The University of Washington Bothell offers free advocacy and support for students affected by sexual assault, rape, relationship violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment and other related experiences. Meeting with an advocate will not automatically lead to any kind of investigation by the university or the police.
A safe, confidential place to start
A confidential advocate through the Violence Prevention & Advocacy Program is able to provide caring, empowering support to students. With an advocate, you can explore your rights, options, and resources, and all decisions to pursue next steps will be entirely up to you.
Make an appointment now by calling 425-352-3851 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To protect your privacy, email is best used to simply schedule appointments, without including too much detail. The Violence Prevention & Advocacy program takes confidentiality seriously, and while access to the email account is limited to the advocate, email is not always a secure form of communication.
What to expect
Making an appointment
After calling or emailing, you can typically be scheduled to meet with an advocate within the next one or two business days. We try to meet in person whenever possible, as most students find that to be the most supportive.
The first appointment
You'll meet with the advocate in a private office on the UWB campus. You can tell the advocate as much or as little as you'd like. There's nothing in particular that you need to bring with you, but if you have documents or notes that you'd like to refer to, you're welcome to bring them along.
What an advocate can provide
The goal of advocacy is to help you explore your needs and goals, and then work alongside you to help you achieve them. As a result, advocacy looks different for every person. You can meet with an advocate once or on an ongoing basis, and they can offer support and resources in the following areas.
Immediate & emotional support
- Learn about common reactions to sexual assault, relationship violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, trauma and other experiences.
- The advocate will provide options, rights, resources, and referrals, including those related to many of the areas outlined below.
- Process your experience in a safe, judgment-free environment.
- Discuss how you can take care of yourself and heal through counseling options, stress reduction techniques, support groups, and/or other resources.
- Explore ways your experience impacted, and may continue to impact, your ability to be and feel safe.
- Make a safety plan.
- Learn about protection orders. The advocate can accompany you to court appointments and hearings.
Connection to medical care
- Discuss resources for medical care.
- The advocate can accompany you to medical exams and treatment appointments.
- Explore whether you want to get a sexual assault evidentiary exam.
- Learn about your rights and reporting options. You have the right to report to the University, to the police, to both, and to neither.
- Discuss making a report to the University through the Title IX Investigation Office or the University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO). The advocate is available to help support you through this process and accompany you to appointments.
- Discuss making a report to the police. The advocate is available to help support you through this process and accompany you to appointments.
- Discuss how your experience may have affected work or school and how the advocate can help by working with your professors.
- Explore options for safer housing.
- Make a holistic plan for managing and reducing the impact of this experience.
- Learn about additional resources to support your long-term wellbeing.
Meet the UWB advocate
Elizabeth Wilmerding, MSW
A message from Elizabeth
Whether you’re here seeking support for yourself or for someone else, I commend you for reaching out. You don’t have to go through this alone. As UWB’s Violence Prevention and Advocacy Program Manager, part of my role is to provide free and confidential support to any student who has been impacted by sexual or relationship violence. You can seek support for yourself, or because a friend of family member has experienced harm.
If you have experienced violence, please know that what happened is not your fault. You deserve safety and respect, and whatever steps you take next are completely up to you. You do not have to make a report to the police or the university in order to receive support. My approach is to meet you wherever you are in your healing process, identify goals and next steps, and support you in whatever way you decide. We can meet one time or on an ongoing basis, depending on your needs.
Sometimes, people are hesitant to reach out for support because they’re not sure how to categorize what happened to them. Other times, folks feel like the situation isn’t serious enough, or they’re not sure that there’s any action that can be taken. These are normal, common feelings to have; don’t let them prevent you from getting the care that you need and deserve. If you feel harmed, uncomfortable, or unsafe, that is more than enough of a reason to seek support.
I’m available to meet with you in person, or to talk on the phone. To set up a time to talk, call or email me at the contact information above. You’re also welcome to stop by the Health and Wellness Resource Center (in ARC-120) to say hi or to schedule an appointment.
Elizabeth Wilmerding, MSW (she/her/hers), has been working in violence prevention for the past ten years, in both campus and community settings. She strives to bring a lens of social justice and community accountability to her work. Elizabeth is particularly interested in preventing harm in LGBTQ communities and addressing intersections of violence. Prior to coming to UWB, Elizabeth was most recently at UC Berkeley, managing sexual violence prevention programming for undergraduate students. Elizabeth has a BA from Montana State University, an MSW from UC Berkeley, and has been a Campus Fellow with Futures Without Violence. Her hobbies include reading, knitting, spending time with animals, hiking, and connecting with friends and family.