Sexual Violence means physical sexual acts without the consent of the other person or when the other person is unable to give consent. Sexual violence includes sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
Sexual Assault occurs when physical, sexual activity is engaged in without the consent of the other person, or when the other person is unable to consent to the activity. The activity or conduct may include physical force, violence, threat, intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person's intoxication or incapacitation (through the use of drugs or alcohol) or taking advantage of the other person's intoxication (including voluntary intoxication).
Sexual Harassment includes behavior such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other conduct of a sexual nature. It is conduct that affects a person's employment or education or interferes with a person's work or educational performance or creates an environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive.
For more information about these and other frequently used terms, visit our Glossary page.
Consent is an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision by each participant to mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent is voluntary and must be given without coercion, force, threats or intimidation.
Consent is revocable. Consent to some form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent on one occasion is not consent to engage in sexual activity on another occasion. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. Even in the context of a relationship, there must be mutual consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked any time. Once consent is withdrawn, the sexual activity must stop immediately.
Consent cannot be given when someone is incapacitated, unconscious, coming in and out of consciousness, or if that person's understanding of the act is affected by a physical or mental impairment.
UC expects every member of the university community to be respectful of others and to help foster a safe environment free of harassment, exploitation and intimidation. Everyone at UC — students, faculty, academic appointees and staff — has a responsibility to know and comply with UC's Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, codes of conduct and relevant state laws. UC also expects everyone to take the education and training courses offered by the university. Faculty, other academic appointees and staff are required to take sexual harassment prevention training as required. Managers, supervisors and certain employees, such as athletic coaches, faculty advisors, teaching assistants and resident advisors, are required to promptly forward reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment to the Title IX Officer.
Yes. Every UC location provides education and training to help all members of the campus community better understand sexual violence and how to prevent it. Starting in fall 2014, UC campuses offered systemwide sexual violence training to all incoming students. To find out how to access the education and training at your campus, visit our Education and Training webpage.
Starting July 2015, UC will begin implementing a comprehensive systemwide sexual violence prevention and intervention training and education plan for all members of the UC community — students, staff, faculty and other academic appointees. This plan will augment existing training.
If you are in immediate danger or need immediate medical attention, call 911.
If you are not in immediate danger:
Yes. CARE advocates as well as the Employee Assistance Program staff are confidential resources that are available to help you. Speaking to these resources will not trigger an investigation and personally identifiable information, such as your name, will be kept confidential, consistent with legal requirements.
Yes. Regardless of whether you decide to file a report, the university has many resources available to you, such as counseling and academic support.
If you are an undergraduate or graduate student, your campus CARE advocate can provide immediate confidential support, explain the campus resources available and help you access the ones you want. Here are some examples of resources and services:
If you are a faculty member, other academic appointee, or staff member, you can talk one-on-one with the trained professionals on your campus who can offer confidential support and help you identify other available resources.
To learn more about options available to you, visit your campus website.
If your friend or colleague is in immediate danger or needs immediate medical attention, call 911.
If there is no immediate danger, let your friend or colleague know university resources are available:
Yes. Confidential support is available to help any undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled at UC or any UC faculty, academic appointee or staff member, regardless of whether the sexual violence occurred on or off campus.
In addition, we understand that some people may have experienced sexual violence before coming to UC and may be seeking support services. Your campus advocate can talk to you about resources, including connecting you with trained psychological counselors.
Yes. If you are a student, you can speak confidentially to your campus CARE Advocate, who can walk you through your options to report — as well as the option not to report — and answer questions you may have. If you are a faculty member, other academic appointee, or staff member, you can speak confidentially to the trained professionals at CARE Advocate or the Academic & Staff Assistance Program..
Talking to a CARE advocate or the Academic & Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) staff does not constitute filing an official report with the university.
There are a couple of different options for filing a formal report. You may file a formal administrative report with the campus through the Title IX & Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance Office. In addition, you can file an incident (for documentation only) or criminal report (for prosecution) with the UCSB Police Department if the violence happened on campus. If the violence occurred off campus, you can file an incident or criminal report with local law enforcement, such as the city police or county sheriff’s office.
There is also an avenue for anonymous reporting; please keep in mind that with anonymous reporting, the ability to conduct an investigation and take disciplinary action for the accused may be limited, depending on the information that’s given. You can learn more about these options and what to expect in our Reporting section for students at the Office of Judicial Affairs Hate Incidents page or at the UC system-wide reporting website for staff and faculty.
It depends on which reporting option you choose. For example, if you report to your campus Title IX officer, the university will make every effort to protect your privacy to the greatest legal extent possible. However, some UC personnel who are involved in your case will have access to your information, and your name may be shared with the accused if there is an investigation and/or adjudication.
If you decide to file a police report, you can request your name and address remain confidential. If you request that your name and address remain confidential, and if the police report results in criminal charges being filed and a trial, your name and address may be shared with prosecutors or other individuals authorized by law, but your name will not be subject to disclosure in publicly available records.
Because confidentiality issues can be complex, it’s best to speak with your campus CARE advocate if you have additional questions about what happens with your personal information if you report.
It will depend on the information that is given. The university or police, depending on which option you choose, will review the facts you provide and other information available to determine what actions should be taken.
It will depend on the investigation's findings. After the investigation is completed, the university will determine if a disciplinary proceeding should be held.
UC takes reports of sexual violence very seriously. If you decide to report to the university and if an investigation finds that an individual has violated the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy or other university policies, the university will hold a disciplinary proceeding during which they will decide what disciplinary action will be taken.
Retaliation against a person who brings a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual violence, or someone who participates in an investigation or resolution of a complaint such as a witness, is strictly prohibited under UC policy. The university will respond to reports of retaliation and may take separate disciplinary action to address such reports.
Under the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, any UC employee who is not identified as a confidential resource is a “Responsible Employee” required to report sexual violence, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by the policy to the Title IX officer or designee.
There are different reporting responsibilities, depending on whether the incident involves a student or a non-student.
All UC employees: All UC employees who are not designated as confidential must inform the Title IX officer if they become aware that a student (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) has experienced sexual violence, sexual harassment, or other behavior prohibited by the university’s policy. This includes managers and supervisors, all faculty (including faculty advisors), all staff, athletic coaches and student employees. Responsible employees include both represented and non-represented employees.
Faculty, managers and supervisors, Human Resources, Academic Personnel and campus police: All managers and supervisors, Human Resources, Academic Personnel, faculty and campus police must inform the Title IX officer if they receive a report of prohibited behavior from anyone affiliated with the university, which includes faculty, staff and others affiliated with the university.
Yes. All UC employees, including those who don’t directly supervise anyone, are Responsible Employees who must notify the Title IX officer if, while they’re working, they learn that a student may have experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment.
Yes. Resident advisors, teaching assistants and all other student employees are Responsible Employees when, while they’re working, they learn about a student experiencing sexual violence or sexual harassment.
As a Responsible Employee, you must contact your campus Title IX office as soon as possible when you learn of an incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment and share whatever information you have, including the names of any individuals involved, their contact information, and any details of the incident you have.
As a Responsible Employee, you should report directly to the Title IX office, even if you are unsure that the incident actually occurred or unsure whether it constitutes sexual harassment or sexual violence. You should not investigate the report, and should not try to intervene or resolve the issue.
The Title IX officer will assess the information you provide, and will work with the appropriate people to determine next steps.
While information must be provided to the Title IX office, responsible employees should not discuss the case with other people who do not have a legitimate need to know.
The Title IX officer will evaluate the report and respond as outlined under university policy. The Title IX officer will reach out to the person who reported experiencing the sexual violence or sexual harassment to provide information about confidential resources and reporting options. This outreach allows the person to make an informed choice about how they wish to proceed.
Before the individual tells you about an incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment, you should inform the person that you are a Responsible Employee and that you are required to report incidents of sexual violence, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited by university policy to the Title IX officer. You should tell the person that you cannot keep reports of sexual harassment or sexual violence confidential, but that the Title IX officer will consider requests for confidentiality.
You should also inform the person telling you about sexual violence or sexual harassment that there are confidential resources available to them, including the CARE Advocate Office, which serves survivors of sexual violence and sexual harassment. Providing this information upfront allows the individual to decide whether to talk to you or go to a confidential resource.
Employees can contact their location’s Title IX office for guidance and advice about how to fulfill their Responsible Employee obligations.
CARE advocates work with student survivors of sexual violence, sexual assault, domestic/dating violence and stalking to provide confidential emotional support and assistance. In addition, advocates work with survivors to access campus resources such as psychological counseling, medical care, emergency housing, transportation and academic needs.
If you have experienced sexual violence, advocates can explain your options for filing a formal report with law enforcement or the university — as well as the option not to report. If you choose to file a formal report, the advocate will help you navigate the reporting process and help coordinate services on your behalf with other agencies, including campus and community services and police.
The CARE Advocate Office is student focused at most campuses. At some campuses, the advocate office also provides confidential support to faculty and staff who have experienced sexual violence. The CARE Charter is available here.
To reach a CARE advocate now, visit our Get Help page. Advocacy services are available 24 hours a day.
The advocate office, CARE: Campus Advocacy, Resources & Education, was created at every UC campus to provide dedicated, full-time support to survivors of sexual violence, both immediately and over the long term. These dedicated offices ensure that survivors can reach an advocate whose sole responsibility is to support their needs.
The advocate office, which launched systemwide in January 2015, is one of seven recommendations from the President's Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault.
CARE advocates are trained to address sexual violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating and domestic violence.
Yes. The CARE advocates are a confidential resource, which means personally identifiable information, such as your name or address, will not be disclosed to the campus or law enforcement without your consent.
No. Your CARE advocate can explain your reporting options — including the option not to report — but speaking with the advocate about your options does not constitute filing an official report or complaint with the university. Filing a report is a different step and if you choose to report, the campus advocate can connect you with the appropriate office and support you during the reporting process.
Yes. You can bring a family member, friend or colleague with you. The CARE advocate can explain issues related to confidentiality and privilege of information, even when other people are present.
Yes. The CARE advocate is available to help any undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled at UC, regardless of whether the sexual violence occurred on or off campus. In addition, we understand that some people may have experienced sexual violence in the past and may be seeking support. Your campus advocate can talk to you about resources, including helping you access trained psychological counselors and local support groups.
At some campuses, the advocate office also provides confidential support to faculty and staff who have experienced sexual violence.
Faculty and staff who want help or guidance on handling a student report of sexual violence can contact the campus CARE advocate.
If you are a faculty member, other academic appointee or staff member who has experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment, trained professionals on your campus offer confidential counseling and can also connect you with additional campus resources, such as where to go if you want to file a report. Faculty members may also contact their Academic Personnel Office regarding their academic rights. .
Undergraduate Students: All incoming undergraduate students are required to take the education and training program at UCSB within the first six weeks of class. Starting in fall 2015, all continuing undergraduate students are required to take ongoing education and training annually.
Prior to their arrival on campus, new students will receive emails from UCSB containing information related to registration for their required education and training. Continuing students will receive information about their required education and training during the academic year.
Graduate and Professional Students: UCSB's Graduate Division requires all entering graduate and professional students to complete sexual harassment prevention training during their first year of attendance. This training must be completed by May of the same academic year. Starting in fall 2015, all continuing graduate and professional students are required to take ongoing education and training annually.
For more information about how graduate and professional students can fulfill this education and training requirement at UCSB, visit the TA & Graduate Student Sexual Harassment Prevention Training webpage.
Faculty and Supervisors: Faculty and supervisors are required to complete two hours of sexual harassment prevention training every two years, and new faculty and supervisors are required to take training within the first six months of hire. Starting January 2016, a systemwide faculty training and education plan will be implemented that will revise the content in the current sexual harassment prevention training so that it meets UC’s systemwide curriculum. This will include additional training for those who work directly with students such as faculty student advisors. Faculty and supervisors will also receive training on their legal obligations to report sexual violence.
Staff and academic appointees who are not supervisors: Starting December 2015, a systemwide staff training and education plan will be implemented that will require new employees to receive training within the first six weeks of hire. Additionally, continuing staff will receive training annually. Designated employees who are required to report sexual violence to a Title IX Officer (sexual harassment officer) will receive training on their legal obligations.
The key concepts covered in UC’s systemwide curriculum are:
For students, education and training is an annual requirement as part of UC’s efforts to prevent sexual violence on campuses. The systemwide education and training program for faculty and staff is being developed, and is expected to include training every year.
The core elements of the curriculum are consistent across the UC system; however, campuses have flexibility in the way they deliver the UC systemwide curriculum. For example, some campuses offer an online course while others provide in-person training.
The key concepts are the same for all audiences, but the curriculum is tailored to what each audience needs to know. For example, faculty, other supervisors, and staff (including academic personnel who are not supervisors) will receive tailored training on their legal responsibilities to report sexual violence as well as how to help students affected by sexual violence.
The plan is to revise the content in the current sexual harassment prevention training so that it meets UC’s systemwide curriculum. Specifically, the revised content will provide information for faculty and supervisors on how to notify the university if they receive an allegation of sexual violence/assault/harassment. Faculty and academic appointees who work directly with students would be required to take additional training.
You can speak to trained campus respondent services coordinators, who can help you understand your rights, explain the investigation and adjudication process, and refer you to campus and community resources that you may need.
The respondent services coordinator can:
As a general practice, respondent services coordinators will request written consent from you before sharing personally identifiable information that you’ve provided.
Respondent services coordinators are not required by state or federal law to keep information confidential. If the university receives a court order to provide information, the respondent services coordinator will be legally required to disclose it. In this scenario, the coordinator will try to inform you that information will be disclosed beforehand, if possible.
You have the right to due process, meaning you have the right to be notified of the allegations and an opportunity to respond to those allegations. You also have the right to understand the university’s investigation and adjudication process. The campus respondent services coordinators can explain your rights to you and refer you to campus and community resources you may need, such as for alternative housing and academic changes.
Hiring an attorney is a personal decision. The respondent services coordinators can refer you to legal services that may be available to help you better understand your options.
Undergraduate and graduate students who have experienced sexual violence can speak confidentially to a Campus CARE Advocate to understand their rights and reporting options, including the option not to report. Students will also receive written explanations of these rights and reporting options. In addition, CARE advocates will inform students about counseling and other support resources that are available. Students accused of sexual violence or sexual harassment can refer to one of UCSB’s Respondent Services Coordinators to help them understand their rights, the university’s investigation and adjudication process, and available resources.
If a student decides to file a report of sexual violence or sexual harassment with the university, UCSB’s Title IX & Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance Office will conduct a fair, thorough and impartial investigation and make factual findings and a recommendation as to whether a policy violation has occurred.
The Office of Judicial Affairs will review the investigation report and determine if the allegations have been substantiated and if UC’s Sexual Violence/Sexual Harassment policy has been violated. Both students will have an opportunity to meet with the Office of Judicial Affairs before a final decision is made. If there has been a policy violation, the Office of Judicial Affairs will assess the disciplinary sanction(s). Students will be notified of any sanctions within 10 business days of the notice of findings, as well as options for appealing.
Campuses have long had investigation and adjudication processes in place to respond to reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment.
The new systemwide model for complaints against students establishes a consistent and efficient process for the investigation and adjudication of complaints of sexual violence and sexual harassment against students, and assigns specific authority, roles, and responsibilities to certain offices to ensure consistency across the UC system. The new model outlines a trauma-informed (using practices that are sensitive to those who have experienced trauma) and fair process for the student filing the complaint (complainant) and the student responding to the complaint (respondent), allowing both an equal opportunity to be heard, to offer witnesses and evidence, to comment, and to appeal. It also sets projected timeframes for the investigation, adjudication, and appeals process in order to provide a prompt and effective response to complaints.
No. When the university learns of an incident of alleged sexual violence or sexual harassment, it will work with the complainant to put into place appropriate interim measures as needed to ensure the complainant’s safety, well-being, and equal access to university programs and activities. These measures could include no contact orders, housing assistance, academic support and accommodations, counseling, or other appropriate actions as needed.
When determining a sanction, the Office of Judicial Affairs will consider the violation itself as well as other factors including the severity of the sexual violence or sexual harassment. The university’s model establishes a range of potential sanctions for each offense that all Offices of Student Conduct systemwide will consider, depending on the violation and the particular circumstances of the case.
Sanctions can range, depending on the offense, up to dismissal from the university for the most serious matters.
Yes. Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to appeal the findings and/or the sanction by submitting a written request to the Office of Judicial Affairs within 10 business days of receiving written notice of the decision and any sanctions that may be imposed. The appeal should identify the reason(s) the student is challenging the outcome, under one or more of the grounds outlined in the model.
An appeal board, made up of one to three appropriately trained individuals, will hear the matter and decide whether to uphold, overturn, or modify the decision or sanctions.
If the appeal board upholds the decision, then the matter is over. If the appeal board overturns or modifies either the findings or the sanctions, either student has one additional opportunity to appeal by submitting a written request to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs within 5 business days.
No, there is no additional appeal after the Vice Chancellor’s decision. The two-level appeal process is designed to ensure a fair independent review in the event a student disagrees with a decision.
UCSB aims to complete investigations and determine any disciplinary sanctions within 60 University business days. If a student files an appeal, UCSB will aim to complete the entire process — investigation, adjudication and appeal — within 120 University business days from the date the Title IX office receives the report of sexual violence or sexual harassment. The timeframes are designed to bring a timely resolution for both the complainant and respondent.
The appropriate campus personnel will keep both students informed throughout the process.
Generally, the complainant and respondent will be notified of each other’s identity, in order to conduct a fair investigation.
The university will make every effort to protect the confidentiality and privacy of both the complainant and the respondent to the extent permitted by law and UC policy. Some UCSB personnel who are involved in the case will necessarily have access to personal information, including identifying information, in order to effectively respond to the complaint and maintain a safe environment for students.
The new model provides equal opportunities for the complainant and respondent to comment during the investigation and adjudication process and to offer witnesses and evidence. Both students also have an equal right to appeal a decision or sanction, and to participate during the appeal process.
Because these processes can be complex, all UC campuses provide resources to help both student complainants and respondents understand their rights and the investigation and adjudication process. Complainants can contact a confidential Campus CARE Advocate and respondents can learn more about the Respondent Services Coordinators. Both resources also provide referrals to other services, such as counseling and academic support. Both students may be accompanied by a support person and an advisor of their choice, including an attorney, at any stage of the process.
UCSB aims to provide clear, timely and consistent communication. The appropriate campus personnel will keep the complainant and respondent informed throughout the process. They will each receive a letter notifying them when an investigation begins. At the end of the investigation, they will each be notified of the investigation’s factual findings and recommendations about policy violations, and given a copy of the report. Both students also will receive the decision about whether the charges were substantiated, any sanctions imposed, and options to appeal. If either student chooses to appeal, both students can participate in the appeal and will be notified of the results of the appeal.
A joint committee of the UC Administration and the Academic Senate, which includes student representatives, has been formed and will develop recommendations on handling cases of sexual violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment involving UC faculty. The committee will present recommendations to President Napolitano by Feb. 29, 2016.
After the work of the joint committee on faculty is completed, the university plans to review existing processes, adjudication standards, and sanctions for cases that involve staff members.
The President’s Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault formed a working group, comprised of Title IX officers, Student Conduct Officers, Vice Chancellors of Student Affairs, students, ombuds, CARE advocates, campus police, compliance, legal counsel, and Regents that developed the model and this systemwide framework.
In addition to having students on the working group, the committee also consulted with a wide range of UC students — both undergraduate and graduate students — throughout the process. The workgroup also reviewed procedures in place at other universities around the country, and consulted with UC law professors as well as nationally recognized experts in sexual violence and higher education law.
Training has been occurring throughout the year on conducting investigations and hearings consistent with trauma-informed practices. In the time leading up to the January 2016 implementation, the university has trained campus stakeholders, including Title IX officers, Offices of Student Conduct, investigators, and individuals responsible for hearing appeals on the new systemwide standards, so these new procedures are implemented consistently across all campuses. These employees will also receive ongoing training.
Yes. UC will be reviewing and evaluating the model with input from students, Title IX officers, Student Conduct offices, and other stakeholders, to ensure it effectively addresses reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment. In addition, as legal requirements change or are updated, the university will revisit its policies and programs to ensure compliance.
You can find UC’s and UCSB’s policies and codes of conduct on UCSB’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response website.