Dear Stanford community,

We are writing to follow up on the Community Crime Alert sent by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) last evening about a reported rape on the Stanford campus. We know this report was alarming and unsettling, especially coming after a report of a similar nature in August near Wilbur Hall.

We want to share what we know – and what we don’t know – and what is being done.

First and foremost, DPS is actively investigating yesterday’s report, based on the limited information that is available thus far. Our SHARE Title IX Office and other university offices also are engaged.

Because of the limited information currently available – and this is explained further below – we urge anyone in the campus community who may have useful information to share it with DPS. If you witnessed anything on Friday that might be related to last evening’s alert, please contact the Department of Public Safety at (650) 723-9633.

Second, the nature of these crime alerts can often be unclear to our community. To provide some context:

Stanford DPS became aware of this reported sexual assault after being notified by a mandatory reporter – a person who has a legal obligation to notify law enforcement about certain crimes. Under a federal law known as the Clery Act, DPS then sends an alert to the community, officially known as a Timely Warning, when a judgment is made based on the information available that the report could involve a continuing threat to the community.

The initial report to DPS may include very little information. It may not include the name of the person who originally reported the incident, the location, the name of a suspect, or any other identifying information. This is why some alerts to the community, in turn, may have very little information.

There are a variety of reasons why a victim may not disclose information about a crime. Many victims need time to process what occurred; for some, the trauma of a crime impacts their ability to recall information. Currently, the victim who reported being assaulted yesterday has chosen not to share information about the crime with the police at this time. This also remains the case for the August report, which remains under investigation.

Our fervent, continuing goal is to provide care and support for survivors of sexual violence at Stanford, to hold perpetrators of sexual violence accountable, and to ensure a safe campus community that is free of violence. To that end, we want to share the following:

  • Anyone who may have information related to Friday’s report is urged to share it with the Department of Public Safety.
  • We encourage victims of sexual violence to come forward so that law enforcement and the university can assist. We understand the reasons that individuals may be hesitant to do so, particularly following a traumatic incident. An initial step always can be contacting a confidential support resource, offered either directly by the university or by an external provider. These resources are free of charge and are available to support you, and they can help you understand your options based on your individual needs and concerns. Please see the resources listed here:
  • As we always do, we recommend taking steps to provide for your personal safety. Be aware of your surroundings; carry a cell phone to connect quickly with 911 if you are concerned about a situation, or use one of the blue emergency towers placed around campus to do so; know that transportation options such as the Marguerite shuttle and the 5-SURE service are available if you wish to use them.

The Department of Public Safety will continue working to investigate. Any information you can provide will be most helpful. Thank you for your care and concern for one another, and for our shared efforts to provide for our community’s safety.


Stephen Chen
Director, SHARE Title IX Office
Office of Institutional Equity, Access & Community

Laura Wilson
Director, Department of Public Safety