase, while alarming, may offer helpful information in addressing the problem, according to those working to improve resources, transparency and support for survivors.

Lines of support: If you have been a victim of sexual assault, call the Dane County Rape Crisis Center’s 24/7 hotline, which is free and confidential, at: 608-251-7273. University Health Services additionally provides support to student victims and survivors at no cost. To contact UHS, call 608-265-5600 or visit the Survivor Services’ website.

Report: Campus Sexual Assault

Facing the Truth Behind the Statistics of Sexual Assault

Madison Magazine cover story, October 2018

By Maggie Ginsberg and The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism‘s Dee Hall and Coburn Dukehart

It was one of those classic October Saturday nights that makes the University of Wisconsin–Madison so enchanting — students basking in the lake breeze blowing off humidity and midterm steam. After a night of drinking and party-hopping with friends in her second month of school, a freshman was walking home when a male student she’d never met before offered to escort her. Hours later, residence hall cameras captured her “running and distraught” from what the male student insisted was a consensual sexual encounter. UW Police Department officers began their process of recorded interviews, evidence collection and meticulous documentation that would become a 54-page police report, and end in no charges filed….

Read the full article at

—Maggie Ginsberg is an award-winning freelance writer in Madison, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a nonprofit, nonpartisan center with a mission to increase the quality, quantity and understanding of investigative journalism to foster an informed citizenry and strengthen democracy.

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