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Suggested Guidelines to Follow If Someone Shares She or He Has Been a Victim of Sexual Assault, Dating or Domestic Violence, and/or Stalking

 

1.   Inform the person of your obligation under the CSU policies to inform the Title IX Coordinator of any incident of sexual violence.

Persons who aren't sure they want the incident reported should meet with a confidential resource. Explain that if she or he does not want the incident to be reported to the campus Title IX Coordinator, she or he should discuss the incident with a confidential resource such as one of the counselors or health educators located in the Student Health Center or at one of the local advocate centers outlined in our materials. Regardless of her or his response, provide a brochure entitled "Rights and Options" or direct him or her to the Title IX webpage: http://www.csum.edu/web/hr/title-ix

2.   Go through the  main ideas in the "Rights and Options" with the person, which include:

a.    Call 911 if the person is in immediate harm or threat of harm. University police can escort the person to a safe place and transport her or him to a hospital or a sexual assault response center for a medical examination.

b.    Inform the person that she or he is not required to make a police report but at the same time they are not discouraged from doing so.

c.    Encourage the person to preserve evidence: not to wash or shower, not to wash clothes, not to brush teeth, not to use the restroom, not to delete any communication (text messages, calls, emails or any social media communication). These actions may afford the victim a broader range of options to deal with the incident via criminal prosecution, administrative investigation or both. By preserving evidence, a complainant helps subsequent investigations while not having to make an immediate decision whether to report an assault to the police.

d.    Strongly encourage the person to notify the Title IX Coordinator who can provide further information on options, interim and final remedies. If she or he requests that no action be taken at that time, she or he should be informed that the request will be shared with the Title IX Coordinator, and the Title IX Coordinator will then determine whether the request can be honored by balancing the request with the University's obligation to provide a safe, nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the campus community. Also, let her or him know the Title IX Coordinator will contact her or him, but it is the person's choice whether and how to respond to that contact.

e.    Refer the victim to the brochure or to the cited website for definitions of sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and consent.

3.   If the person decides not to share the incident with you and states that she or he will share it with someone who can keep the information confidential.

Respect the person's choice and, depending on the circumstances (i.e., any threat of imminent harm), do not inquire further. Just make sure she or he receives the Rights and Options brochure. 

4.   When or if the student chooses to talk with you about the incident.

a.   What to report to the Title IX Coordinator, if known

  •  names of the complainant, respondant, and witnesses
  •  date, time, and location of alleged incident
  •  any  details of the incident shared by the complainant
  •  whether the complainant requested confidentiality (1)
  •  whether the complainant requested no action be taken
  •  any other relevant facts

b.   Remember your role.

You are not a counselor, you are not an investigator, and you are not called upon to name, analyze, or define students' experiences. You are a bridge to connect the student with the Title IX Coordinator who will provide options for support, accommodations and accountability.

c.   Keep the person's needs and feelings at the center of the process.

When victims and survivors of sexual violence first make a report, it is critical that you listen, are present, avoid judgment, and don't blame them for what happened. Let the person know you care. Don't overly express your own feelings about what happened to them and don't define their experience for them. Avoid labeling the conduct (i.e., rape).

5.   After fulfilling your obligation to report to the Title IX Coordinator, keep the person's information private.



1 If the person discloses information but requests confidentiality or asks that no action be taken, the University's ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the perpetrator may be severely limited. However, if an investigation and response is necessary to ensure a safe campus environment for all students, including the complainant, maintaining the victim's confidentiality may not be possible. In those situations where a response is required, information is shared on a need-to-know basis and victims' names are not included in crime statistics or other publicly-available documents unless required by law.

 

 


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