Frequently Asked Questions


General FAQs

What is sexual assault?

For UC definitions of sexual assault (touching and penetrative), sexual harassment, stalking, or dating and domestic violence, see the UC SVSH Policy

Can faculty and staff use the PATH to Care Center?

Yes! The PATH to Care Center serves students, faculty, and staff who have been impacted by sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/relationship violence, or stalking. The PATH to Care Center also serves anyone who has been impacted by a Berkeley affiliate, as well as anyone supporting someone in these groups.  

I am a survivor - where can I get support?

What happened to you is not your fault, and you have a right to confidential support. The PATH to Care Center is ideal for a first point of contact, as a confidential advocate can inform you of other on and off campus resources as well as of reporting options if you are interested. To reach PATH to Care, call 510-642-1988 to make an appointment, or, for 24/7 urgent support, call the Care Line at 510-643-2005. The Survivor Support website details all of the resources available on campus; the Survivor Support Handout describes these as well as off-campus resources.  

I'm a family member or friend of a survivor - where can I get support?

The PATH to Care Center offers free services to any member of the UC Berkeley community who is impacted by sexual violence or harassment, or to those supporting community members who are impacted. If you are unsure of how to support someone in crisis, you can call PATH to Care's 24/7 CARE line at 510 643-2005. If you are supporting someone long term and want to be the best resource you can be, you can set up an appointment with a confidential advocate at 510 642-1988. Counseling and Psychological Services and Social Services can also provide confidential support to students; Be Well at Work/Employee Assistance can provide confidential support to staff and faculty. 

Where is the PATH to Care Center located?

The PATH to Care Center is in a confidential location, in order to protect the safety of people accessing support. It is centrally located on campus, and the specific location will be disclosed to those who first connect with an advocate over the phone. The best way to reach the PATH to Care Center is by calling 510-642-1988 to make an appointment, or 510-643-2005 for 24/7 urgent support through the Care Line.

What is a confidential resource and who is one?

A confidential resource is a person or office whose staff do not have an obligation to report incidences of violence or misconduct to the university. Such individuals generally have received degrees and/or undergone extensive training that gives them certain protections under the law, such as a level of protection against supeonas and other legal actions. On UC Berkeley's campus, confidential resources are: the PATH to Care Center, Social Services, Psychological and Counseling Services, Be Well at Work/Employee Assistance, the Staff Ombuds Office, and the Ombuds Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees. Per the UC Policy on SVSH, employees who are not confidential resources have reporting obligations (to OPHD), as Responsible Employees. 

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to the conduct will be a factor in academic or employment decisions or the conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating or hostile environment. To read the full definition of sexual harassment, the UC Policy on SVSH is here.

Question about Responsible Employee Obligations

Who is a responsible employee?

Under the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, all UC Berkeley employees who are not designated as confidential must inform the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) if they become aware, in the course of their employment, that a student (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) has experienced sexual violence, sexual harassment, or other behavior prohibited by the university’s policy. This includes managers and supervisors, all faculty (including faculty advisors), all staff, athletic coaches and student employees. Responsible employees include both represented and non-represented employees.

Faculty, managers and supervisors, Human Resources, Academic Personnel and campus police: All managers and supervisors, Human Resources, Academic Personnel, faculty and campus police must inform the Title IX officer if they receive a report of prohibited behavior from anyone affiliated with the university, which includes faculty, staff and others affiliated with the university.

Why am I a responsible employee?

A Responsible Employee’s report ensures that UC community members who have experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment understand their rights and resources. It also enables the University to take prompt and effective steps to stop the harassment or violence, and foster a safe learning and working environment. An employee who does not comply with the Responsible Employee requirement may be subject to consequences for failing to report, which may include corrective actions, up to and including termination.

Questions about reporting

Where do I report an incident of sexual violence or harassment?

Anyone who has experienced sexual violence or harassment has the option to report through the university at OPHD, the police, or not at all. However, if you are an employee and are made aware of an incident, you may be obligated to report (see responsible employee FAQs for specifics). To report an incident to OPHD, you can either email or call  (510) 643-7985. If you wish to report to the UC Police, call (510) 642-3333. If you wish to report to city police, dial 911. 

It is recommended that anyone considering these options meets with a PATH to Care Confidential Advocate to learn about these processes and get support through whichever path is chosen. 

How do I report to the university?

To report an incident of sexual violence or harassment to the university, contact the Title IX Office, which on our campus is referred to as the Office for Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). You can report an incident to OPHD by either emailing or calling  (510) 643-7985. They will conduct an investigation and give the results to the appropriate entity for adjudication. For more information about this process see UC SVSH Policy. You can also report an incident to the campus police (UCPD). 

Anyone who has experienced sexual violence or harassment has the option to report through the university at OPHD, the police, or not at all. However, if you are an employee and are made aware of an incident, you may be obligated to share what you know with OPHD (see responsible employee FAQs for specifics). 

Anyone has the right to have a confidential advocate present at all times. The PATH to Care Center and BAWAR can both provide advocates 24/7. Call the CARE line at 510-643-2005 if you need immediate support. 

How do I report to the police?

Whether UCPD, Berkeley PD (BPD), or another local department handles your case depends on where the incident occured. If you're not sure, you can start by speaking with UCPD at 510-642-3333. If you wish to make a report directly to the Berkeley CIty Police Department, call (510) 981-5900. The UCPD and Berkeley Police departments do coordinate with each other. However, if you do not receive clarity prior to your interview as to whose jurisdiction your incident is in, you may need to recount the incident multiple times. 

If there is an emergency please call 9-1-1. 

The PATH to Care Center and BAWAR  can both provide confidential advocates during the reporting process. Call the CARE line at 510-643-2005 if you need immediate support. 

What is the outcome of an OPHD investigation? What happens next?

Upon completing a formal investigation, OPHD issues a report. The complainant and respondent both have a chance to comment before the report is finalized. The standard of evidence for a finding of policy violation is "preponderance of the evidence," or "more likely that not." OPHD's report states, for each allegation, whether it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the UC Policy on SVSH has been violated. If there is such a finding, OPHD refers the matter for adjudication. Note that OPHD does not adjudicate (suggest or impose disciplinary measures). That is handled by different offices.

What happens in a formal investigation?

If OPHD launches a formal investigation, its trained investigators will interview relevant parties, including the complainant, the respondent, and witnesses identified in the course of the investigation. OPHD cannot compel parties to cooperate with an investigation. OPHD writes a report at the conclusion of an investigation.

How long does an investigation take?

By UC policy, OPHD investigations have a target of 60 business days to completion. However, some cases may take longer.

What happens when a person calls OPHD to report sexual harassment, sexual violence or other prohibited behavior?

OPHD will connect complainants with the PATH to Care Center and/or other confidential campus resources for support as well as determine whether interim remedies are appropriate. In consultation with the complainant, OPHD will decide on next steps, including whether to pursue alternative resolution or launch a formal investigation.

What is alternative resolution?

Cases that do not go to formal investigation may instead resolve through Alternative Resolution. Generally, both the complainant and the respondent need to agree in order for a case that could go to formal investigation to instead conclude via an Alternative Resolution. An Alternative Resolution could contain elements such as these:

  • Separating parties
  • Referring parties to counseling programs
  • Negotiating an agreement for disciplinary action
  • Conducting targeted educational and training programs
  • Issuing no-contact directives
  • Consulting with an appropriate administrator