HomeGraduatesFieldworkResources Responding to Sexual Assault or Harassment During Fieldwork Travel

Resources Responding to Sexual Assault or Harassment During Fieldwork Travel

Sexual violence is defined as sexual acts without consent. It includes rape, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.

Sexual acts are without consent if the victim:

  • does not make an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision to engage in sexual activity;
  • is coerced, forced, threatened, or intimidated;
  • is under age 18; or
  • is incapacitated by alcohol, drugs, or a physical or mental disorder.

Students who report sexual violence will not be penalized for related violations of the UCI drug or alcohol policy.

Who can I contact for help?

In the United States: Police

  • Contact the police to obtain immediate assistance and report the crime of sexual violence.
  • In US: Dial 911 in an emergency.
  • The police will immediately dispatch an investigating officer trained in sexual violence, transport the victim to the hospital for medical assistance and a forensic exam, connect the victim to a victim advocate, and start a criminal investigation. After its initial investigation, the police may refer the case to the District Attorney, who will decide if the case will be prosecuted.

Off-campus: Community Service Program

  • Provides certified sexual violence counselors through its rape crisis hotline. Is available to assist with temporary restraining orders, safe housing, and support during criminal justice proceedings.
  • 24-Hour Crisis Hotlines:
    • 714-957-2737
    • 949-831-9110
  • Sexual Abuse Center Hotline

On-campus: UCI Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity

  • Contact OEOD to report a violation of UCI policy and start an administrative investigation. OEOD is responsible for UCI’s compliance with laws and policies regarding discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. Faculty members and employee supervisors are required to report all incidences and disclosures of sexual violence to OEOD.
  • OEOD will investigate the allegation of sexual violence by interviewing the victim, other parties, and witnesses to determine if there has been a violation of UCI policy. If so, OEOD will refer the matter to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • Whether or not an individual decides to make a police report or administrative complaint, OEOD can assist with interim remedies such as transportation from the field or research site, no-contact orders, changes to work or class schedules, housing changes, safety escorts, academic assistance, counseling, and medical care.
  • 103 Multipurpose Science & Technology Building
  • 949-824-5594 (M-F, 8 am-5 pm)

On-campus: UCI Campus Assault Resources and Education (CARE)

  • CARE offers confidential individual and group counseling, consultation, and advocacy services that are free of charge to all currently enrolled students. Advocacy services include accompaniment to the police, forensic exams, and court; confidential emotional support; and help accessing resources such as counseling, medical care, emergency housing, transportation, and academic needs.
  • G320 Student Center
  • 949-824-7273 (M-F, 8am-5pm)

What do I do if I’ve been sexually assaulted?

  • Find a safe location away from your attacker. If you cannot get somewhere safe, call 911 right away.
  • Get medical attention. Do not shower, eat, drink, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth or change your clothes before going to the hospital.
    • If you want to change your clothes, put them in a paper (not plastic) bag and bring them to the hospital.
    • Seeking medical attention right away will reduce your risk of pregnancy and STI’s.
  • Seek information. Go to http://sexualviolence.uci.edu/ for information, resources, and options.
  • Seek support. Sexual assault is a traumatic experience. If you feel comfortable, seek support from a CARE Advisor, friend or family member. Contact OEOD if you require safe transportation from the field or research site.

How can I help someone who may have been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted?

  • Remember that the victim’s well-being must be considered before all other matters.
  • Immediately reporting a case to the police could be more traumatic for the victim than beneficial. Let them make the decision to report (or not report).
  • Talk to the person and reinforce that they are not at fault. However, if the individual does not wish to talk to you, respect their decision.
  • Provide the victim with the website address http://sexualviolence.uci.edu/ for information, resources, and options.
  • Contact resources above for information on how to best support a friend though his or her healing process.