Sexual Assault Awareness Month

To: UCSC Students

From: Dean of Students Alma Sifuentes

As we say goodbye to the month of April, I would like to remind you that April was sexual assault awareness month. As May begins, and following the news of the fabricated sexual assault on campus earlier this year, I would like to remind you that sexual assault, at UCSC and in other college campuses, is a prevalent and serious problem year-round. The following national statistics apply to college campuses

1. Between 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 women will experience a completed and/or attempted rape during their college career (See Resources 1, 2, 3).

2. The prevalence of false allegations of rape is extremely low (See Resources 5, 6) (2.1- 6.8% in studies done after 2000).

3. Between 80-90% of rapes are committed by a person the victim knows (See Resources 1, 2, 3).

4. Only 5% of rapes are reported to law enforcement (See Resources 1, 2, 3, 4).

I emphasize these facts because effectively addressing this problem requires the awareness and engagement of our entire community. At any given time, all of us are bystanders in situations where words or behavior could lead to violence. You, as students, are able to recognize your capacity and responsibility to be active bystanders, and say or do something about the situation, and this proactive action can go a long way towards preventing sexual assault and rape. The staff in the Dean of Students Office are also active bystanders. We support interventions that educate students to engage in bystander intervention and to not perpetrate sexual assault in the first place, rather than simply assume that such crimes are unavoidable. Programs such as the Sexual Assault Facts and Education (SAFE) program, the new student organization Men Creating Change, and the Women’s Resource Center are doing incredible work in this front. Also, the campus is fortunate to have a dedicated police department that works very closely with the SAFE program in order to establish protocols around sexual assault that are victim-centered and data-driven. This partnership has helped to ensure that its policies, under no circumstances, compromise a person’s ability to make informed choices about proceeding with a report or discourage anyone from reporting a crime. As a community we need to make efforts to use the resources available on campus and educate ourselves about the physical, social, psychological, and emotional impacts that this issue has on victims and survivors and our society as a whole.

I urge all students to become familiar with the resources at UCSC, such as CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) and SAFE that houses a rape crisis counselor, provides confidential and anonymous reporting, education, and the services of peer-counselors. This office understands that it is crucial for students who are victims or survivors of such crimes to feel the unwavering support of their community, especially administrators and staff, faculty, peers, and law enforcement officials. A well-informed and proactive student body can prevent rape and sexual assault and create and foster a supportive environment for victims and survivors. I am proud of our unique community and what it has to offer; I have no doubt that you as a member of our student body can continue to make a positive change on our campus and beyond.

In studies done after 2000, false allegation estimates have a range of 2.1- 6.8%. However, it is important to note that this range suggests that of all rapes less than .005% are false allegations. We encourage you to look at the references below if you have any doubts at all about their validity.


For those who need them here are campus resources available, free of charge, to all students:

Certified, Confidential Rape Crisis Counselors:

Caitlin Stinneford
Sexual Violence Prevention Educator at SHOP
SAFE Program Manager
831-459-2721 <tel:831-459-2721>
(next to the Health Center Pharmacy)

Stephanie Milton
UCSC Women’s Center Director

Other Resources:

UCSC Police

Title IX Officer/ Sexual Harassment Office
Rita Walker

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Men Creating Change Student Org:

Dean of Students
Alma Sifuentes


1. Gonzales, Alberto R., Regina B. Schofield, and Glenn R. Schmitt. (Dec. 2005) "Sexual Assault on Campus: What Colleges and Universities Are Doing About It." /U.S. Department of Justice/. Office of Justice Programs.

2/. /Fisher, B.S., Cullen, F.T., & Turner, M.G. (2000)/“/The sexual victimization of college women (Report No. NCJ-182369).”//Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics/,/U.S. Department of Justice/. <>/

3."Sexual Violence: Facts at a Glance." /C/DC's Injury Center, Violence Prevention, Sexual Violence. The Centers for Disease Control, 2012.

4. Koss, M. P., Gidycz, C. A., & Wisniewski, N. (1987). “The scope of rape: Incidence and prevalence of sexual aggression and victimization in a national sample of higher education students.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 162-170.

5. Lisak, David, et al. “False Allegations of Sexual Assault: An Analysis of Ten Years of Reported Cases." Violence against women 16.12 (2010): 1318-1334.

6. Belknap, Joanne. "Rape: Too hard to report and too easy to discredit victims." Violence Against Women 16.12 (2010): 1335-1344.

7. Greenfield, A, Lawrence. “Sex Offences and Offenders.” Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice. (1997)