Sexual Assault Resources

Reporting Options

Reporting is both a right and an individual choice.

If you are considering reporting you may want to:

Even if you choose not to submit a report or formal complaint, you still have the right to request changes to your academic, living, and working situations. Review the Supportive Measures and Survivor Resources pages to learn more.

Making a Title IX report

All UW staff, faculty, and students, as well as members of the public, are encouraged to share Title IX-related concerns through the online Title IX reporting form. Most employees and students can choose to remain anonymous.

Why submit a Title report?

  • You have experienced violence, harassment, or discrimination and want to learn about your rights, resources, and supportive measures
  • You are seeking information about how to support a colleague, student, or friend
  • You want to make the University aware of a situation you experienced or witnessed
  • You are an Employee Required to Report
  • You want to learn about the option of submitting a formal complaint to the UW Civil Rights Investigation Office.

Where do I submit a Title IX report?

Access the Title IX reporting form on the Make a Title IX report page. On that page, you can learn more about what happens when a Title IX report is submitted and how to submit a report anonymously.

Making a formal complaint to UW

A formal complaint is a request for a University investigation of a UW policy violation. You have the right to submit a formal complaint about sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, or sexual harassment to the UW Civil Rights Investigation Office.

A University investigation is separate from any investigation the police might conduct.

What behaviors does UW policy prohibit?

Learn more about UW policies related to sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, discrimination, and retaliation at Title IX Policies.

Where do I submit a formal complaint?

To submit a formal complaint, schedule an intake with the Civil Rights Investigation Office. The Office of the Title IX Coordinator can connect you with the Investigations Office or you can contact the Investigations Office directly.

What should I expect when submitting a formal complaint?

Initial Assessment
If you choose to make a formal complaint, an investigator meets with you to provide information about the investigation process, and to gather information about what happened. After an initial review of the information you shared, the investigator will inform you whether the University may conduct an investigation.

Investigators receive regular training on issues of sexual violence, including about working with individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct. The assigned investigator will investigate the reported incident by gathering evidence and interviewing 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.

The investigator will review all available information to determine whether a University policy has been violated. The University uses a “preponderance of evidence” standard in its determinations. A “preponderance of evidence” means the investigator will determine 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 be informed of the outcome and whether there is an option to seek additional review.

In accordance with the Student Conduct Code, Executive Order No. 70, or Faculty Code, in some matters a hearing may be convened where a hearing officer or panel of faculty assesses the evidence relating to the allegations, makes findings, and determines appropriate sanctions or remedies, if any. Both you and the respondent will be informed of the investigation’s outcome and whether there is an option to seek an appeal.

Both you and the respondent may be accompanied to any hearing by an advisor of your choice. The advisor may be an attorney. In some cases, you may be required to have an advisor. If you choose to submit a formal complaint and a hearing will occur, you will receive additional information at that time about the hearing.

Disciplinary action
If the respondent is found responsible for violating University policy or code, sanctions or disciplinary actions are available. What happens will depend 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 a reprimand. Depending on the terms and type of employment, employees may face termination of employment, suspension, and/or other types of corrective action.

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

Making a report to the police

Filing a police report and criminal or civil charges is a personal choice that requires consideration of all the available options.

Where do I make a police report?

For emergencies call 911 to be connected with your local police department. 

Bothell Campus

You can contact the Bothell Police Department at their non-emergency line at 425-486-1254 or use theironline reporting form.

Seattle Campus 

You can contact the University of Washington Police Department on their non-emergency phone line at 206-685-8973 or use theironline reporting form.

If the incident occurred off-campus you can contact the Seattle Police Department at their non-emergency phone line 206.625.5011 or use their online reporting form for some types of incidents. 

Tacoma Campus 

You can contact the Tacoma Police Department on their non-emergency phone line 253-287-4455 or use theironline reporting form for some types of incidents. 

What should I expect when filing a police report?

Filing a police report

A police report documents the incident and is the first step toward the filing of criminal charges. When you contact the police to make the report, an officer will meet with you at a location where you choose to take the report. You have the right to have a support person or confidential advocate with you during the conversation.
The officer will ask you detailed questions about the incident and gather information about any witnesses and the perpetrator. The process may end here as many police departments will accommodate the choice to report to police and not prosecute. Most police departments allow victims to file incident reports without pressure to go further. You may wish to only file a report, to qualify for victim compensation or establish a record.


A report to police goes to the police unit in the precinct where the assault occurred. This could be the UW Police Department, Seattle Police Department, Tacoma Police Department, Bothell Police Department, or another. A detective who specializes in sexual misconduct cases will be assigned and will usually call you within a few days to ask more questions and discuss the case. The detective will investigate the incident by gathering evidence — including any physical evidence collected during a medical exam by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) — and interviewing witnesses and the alleged perpetrator. The detective will compile the information they learned and provide it to the County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Filing criminal charges

A prosecuting attorney will review the detective’s investigation and determine if there is enough evidence to move forward, thereby officially charging the alleged perpetrator with a crime. The prosecuting attorney bases their decision on whether there is enough evidence to prove the case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Although you will not be able to control whether your case is prosecuted, most prosecutors will not go forward without your consent. Once you report an assault to the police, you become a witness in the state’s case against the alleged perpetrator. Prosecutors typically consider various factors in determining whether to prosecute without the victim’s consent, including whether there is sufficient evidence to support a conviction without the victim’s testimony, whether the victim has been threatened into not cooperating, and whether there are other reasons a victim may not want to participate. Rarely will a sexual assault victim be forced to participate as a witness in criminal proceedings against their will.

If the prosecutor does not think there is strong evidence, the case will not go forward. This does not mean that the assault did not occur. You still have other options; for example, you may want to consider filing a civil lawsuit.

Civil charges

Filing a civil lawsuit involves contacting a private attorney who will represent you in bringing charges against the individual who assaulted you.