Alerts for emotionally difficult material (trigger warnings)
Instructors who include readings, films or discussions that contain content related to sexual violence, intimate partner violence, or other traumatic experiences may want to consider incorporating information that alerts students that the course includes such material. These alerts can help students prepare for the content and how to best take care of themselves.
Here is an example:
This course may include readings, media, and discussion around topics such as sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, physical violence, and identity-based discrimination and harassment. I acknowledge that this content may be difficult. I also encourage you to care for your safety and well-being.
You may also want to consider whether you will offer alternative options for emotionally triggering materials. If so, it’s important to consider how you will let students know about this option and what students will be expected to share with you to access it.
For various perspectives on the use of trigger warnings: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/opinion/sunday/why-i-use-trigger-warnings.html.