The Jane Speaks Initiative is a public humanities project dedicated to the exploration and documentation of issues impacting women in higher education for study, research, and discussion. The Clery Crime Data Visualization Project is the first proposed project of Jane Speaks.
CLERY CRIME DATA VISUALIZATION PROJECT
The Clery Crime Data Visualization Project takes publicly available campus sexual assault data—collected under the Clery Act—and displays this crime data in a variety of ways. Using the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus as a pilot, this project explores the viability and utility of such data visualization tools. Through access to data-driven informational resources, the project coordinators seek to encourage and support campus efforts to initiate discussion and reduce stigma around sexual assault on college campuses.
Sexual violence has long been a tool of power and domination, one shaped by specific social relations and cultural contexts. Until quite recently, there has been limited available data on the incidence and prevalence of gender-based violence on U.S. college campuses, though by the most conservative of estimates, one in five college women will be sexually assaulted at some point during her college-going years.
In the spring of 2015, UW–Madison participated in the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, along with 26 other schools. The survey affirmed that sexual assault and sexual misconduct are prevalent on college campuses, with 11% of student respondents reporting that they had experienced nonconsensual sexual contact. Additionally, in the spring 2015 National College Health Assessment, 7% of participating UW–Madison students indicated that, within the past 12 months, they had experienced sexual touching without their consent; 2% had experienced sexual penetration without their consent; and 2% had experienced stalking.
These responses demonstrate a need for an empowered student body that will expand and challenge contemporary understandings of campus sexual assault and rape culture. The Jane Speaks Initiative addresses this need through information sharing and campus collaborations.