Reporting Options

University of California is committed to an environment free from discrimination and harassment

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Keegan Houser

Survivors have the right — and the choice— to report

If you sexual violence, sexual harassment, relationship violence, stalking, and/or invasion of privacy (SVSH), you have the right – and the choice – to report. Your reporting options include making a report to the University, making a report to the police, making reports to both, and not reporting at all.

Confidential Resources

Reporting can be a complicated and intensely personal decision. Survivors are encouraged to consult a confidential resource about reporting options and processes. Seeking support through the PATH to Care Center does not trigger a report to any entity. Survivors have the right to be accompanied by an advocate during all stages of reporting and investigation. Advocates can also assist with supportive measures for survivors. 

For urgent 24/7 support, call the Care Line at 510-643-2005To make an appointment, call 510-642-1988. For more information, see the Support for Survivors page.

How to Report

Reporting to UC Berkeley:

To report a violation of campus policy involving sexual violence, sexual harassment, dating or domestic violence, stalking, and/or invasion of privacy (SVSH), contact the UC Berkeley Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD):

More information about reporting to UC Berkeley

The University has the ability to hold faculty, staff, and students accountable for sexual violence and sexual harassment (SVSH) policy violations after conducting fair and appropriate investigation & adjudication processes.  Persons found responsible for SVSH violations can face penalties up to and including academic suspension or expulsion and suspension or termination from employment. The University can also provide supportive measures for survivors of SVSH to help preserve their ability to attend school and/or work.

The Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD), the campus Title IX office, oversees campus compliance with University of California and UC Berkeley policies prohibiting protected category discrimination and harassment (including sexual harassment and violence). OPHD's oversight of these policies encompasses responding to and resolving reports of harassment and discrimination from students, staff, faculty and visitors that are related to protected class and civil rights policies.  

For more information, contact OPHD and see the UC Policy on SVSH.

Reporting to law enforcement:

To report a crime involving sexual violence, sexual harassment, dating or domestic violence, stalking, and/or invasion of privacy (SVSH) that occurred on University property, contact the University of California Police Department (UCPD):

  • 1 Sproul Hall
  • 24/7 emergency line & TTY: 510-642-3333
  • 24/7 non-emergency line: 510-642-6760

To report a crime involving SVSH that occurred somewhere else besides University property, contact the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction at that location. Here are a few nearby police departments:

More information about reporting to law enforcement

The police can document and investigate crimes involving sexual violence and sexual harassment (SVSH), and with sufficient evidence they can present the case to the District Attorney to consider for prosecution. Persons convicted of crimes might be subject to court-ordered restrictions, fines and imprisonment.  Whether or not they choose to pursue a criminal investigation, survivors may be eligible for additional protections by applying to the Superior Court of California for a civil restraining order.

To report to law enforcement (requests prosecution):

The University of California Police Department (UCPD) provides public safety and law enforcement services on and near the Berkeley campus and its associated nearby properties. UCPD responds to emergencies and other calls for service 24/7, and documents and investigates crimes involving SVSH. UCPD can also help coordinate investigations with other law enforcement agencies. Contact UCPD to make a report and request prosecution.

To report to law enforcement without requesting prosecution (for documentation only):

In some cases, reports to law enforcement may be made for documentation purposes only. Ultimately, the decision to prosecute will be made by the District Attorney, although the cooperation of the victim is usually considered necessary.

Reporting to both UC Berkeley and law enforcement:

Survivors have the right to report to both law enforcement and to the university. It is important to know that these two processes are separate and distinct. Due to privacy laws and jurisdictional issues, law enforcement is not always able to share reports of sexual assault or dating/domestic violence with the University. If a survivor has reported to law enforcement and also wishes to report to the University, they have the option to also report their complaint to the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD).

The PATH to Care Center may offer support and assistance coordinating interviews with both the University and law enforcement to reduce the number of times a survivor must recount their experience for reporting purposes.

Reporting FAQs

What is the process of preserving forensic evidence for reporting purposes?

Forensic evidence collection is a police process to collect and preserve possible evidence of a violent crime.

It can only be done at approved sites within the county where the incident occurred. If a survivor of relationship violence or sexual assault is considering or wants to pursue criminal charges immediately or in the future, it is best if forensic evidence collection is conducted soon after an incident (usually within the first 72 hours, the earlier the better).

You can call the 24/7 Care Line: 510-643-2005 for a confidential advocate to support you in receiving medical care and/or pursuing evidence collection, and reporting to local police. The closest approved site for evidence collection in Alameda County is Highland Hospital.  If you are interested in having evidence collected:

  • If possible, leave the area where the harm occurred undisturbed.
  • It is recommended not to shower, bathe, wash hands, eat, drink or brush teeth.
  • If possible, place each item of clothing in a separate paper bag (no plastic).

If possible, you may also choose to save text messages, records of phone calls, emails, pictures, notes, and gifts as evidence for a report.

Can forensic evidence be collected before a survivor decides to report?

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 Highland Hospital 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 UCPD’s 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 confidential (per §6254 of the California Government Code). 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.

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

For more information about forensic evidence collection, visit the Support for Survivors page.

Can a survivor report anonymously?

An anonymous report occurs when the person making the report does not include their name or any other information that might identify them.  “Anonymous” is not the same as “confidential.”

Anonymous reporting to the University

The University accepts anonymous reports, but may be limited in its ability to take action, and cannot guarantee it will be investigated. The UC Berkeley Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) will consider anonymous reports on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with laws and policies relevant to the report. 

To hold someone accountable for an alleged violation, the University must validate and corroborate statements and evidence, which may not be possible in the case of an anonymous report.  In some cases, the University might be obliged to try to identify the anonymous reporter. 

To coordinate anonymous reporting to the University, contacting the PATH to Care Center, a confidential resource, is recommended.

Anonymous reporting to the police

Depending on the situation there are a variety of ways the police might handle anonymous reports.  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, 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. 

Regardless, many police departments provide ways for people to submit anonymous reports.  To make a non-emergency anonymous report to the University of California Police Department, Berkeley (UCPD), you can send an e-mail or text using the CalTIP service: cal@tipnow.com or (text) 510-664-8477.

How can a survivor obtain protective orders?

Survivors may be able to apply for a restraining order to help protect them from ongoing violence and harassment, including physical or sexual assault and stalking.  Restraining orders are issued by the civil division of the Superior Court and do not require a criminal investigation or prosecution. A restrained person can be ordered not to contact the protected person, and to stay away from the protected person(s) and their home, workplace or other important locations. A person who violates these orders may be subject to arrest and subsequent criminal penalties. 

There are several types of civil restraining orders, each for addressing different types of violence or harassment.  For more information visit the California Courts web page on Abuse & Harassment.

Emergency Protective Order (EPO): An Emergency Protective Order (EPO) is a special kind of civil restraining order that can only be issued when law enforcement encounters a situation involving domestic/dating violence (which might include sexual violence) or stalking and there is an expectation that harm might continue to occur.  An EPO is only valid for up to 7 days, to give the survivor time to apply for a standard civil restraining order and take other steps to improve their safety.

The Family Violence Law Center offers free legal assistance with applying for restraining orders and can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-947-8301.

PATH to Care can also provide confidential support and guidance on this topic.

Obtaining a campus no-contact directive

In some circumstances the UC Berkeley Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) may be able to issue a mutual campus no-contact directive, which can temporarily restrict campus affiliated persons from contacting or being within a specified distance from one another during an investigation or another official process. Unlike civil restraining orders, someone who simply disobeys a campus no-contact directive cannot be arrested.  However, the University can impose additional administrative penalties for a violation.

If you decide to file a report of an SVSH policy violation with the University, or if you already have, contact OPHD for more information about obtaining a campus no-contact directive: 

What are Responsible employees' reporting obligations?

All UC Berkeley employees:

All UC Berkeley employees required to notify OPHD when, in the course of their job, they receive allegations of SVSH harm prohibited by the UC Policy on SVSH experienced by students.

Faculty, Human Resources, Academic Personnel, managers and supervisors, and campus police:

Any University employee who is not a Confidential Resource and who receives, in the course of employment, information that a student (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) has suffered sexual violence, sexual harassment or other prohibited behavior is required to promptly notify the UC Berkeley Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). This includes Resident Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, and all other student employees, when disclosures are made to any of them in their capacities as employees.

In addition, the following who, in the course of employment, receive a report of Prohibited Conduct from any other person affiliated with the University  must notify OPHD:

  • Campus Police
  • Human Resource Administrators, Academic Personnel, and Title IX Professionals
  • Managers and Supervisors including Deans, Department Chairs, and Directors of Organized Research Units (ORU)
  • Faculty members

Only a few specific campus resources are exempt from this duty, and they are available to provide confidential guidance and support regarding SVSH policy violations:

  • Confidential Advocates at the PATH to Care Center
  • Counselors at UHS Social Services
  • Counselors at Be Well at Work Employee Assistance
  • Ombudspersons in the Ombuds Office for Students and Post-Doctoral Appointees
  • Ombudspersons in the Staff Ombuds Office

To learn more about Responsible Employee obligations, visit “How to be a Responsible Employee.”

How can someone make a whistleblower complaint?

You can make a whistleblower report to the University-wide Whistleblower Hotline (EthicsPoint)

What information can be kept confidential after reporting?

According to the UC Policy on SVSH (2020): 

"The University must balance the privacy interests of people involved in a report of Prohibited Conduct against the need to gather information, ensure a fair process, and stop, prevent and remedy Prohibited Conduct. In this context, the University tries to protect people’s privacy to the extent permitted by law and University policies. The University otherwise keeps confidential the identities of parties, witnesses and those who report Prohibited Conduct, except as required by law or permitted by FERPA, and protects the privacy of personally identifiable information per all applicable state and federal privacy laws, and University policies." 

Disclaimer: The text found on this page is not a formal part of the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (SVSH) or the PACAOS Appendix E: Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Student Investigation and Adjudication Framework(link is external). The information found here should be considered one of many resources available to students when navigating these processes, policies, and procedures. Where differences occur between these pages and University policy, University policy and procedure govern.