This article discusses sexual assault. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call RAINN's national sexual assault hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for confidential support.
MADISON, Wis. — Isabelle Bogan is a junior studying marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
She is also a sexual assault survivor.
“I wasn’t treated very well by friends when I told them about it or by people who knew the [assaulter],” said Bogan.
Bogan said she never wanted to be labeled as a sexual assault survivor. She said she just wanted to continue on with her life the best way that she could.
That’s why she became a peer facilitator at Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment, or PAVE.
“I got involved with PAVE because as a survivor myself, I am very passionate about ensuring that survivors are validated and supported, specifically on college campuses,” said Bogan.
PAVE is a student organization dedicated to preventing sexual assault, dating violence and stalking through education and activism.
“This can be campaigns, student events, educational workshops and all sorts of campus advocacy,” said Bogan.
One of the ways Bogan and her team help to spread awareness is through workshops.
William Ly is a Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity member. His fraternity often holds parties on campus.
“It is very important to inform our brotherhood and brothers the importance of being safe on campus and promoting safety for all of us,” said Ly.
Ly and his brothers attended a workshop with PAVE to learn more about consent and how to step in if a situation seems to be heading down the wrong path.
“We always have bros watching out and making sure there is safety and making sure everyone understands there’s an important guideline when coming to our events,” said Ly.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, about 1.2 million Wisconsin adults have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime.
This includes a recent attack against a UW-Madison student that left her with life-threatening injuries.
It’s Bogan’s goal to make sure this never happens again and to also offer up a safe place for students to come if they are victims of sexual assault.
“Turn to your friends and family that hold empathy and want to support you through this and remind yourself that there are so many people on campus that care about you as an individual and want you to excel and succeed,” said Bogan.
As a student-run organization, PAVE prides itself on being peer-to-peer and wants the campus community to know that they offer a judgment-free zone.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, you can reach out to one of these hotlines:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- UHS Mental Health Crisis Line (UW-Madison Students): 608-265-5600 (OPTION 9)