St. Ambrose sees rise in sexual violence reports, attributes to survivor-friendly atmosphere

Reports are handled by the Title IX office and can include rape, stalking

DAVENPORT, Iowa - The fall semester is winding down at St. Ambrose University and it's been another semester with a growing number of sexual violence reports. 

"I just think it's an increase in the opportunity and the confidence to report and respond to those incidents," said St. Ambrose Title IX Coordinator Megan Levetzow.

Those reports can include rape, domestic violence or stalking. 

"Our procedure is laid out in our policy to begin an initial investigation and try to bring as much information as possible," said Levetzow. 

Students can still see immediate action during that investigation. Levetzow said they can implement no contact orders for the student. 

Counseling services are also available through Family Resources' SafePath campus advocates. They said justice for survivors doesn't always mean seeing their attacker go to jail.  

"It's having that person held accountable. Maybe it's having their classes changed so they don't have to interact with them on a daily basis. Maybe it's asking them to leave the college," said Family Resources Program Director Nicole Cisne Durbin. "It depends on what that survivor wants."

How colleges handle these reports is starting to change at the federal level. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos is pushing to increase the burden of proof needed and do away with the 60-day window universities must respond to complaints within. 

Levetzow said St. Ambrose will not be making any changes until required by federal law. 

For Family Resources, any changes should be made with the survivors in mind. 
 
"We need to base our decisions on what we are hearing from survivors."


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