If I were a victim of sexual abuse:
Here is what I’d do if I were a victim of sexual abuse on UW Platteville campus:
Step 1 – Internal Complaint on the University level. – I’d file an official complaint or grievance for my legitimate sexual abuse complaint - ASAP. I would understand up front, that my chances of gaining fair resolution of my complaint is very small. I’d go through this process to try to protect future victims. I’d try to find a trusted advocate to help me with this. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If my advocate were an employee of UWP I’d ask them to fill out and submit this Sexual Assault Reporting Form. I’d learn the university policies and procedures dealing with sexual abuse complaints and what the university is required to do. I would expect to be given “the runaround.” Here is UW Platteville policy concerning sexual harassment/violence: https://www.uwplatt.edu/files/dean-of-students/sexual_violence_and_sexual_harassment_policy.pdf
Faculty Constitution (see section 7)
I would draft a complaint and include the “name and signature of the complainant, details of the situation precipitating the complaint, and a statement of desired outcome.” I’d use the words “sexual harassment” or “sexual discrimination” or “sexual abuse” or “sexual assault” or “rape” or whatever terms accurately described the sexual abuse situation. I would also use the term “hostile environment” somewhere in the complaint. I would name the alleged perpetrator in the complaint if I knew who it was. I’d take steps to protect myself from that person and stay close to friends. I would tell the truth and get someone to proof-read my complaint before submitting it. I’d print, sign, scan and email my complaint as an attachment to the correct person listed in the policies. I’d include in the email a request for confirmation of receipt of the complaint. Procedures could be different for faculty/staff or students. I would sign the complaint. I wouldn’t expect an investigation to be conducted unless the complaint is signed.
If I were a student complaining of sexual abuse I’d email my complaint to the Dean of Students and the Title IX Coordinator. I’d follow this up with a signed written complaint mailed by certified letter to the Dean of Students. I’d save copies of all communications in a safe place, including proof that my complaint was delivered by certified mail. I’d expect my university email account to be hacked and my emails to be deleted. I’d keep very good records of everything in a safe place and a backup copy in another safe place. I’d think about how to index and file my documents chronologically. I would expect to have a lot of documents by time this is done so I would have a good system of indexing so I could easily find documents. I’d keep a timeline of events with hyperlinks to documentation. I would exercise my Wisconsin right to audio record important conversations of which I am a party.
“The Title IX coordinator’s primary responsibility is to coordinate the recipient’s compliance with Title IX, including the recipient’s grievance procedures for resolving Title IX complaints.” – Dear Colleague Letter on Titlle IX Coordinators.
“The Dean of Students Office and Title IX Coordinator are compelled to investigate all reports of sexual violence, and will do so once “on notice” of a hostile environment.” - How to report sexual assault to UW Platteville Police If they don’t investigate as required – I’d move on to step 2 while continuing with step 1. I would correspond directly with Title IX Coordinator Janelle Crowley but I would expect her to try to derail my complaint by giving me misinformation and runaround. I would expect her to act in the best interests of the university and not in my interests. I would expect promises but no action for 120 days, then I would expect them to ignore me. I would ask politely when to expect the investigation to be completed and if I didn’t get a signed investigation report within 60 days I would continue with step 1 and also go to step 2.
I would file a notarized Notice of Injury and Claim within 120 days of the incident if the perpetrator was a university employee. I would remember that failing to file this claim within 120 days of an incident would prevent me from filing a legal claim against that state employee. Missing this deadline would mean the state would protect the perpetrator. The law protects state employees who retaliate against victims if the victim misses the small window of opportunity to file this claim, 120 days. Every time a university employee breaks the law, or a policy, a victim of that action can file a new claim. I’d put a reminder on my calendar every 120 days, so I wouldn’t forget.
I would request that any hearing comply with Wisconsin Open Meetings Law. Specifically, I would request that any hearing be advertised properly at least 24 hrs in advance (in the Platteville Journal or the Exponent). I’d invite everyone to come to the hearing. At the beginning of the meeting I’d point out, so the audience can hear, each rule violation and I’d request that the meeting be open to the public. I’d request a period of time during the hearing where the public can ask questions or make comments. I’d request, not demand.
I would expect the UW Platteville administration to violate their own policies. I would be polite in all my communications and I would request that the administration specifically follow the rules that I identify. I would identify rules that the administration is required to follow. I wouldn’t expect fair treatment, but I would ask for it politely and often, in writing. I wouldn't expect any resolution from the internal university process as it seems to be completely broken. The administration doesn't seem to believe they need to follow their own rules. I’d be sure to catalog and protect evidence of policy or procedure violations.
I would not rely on this page of the university website: https://www.uwplatt.edu/employee-handbook/uws-6-complaints-and-grievances as this page seems to contain unauthorized and misleading information based on non-existent policy. Just because it is easy to find by google search doesn’t mean it contains legitimate information. Much of the text on this webpage does not seem to come from approved policy. It looks legit but looks can be deceiving. I’d trust the approved policies, not unauthorized pages of a website controlled by a corrupt administration. I would find the actual laws and the actual approved policies, procedures and bylaws. I wouldn’t trust procedures on UW Platteville’s web pages. The approved policies can be found by googling them if you keep digging. Look for the policies saved on the UW System website like this one. The real policies can be hard to find but it is better to spend time searching for the authentic policy rather than relying on text that can be manipulated by anyone with a password to the website. If I were to find something on the UW Platteville website that gives information contrary to the policies I’d archive it here https://archive.is/. Then I’d include it in my Notice of Injury and Claim report.
If I were getting close to 300 days after the incident – I’d do step 2 while continuing step 1.
Step 2. – Higher level complaint. - I’d file a complaint with the next higher appropriate authority (DOJ), (EEOC), (ERD), (OCR). These agencies may investigate a claim but I wouldn’t expect them to. I would try to get them to issue me a "right to sue" letter. I’d study the laws dealing with my elevated complaint, so I would know what to expect and I’d keep track of deadlines. I’d include in the complaint: details of any violations of policy by the administration in handling my complaint, as well as the original act and any retaliatory acts.
Step 3. - Lawsuit. - After I received a “right to sue” I’d file a lawsuit within 90 days. I would not expect to have any luck finding a Wisconsin attorney who would be willing to take my case without charging me an arm and a leg. Wisconsin Attorneys seem to be terrified of taking on the UW System. If I could get an attorney to take my case “on contingency” I would feel lucky and I would go for it. Contingency means that my attorney would get paid out of the proceeds of the judgment award or settlement. If I couldn’t find an attorney on contingency I’d file the lawsuit myself (Pro-se) for a few hundred dollars. I would read through this website assocforhonestattys.com for pointers on filing a lawsuit myself. I might not expect to actually win my pro-se lawsuit, because the cards are stacked against pro-se litigants, but I would take courage if I knew there were a lot of other victims who were also filing lawsuits at the same time, for the same type of offenses.
I’d encourage other victims to also speak up. I’d let everyone know that I am fighting back against Sexual Abuse and the Corruption that enables it. I would be careful not to disclose confidential information. I would support and protect other victims. I would ask my father for help.
I think daughters are incapable of understanding the depth of love in a father’s heart, or the extent to which they would go to protect their little girls. Fathers’ voices, need to be heard. If I were a victim of sexual abuse I’d tell my dad about it and ask for him to help me change the culture. If I knew a victim of sexual abuse I would support them, protect them and encourage them to take a stand. And I’d stand with them.
Imagine the impact if only ten percent of UW Platteville’s sexual abuse victims go through this process before October 2018. I think we would turn the “rape culture” upside down.
Sabina’s lawsuit is scheduled to be heard in October 2018. If I were a victim of sexual abuse at UW Platteville I’d take a stand with her by standing up for my own rights. The time to hide in the shadows is over. Get up! Stand up! Speak up!
If I were a victim of sexual abuse in another UW System university I’d google the sexual abuse policies for my school and file a complaint following those rules.