Sexual violence remains an all-too-common problem in our communities, our nation, and our world. Recent studies have highlighted the growing concern of sexual assault on college campuses. A recent study revealed that approximately 12 percent of student respondents across 27 universities reported experiencing non-consensual sexual contact by physical force, threats of physical force, or incapacitation since they enrolled at their university.
If you are a victim of sexual misconduct, then depending on the severity of the misconduct you should take some or all of the following actions:
Seek safety. If you may still be in danger, get to a safe place as soon as you can and seek assistance (e.g., from campus security, local law enforcement, or your personal support network). Consider developing a personal safety plan, obtaining a campus protective order, and/or obtaining a court-issued protective order. The University’s Office of Safety and Security can assist with each of these items (call 206-281-2922). A campus protective order is a no-contact order that is issued and enforced by the University (e.g., through SPU disciplinary processes). A no-contact order, restraining order, or similar order that would be enforceable by the police and/or courts would need to be obtained from a court of law.
Obtain medical treatment.
Get medical attention as soon as possible to treat any injuries, and document relevant evidence.
Seek support on-campus and off-campus.
- You can receive a sexual assault exam at the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault & Traumatic Stress: 206-744-1600. The Washington State Crime Victims Compensation Program (CVCP) will pay for the initial sexual assault exam by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE).
- SPU Health Services is available Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 206-281-2231. Health Services can assist with most medical concerns, including pregnancy and STD testing following an assault.
Find someone you can safely talk to about the situation. Develop a network of support, such as friends and family. Also, utilize on-campus and off-campus resources.
- Office of Safety and Security: 206-281-2911 (for safety, security, and transportation).
- Student Counseling Center: 206-281-2657 (for counseling and mental health).
- Student Health Services: 206-281-2231 (for medical and health care).
- Office of Student Life: 206-281-2481 (for guidance about academics and on-campus housing).
- Human Resources: 206-281-3809 (for faculty/staff employment).
- Student Financial Services: 206-281-2061 (for financial aid and student employment).
- Office of International Student Records: 206-281-2550 (for visa/immigration)
- King County Sexual Assault 24-Hour Resource Center: 888-998-6423, www.kcsarc.org. KCSARC can assist with crisis response, advocacy, legal advocacy, and other support.
- Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): 800-656-HOPE, rainn.org.
- Harborview Center for Sexual Assault & Traumatic Stress: 206-744-1600, http://depts.washington.edu/hcsats
- YWCA Sexual Violence Legal Services: 206-832-3632 (or 1-888-998-6423), http://www.svlawcenter.org/. SVLS provides services for survivors including legal representation, consulting, resources, and referrals.
Try to preserve all physical evidence.
Report the incident to the University.
- In general, "evidence" is anything that can help prove that an incident of sexual misconduct occurred. Evidence can vary depending on the incident. For example, evidence of stalking may include emails, texts, or other examples of such unwanted communications - in this case, be sure to keep copies of all such messages. For sexual assault, evidence may include blood, semen, hair, clothing, or other items that can help identify the perpetrator. A SANE exam (described above) can help you collect and preserve evidence.
- It is important to preserve evidence to prove a criminal offense, press civil charges, or obtain a protective order. It is also important to preserve evidence for use in any formal sexual misconduct proceedings at the University.
- The manner of preserving evidence will depend on the type of evidence. For example, it may take the form of saving copies of emails, taking screen shots of texts, taking photographs of bruises, or receiving a sexual assault exam.
Any student, employee, or visitor who believes he or she has been the victim of sexual misconduct is encouraged to report the behavior immediately to one of these Sexual Misconduct Report Receivers. However, no one is required to disclose to University officials if he or she has been a victim of sexual misconduct.
Notify law enforcement.
- Charles Strawn, Dean of Students for Community Life, 206-281-2845.
- Susan Okamoto Lane, Dean of Multi-Ethnic and Wellness Programs, 206-281-2598.
- Gabriel Jacobsen, Director of Residence Life, 206-281-2067.
- Gary Womelsduff, Title IX Coordinator / Director of Human Resources, 206-281-2678.
- Cheryl Michaels, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students/Associate Director of Safety and Security, 206-281-2625.
- Nicole Custer, Associate Director of Human Resources, 206-281-2676.
- Residence Life Coordinators and Area Coordinators
You have the option to notify law enforcement authorities. The phone number for the Seattle Police Department (SPD) is 911, and the emergency number for the University’s Office of Safety and Security is 206-281-2911. If you decide to make a report with SPD, the Office of Safety and Security can assist you through that process if you so choose. You may also decline to notify law enforcement authorities.