The following information is provided by Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA) in collaboration with IVTU.

More About SASA:

  • Mission: Students Against Sexual Assault is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the elimination of sexual assault and sexual harassment on the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara City College, the University of California, Santa Cruz campuses and their surrounding communities. Members of SASA aim to create sustainable and effective resources for survivors of sexual violence. We are dedicated to the study and exposure of sexual assault and harassment while also recognizing the systemic flaws in the institutions which do not effectively address the needs of survivors. SASA is committed to accomplishing these goals through meticulous and practical planning, community organizing, coalition building, and lobbying with the purpose of eliciting change in our fight against factors associated with sexual assault on our community members. SASA is founded upon and will, with every project and action, defend and uphold the principles of ethnic, gender, racial, and social equality— recognizing the intersectionality of persons affected by sexual violence.
  • Learn more by visiting the SASA website

Lease Termination:

Can I terminate my lease agreement with an abuser?

  • Yes. By presenting your landlord with certain documentation described below, you can end your lease.
  • There are three options of documentation and/or evidence required to terminate your lease agreement:
    • A copy of the police report describing the incident, if one exists.
    • A restraining order on the perpetrator.
    • A letter from a mental healthcare professional (e.g. a therapist) stating that the incident has negatively affected you in some way.
    • Note: if you attempt to use a police report or a restraining order, you must present these documents to your landlord within 180 days of them being made or issued.

Can I remove an abuser off our lease agreement?

  • No. The law only allows for survivors to terminate their lease. 

Does it matter what type of lease I have? 

  • The type of lease you have will not change the process. 
  • If you are a subtenant, however, then you must address the issue to your sublessor (who acts as your “landlord”).
    • In all other instances, the building landlord is who you would approach.
  • If you are operating on a month-to-month lease, you can instead simply end your lease in the normal time frame to avoid bringing the matter to the attention of your landlord (if you so choose).

If I break my lease using the methods described above, what is the timeline like? 

  • After presenting your landlord with notice of you intent to terminate the lease, you are only obligated to pay the next 14 days worth of rent.
    • Part or all of this rent can be returned to you if your landlord finds a replacement tenant before the end of the 14 day mark.
  • For example: if Tenant A notifies the landlord on December 31st, they would be required to pay rent until January 14th.
    • However, should Tenant B move in on January 7th, Tenant A can ask the landlord to be reimbursed for half of the rent paid. 

How will my roommates be affected by me terminating my lease?

  • The statute provides no means of allowing roommates who are not direct survivors out of the lease agreement.
    • In other words, they are not able to end their leases.
  • Unfortunately, the statute provides no direct insight regarding how a survivors termination of their lease would affect the rent payments of the remaining tenants.
    • That being said, the law states that you have no obligation to find a replacement tenants nor pay rent past the 14 day mark. 

Emergency and Transitional Housing:

Where can I locate emergency or transitional housing? 

  • If you are a UCSB student enrolled at least half-time, you can contact the Rapid Rehousing Program which works alongside the Financial Crisis Response Team.
  • Domestic Violence Solutions provides both emergency shelter and long-term housing solutions.
    • To contact them, you can visit their website or call one of their 24-hour crisis/information hotlines:
      • Santa Barbara – (805) 964-5245
      • Lompoc – (805) 736-0965
      • Santa Maria – (805) 925-2160
      • Santa Ynez Valley – (805) 686-4390

Confidentiality:

How do I inform my landlord of my intent to terminate my lease?

  • It is best practice to communicate with your landlord in-writing (e.g. via email).
    • This way, both parties can see the date and timestamp without the ability to change it (this can be useful if complications should arise).

How much information am I required to disclose? 

  • There is no explicit language in the statute requiring any amount of information. The statute only states that you must present one of the three documents stated earlier. 
  • Whichever documentation you choose and/or are able to provide can have an impact on how much information you would be potentially sharing.
    • However, there is no language specifying how much or how little you must disclose to your landlord.

To whom do I present documentation and/or evidence to about my situation?

  • You present the documentation to whomever is acting as your landlord.
  • If you are a subtenant, however, then the original tenant you are subletting from is acting as your landlord, so you would go to them.
  • In all other instances, the building landlord is to who you present the documentation.

Is confidentiality maintained if I am presenting these documents to my landlord?

  • Yes. The landlord is obligated to keep all information confidential, unless:
    • They are given consent by the survivor to share, or
    • Disclosure is required by law.
  • If you choose to use a letter from a therapist, your landlord is allowed to contact the therapist to confirm the validity of the provided document.
    • However, confidentiality of this letter is maintained.

Guidance and Counseling:

With whom can I consult about my situation?

  • You can make an appointment with IVTU’s Caseworker by visiting our website (click “Book An Appointment” on our homepage).
  • You can make a confidential appointment with the Isla Vista Community Coordinator for Students Against Sexual Assault by emailing sasa.sb.ca@gmail.com.

Other confidential health resources:

  • Confidential = what you choose to share is protected by federal and state laws, and legally cannot be shared with others without your explicit permission.
    • These resources are also referred to as “non-mandatory reporters.”
  • UCSB Campus Advocacy, Resources, and Education (CARE)
    • (805) 893-4613
    • Visit CARE’s website to book an appointment.
    • CARE provides confidential advocacy and support to students and staff impacted by sexual violence, dating/domestic violence and stalking; they accept both walk-ins and appointments.
  • UCSB Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
    • (805) 893-4411
    • CAPS offers students mental health services such as individual and group counseling in order to promote the overall well-being of UCSB students; they accept both walk-ins and appointments.
  • Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA)
    • (805) 564-3696
    • Visit STESA’s website to get in touch.
    • STESA provides in-office crisis counseling without an appointment and provides long-term individual counseling and group counseling for survivors who have already begun the process of healing and are interested in exploring their feelings and relationships, and the impact of sexual violence on their lives.
  • Isla Vista Survivor Resource Center
    • (805) 564-3696
    • Provides a safe location in Isla Vista for survivors to meet with Advocates from STESA. To access this resource, call STESA’s 24-hour hotline and request to meet an advocate at the Isla Vista Resource Center. The advocate will provide you a meeting time—usually within 30 minutes—and will be able to discuss medical and legal options and provide crisis counseling.
  • UCSB Office of the Ombuds
    • (805) 893-3285
    • Offers confidential consultation services to UCSB members with a campus-related concern and addresses workplace issues, interpersonal conflict, academic concerns, policy questions, and more.

Legal action and reporting offices:

  • Mandatory reporters = required by law to report instances of sexual violence when they become aware or suspect them.
  • UCSB Title IX Office
    • (805) 893-2701
    • Visit their website to learn how to file a report.
    • Reviews reports of sexual violence made by students and determines whether an official university investigation on the matter will take place; their investigation may follow with a no-contact order and/or an adjudication process by the Office of Judicial Affairs.
  • SBCC Title IX Office
  • University of California Police Department (UCPD)
    • (805) 893-3446
    • Visit their website to learn how to report a crime.
    • Equips survivors with knowledge regarding forensic exams, restraining orders and all legal options available; survivors may choose to solely document the instance or may press charges; for more information about reporting options, please refer to the SASA and UCPD-created Generalized Reporting Guidelines for UCPD.
  • Isla Vista Foot Patrol
    • (805) 681-4179
    • Visit their website to learn how to file a report.
    • Serves to protect the community of Isla Vista and reports to the District Attorney to pursue legal action for offenses that occur in Isla Vista.