The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department is investigating how personal photos and videos of the women’s volleyball team were shared online, according to a statement from the university’s athletics department.
Although the university did not disclose the nature of the sensitive photos, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that they had received one of the images in question. The photo was reportedly taken after the team won the Big Ten Championship in November, and it shows some of the team members posing with their sports bras up. According USA todaymost of the content has since been removed from websites where it was posted without the player’s consent.
The athletic department immediately clarified in its statement that while circulating the photos was an absolute violation of women and their bodies, the fact that the photos were taken to begin with is not the issue, shutting down everything obsolete above all.” they asked for it” arguments. “The UWPD is not investigating volleyball student-athletes for wrongdoing in this matter,” the statement said. “Our top priority is to support our student-athletes and we provide them with the appropriate services and resources.”
Members of the team contacted university police after learning that the images were circulating on the internet, according to the university. The athletic department said police are investigating several crimes, including “sharing sensitive photos without consent.” The photos were allegedly taken on a team member’s phone, according to Lacrosse Standand police hope to find out how the footage became public.
Badgers coach Kelly Sheffield reiterated that he fully supports the players and that there will be no disciplinary action against them. The UWPD told the Grandstand he could not provide further comment due to the ongoing investigation and did not confirm whether other agencies were investigating the matter.
According to the Wisconsin State Legislature, revenge porn is illegal in Wisconsin. This means that any “private depiction” – a photograph, film, recording or video – of a nude or partially nude subject or of a person performing a sexual act, which is shared without the subject’s consent, is considered a class A misdemeanor.
Universities, and more particularly those with a collegial culture marked by crawling binge drinking, fraternities and football teams, are not often considered for their prompt treatment of sexual violence or sexual crimes on campus (looking at you, State of Ohio, State of Michigan and University of Michigan). In that case, it appears the University of Wisconsin-Madison preempted the press by releasing a statement Wednesday night explicitly supporting its players.
But the university’s seemingly appropriate condemnation does not erase the flagrant violations suffered by the teammates during a joyous celebration. It’s so rare to see women in sports win without complications, judgment, invalidation or, in this case, scandal. But the game doesn’t stop for anyone: The women are set to take on Michigan State on Friday, marching forward, as women are often forced to do in the face of threats to our privacy and security. .