Marquette Wire

New categories on annual DPS report deal with violence, stalking

Photo courtesy of Marquette's website.

Photo courtesy of Marquette's website.

McKenna Oxenden

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Domestic violence, dating violence and stalking were three new categories that, prior to last week, were not present on the annual Department of Public Safety Fire and Safety Report.

The catalyst for the new inclusions is a result of President Obama signing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which amended the Clery Act, dealing with campus crime and statistics. The document mandated universities must include data on their annual report for all incidents related to domestic and dating violence, as well as stalking.

Paul Mascari, the chief of DPS, said Marquette made a “good faith effort” to include the new data in the 2013 report rather than waiting.

Currently, the newly mandated law is in a negotiated rule-making process with the Department of Education, as their job is to regulate the new bills and laws that have been passed in order to implement them in the most logical manner. The law is expected to be released sometime next month and go into effect in July 2015.

Mascari said because of the daily crime log that is monitored and run by DPS, the data was already there.

“If you have the information and you can get it fairly easily, there is no reason not to do it now,” Mascari said.

The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, the new amendment of the Clery Act, promises to provide transparency, accountability, education and collaboration with reporting the facts, implementing the law and providing sources.

Marquette’s Title IX coordinator, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, believes this will help educational institutions better understand sexual violence crimes.

“We can have an even better sense for how to educate students on the related issues and they let us continue responding to concerns and crimes in informed and caring ways,” Hendrickson said.

There is no specific criteria that Marquette identifies with the new categories, but they follow what the Federal Bureau of Investigation defines as crime and then turn to Wisconsin state law.

Many believe domestic violence only happens to people in romantic relationships or marriages, but Wisconsin state law defines it as something that can occur as long as you are living together. All three examples of domestic violence displayed in 2013 were by roommates living in the residence halls.

Mascari pointed out that recently there has been a big push on a national level for safety on college campuses.

Marquette was not the only university to make the effort to include the new requirements into their annual report. Most universities have already been required to track these crimes, resulting in the ease of compiling them.

According to the Clery Center website, 20-25 percent of females experience rape or attempted rape.

While numbers were limited, Mascari said “any crime is an important crime” and DPS cannot be present for every crime committed, so students must be aware of what is happening around them.

DPS urges students to report any crime committed so there is easier access to resources that can help the victim with pressing criminal charges, counseling or education to help prevent violence in the future.

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