Following is an email I sent to all students and employees of the University Friday, Nov. 22.
UK Police this week informed our community of reported sexual assaults that occurred in our residence halls. In response to these and several other reported incidents this semester, our students, parents, and others in our community are raising serious concerns about the reports and how the University is responding. Members of our community also want to know more about what steps we all can take to ensure our safety and the safety of others.
These and other reports earlier this semester are not connected. But that in no way diminishes the tragedy of violence and victimization; nor does it affect how seriously we investigate and approach these incidents. Our team of law enforcement officers, Title IX professionals, and officials with Student and Academic Life work closely together to quickly and thoroughly respond to every reported incident.
What we hope these reports indicate is that more people are coming forward about these incidents as we continue to educate the campus community about reporting options and push back against the debilitating stigma too often associated with these tragedies, and as we further strengthen our support services. Whether the report is made to police, faculty and staff, or others who provide counseling and advocacy, we hope more members of our community feel comfortable coming forward, even as we explore more ways to raise awareness; provide more training and resources; and work together to ensure that everyone understands that we all share in each other’s welfare and well-being.
In the coming weeks, we will be communicating even more about additional resources we will invest in mental health and well-being. We are examining all our survivor services to identify opportunities for growth and continued support. We will continue to assess what steps and measures might be taken to prevent further incidents.
Here are three things to keep in mind about what we report, how we report it, and what’s available for our community in terms of support:
• First, under federal and state laws — the Clery and Minger Acts — UK is required to publicly disclose incidents of sexual assault and violence that occur on or near the campus. And we are required to report them as quickly as possible. You can read more about those reporting requirements here: https://www.uky.edu/studentconduct/clery-minger-and-campus-save-acts . If you or someone you know has been impacted by interpersonal violence you can contact UKPD at 859-257-UKPD or #UKPD from your mobile device to file a criminal police report. Or, you can contact our Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity to make a report through the University. You can file a report online here: https://www.uky.edu/eeo/. Go to the button that says “Make a Report.”
• Second, we encourage those impacted by sexual and dating violence to learn about resources rooted in survivor support and advocacy. The Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center provides confidential services to members of the UK community who have experienced sexual and/or dating violence and to individuals who are supporting those who have experienced sexual and/or dating violence. On our campus are two major prevention programs: Green Dot and #ConsentCulture. Green Dot is a bystander intervention program that trains individuals on how to recognize red flags in situations that may lead to sexual or dating violence and equips participants with tools that allow them to intervene in ways that feel comfortable and safe to them. #ConsentCulture is a peer-educator program that teaches students the University’s definition of consent.
• Third, to learn more about the VIP Center at UK and other resources, you can go here: https://www.uky.edu/vipcenter/content/faq. You also can learn more about the range of resources for reporting and support here: https://www.uky.edu/vipcenter/content/campus-resources.
This issue is a critical and shared concern for our campus. We will be following up with more information about services and training, and how we respond to these issues. Greater awareness and understanding will lead to an even greater sense of security, safety, and belonging for everyone at UK. Thank you for all you are doing to create that sense of community.