Helping a Student or Friend Who Has Disclosed They Have Had an Experience with Sexual Assault, Domestic/Dating Violence, or Stalking:
- BELIEVE the survivor.
- If they choose to talk, then listen. Follow their lead to put the power and control back in their court. Be sure to avoid “why” questions.
- Be open with your comfort level. You do not want your discomfort with the situation to be misinterpreted as a lack of concern.
- Offer options instead of unsolicited advice. It is important that the survivor continue to see you as a resource. If the survivor feels uncomfortable with your advice, they may not follow-up, may worry about disappointing you, and may not get any help at all.
- Encourage the survivor to speak with a trained professional, but remember that the final decision needs to be made by the survivor. Let them know that there are people who can help.
- Know your resources. Talk to a trained professional to clarify your own feelings and/or gather insight into what the survivor is experiencing.
- Reinforce the C.A.R.E. philosophy: Choice-Advocacy-Respect-Empowerment
Click the link to view a power point presentation about how to respond to a disclosure: Responding to Power-Based Personal Violence Disclosure at TCNJ.
Legislation requires colleges and universities inform victims/survivors of their rights and resources, as well as the institution’s responsibilities. While AVI is available to share this information with students, we understand that students may not feel comfortable speaking to a new person. To help faculty, staff and students better understand a victim or survivor’s options, we’ve created two documents.
The first document explains a student’s rights and outlines the Student Conduct/Title IX investigation process. Click TCNJ Rights for Victims and Survivors to access a PDF version of this form.
The second document was created to help those impacted by violence understand all of the options and support services available to them. Click Options for Responding to PBPV to access a PDF version of this document.
Here is a great document about the Dos and Donts of Supporting a Survivor: Dos-and-Donts-Supporting-a-Survivor-Culture-of-Respect