Sexual assault, Relationship violence & Stalking

The University of California Police Department (UCPD) is able to document and investigate reports of felony and misdemeanor crimes involving sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking that occur on University property.  When a crime happens in another police department’s jurisdiction UCPD can help contact the appropriate law enforcement agency and assist in investigatory and support efforts.

Leave site quickly

Click here to leave site quickly. For all emergencies, call 911.

A survivor’s health and safety are our highest priority.  We can also help by attempting to hold offenders accountable for their behavior.  There is no requirement for a survivor to make a police report or to participate in an investigation, but for an investigation to result in a criminal prosecution the survivor’s cooperation is usually required.  

UCPD police officers and staff are “responsible employees” per campus policy and must report violations of campus Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment (SVSH) policy to the UC Berkeley Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD).  However, California law allows survivors who report crimes of sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking to the police to keep their name and contact information off the public record (Penal Code § 293 and Government Code § 6254), and in those cases UCPD will not give this information to OPHD - or anyone outside of the criminal justice system - without the survivor’s permission.

UCPD is also a “Campus Security Authority” (CSA) for purposes of Federal law (The “Clery Act”).  UCPD is required to issue timely warnings to the campus community for crimes that present an ongoing safety threat on or near campus, to maintain a public daily crime log, and to record and disclose crime statistics.  However, the identity of a survivor will be protected to the fullest extent possible under law and policy. 

Campus and community resources

UCPD is part of a campus and community multi-disciplinary team working together to address sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking, including:  

PATH to Care Center (Confidential Resource)

     Prevention | Advocacy | Training | Healing

     For urgent 24/7 support, call the Care Line at 510-643-2005.

     care.berkeley.edu(link is external) | Phone: 510-642-1988 (Mon - Fri, 9am-4:30pm)

Survivors are encouraged to consult a confidential resource, such as the UC Berkeley PATH to Care Center, about reporting options and processes.  Seeking support through PATH to Care does not trigger a report to law enforcement or the campus; a report will not be made unless the survivor chooses to do so.  Survivors have the right to be accompanied by an advocate during all stages of reporting and investigation.  

UC Berkeley Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination/ Campus Title IX Office (Reporting Resource) 

     ophd.berkeley.edu | Phone: 510-643-7985 | Email: ask_ophd@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)

OPHD is UC Berkeley’s Title IX office, working to ensure a campus environment free from discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence.  OPHD oversees the processes for the investigation and resolution of SVSH policy complaints against faculty, staff and students, whether they occur on or off campus.

The Family Violence Law Center (Confidential Resource)

     http://fvlc.org/| Phone: 1-800-947-8301 (24 hours / 7 days)

FVLC is a community-based resource which offers crisis intervention, legal services and support for survivors of relationship violence and sexual assault in Alameda County. 

Criminal definitions

To be considered a crime, an act of sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking must meet the definitions written in California law.  Some harmful acts might not technically be crimes but could still be violations of University policy.  If you are unsure whether or not what you experienced is a crime, please contact the UC Berkeley PATH to Care Center (care.berkeley.edu(link is external)) for confidential consultation and support.

The following types of acts can be documented and investigated by UCPD:

Sexual assault – Any crime or attempted crime involving nonconsensual or felonious physical contact of a sexual nature, to include but not limited to offenses defined in Penal Code § 243.4, Penal Code § 261 et seq., and Penal Code § 285 et seq.

Relationship violence (domestic violence) – Any crime or attempted crime involving abuse committed against an adult or minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or a person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship, to include but not limited to offenses defined in Penal Code § 243(e)(1) and Penal Code § 273.5.

Stalking – As defined in Penal Code § 646.9: the willful, malicious, and repeated following (and/or the willful and malicious harassment) of another person involving a credible threat made with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for their safety (or the safety of their immediate family).

Other crimes involving sexual behavior or harassment can also be reported to UCPD, including criminal threats, violations of privacy, indecent exposure, distribution of intimate images, annoying phone calls, child pornography, and child abuse.

Making a crime report

IN AN EMERGENCY, DIAL 911

For emergencies on campus, you can also call (510) 642-3333.

Otherwise, please call (510-642-6760) or visit UCPD (1 Sproul Hall, UC Berkeley) 24 hours a day, seven days a week to report a crime.  An officer will be assigned to collect your information and gather any evidence that might be available.  In cases of sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking we will offer to connect you with a confidential advocate from the UC PATH to Care Center for support and assistance during this process (unless you have selected another confidential advocate instead).  In addition, a support person of your choice can accompany you through any/all parts of the reporting and investigation process.

At the time of initial report, a survivor usually only needs to provide the police with a summary of the incident, but in situations involving the immediate apprehension of a suspect the survivor may be asked to provide a statement with greater detail.  Upon taking your report, the assigned officer will try to identify additional options and resources that might be available and appropriate.   You may choose to participate in a forensic sexual assault medical exam if one might be appropriate for the situation, and UCPD or the PATH to Care Center can help facilitate this.  In cases involving relationship violence or stalking the officer may be able to secure an Emergency Protective Order (EPO), valid for up to seven days, to give the survivor time to apply for a civil restraining order and take other steps to improve their safety (both the PATH to Care Center and the FVLC can provide guidance on this topic).   

If you decide to pursue an investigation, a detective will contact you and keep you informed on the status of your case.  The investigation might involve a full interview of the survivor, interviews with witnesses or other involved persons, gathering records, images and data, and the laboratory analysis of evidence.  Depending on the situation, some cases may take a long time to resolve and others may resolve quickly.

Not all investigations result in an arrest or conviction, but with sufficient evidence UCPD will present a case to the District Attorney to consider for criminal prosecution.  With the survivor’s permission we will share information and coordinate efforts with the UC Berkeley Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD), which might be able to hold a campus affiliate responsible for a violation of policy whether or not the District Attorney chooses to prosecute.  

Anonymous, third-party and mandatory police reports

UCPD accepts anonymous reports (when the person making the report does not provide their name or contact information), but the successful investigation and prosecution of crimes often relies on the willingness of the crime victim and/or witnesses to cooperate and provide identifying information.  In some cases the police might be able to independently establish sufficient facts and evidence for a criminal justice outcome based on an anonymous report, but this is not common.  Sometimes the police might only evaluate anonymous reports for the need to send officers to handle immediate public safety threats or crimes in progress.

Similarly, third-party reports (when someone besides an involved person makes a police report) pose investigatory and procedural challenges to effective investigations.  UCPD will do its best to evaluate and respond appropriately.  Well-meaning family or friends sometimes pressure survivors into making police reports, which is something we do not recommend.  Instead, encourage the survivor to contact the UC Berkeley PATH to Care center for confidential support and assistance.

The law requires some persons make mandatory reports to the police, including when child abuse is suspected by a caregiver or someone else of authority, and also when a medical provider believes a patient’s physical injury is due to a firearm, assault or abuse.  In the case of minors, UCPD has a legal obligation to investigate and notify social services.  For adults, UCPD may offer assistance but will respect the wishes of the survivor about pursuing an investigation.  The name and contact information of the survivor will be withheld from the public record as allowed by law.

Confidential forensic sexual assault exams

Some law enforcement agencies – including UCPD – will approve the collection of evidence through an official sexual assault exam before a survivor decides whether or not to file a criminal report.  In Alameda County these exams are only conducted at Highland Hospital (Oakland) or Washington Hospital (Fremont) by specially trained medical personnel who are part of the county Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).

A survivor who wishes to preserve potential evidence but has not yet decided about making a full police report can go to one of these hospitals and request a SART exam.  Medical staff will determine if it is appropriate to conduct the exam, and if so, they will contact law enforcement to request approval.  UCPD will ask to confirm that the crime occurred in our jurisdiction, and will document any other information the survivor is willing to provide.  UCPD will provide a case number that the survivor can later use if they decide to file a crime report.

Medical providers are required by law to provide the survivor’s name and contact information to the police, but law enforcement will keep this information off the public record (per Government Code § 6254).  The evidence collected during the SART exam will not be tested immediately, but instead preserved by UCPD for at least 30 days so that the survivor can decide whether or not to seek a criminal investigation.

Highland Hospital

     1411 E. 31st Street, Oakland | Phone: 510-437-4800 | alamedahealthsystem.org

Washington Hospital

     2000 Mowry Ave, Fremont | Phone: 510-797-1111 | whhs.com

PATH to Care can also provide confidential support and guidance on this topic – call the Care line at 510-643-2005.

Campus response to sexual violence & sexual harassment

For more information about UC Berkeley’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence & sexual harassment (SVSH), visit the UC Berkeley SVSH website on the right.