Sexual Assault Resources

Safety planning

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

UW safety plan

A safety plan can be developed according to your unique circumstances to help you limit or 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. You can work with University advocates or SafeCampus to create a safety plan, even if you chose not to make a report to the police or request a formal University investigation.

General safety planning

Sometimes sexual assault can happen in the context of a dating relationship, which raises 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 react quickly in case of an emergency. Some things to consider include:

  • Who you can call when you need help. Alert people you trust about your safety concerns.  Identify which friends, family members, roommates, or others, such as a boss, a professor or a counselor who would be willing to help you. Always call 911 if you are in immediate danger.
  • Safe places. Locate 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 may reach the safe place, whether you can drive yourself, take a bus, or find a friend to drive you.
  • 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, and/or passport, keys, a copy of any 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 actions like changing locks, moving your furniture around for an easy escape, and 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, SnapChat, Instagram or other networking websites, and departmental and class websites and listservs among others. You might search for yourself to see what identifying information comes up and then decide whether to remove anything.
  • Consider filing a police report for an incident. You will create a record that may help in future situations.
  • Consider filing for a protection order. Washington law allows 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 protection orders can be found on the Washington State Protection Order Resources website.  You are encouraged to consult with a confidential advocate prior to seeking a protection order.

For employees at UW

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