Listen, support, refer
Listening is the single most important thing that you can do. No one deserves to be the victim of violence, regardless of the circumstances. Let the student know they are not to blame.
- I’m sorry that happened.
- Thank you for telling me.
- How much were you drinking?
- Why didn’t you call the police?
Allowing the student to make choices about how to proceed after an assault or an abusive relationship is a way for them to regain control that was taken away. Work with them to consider what options are available and how you may be in a position to provide help, for example, by granting changes to assignments, providing extensions, etc.
- What do you think would be helpful for you today?
- I think you need to report this right now.
You are not expected to be an expert; however, you can direct the student to offices and agencies who have well-trained staff to provide victim support. Click here for information about campus and community resources.
- Would it be helpful to talk to someone further about this?
- You need to talk to the Dean of Students Office about this immediately.