Abusive Behavior is Unacceptable

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Dear UC Davis Community,

Every day, it seems, we learn about instances of sexual harassment and sexual violence from courageous individuals who share their experiences from years ago or from more recent times. Just last week, Time magazine named “The Silence Breakers” as its 2017 Person of the Year to recognize those women and men who have told their own stories of sexual harassment and assault. They are people who “... helped force a nationwide reckoning” and who are “voices that launched a movement.”

I have no doubt our own UC Davis community includes survivors and their abusers. Some endured individuals in positions of power and authority who abused, bullied or harassed them. Others may have experienced peer-to-peer nonconsensual sexual violence or harassment. These stories are heartbreaking. The toll of the abuse lasts a lifetime, and it impacts the individuals, their loved ones and others in their lives in countless ways. With so many stories being shared publicly, we understand more about how people survive the experience, and we are more aware of how much confusion, pain, shame and guilt can be associated with such an experience.

Needless to say, abusive behavior is unacceptable. It is morally wrong and it violates university policy. I support those in our community who have come forward or who are thinking about doing so. The safety and security of our community remains my priority for those who study, work and live here.

Many of the reports of abuse emerge after years and sometimes decades of silence and shame. In the past, few if any institutions had adequate reporting and investigative processes, UC Davis included. Our protocols and processes have improved greatly over the years. I am encouraged that our team is dedicated to being thorough, fair to all parties and timely. I’m also encouraged by the renewed commitment that the University of California has made to fostering a culture of safety and security on every campus. We’ve made solid strides in how we provide education and training. All members of our community — students, staff, faculty and other academic appointees — are required to receive sexual violence prevention and intervention training and education regularly.

I would like to share with you a number of programs, policies and resources here at UC Davis.

Here are programs that provide confidential resources and support:

  • If you would like to consult with a confidential resource about your options, the Center for Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) offers confidential resources for any student, faculty or staff who have experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment. Information about additional resources is available at sexualviolence.ucdavis.edu.
  • Students can contact Student Health and Counseling Services to get advice and assistance.
  • The Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) offers confidential, free assessment, intervention, consultation and referral services to all UC Davis faculty, staff and their immediate families. To schedule an appointment, please call 530-752-2727 or email slree@ucdavis.edu. If you have questions, you may email the interim director, Satinder Gill.
  • Our Ombuds Office is a confidential, independent, impartial and informal problem-solving and conflict management resource for all members of the UC Davis and UC Davis Health campus communities. Call 530-754-7233 (SAFE) for an appointment.

We have a robust reporting system in place:

  • You can make a report about sexual violence or sexual harassment by contacting our Title IX officer, Wendi Delmendo, at 530-752-9466 or wjdelmendo@ucdavis.edu.
  • The Harassment and Discrimination and Prevention Program (HDAPP) assists individuals and campus units to resolve conflicts and complaints related to harassment, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence and hate and bias. They can be reached at 530-747-3864.
  • There are several options for reporting incidents to law enforcement. For on-campus incidents or those that occur on university property, you can file a report with the UC Davis Police Department: 530-752-1230. For incidents in Davis, report to the city of Davis Police Department: 530-758-3600. Contact information for nearby jurisdictions includes: Sacramento Police Department: 916-732-0100; or Woodland Police Department: 530-666-2411.

We have policies on sexual violence and sexual harassment:

  • The University of California Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment addresses the university’s responsibilities and procedures related to sexual violence and sexual harassment, retaliation, and other prohibited behavior in order to ensure an equitable and inclusive education and employment environment free of sexual violence and sexual harassment. This policy defines conduct prohibited by the University of California and explains the administrative procedures the university uses to resolve reports of prohibited conduct.
  • The UC Davis Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment provides specific campus guidance to those who believe they have been subject to sexual violence or sexual harassment, or have been accused of sexual violence or sexual harassment, and describes the university’s actions to address those complaints through administrative channels.

You can visit our Sexual Violence Prevention and Response website for more details about getting help, our policies, education about prevention, and how to file a report.

I realize this is a lot of information, but I believe that’s a very good thing. As I said, we’ve come a long way as an institution and as a nation. It’s clear that society still struggles with how to cope with trauma — our own and others’. We should recognize that our community includes people facing what it means to be a survivor. We should be compassionate and fair when members of our community reveal their own experiences.

As always, I’m open to suggestions about how we can further improve our efforts.

Sincerely,

Gary S. May
Chancellor 

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