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Sexual Assault Resources

Safety planning

Many people who experience sexual violence have concerns about their safety. Sometimes people have concerns about seeing the person who assaulted them or being contacted by that person or that person’s friends.

UW safety plan

A UW safety plan can be created to help you avoid contact with the other person in university classes, housing, activities, programs, or the workplace. If your academic studies are affected, the University can provide academic services. A safety plan will be developed according to your unique circumstances. The University will work with you to create a safety plan, even if you chose not to make a report to the police or seek a formal investigation by the University.

General safety planning

Sometimes sexual assault can happen in the context of a dating relationship, and people may have unique safety concerns. Your safety and well-being are of the utmost importance. Take threats seriously. If you feel unsafe, trust your instincts. Making a safety plan before you need it will help hone your instincts to be able to quickly react in case of an emergency. Some things to think about for a safety plan include:

  • Who you can call when you need help. Alert people you trust that you have some safety concerns, such as friends, family members, roommates, boss, a professor or counselor. Always call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
  • Safe places. Choose a few places where you know you will be safe. Practice how to get out of a place if you think things are getting dangerous. Plan how you are going to get to the safe place, whether you can drive yourself, call a friend or take a bus.
  • Keep important things with you at all times. This might include a cell phone and charger, wallet with driver’s license, money, credit cards, bank cards, keys, protection order, and medication. You can also pack a bag in advance and leave it with a friend.
  • Changes at home. Decide if you feel safe at your current residence or if you would like to move or stay somewhere else. If you want to stay at home, consider things like changing locks, moving your furniture around for an easy escape, switching apartments, or other options.
  • Changes at school or work. Decide if you can make changes in your school or work schedule. UW Police can conduct a security assessment of your workplace and make suggestions on how to make it safer.
  • Changes to your daily routine. The perpetrator may know your schedule. Try new routes to school or work, and/or change where you eat meals.
  • Use the buddy system. You may feel safer if you are with trusted friends.
  • Check places online where you have identifying information. This might include the UW student database, Facebook, Myspace or other networking websites, departmental and class websites and listservs, among others. You might search for yourself in Google or Zabasearch to see if identifying information comes up and then try to get it removed.
  • Consider filing a police report for an incident. This will create a record that may help in future situations.
  • Consider filing for a protection order. Washington State law allows for a person to file a civil case in court, asking a judge to grant an order to protect them from another person whose behavior is abusive, threatening, exploitative or seriously alarming. More information about Protective Court Orders can be found on the UWPD Victim Advocate page.

For students who are also employees at UW

Administrative Policy Statement 11.7: Policy on Domestic Violence and Leave Related to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking
It is University policy to provide reasonable leave from work, intermittent leave, or leave on a reduced schedule, for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or who has a family member who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.