What to do if you are a victim of sexual misconduct

If you are a victim of sexual misconduct, please consider taking some or all the following actions for your health, safety, and well-being:

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.

If you believe you are 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.

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.

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 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 may report the behavior to:

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. If you would like to learn about confidential resources on and off campus, you can contact the Response Team 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 Resources"). 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 involved parties, 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.

Students and employees 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 or Employee Lifestyle Expectations prohibiting consensual sexual activity outside of a married relationship. The University may require educational options, rather than disciplinary sanctions, in such cases.

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.

  • 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.

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 - undergraduate students only).
  • 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 responses:

  • 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
  • Sexual Violence Law Center: 206-832-3632 (or 1-888-998-6423), http://www.svlawcenter.org/. SVLC provides services for survivors including legal representation, consulting, resources, and referrals.