Sexual Misconduct


Seattle Pacific University is committed to maintaining an environment free of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual misconduct. This Sexual Misconduct Policy is intended to educate students and provide an equitable means of recourse for those who believe they have been a victim of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is a violation of University policy and may also be illegal. The University will promptly investigate and pursue the resolution of any complaint of sexual misconduct. The University reserves the right to respond with whatever measures it deems appropriate to prevent sexual misconduct and preserve the safety and well-being of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

For purposes of this Sexual Misconduct Policy, the term “sexual misconduct” means any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Sexual misconduct can occur among persons of the same or different genders. Complaints of sex-based discrimination that do not involve sexual misconduct as defined above will be handled pursuant to the Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Procedure or the Student Accountability Process, as applicable.  Additional information about the University's compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities, can be found on the University's Title IX website.

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What to Do if You Are a Victim of Sexual Misconduct

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:

  • Do not assume it is your fault: No one deserves to be mistreated. It is not your fault if someone else has abused or assaulted you. You have choices, and you can get help.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Preserve evidence: Try to preserve all physical evidence.
    • 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 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 proceeding 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.
    • Evidence is best collected right away, and at least within 120 hours of the incident. In the case of a sexual assault, it is best to collect evidence before you shower or bathe, wash your hands or clothing, change your clothing or bedding, use the toilet, or even eat or drink. Even if you do not think you would like to pursue a criminal case now, you can have the evidence collected anonymously so you can decide later whether filing a report with police is right for you.
  • Report the incident to the University: 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 the following individuals. More information can be found on the University's Title IX website.
    • Mr. Terry Winn, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources | Acting Section 504 Coordinator: (206) 281-2678;; on campus – 330 W. Nickerson St.; by mail - Seattle Pacific University, 3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 302, Seattle, WA 98119.
    • Ms. Cheryl Michaels, Director of Safety and Security | Acting Title IX Coordinator: (206) 281-2678;; on campus – 601 West Emerson, Seattle, WA 98119

While University officials will seek to protect the privacy of victims as far as reasonably possible in the circumstances, individuals wishing to report an incident of sexual misconduct should note that complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Pursuant to federal law, all University employees (other than pastoral counselors, professional counselors, Health Center staff, and student employees) are required to report information disclosed to them about sexual misconduct to University administrators. If you would like to learn about confidential resources on and off campus, you can ask a Sexual Misconduct Report Receiver but do not share specific information about any incident you wish to keep private. You can also speak with on-campus mental health counselors at the Student Counseling Center, or off-campus rape crisis resources (together, "Confidential Reporters"). However, if there is an imminent concern for a person's health or safety, even these individuals may be required to disclose information. If the University provides accommodations or protective measures to a victim, the University will seek to keep such accommodations and measures confidential to the extent reasonably possible and to the extent such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the institution to provide the accommodations or measures.

Reported incidents of sexual misconduct will generally be reflected in aggregate statistics prepared and published for purposes of the University's compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. However, these statistics do not contain personally identifying information. Aside from Clery Act disclosure requirements, University data about sexual misconduct generally is not subject to public recordkeeping requirements because the University is a private organization.

Students who are victims of sexual misconduct and report such incidents to the University will not be disciplined by the University for any violation of the University’s drug or alcohol possession or consumption policies in which they have engaged in connection with the reported incident, or for any violation of the University’s Student Standards of Conduct prohibiting consensual sexual activity by unmarried students. The University may require educational options, rather than disciplinary sanctions, in such cases.

  • Notify law enforcement: 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.
  • If you think someone may be stalking you:
    • Look for signs that indicate stalking behavior.
    • Most stalking does not end on its own. Early intervention is critical, and recognizing stalking behavior is the first step.
    • Clearly state to the stalker that you are not interested in the attention of the stalker and that you want the behavior to stop.
    • Create a log of stalking incidents, including date, time, location, and description of each event.
    • Seek support from the University’s Office of Safety and Security in doing some or all of the actions listed above.

Seek support on-campus and off-campus: 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, such as the following:

  • On-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)
  • Off-campus resources:
    • King County Sexual Assault 24-Hour Resource Center: 888-998-6423, KCSARC can assist with crisis response, advocacy, legal advocacy, and other support.
    • Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): 800-656-HOPE,
    • Harborview Center for Sexual Assault & Traumatic Stress: 206-744-1600,
    • YWCA Sexual Violence Legal Services: 206-832-3632, SVLS provides free legal representation for survivors who live in Washington State, as well as consulting for survivors, attorneys, and rape crisis center advocates. Sexual assault survivors can call the anonymous, confidential hotline for legal information and referrals. 
    • Dove House: Dove House Advocacy Services offers a variety of services to those who are currently experiencing or have ever experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or general crime. 360-385-5292. See the website for details:

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What to Do if You Observe or Suspect Sexual Misconduct

All students are encouraged to participate in helping the University be free from sexual misconduct. If you are a student and another student tells you that he or she was the victim of sexual misconduct while at the University, you should strongly encourage the victim to speak with one of the Sexual Misconduct Report Receivers (listed above) or consider personally reporting the incident to a sexual misconduct report receiver if the victim is reluctant to do so.

As noted above, most University employees have an obligation to report incidents of sexual misconduct to University administrators. University employees who have questions about these reporting responsibilities should consult the University's Title IX website.

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The University’s Procedures for Responding to Sexual Misconduct

For more information regarding the University's policies and procedures, please refer to the Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct Policy

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Last published on 7/10/2023