Sexual Violence Prevention & Response

The UCSF Police Department places a high value on the safety of its community members. The UC Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence prohibits all forms of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking. Additionally, California law prohibits acts of sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking – these acts are crimes.

Please see the following link to the UCSF Rights, Options & Resources for Survivors of Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking.

Also, see the following link for information relating to Sexual Violence Prevention & Response (OPHD) at UCSF.

For more information regarding the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 (VAWA) see the following links:

University of California Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy

For the full text of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 see the following link.

The sections below provide information about sexual violence and related resources for all members of the campus community:

Sexual Assault

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is any unwanted, non-consensual sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced or forced to comply against their will, or where a person is unable to give consent because they are a minor, unconscious, asleep or incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol. Sexual assault can include unwanted, non-consensual oral, anal or vaginal sexual intercourse, penetration with a foreign object (i.e. fingers, sex toys, etc.) or sexual battery (non-consensual touching of the breasts, buttocks or genitalia).

Perpetrators of sexual assault may be known or unknown to the victim; they might be a date, partner, spouse, acquaintance, family member or stranger.

In California, consent is defined as positive cooperation; it must be freely and voluntarily given, and all participants must have knowledge and understanding of the act. Consent cannot be given where:

  • Force, threat of force, coercion or fraud is used to gain compliance
  • Someone is incapacitated due to alcohol or other drug use
  • Someone is asleep or unconscious
  • Someone is under the legal age of consent (18 years old in California)

Consent can also be revoked, even in the middle of a sex act. If someone physically or verbally communicates to the other person that they do not wish to continue with the sexual act or encounter, that other person must immediately stop. If they do not stop when asked, any sex act after consent has been revoked is considered assault.

See the following link for the University of California Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy:

What should I do if I'm a victim of sexual assault?

The first thing you should know is that sexual assault is NEVER the victim’s fault.

Your safety is most important; please make sure you are in a safe place. If you have any injuries that need medical attention, you may choose to go to the hospital or to Student Health & Counseling. Student Health & Counseling may also be able to help you obtain testing for sexually transmitted infections and emergency contraception. 

If the sexual assault happened within 72 hours, you may choose to have an evidentiary exam in order to collect evidence of the assault. Usually, law enforcement approves the exam for evidentiary purposes; however, if you are not sure you want to report the assault to the police, you may be eligible for an exam as specified by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). A VAWA exam may allow you to have evidence collected while it’s still possible, and give you some time to think about reporting the crime.

Please note that the UCSF Student Health & Counseling does not conduct evidentiary exams. These exams are provided at San Francisco Trauma Recovery Center. For more information about the evidentiary exam process and purpose, please contact the San Francisco Women Against Rape Crisis Center and Counseling at 415/647-7273 or at

Dating/Domestic Violence

What is Dating/Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is defined as abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse or former spouse, cohabitant or former cohabitant, or someone with whom the abuser has a child, and has an existing dating or engagement relationship, or has had a former dating or engagement relationship.

Dating Violence is defined as abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.

Dating/domestic violence can affect any kind of relationship, including relationships that involve partners from different genders, the same gender, or polyamorous relationships.  The abuser can identify as male, female or another gender; the victim may also identify as male, female or another gender. 

If you have concerns about your relationship or feel that you might be experiencing dating or domestic violence, please seek out support.  There are several confidential resources on campus and in the community that may be able to help you.  For more information about dating or domestic violence, or to speak with someone about safety planning, please see the Resources/Contact Information section below.

Please see the following links for more information on domestic violence:

The Facts on Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence in the Workplace

Domestic Violence and Health Care

Domestic Violence and Children

Domestic Violence, Teenagers and Intimate Partner Violence

10 Things Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violence

Community Resources


What is stalking?

Stalking is behavior in which a person repeatedly engages in conduct directed at a specific person that places that person in reasonable fear of his or her safety or the safety of others.

Stalking behaviors may include:

  • Following you and showing up wherever you are.
  • Sending unwanted gifts, letters, cards, e-mails or text messages.
  • Damaging your home, car, or other property.
  • Monitoring your phone calls or computer use.
  • Using technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
  • Driving by or hanging out at your home, school, or work.
  • Threatening to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
  • Other actions that control, track, or frighten you.

 Steps to take if you are being stalked

  • Typically, the first step in getting unwanted contact to stop is to tell the person initiating the contact to stop their behavior.  This can be useful when you know the person and/or the stalking hasn’t escalated to threats of violence.  This step may not be possible if you feel it is unsafe.
  • It is important to document all stalking behaviors and unwanted contact.  You can do this by keeping a log of the date, time, type of contact, any witnesses and any actions you took – including reporting the behavior.
  • Stalking is a crime and also prohibited by UC policy – you have the right to report the stalking behavior.

If you would like to speak with someone confidentially about your options or safety, please see the Resources/Contact Information section below. The UCSF Care Advocate may also be able to help you obtain a restraining order.

Reporting Sexual Violence

Students should not be deterred from reporting a sexual assault because they were intoxicated at the time of their assault.  Students who disclose they were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs during the process of reporting a sexual assault will not be disciplined.

Reporting to law enforcement

If you would like to report to the police, the first step is to determine which law enforcement agency to report to; this is based on the location of the sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, or stalking. For example, if the incident occurred on UCSF property, the report would be made to the UCSF Police Department.

Generally, a report to the police will involve speaking with a first-response patrol officer who will make sure you are safe, gather basic information about the incident, and evaluate the need for a medical exam to collect evidence. If an evidentiary exam is necessary, the exam is NOT done by the officer; it is conducted by a specially trained medical practitioner. You might also be contacted by a detective for a follow up interview to obtain a more extensive account of what occurred. As a victim of sexual assault or sexual violence, you have a right to have a victim advocate present with you during the evidentiary exam and all law enforcement and prosecutor interviews.

Local Law Enforcement Agencies:

The UCSF Care Advocate can help you to determine which law enforcement agency to contact if you wish to report the assault to the police. 

Risk Reduction

It is important to remember that while we can take steps to minimize risk, the only person to blame when sexual violence occurs is the perpetrator.

Strategies you can use to minimize risk of sexual assault include:

  • Trust your gut instinct. If a situation doesn’t feel right, don’t worry about offending someone, just leave.
  • Notice when someone doesn’t respect your boundaries. Don’t be afraid to assert your right to have your boundaries respected.
  • Most perpetrators of sexual violence will look for vulnerable targets: appear to not be aware of their surroundings, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, isolated from their friends, etc.
  • Control access to your home, dorm room or car by locking your doors and closing windows if they provide easy access
  • Travel in groups when possible
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help in situations where you feel unsafe: ask for an escort to your car, tell your friends you want to leave the party, ask a friend to stay with you, etc.

Warning Signs of an Abusive Personality

It is sometimes possible to predict the likelihood of the person you are currently dating, or are about to become involved with, becoming abusive. Below is a list of behaviors and traits that are common in abusive personalities. These are commonly known as Warning Signs.

While not all abusive people show the same signs, or display the tendencies to the same extent, if several behavioral of these traits are present, there is a strong tendency the person may become abusive. Generally, the more signs that are present the greater the likelihood of violence. In some cases, an abuser may have only a couple of behavioral traits that can be recognized, but they are exaggerated (e.g. extreme jealousy over ridiculous things).

Often the abuser will initially try to explain their behavior as signs of their love and concern, and the victim may be flattered at first; as time goes on, the behaviors become more severe and serve to dominate, control and manipulate the victim.

If you have concerns about your relationship or feel that you might be experiencing dating or domestic violence, please seek out support. There are several confidential resources on campus and in the community that may be able to help you. For more information about dating or domestic violence, or to speak with someone about safety planning, please see the Resources/Contact Information section below.

Resources/Contact Information

When you speak with a University official about a situation that may be sexual harassment or sexual violence, this person will likely call the Sexual Harassment Prevention and Resolution team in the Office of Diversity and Outreach to report and consult. If you wish to discuss your situation openly and NOT have it officially reported, please contact one of the Confidential Resources listed below.

Confidential CARE Advocate
Denise Caramagno
[email protected]

Office of the OMBUDS

Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP)

UCSF Resources

UCSF offers many resources for assisting you with harassment and discrimination problems and questions:

Title IX Officer (Sexual Harassment Officer)
Nyoki Sacramento - Director, Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, Affirmative Action & ADA Compliance, Title IX Officer 
[email protected] 

School of Medicine (SOM)
Lee Jones - Assoc. Dean for Students, SOM
[email protected]

School of Nursing (SON)
Judith Martin-Holland  - Assoc. Dean for Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach, SON
[email protected]

School of Dentistry (SOD)
Sara Hughes - Assoc. Dean for Education & Student Affairs, SOD
[email protected]

School of Pharmacy (SOP)
Cynthia Watchmaker - Assoc. Dean of Student Affairs & Educational Services, SOP 
[email protected]

Graduate Division
Zachary Smith - Diversity and Outreach Program Manager
[email protected]

Gabriela Monsalve - Asst. Dean for Postdoc Affairs
[email protected]

Continuing Medical Education
Robert Baron - Assoc. Dean for CME
[email protected]

Graduate Medical Education
Katherine Julian - Assoc. Dean for GME
[email protected]

There are also a number of San Francisco Bay Area community resources that are available to assist you.

WOMAN INC., Domestic Violence Services
24-hour crisis line
415/647-4722 or 877/384-3578


SAN FRANCISCO WOMEN AGAINST RAPE, Crisis Center and Counseling
24-hour rape crisis line