In the Fox Cities area, 2019 data shows 20.2% of high schoolers face bullying at school and 15.2% have experienced electronic bullying. It is important to note that there was a change in methodology in 2019 from paper survey to online survey. This change could impact the makeup of the groups responding to the survey. Caution should be used when making comparisons between years.
Data on cyberbullying is relatively new, and due to the rise in social media, law, reporting, and protection mechanisms can develop at a slower pace than technology. Given 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). By far the most commonly bullied groups are those students who identify as LGBT (30.4%, double the rate of students who identify as heterosexual), and those who identify as multiple race (22.6%, compared to 15.5% of white and 8.4% of black/African American students).
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) shows bullying rates by race/ethnicity and sexual orientation, indicating that one in five white (20.4%) students, and one in six black/African American (16.7%) students reported in-school bullying, while American Indian (28.3%) students, and those identifying as multiple race (27.8%) reported higher rates. Bullying against bisexual (33.2%) and gay or lesbian (35.2%) high school students is nearly double the rate against heterosexuals (18.4%), though these are similar to Wisconsin rates. These rates highlight a greater risk of bullying for high school students who self-identify as racial or sexual minorities.
In 2019, 6.3% of youth in the Fox Cities region reported having been threatened or injured by a weapon at school. One percent of youth reported carrying a gun on school property.
Overall child abuse and neglect rates declined in the Fox Cities region between 2013 and 2019. However, despite a slight, but steady increase in Calumet County rates between 2016 and 2019, they remained less than half of the averages across the other geographies. During the same time period, rates in Winnebago County dropped significantly, converging to match Wisconsin rates, and remaining slightly higher than rates in Outagamie County.
Violent crime rates in the Fox Cities region are lower than in Wisconsin overall. Calumet County has the lowest violent crime rate, while Winnebago and Outagamie Counties are about equal. From 2014-2016, violent crime rates ticked up in Calumet and Outagamie Counties, but fell slightly in Winnebago County. Robberies have increased in all counties during the same period and rapes have increased in Outagamie County. The bulk of violent crimes are aggravated assaults, and these held steady in Calumet and Outagamie (2014-2016) and fell somewhat in Winnebago County. Since 2004, Outagamie County has experienced an increase in aggravated assaults. The number of assaults doubled from less than 100 to more than 200.
Outagamie and Winnebago Counties have similar property crime rates. In both counties, the rate has fallen significantly since 2004. The rate is decreasing because larceny and burglary are becoming less frequent in both counties. In Calumet County, the property crime rate is much lower than the other two counties.
From 2013-2017, the number of reported sexual assaults has increased slightly in Calumet County, as it has in Wisconsin overall, though the rate is much lower than in Outagamie and Winnebago Counties. Domestic abuse rates were steady in Calumet County between 2013 and 2017, as they were in Wisconsin overall. In Outagamie County and Winnebago County, domestic abuse rates fell. 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 16% of domestic abuse cases in 2017 that resulted in criminal charges included battery charges(2).
Drug arrest rates have increased in the Fox Cities region since 2014, as they did in Wisconsin overall. This was driven by an increase in arrests for possession of narcotics, despite a decrease in arrest for narcotic sales. The number of arrests related to marijuana increased 5% between 2014 and 2018, but other drug types increased faster. Arrests for heroin or cocaine went up by 33%, and arrests for synthetic drugs increased 23%.