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Supporting UW scholars experiencing targeted harassment

UW scholars who are being targeted for harassment because of what they research, publish or say in the classroom may feel rightly anxious and overwhelmed. The online harassment can seem to come from nowhere and feel personal, even threatening. However, there are proven ways to outsmart harassers and help protect each other.

UW Professor Monica R. McLemore, PhD, MPH, RN, the director of the Manning Price Spratlen Center for Anti-Racism & Equity in Nursing and a reproductive justice advocate whose scientific research has been widely cited, has faced everything from credible death threats to social media campaigns targeting her work. She shared her strategies with her UW colleagues at a recent AAUP workshop, “Digital Alchemy: Equipping Educators with Tools to Outsmart Online Harassment.”

Her first tip: Surround yourself with other public scholars. It’s especially important to support scholars early in their careers.

One of her other tips is to ask for help when you need it. The UW has a new resource to help scholars who are experiencing harassment, developed with expertise from UW-IT, SafeCampus, Human Resources, the University of Washington Police Department, University Marketing & Communications and UW’s Privacy Office. The new webpage, “Support for UW scholars experiencing targeted harassment” includes information about ways to report abuse, documenting harassment — whether online or via other avenues — and protecting your personal information.

Most importantly, UW scholars do not need to face harassment on their own. There’s a community of Huskies who are here to help. Check out the website to learn more.