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Sexual Misconduct and Title IX

Tips to Help Others

Tips to Help Others

Suggestions for Supporting

If someone shares an instance of sexual misconduct with you, these suggestions are intended to help you best support the individual.

  1. Listen: Allow the person who is disclosing information to guide the conversation
  2. Validate the reporting individual’s feelings and give them options. Supportive statements include:
    • I hear you.
    • This is not your fault.
    • That sounds like a difficult situation.
    • How can I best support you right now?
    • Would you like to talk about it?
  3. Ask what you can do to assist the individual:
    • Do they need medical support?
    • Would they like to go to a different space (more private, different building, etc.)?
    • Would they like to contact someone or have a friend with them?
  4. Be Inclusive: Remember that sexual misconduct can affect anyone in our community and all individuals are protected under our policy. All genders, gender identities, ethnicities, sexual orientations and backgrounds can experience sexual misconduct.
  5. Mention Resources: Student Advocate for Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response, Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, University Counseling & Health Services, CWRU Police. Refer to our Support Resources page for on-campus as well as off-campus resources.
  6. Be aware of what you say: Refrain from making judgmental, blaming or dismissive comments. Do not ask bias or weighted questions that can be hurtful. Hurtful comments can include:
    • How much did you have to drink?
    • What were you wearing?
    • Haven’t you gone out with that person before?
    • That’s not that big of a deal.
  7. Recognize the effects of trauma: Trauma affects individuals in different ways and can directly impact memory. Someone may be experiencing trauma and not act the way you think they should act. An individual may report along a continuum. They may come forward immediately or wait years. The duration of time has no bearing on the support we provide.
  8. Respect their privacy: Unless you are an employee of the university and someone considered a Responsible Reporting Party, do not discuss the information shared with you to anyone. Also, do not attempt to contact others involved in the misconduct or try to conduct an investigation into the situation on your own.
  9. Do not try to “fix” it: Allow the person who shared information with you to determine the next steps. Allow them to decide whether or not they want to report information to the university or to the police. Do not attempt the mediate the issue or discourage individuals from filing a report.
  10. Seek self-care: Having someone disclose this type of information to you could be difficult for them and for you. Take care of yourself and seek support as necessary.