For Parents

What can I do for my student? How will Denison handle this?

Parental support can be crucial to the healing process for a survivor. For people who experience sexual misconduct, many times they feel that control has been taken away from them. It is important for supporting people to help them regain as much control possible. Though this section lays out information and good practices for next steps, it is ultimately up to your son/daughter what they want to do and how they want to handle their situation.

NOTE: Because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), if your student is over 18, Denison cannot share details of reports, investigations, or case findings to parents without the permission of the student. If the student wishes information to be shared with parents (or others) they my fill out a consent form with the Title IX Coordinator.

If your son/daughter discloses to you:

  • Ensure that they are safe, in a safe place, and feel safe.

    • The physical safety of a survivor is of the utmost importance. If they are in immediate danger call Campus Safety (740-587-6777) or 911. More information can be found in the “Something Happened to Me” page of the site, under the “Immediate Help” section.
  • Encourage your student to seek medical attention and offer to help to connect them with services.

    • Medical attention will help the immediate physical health of an individual and may prevent further damage to their health. This is especially important in the 24 hours after an assault occurs. Sexual assault is a violent crime and physical trauma may have occurred during the assault. Additionally, your student may be at risk of acquiring a STD. Medical personnel can also perform a forensic exam (also known as a “rape kit”) if the reporter chooses to participate. More information can be found in the “Something Happened to Me” page of the site, under the “Immediate Help” section.
  • Offer to connect student with other resources and people to speak to.

    • Sexual misconduct can be traumatic for anyone. Encourage the student to speak with someone. That person might be you, however, sometimes students are not comfortable speaking to their parents about an incident. Speaking to a licensed counselor/therapist, someone who works in a community organization concerned with sexual violence, and/or a spiritual advisor can be valuable coping options. More information can be found in the “Something Happened to Me” page of the site, under the “Who can I talk to?” section.
  • Speak to them about reporting options.

    • Your student may wish to report this incident. There are several options for reporting including reporting to Denison, reporting to law enforcement, reporting to a third party, and/or anonymous reporting. More information can be found in the “Something Happened to Me” page of the site, under the “How do I report?” section.
    • If your student is considering reporting to Denison, it will be important for you and your student to familiarize yourself with the process. For information about the University’s process to investigate and adjudicate cases and the rights of those involved, please see the “Denison’s Response and Process for Reports” section of the website.
  • Interim protective measures and accommodations available.

    • If a student chooses to pursue a report through the University, Denison can work with the student to enact interim measures during the investigation and adjudication process to aid the safety and well-being of the student. More information on accommodations and how to request can be found on the “Something Happened to Me” page in the “How do I get through this?” section.
    • Continue to support your student.
      • The road to recovery for a survivor of sexual violence can be long and difficult and, in some ways, may not ever end. Explore long-term care options with your student and how you can help.
      • It may be difficult to understand what your student may be going through and the complex emotions associated with trauma and assault. Vera House Incorporated has a collection of stories written by survivors that provide insight into what your student may or may not be feeling and/or thinking. Those stories can be accessed here.
    • Take care of yourself.
      • Supporting a person through a difficult and traumatic experience can be difficult and traumatic for the support person too.

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