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Faculty/Staff Response to Disclosures of Sexual Violence

This page provides information and resources for faculty and staff who receive reports of sexual violence, relationship violence and/or stalking from students and othestaff/faculty members.  If a student/staff/faculty member voluntarily discloses this incident, please know that this person likely trusts you and it is important for you to provide support and offer reassurance and resources.  Many survivors only disclose to one person so your reaction can play a significant role in their healing process.

How to Support a Student/Staff/Faculty Member:

In those rare cases where a student/staff/faculty member contacts you immediately following an assault, and may have injuries, please contact 911. If not, please move to a private, calm and safe location, discuss limits of confidentiality and provide options, resources and support for the individual impacted by violence.

Helpful Statements to Say to Victims/Survivors of Violence

Helpful things to say to a victim/survivor of sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking

  •  I’m very sorry that you have to go through this. 
  • I’m sorry that person harmed you.
  • We have campus and community resources to help support you.
  • If you would like to have someone with you when talking to the police or school administrators, the Survivor Advocate on campus can accompany you. The Survivor Advocate will help to make sure you are connected with the people who can assist you throughout the process.
  • I’m sorry this happened to you.
  • Sometimes when this happens, victims blame themselves – this is not your fault.
  • Thank you for trusting me with this information.
  • Thank you for telling me this, I realize how hard this is.
  • There are many on campus and community resources available to help, would you like to talk about these options?
  • The Survivor Advocate on campus is available to help. The advocate is specially trained to work with those who have experienced sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking and can offer you help and provide options. Would you like to speak with the victim advocate?

Hurtful things NOT to say to a victim/survivor of sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking

  •  It’s outrageous that you’ve had to experience this! 
  • Well, it sounds to me like you were raped/Abused/!
  • I’ll make sure justice will be served.” 
  • I’ll be there for you in whatever way you need. 
  • They won’t get away with it
  • What were you doing there with him/her
  • Why didn’t you scream/fight/call police?
  • I’m sure he/she didn’t mean to do it.
  • Just try not to think about it.
  • How did you “let” this happen

 VA protocol