Office of the President

November 15, 2021

We all share responsibility for preventing sex- and gender-based violence and harassment

Ana Mari Cauce


UW SafeCampus
Serves members of the UW community on all campuses

Office of the Title IX Coordinator

Sexual Assault Resources LiveWell Student Advocacy
Serves Seattle campus students

UW Bothell Violence Prevention and Advocacy Manager
Serves UW Bothell students

Title IX Notice – UW Bothell

UW Tacoma Confidential Advocate
Serves UW Tacoma students

Equity and inclusion are requirements for achieving our mission of learning and discovery. Only in an environment where everyone feels welcomed and respected can we all do our best work – the important work of meeting serious and pressing challenges through education, research, patient care and public service. Every person – in our community and beyond it – is entitled to live free of sex- and gender-based violence and harassment, and it is our shared responsibility to prevent all forms of violence, harassment and misconduct. Equally, we must ensure that if misconduct occurs, we are prepared as individuals and as an institution to provide support and resources to survivors, to ensure they feel empowered to report, and that they are supported throughout the process of addressing it.

As a member of the leadership board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, I am especially invested in addressing and preventing sexual harassment across all disciplines and among all people in higher education, and without question, that begins with our own University.

Thanks to the excellent work of the UW’s tri-campus Office of the Title IX Coordinator, and our Title IX Coordinator Valery Richardson, our community has a rich set of resources for consultation, training and guidance to ensure we each understand our part in preventing and responding with care to sex- and gender-based violence and harassment.

The UW now requires all incoming students and new employees to complete the Husky Prevention & Response course – a foundational training that is tailored differently for students and employees to help them seek resources as well as recognize, interrupt, prevent and report sex- and gender-based violence and harassment. Over the coming year, all UW employees will be expected to complete the 60-90 minute online course. More information will be shared in winter quarter. In the meantime, any employee can complete the training now. I thank the Title IX Training & Education working committee, including co-chairs Kiana Swearingen and Elizabeth Wilmerding, and all the students, faculty, staff and community members who provided input and guidance in developing this course.

We have also revamped and formalized our policies about required Title IX reporting – that is, which University officials are required to contact SafeCampus if they learn of an incident of sex- or gender-based violence or harassment. While every member of our community is encouraged to support survivors by contacting SafeCampus if they have a concern or learn of troubling behavior, our policy established who must report and what information they must share. This approach reduces the likelihood that we will create more harm for survivors by sharing information they are not prepared to share, or by taking action that could create more harm or trauma for that individual. Learn more about what happens when you call SafeCampus and how you can support someone who has experienced misconduct at our Title IX Faculty and Staff Resources site.

Finally, if you have experienced sexual assault, relationship violence, domestic violence, stalking or sexual harassment, I encourage you contact an advocate directly. Advocates can assist you in making a safety plan, discuss options for medical and mental health care, provide information about your rights and reporting options, and assist in arranging for supportive measures such as mutual no contact directives. Communication with advocates is confidential, as are communications with mental health counselors and medical care professionals. SafeCampus, which is available at all times for all UW campuses and locations, also provides support and consultation to survivors as well as anyone who may be assisting or seeking support for someone else. SafeCampus can also be contacted anonymously and individuals (other than required reporters) can choose how much to share. Both SafeCampus staff and confidential advocates bring a survivor-centered and trauma-informed approach to this work.

As a community, it has been inspiring to see how we have been caring for each other in these first months back on campus after the worst of the pandemic. Taking collective responsibility for preventing and addressing sex- and gender-based violence and harassment is part of that same spirit of empathy, care and concern that makes this such a wonderful community to be a part of, and such an outstanding place to do our best work as our best selves.