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For Immediate Release

Sept. 23, 2004   

Contact: Louise Root-Robbins
lroot-robbins@uwsa.edu
(608) 262-6831

UW System supports statewide effort to end sexual violence

MADISON ― Representatives of college campuses, state agencies and advocacy networks will share ideas and learn from national experts about the impact of sexual violence during a conference organized by the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA), with support from the University of Wisconsin System.

"Sexual Violence and the College Campus," will be held Sept. 29-30 at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Stevens Point. The conference will bring together those who provide services for victims and who are interested in ending sexual violence.

"Sexual violence is happening on college campuses across the nation," said Louise Root-Robbins, director of the UW System Office of Women's Issues. "Freshman students are particularly vulnerable, and we know attacks are widely underreported. We hope participants will listen, learn, go back to campus, and act."

The conference, made possible through grant funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, includes keynote addresses by nationally recognized expert Brett Solokow, president of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management; workshops; and presentations from Wisconsin colleges and universities, including several UW System campuses.

"Collaboration is essential to meet the need for our advocacy and outreach in the campus community," said Maggie Thurs, public awareness coordinator of WCASA. "We have worked for years to make this groundbreaking conference a reality, and we hope it serves as a model for other states."

UW System President Kevin P. Reilly praised UW System campuses for combining efforts to raise awareness about what can be done to prevent sexual violence on campus.

"There is no greater priority than knowing our students are safe," Reilly said.

Students, faculty, staff and media representatives can still register to attend the conference by contacting the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Details are available at http://www.wcasa.org.