Sexual Assault

In Vermont, lawmakers are responsible for investigating allegations of sexual harassment against sitting members. Some lawmakers say they need more training to conduct those investigations properly.
Kirk Carapezza / VPR/file

A wave of new allegations against members of Congress has prompted a sweeping review of sexual harassment policies in the nation’s capital. But in Montpelier, it’s a previously undisclosed incident from this past April that state lawmakers are trying to learn from.

Courtesy Amanda Crispel

Students and staff at Champlain College's Emergent Media Center have collaborated on an online game that tackles sexual harassment and assault on campus.

Wolfram Burner / Flickr

By October 1st every year, colleges and universities around the country are required to report statistics about crime on their campuses, including sexual offenses. We're taking a look at those numbers, and talking about sexual assault at our local colleges - and how some of those schools are taking on the issue.

Courtesy / Laura Kate Winterbottom Memorial Fund

A charity event on Saturday will mark a grim anniversary in Burlington.

Ten years ago, 31-year-old Laura Winterbottom was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered in Burlington. Winterbottom, an bright young artist and teacher, was approached walking from a Church Street bar to her car on College street.

The senseless crime rattled the community. For some, it was an eye-opening reminder of the widespread cultural problem of sexual violence.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Franklin County Sen. Norm McAllister didn’t say a word at his arraignment Friday morning as his lawyer entered a plea of not guilty on all charges against him.

McAllister is charged with three counts of felony sexual assault and three counts of prohibited acts. If convicted of the sexual assault charges, he could face life in prison.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

Franklin County Sen. Norm McAllister was arrested Thursday evening on sex charges, according to the Vermont State Police.

McAllister, a 63-year-old Republican from Highgate, has served in the Legislature since 2003, first as a member of the House and later in the Senate. State police spokesman Scott Waterman issued a release late Thursday saying VSP detectives assigned to the Northwest Unit for Special Investigations arrested McAllister and charged him with sexual assault, prohibited acts and human trafficking.

A group of Middlebury College students has created a video called "Middlebury Unmasked." In it, survivors of sexual violence appear in masks to tell the stories of what happened to them after the assault.

Colleges and universities have protocol for reports of sexual assault. They follow the guidelines laid out in the Department of Education's Title IX. But these Middlebury students want to raise questions about whether or not that process works the way it was intended.

This week, Dartmouth College is hosting a national summit about sexual assault on college campuses. The conference has raised questions of victim support and privacy, criminal prosecution, and colleges wanting to protect their reputations, along with their students.

Sexual assaults on college campuses are making troubling headlines nationwide. This week, about 700 university officials from all over the country are gathering at Dartmouth to brainstorm ways to make schools safer for their students.

Dartmouth President and alumnus Philip Hanlon started the Dartmouth Summit on Sexual Assault with an admission that, much as he loves his job, there can be some terrible moments.

This week, Dartmouth College is hosting a week-long Summit on Sexual Assault on College Campuses for several hundred college and university representatives, experts, students and non-profit organizations from around the country. Beginning Monday, July 13, the Summit will educate campus and community stakeholders on sexual assault prevention, education and response. Participants will also learn about best practices to apply in their own schools.

Charlotte Albright

There’s a growing dilemma facing nursing home caregivers, and it’s not easy to talk about. When, if ever, is it acceptable for patients with dementia to have sex with other patients? That was the focus of a day-long training session for caregivers sponsored by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. 

The presentations were candid and provocative.

Charlotte Albright

Every two minutes, advocates say, an American woman will be sexually assaulted. But the majority of those crimes go unreported to police. Many victims fear reprisal, or worry they will be shamed. Yet last week, about a dozen people walked onto a stage and told stories of sexual assault – their own, or others’ – to a live audience.

The theatrical project was organized by WISE, an advocacy group serving the Upper Valley.