SafeCampus history

In April 2007, the UW was deeply impacted by the on-campus shooting of a staff member by her former romantic partner. This tragedy was the culminating event in a series of relationship-violence and stalking incidents to which the University was not resourced to adequately respond.

SafeCampus, the University’s violence-prevention and response program, was one solution created to help prevent future incidents of violence. Born out of a very particular type of tragedy, SafeCampus believes it is imperative that our staff members have theoretical and practical knowledge and experience working with survivors of power-based violence and coercive control.

Our violence-prevention model

SafeCampus is built upon the best practices of threat assessment experts and scholars, to be a model of an effective program for behavioral intervention and threat assessment and management. We believe that violence can be prevented with a community-engagement model, empowering UW faculty, staff and students to alert us to concerning behaviors.

We established a dedicated phone line, with specialists taking calls to respond to individuals reporting violence, safety concerns and concerning behaviors. This response work was paired with a robust public-awareness campaign, in which we trained our community to be attentive to their colleagues and fellow students and to call SafeCampus with concerns.

Our program growth

Over the last 11 years, SafeCampus has grown to not only be the hub for violence prevention and response concerns, but also to be:

  • The University’s threat assessment and case management unit
  • The entity that provides tailored violence prevention and response training (2015)
  • The University designated intake point for suicide concerns for others (2015)
  • The designated place for consulting about Title IX disclosures (2016)
  • The University reporting entity for reports of child abuse and neglect (2018)
  • The home of the EPIC program, providing prevention of sexual harassment training to academic student employees (2018)

For these reasons, our highly specialized staff are also certified/trained in suicide and crisis response, threat assessment and management, safety planning for power-based violence and stalking, and general cyber-safety concerns.

SafeCampus has seen an enormous increase in call and case volume (including a 176% increase in cases since 2014).

  • In 2016, we managed 527 cases. Of those, 70 involved suicide concerns and 81 were Title IX related.*
  • In 2018, we received and worked on a total of 1,031 cases; 123 were suicide concerns and 271 were Title IX related.*

*”Title IX related” refers to cases that include sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, sexual exploitation, relationship or domestic violence, or retaliation for reporting one of these situations.