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Saturday, June 22, 2024
PAVE members expressed frustration with UW-Madison’s current climate for sexual assault survivors.

PAVE members expressed frustration with UW-Madison’s current climate for sexual assault survivors.

PAVE joins national conversation on sexual violence

In light of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing that gained national attention last week, UW-Madison student organization Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment released a statement regarding the current campus climate for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

In the statement, PAVE voiced solidarity with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. PAVE said they stand with all survivors of sexual violence regardless of “race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender (or rejection thereof), age, ability status, sexual orientation, religion (or rejection thereof), or level of education.”

“The PAVE staff felt that this was an especially prominent issue of the recent news cycle and wanted to make a strong statement condemning not only the actions of our government but also our university,” said PAVE Communications Coordinator Alexandra Hader.

PAVE recognized their disappointment in the way UW-Madison and the Title IX office has responded to reports of violence. According to Hader, PAVE’s frustration stems from the universities inaction on reports of sexual violence. The student organization wants to see the university support survivors, not assailants.

In the statement, PAVE said the university should “create an environment where survivors not only feel comfortable coming forward, but feel safe and supported coming forward.”

“The university has to begin to focus on the best interest of survivors and begin to take stronger stances in how reported sexual assault cases are dealt with,” Hader said. “Putting survivors in a position to choose how to proceed gives them the power and can help in avoiding the retraumatization of survivors.”

The statement called for action to be taken on campus, pleading for “individuals in power” within the university to stand up for survivors of sexual violence.  

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