When supporting a survivor of sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking, it is important to refrain from making judgments and from taking control away from the survivor. If you are a mandatory reporter, make sure you let them know as soon as possible so they can choose whether they want to talk to you or not. If you ask questions about the survivor’s behavior and try to analyze what happened, you may unintentionally cause them to blame themselves or shut down. Especially if you are the first person they have told, your response can greatly shape their path towards healing.
DO communicate the following three ideas. This can greatly assist the survivor’s healing:
- “I’m sorry it happened.”
- “It’s not your fault.”
- “You handled a terrible situation the best way you could.”
Take Care of Yourself
You can contact Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention for support at resources at 303.458.4029 or email@example.com
Guidelines for faculty and staff supporting a survivor
If possible, let someone who you think may be going down the road of disclosing, gently interrupt and remind them you are a mandatory reporter. This gives them the choice to disclose, or to speak to a confidential resource instead.
If someone discloses that they have experienced sexual misconduct (sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking), let them know that you believe what they are telling you.
Know your reporting structure. Unless you are a confidential resource, you will need to report the information shared with you. If you are unsure who to report to, contact the EO & Title IX coordinator at 303.964.6435
Remind the person that information they share with you can be kept private but not confidential. Although you have to make a report, they still have a lot of choice – they can come with you to make the report, they can choose to not engage when someone reaches out, etc. A report does not automatically mean a Title IX investigation will occur.
Refer the person to confidential resources:
- Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention, 303.458.4029 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office of Counseling and Personal Development, 303.458.3507
- University Ministry and Jesuits, 303.458.4153