Safety

Youth Safety
In the Fox Cities area, 2015 data shows 27% of high schoolers face bullying at school and 18% have experienced electronic bullying.  Data on cyberbullying is relatively new and due to the rise in social media in the past five years, is sometimes looked on as a situation where the law, reporting and protection mechanisms develops at a slower pace to the technology. Given the fact that cyberbullying can happen anywhere at any time makes it harder to monitor and increases the chance that victims of bullying may be targeted both at school and at home(1).

A deeper dive into Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data, breaks down bullying rates by race/ethnicity and sexual orientation. Although only about 1 in 4 White (24.9%) and Black/African American (25.8%) students reported in-school bullying, American Indian (34.8%) and Hawaiian or Pacific Island students (35.7%) reported much higher rates. Bullying rates for bisexual (43.9%) and gay or lesbian (42.3%) high school students are nearly double the rates of their heterosexual peers (23.2%). These data highlight a greater risk of bullying for high school students of smaller minority racial groups and for non-heterosexual students. Bullying rates may be important when considered alongside Youth Suicide-Related Behaviors, with further discussion of how this data breaks down in the Health & Wellness section.

While child abuse and neglect rates in the three Fox Cities core counties decreased from 2005 to 2013, they still exceed the state average of 30.7 reports of abuse or neglect per 100,000 populations by 8 reports in Winnebago and by 2 reports in Outagamie. Although the juvenile arrest rate per 100,000 population remain slightly higher than the state average in Winnebago and Outagamie, there is a positive trend in declining juvenile arrest rates in all three Fox Cities counties between 2012 and 2014. Individual Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) include emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse in the household, mental illness in the household, separation or divorce, violence between adults, and an incarcerated family member. Epidemiological research links adults’ reports of ACEs to their current physical and mental health, as well as many other adult outcomes.

Crime
The property crimes rate per 100,000 population rose by 22 in Calumet, but fell by 741 crimes in Outagamie and 616 crimes in Winnebago from 2004 to 2014, alongside a nationwide fall of 925 property crimes per 100,000. At the same time, violent crime in the Fox Cities region increased by 31 violent crimes per 100,000 population in Calumet, 37.8 crimes per 100,000 in Outagamie and by 13.8 crimes in Winnebago, in contrast to a nationwide fall of violent crime by 88.4 between 2004 and 2014. The drop in property crime is in line with state and national trends, but the increase in violent crime is in contrast to an overall reduction in violent crime in the United States. A reduced number of burglaries across the Fox Cities region between 2010 and 2014 helped decrease overall property crime in the ten year period between 2004 and 2014. The rise in violent crime in the same ten year period was influenced by an increase in aggravated assaults between 2004 and 2009. Between 2010 and 2014, the rise of aggregated assaults continued in Outagamie, stayed constant in Calumet and decreased in Winnebago while increasing slightly statewide and nationally.

The number of reported sexual assaults in Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago decreased marginally between 2012 and 2014, while the statewide numbers showed a slight increase. Domestic abuse reports also fell slightly in the Fox Cities region between 2010 and 2012. In 2012, 71% of domestic abuse incidents reported to law enforcement in Wisconsin resulted in arrest, with the most common resulting charge being Disorderly Conduct. When domestic violence incidents escalate to legal definitions of battery, those incidents would be counted as aggregated assaults. Around 14% of domestic abuse cases in 2012 that resulted in criminal charges included battery charges(2)

Drugs
There were 322 fewer drug arrests across the three Fox Cities’ counties in 2014 than there were in 2012. As of 2014, only Winnebago had a higher arrest rate that the state average. It is worth noting that the vast majority of drug arrests in Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago and the State of Wisconsin are for marijuana possession. While legislation has been proposed to legalize marijuana, a recent study found that 9 of the 10 largest cities in Wisconsin had taken measures to decriminalize possession of marijuana(3). Such measures would see a significant impact on current drug arrest rates. Removing marijuana possession arrest from the past three years would reduce Fox Cities’ adult drug arrests by around 60%.