At the end of the day, what counts in public health is the measurable positive difference we make together for the health and well-being of populations and communities. The Zilber School of Public Health strives to combine three essential approaches in our academic work for the public's health: trustworthy community engagement, collaborative leadership, and social innovation. Faculty, staff and students aim to be great partners for public health research, education and service in greater Milwaukee and beyond.
Sexual assault is a public health issue. One in four women have survived a rape or attempted rape. One in five college students have a history of sexual assault. There are known preventable factors and conditions that increase risk. Most assaults involve alcohol or drugs; most perpetrators are known to assault survivors. The consequences are profound and lasting: increased risk for depression, PTSD, suicide. Yet most survivors never tell. Nationally only one in ten sexual assault incidents are reported. Secrecy, silence and shame perpetuate survivors' stigma of sexual assault.
UWM and the Zilber School are a proud sponsors of Milwaukee Denim Day 2014 on April 23. Public health has been defined as fulfilling society's interest in assuring conditions in which people can be healthy (IOM, 1988).
It is in society's interest to create conditions for every woman at every age and stage to be safe from sexual assault though heightened awareness and education, prevention and treatment. Dean Magda Peck is this year's co-chair, with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, to highlight the scope of the problem on college campuses.
Public health also has been defined as "successive redefinings of the unacceptable." (Vickers, 1958). May we declare with fullest words and deeds on this Denim Day 2014, that sexual assault is unequivocally unacceptable.
For more information about local organizations and individuals supporting Denim Day Milwaukee, visit http://denimdaymke.org/