Title IX

Faculty & staff resources

This page includes information about supporting and assisting students, employees, or other members of the UW community who have experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct. If you have experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct and are seeking support and options, please visit the Support & Help or Reporting Options page.

A word about UW’s commitment

The University of Washington is committed to fostering an environment where discrimination, harassment, and violence are not tolerated. As we work to create a culture of prevention, we must also stop and remedy the effects of harmful behavior that has occurred. UW’s guiding values in this work are:

  • Survivor choice: providing options and support resources for the person who has experienced the unwanted behavior or harm
  • Community safety: working to prevent harm to members of the UW community
  • Equity: offering support, using equitable procedures, and ensuring due process for both/all parties

What is Title IX and why does it matter to me?

Title IX is a 1972 federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in schools, colleges, and universities. Other laws, including Title VII, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the Washington Law Against Discrimination also prohibit sex and gender discrimination. While Title IX covers all forms of sex discrimination and seeks equity and equality, the term “Title IX” is often used as a short-hand to describe the subset of policies, procedures, or programs that specifically address sexual misconduct.

Title IX applies to students, faculty and other academic personnel, staff, visitors, and guests of the University. There can be variation in how institutions of higher education apply Title IX. For more information visit the About Title IX at UW page and the FAQs about Title IX page.

When faculty & staff become aware of sexual misconduct

You are encouraged to call SafeCampus when you become aware of a situation that involves sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, domestic violence, stalking, or other sexual misconduct. Calling SafeCampus is the first step in the Title IX Response and Support protocol. While most employees are not required to report for Title IX purposes, all UW community members can choose to support students and employees by facilitating their connection to resources.

Why contact SafeCampus?

UW’s first priorities are to get support to the person who has experienced harm and to ensure they are aware of their rights and options so they can decide what next steps to take, if any. Reaching out to SafeCampus is the first step in making this connection. By contacting SafeCampus you are not making a formal complaint or initiating an investigation.

What happens when I call SafeCampus about a Title IX situation?

When you contact SafeCampus, they will provide expert consultation regarding the situation. Unless you are a Title IX Official Required to Report you can call SafeCampus anonymously and/or choose not to share the name of the person about whom you are calling. If you have limited information, that’s okay. Regardless of how much information you share, SafeCampus will:

  • Assess for any immediate safety concerns and provide options to address the concerns
  • Consult with you on your role and any next steps you need to take
  • Discuss options to provide support if the person who experienced unwanted behavior or harm wants to remain anonymous
  • Connect the person who experienced unwanted behavior or harm with a confidential advocate. Advocates provide free confidential support, discuss academic or employment concerns, and explain resources and reporting options
  • Provide the Know Your Rights and Resources Guide which includes important information and options
  • Provide support to you and referrals to additional resources as needed
  • Share the information received with the Title IX Coordinator who is responsible for assessing risk to the larger community, coordinating any necessary follow up, and identifying patterns and systemic issues related to Title IX

How can I support someone who has experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct?

Educate yourself. Review the Know Your Rights and Resources guide on the Support & Help page. This guide was developed to assist members of the UW community who have experienced unwelcome conduct or harm. Among other things, the guide includes:

  • “Where to start”—a support and reporting options map
  • Resources at UW and in the community
  • An overview of the investigation and adjudication process if someone chooses to submit a formal complaint

Demonstrate care. Your goal when responding to a disclosure is to show the person that they’re not alone. Try the following approach to demonstrate care.

  • Thank them. Saying, “I am so glad you reached out. You do not have to go through this alone,” can go a long way, especially if you’re the first person they’ve told
  • Be transparent. If you are a Title IX Official Required to Report, tell them you will need to share what they tell you with SafeCampus
  • Let them lead. Focus on how they are doing. Avoid asking detailed questions about what they experienced or telling the person what they should do. An individual may need space, time, and more information to make decisions that are right for them

Connect them with support. Let them know you want to connect them with professionals at the University who are trained to respond to situations like theirs. Title IX Official’s Required to Report have different and additional obligations. Go here to learn more. For everyone else:

  • Share resource information. Let them know that if they have immediate safety concerns SafeCampus or a confidential advocate can help them begin safety planning
  • Set clear expectations. Explain that you want to connect them with professionals at the University
  • Seek permission. Ask if it would be okay if you shared their name with SafeCampus. If they agree, let them know SafeCampus and a confidential advocate will reach out to them. Reassure them that they may choose whether to take any action, including whether to respond to any communications they receive. The decision to get support and tell their story is completely up to them
  • Offer anonymous support: If the individual who experienced the harm does not want their name shared and/or specifically asks you not to contact SafeCampus, provide them with the University’s Know Your Rights & Resources guide and encourage them to consider reaching out to a confidential advocate. You might look at the advocacy website together (screen share) so they can gain a better understanding of all the services an advocate can offer

Be aware of your response and take care of your needs tooAs someone who learned about distressing information, know that it’s also okay—and appropriate—for you to ask for help. Getting support for yourself and being able to process the situation may enable you to better support the person who has experienced harm.

If you’re a professor, colleague, or supervisor of the person who shared information with you, you may have questions about how to talk with the person who experienced the harm during future conversations. SafeCampus is able to offer resources and support.

What if the individuals involved are under 18?

University employees and volunteers must report suspected child abuse or neglect to either WA State Child Protective Services (CPS) (1-866-END-HARM/363-4276) or local law enforcement as soon as possible and no later than 48 hours after suspecting abuse has taken place. If the suspected abuse involves a UW program or UW affiliated student, employee, or volunteer, you must also contact SafeCampus immediately after reporting the incident to CPS or law enforcement. More information on reporting, including definitions of abuse and neglect can be found here

What resources are there for respondents (students or employees who have been accused of violating UW sexual misconduct policies)?

Community Standards & Student Conduct (CSSC) offers guidance and information to student respondents at all UW campuses. Employee respondents receive resources and options from staff in Human Resources, the Secretary of the Faculty, and/or the Office of the Title IX Coordinator. The Office of the Ombud is available to any student or employee seeking support or consultation.