Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is any unwanted touching or penetration of an intimate body part of another person without that person’s consent. Consent is affirmative, conscious, voluntary, and revocable. Consent to sexual activity requires of both persons an affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. The statistics for the sexual assault of college women is staggering: one in four or five college women will be survivors of a sexual assault during their college career. Sexual assaults at UCSB are predominantly committed by men against women. However, men can be assaulted by women and same-sex assaults do occur. The majority of assaults are committed by an acquaintance of the victim and involve the use of alcohol by one or both persons. Incidents of sexual assault are against the law AND University policy.

When you become aware that a student has experienced a sexual assault or has been the recipient of inappropriate and/or unwelcome physical contact:


  1. When possible, talk to the student in private, and begin by letting the student know that there are confidential resources on campus, such as Campus Advocacy Resources & Education (CARE), Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), or the Office of the Ombuds, but that any disclosure to you must be reported to the Office of Title IX/Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance because that is your obligation as a “responsible employee" under UC policy.*
  2. Be aware that when a student discloses information about an assault to you, s/he is demonstrating trust in you and the desire for help.
  3. Be aware that victims can feel shame and anger towards themselves. Listen without conveying judgment.
  4. Provide the student with a copy of the “Resources for Those Impacted by Sexual Violence or Sexual Harassment” available at
  5. Inform the student that there is an office on campus, CARE, dedicated to providing assistance to anyone impacted by sexual violence or sexual harassment, and offer to immediately call a confidential CARE Advocate to join the meeting to discuss reporting options, accommodations, and resources. A CARE Advocate is the appropriate person to speak with the student about available assistance, how to repot, and what to expect when a report is made. Unlike most other staff and faculty, CARE Advocates are a confidential resource, so a student can share their story and/or explore their options with a CARE Advocate without a formal report being made.
  6. Suggest that the student contact CAPS for counseling and psychological support, or offer to call the CAPS office together to set up an appointment.
  7. Refer the student to the Office of Title IX/Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance if they wish to make an official report to the University, or offer to call the Title IX office together to make a report or set up an appointment. If you are a University staff member, supervisor, faculty member, teaching assistant, or perceived by the student to have such authority, please remind the student that you are a “responsible employee” per UC policy and will be making a report of the incident to the Office of Title IX/Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance. Let the student know that someone from the Title IX Compliance Office will contact them but they are not obligated to respond if they do not want to.
  8. Refer the student to the Campus Police if the student wants to make a police report and the incident occurred on campus or UCSB-owned property. If the incident occurred in Isla Vista, refer the student to the Isla Vista Foot Patrol.
  9. Inform the student that the University of California’s Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures can be accessed online at Policy for Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence. Printed copies are available through a CARE Advocate or in the Office of Title IX/Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance.
  10. Follow up with the student the next day to ensure that they are getting the assistance they want and need. 


  1. Ignore or minimize the situation.
  2. Convey negative judgment even when high-risk behavior such as intoxication is involved.
  3. Try to persuade the student to make a police report.
  4. Tell other staff members about the incident (except for those who need to know).
  5. Assure the student that you can ensure confidentiality. Once a responsible employee knows about the existence of a potential sexual assault, our institution is officially “on notice.”
  6. Delay reporting the incident to the Office of Title IX/Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance.      

*More information about your reporting obligations as a “responsible employee” under the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment is available at: