UW Police

Sexual Assault

It’s not your fault…

Sexual assault and sexual harassment is a serious concern on college campuses. Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives. (CDC National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010)

Although unwanted sexual contact is against the law, most rapes are not reported to law enforcement. Holding sex offenders accountable for their criminal acts can give victims a sense of justice and helps protect the community by lowering the chances of sex offenders re-offending.

Washington State legal definition of “consent” means that at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact there are actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.

  • A person cannot consent if incapacitated by alcohol.
  • Future consent is not implied just because there was a past sexual relationship.
  • It’s okay if you didn’t report the incident right away.

If you are a student or employee, UW Resources are available to you:

  • Confidential Advocates are available to support you in safety planning, discussing resources, and accessing academic or workplace accommodations.
  • SafeCampus is UW’s violence-prevention and response program. They offer a helpline you can call to anonymously discuss any safety or well-being concerns you have.
  • The Sexual Assault Resources website shares information on seeking support, understanding your rights, and making a report.
  • The Know Your Rights and Resources Guide provides important information on resources and reporting options, so you can decide what feels right for your situation.

If you want to report to law enforcement now, police can be reached 24/7 at 911 or 206.685.UWPD.

If you have recently been sexually assaulted…

Medical Care

Medical care after experiencing sexual assault or intimate partner violence may be helpful for treating or preventing illness and injury For purposes of evidence collection, it is advised that you not bathe or destroy the clothing from the assault. SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) forensic exams sometimes called “Rape Kits” are done by specially trained nurses. They involve the following:

  • Examining for injuries
  • Documenting the findings
  • Providing testing for sexually transmitted disease
  • Offering medication, when appropriate, to reduce the chances of sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy

Crime Victims Compensation covers the cost of these exams. It is not necessary to make a police report in order to receive this medical care. You do not have to make a decision about reporting to police at the time of the exam. The hospital can keep the evidence and you can decide later.

The University of Washington Medical Center Emergency Department at 1959 N.E. Pacific Street  offers these exams 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Visit the Sexual Assault Medical Care website to learn about additional medical providers and locations that offer SANE exams

UWPD Sexual Assault Response Commitment

Everyone has the right to control their own sexual experiences. Sexual assault, including date/acquaintance rape, is a very serious concern of this police department. The University of Washington Police Department has adopted the following commitment when responding to sexual assault. If you feel you are a victim of a sexual assault on campus, the police department will guarantee the following:

UWPD Commitment

  1. We will meet with you privately, at a time and local place of your choice, to take your report.
  2. We cannot and will not notify your parents without your consent.
  3. We will treat you and your particular case with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding, and professionalism.
  4. Our officers will not prejudge you, and you will not be blamed for what occurred.
  5. We will assist you in arranging for any necessary hospital treatment or other medical needs. We will also assist in emergency housing if needed.
  6. If you would feel more comfortable talking with a friend or advocate of your choice present, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
  7. We will fully investigate your case and will help you to achieve the best outcome. This may involve the arrest and prosecution of the suspect responsible. You will be kept up-to-date on the progress of the investigation and/or prosecution.
  8. We will assist you in privately contacting counseling and other available resources.
  9. We will continue to be available to answer your questions, to explain the system and process involved (prosecutor, courts, etc.), and to be a listening ear if you wish.
  10. We will consider your case seriously regardless of your gender or the gender or status of the suspect.

If you are a victim of sexual assault, call the University of Washington Police Department at 685.UWPD (8973) (any time of day or night) to make a complaint privately. If the assault happened outside of UWPD’s jurisdiction, we will help you connect to the appropriate police department to make a report.

Additional Sexual Assault Resources

Sexual Assault Protection Order

Anyone who has experienced the legal definition of sexual assault can petition for a sexual assault protection order in Municipal, District, or Superior Court. The law defines “sexual assault” as:

  • Nonconsensual (meaning lack of freely given agreement) sexual touching of the genitals, anus, or breasts – either directly or through clothing.
  • Nonconsensual sexual penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus by another body part of another including the mouth or the use of objects.
  • Forced display of the genitals, anus or breasts for the purpose of sexually arousing another.

There is no cost for a sexual assault protection order.

For more information on Sexual Assault Protection Orders, visit the Washington State Protection Order Resources web site.

University’s Commitment and Title IX

The University is committed to being a leader and model within higher education for achieving gender equity and providing and maintaining a respectful learning and working environment free from sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender discrimination.. Conduct constituting a sexual offense, whether forcible or nonforcible, such as rape, assault, forcible fondling or sexual harassment, is not tolerated.

Title IX, Title VII, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Washington State law, and University of Washington policies collectively prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, pregnant or parenting status, and LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) identity.

Title IX applies to and protects students, staff, faculty, other academic personnel, and visitors at the Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma campuses as well as other sites and programs affiliated with the University.

For more information review the UW Title IX website.

University Investigations

If you have experienced sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct such as relationship violence, stalking, or sexual exploitation, you have the right to make a formal complaint and request a University investigation.

To submit a complaint about an employee, contact:

University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO)

To submit a complaint about a student, contact:

Title IX Investigation Office

Rape and other forcible or nonforcible sex offenses may result in a variety of UW disciplinary actions, including suspension or dismissal/termination from the university. In cases involving an alleged sexual offense, the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary hearing; during any hearing, they also do not need to be physically present in the same room at the same time. Both the accuser and accused will be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceeding as a result of an alleged sexual assault.

If you are considering requesting an investigation, you may want to consult with a UW Confidential Advocate to understand more about the process.