UW Police

Sexual Assault

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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 has been a past sexual relationship.
  • It’s okay if you didn’t report the incident right away.

If someone made sexual contact with you without your consent, we want to help. If you have been sexually assaulted and have questions about reporting it to the police, you can contact the UWPD Victim Advocate at 206.543.9337. The advocate can answer questions about what you can expect from the criminal justice system. You can also read the information about sexual assault and the criminal justice system provided by The Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress.

If you are a student, you can also speak with a specialist at the Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Information Service (SARIS).

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

If you have recently been sexually assaulted….

Medical Care

Sexual Assault is an act of violence. A first and important step for survivors is often to get medical treatment. 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 often 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 and pregnancy
  • Treating, 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.

Harborview Medical Center is the closest place to campus to receive this exam.

UWPD Sexual Assault Response Commitment

Everyone has the right to control their own sexuality. 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 you are the victim of a sexual assault off campus, call the Seattle Police Department. You have the right to have a support person with you while you make the report.

Sexual Assault Resources

Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress: 206.744.1600; 206.744.1616 TDD
King County Sexual Assault Resource Center: 1.888.99.VOICE (86423); 425.271.6332 TTY line during office hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Information Service (SARIS): 206.685.4357
Sexual Violence Law Center: 206.832.3632
Student Counseling Center: (206) 543-1240
UWPD Victim Advocate: 206.543.9337

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 Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs Web site or contact the UWPD Victim Advocate at 206.543.9337.

University’s Commitment and Title IX

The university is committed to providing its faculty and staff with an environment conducive to the pursuit of knowledge. Conduct constituting a sexual offense, whether forcible or nonforcible, such as rape, assault, forcible fondling or sexual harassment, is not tolerated.

There is a federal law called Title IX that protects students from sexual harassment and sexual violence on campus. For more information on “Know Your IX,” see the resources below.

UW Title IX Office: Know Your IX

When they occur in the workplace, rape and other forcible or nonforcible sex offenses may result in a variety of disciplinary actions, including suspension or 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. Both the accuser and accused will be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceeding as a result of an alleged sexual assault.

For more information on how to make a Student Conduct related complaint regarding sexual harassment or sexual assault, contact the Community Standards and Student Conduct Office.