A network of support for preventing and responding to sexual and relationship violence

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Isabel Alvarado Dees, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor, Equity & Equal Protection

Dear UC Santa Cruz Community, 

I write today to raise awareness of resources available during the COVID-19 crisis to prevent and respond to sexual and relationship violence and to support survivors. Experiencing violence or harassment is always a complex and painful experience and there is assistance and support both on campus and in your individual communities. 

The current circumstances of shelter-in-place orders may be creating unique stressors due to being in close or constant proximity with an abusive person, lack of access to resources, and/or physical distance from support networks. UC Santa Cruz has taken critical steps to protect our community from the spread of the COVID-19 virus while continuing to provide crucial services and support to members of our community. 

First, to survivors: I write today with an unconditional message of support. Please know that despite physical and social distancing, you are not alone. There are many local and national resources still available for you and ready to assist you every step of the way. UCSC resources are available and include emotional support, assistance with safety planning, assistance with workplace, academic, and housing accommodations for students, staff and faculty.

  • Title IX Office stewards the University of California’s Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy and provides supportive resources to individuals impacted by sexual violence and harassment. Reports of sexual violence, harassment, and relationship violence may be reported online at TitleIX.ucsc.edu. Resources available to individuals experiencing sexual violence or harassment, include emergency housing and transportation accommodations, as well as academic and workplace accommodations. A comprehensive list of reporting options and resources can be found on the UCSC Title IX Office website

  • CARE: CARE is a confidential resource that provides advocacy and support for survivors of sexual violence or harassment. CARE is committed to supporting the needs of the community with services including crisis intervention, accommodations, and safety planning. See CARE’s website for more information.

  • UCSC Police: UCPD is devoted to protecting the safety and well-being of the UCSC community. See more at UCPD’s website. If you have immediate concerns about your physical safety, or are experiencing an emergency, please call 911. UCPD’s non-emergency line may be reached at (831) 459-2231.

  • CAPS: UCSC Counseling and Psychological Services offers a wide range of mental health and wellness services at no out-of-pocket cost to students. CAPS services, including remote individual and group counseling sessions, remain available to support UCSC students during the current crisis. See more at CAPS’ website.

  • EAP: For staff and faculty members, and their family members, the Employee Assistance Program is available to provide confidential, personal support. See EAP website. The number of sessions has increased from 3 to 6 until June 1, 2021. 

  • National resources: It may be difficult to find privacy for a phone call, consider using the chat-based resources provided by the National Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Hotlines. 

Sexual and relationship violence and harassment are never the survivor’s fault or responsibility. Importantly, the stressors associated with COVID-19 are not an excuse and do not justify taking anger out on or harming another person. If you are concerned about your own behaviors, read about resources or call: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Lastly, to our campus community:  To help you prevent violence and support the survivors in your life, here are some recommendations during COVID-19: 

  • Affirm healthy norms--virtually or in-person--by practicing respect and kindness, defining and expressing personal boundaries, supporting others by valuing and upholding their personal boundaries, and checking in with your community.

  • Engage in intervention even during physical distancing. We can intervene on social media, video calls, texts, as well as in person. Check-in calls via video and phone may be ways to buffer against violence at home.

  • Express support privately if you are concerned about someone experiencing abuse or violence. Check in with them, offer resources, and identify additional opportunities for intervention.

Finally, I want to send a deep, heartfelt thank you to the campus and community sexual and domestic violence response providers as well as the healthcare providers, first-responders, and essential personnel who are maintaining critical campus functions. 



Isabel Alvarado Dees, J.D.

pronouns: She/Her/Ella

Interim Associate Vice Chancellor, Equity & Equal Protection

Title IX Coordinator