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Sexual Assault Resources

Making a report to the UW

You have the right to report a sexual assault to the police and to the University. You can report to both, just the police, just the University or to neither. It is your choice. You may report any instances of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence to the University investigation offices. The University will conduct a prompt, fair and impartial investigation to determine whether a University policy or code – such as the Student Conduct Code or Executive Order No. 31 – has been violated. This site provides some information about what to expect. A University investigation is separate from an investigation that the police might do to determine whether a crime has occurred.

Initial Assessment

Once a report is made, an investigator meets with you to gather information about what happened and to provide information about the investigation process, including your rights and options.  After an initial review of the information, you will be informed of the action the University will take in regard to the report.

Investigation

Investigations are conducted by individuals who receive regular training on issues of sexual violence, including working with those who have experienced sexual misconduct. The assigned investigator will investigate the reported incident by gathering evidence and interview you, witnesses and the person alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct, who is referred to as the “respondent.” Both you and the respondent will have the opportunity to identify relevant witnesses and provide evidence.

Determination

The investigator will review all of the information to determine whether a University policy has been violated. The University uses a “preponderance of evidence” standard in its determinations, which means determining whether it is “more likely than not” that a violation of a policy occurred. This standard is different from the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that is used in criminal courts. Both you and the respondent will concurrently be informed in writing of the outcome and whether there is an option to seek additional review.

Hearing

In accordance with the Student Conduct Code or Faculty Code, in matters where a University student or University faculty member is the respondent, a hearing may be convened where an independent individual or panel of faculty assesses the evidence relating to the report, makes findings and determines appropriate actions, if any. Both you and the respondent have the right to be accompanied at the hearing by an advisor of your choice, who may be an attorney. Both you and the respondent will be concurrently informed in writing of the outcome and whether there is an option to seek an appeal.

Disciplinary action

If the respondent is found responsible for violating University policy or code, a number of disciplinary actions are available, depending on the findings and whether the person is a student and/or employee at the University. Disciplinary actions for students may include, but are not limited to, dismissal, suspension, disciplinary probation or reprimand. Depending on terms and type of employment, employees may face termination of employment, suspension or other types of corrective action.

The process utilized for investigation and/or disciplinary sanctions depends on the role (e.g., student, staff, faculty) of the respondent at the University.