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How to Support as Faculty/Staff

How do I support a student who disclosed to me?

If a student chooses to disclose to you, it is because they have trust in you and your ability to help. 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 as possible. Though this section lays out information and good practices for next steps, it is ultimately up to the person disclosing what they want to do and how they want to handle their situation.

Important note on your status as a Responsible Employee:

The Office of Civil Right’s 2001 guidance document defines Responsible Employee as an employee who: “has the authority to take action to redress sexual violence; who has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct by students to the Title IX coordinator or other appropriate school designee; or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty”. Denison interprets this as most employees, including but not limited to faculty, administration, staff, resident assistants (RAs), head residents (HR’s), and orientation program staff.

Responsible Employees are mandated reports, meaning they are required to report information shared with them regarding Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking and/or Retaliation. NOTE: Once a report is filed, it is up to the student as to whether they want to the report to move forward or continue in the process. Reports must be made to the Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputy Coordinator(s).

  • Steve Gauger, Title IX Coordinator – (740) 587-8660, Doane Admin 001, gaugers@denison.edu
  • Cameron Morrison, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students – (740) 587-6728, Slayter 410, morrisonc@denison.edu
  • Sara Lee, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics and Faculty – (740) 587-6290, Mitchell Center 228, lees@denison.edu
  • Barbara Lay, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Staff – (740) 587-6551, Doane Admin 301, layb@denison.edu

Supporting a student who 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 the 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, the student may be at risk of acquiring a STD. Medical personnel can also perform a forensic exam 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. 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 the student about your responsibility to report.

    • Let the student know that under federal law and Denison policy, you are required to report all incidences of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. However, it will be the person’s choice if they want to move forward with the investigation or participate in the process.
      • Let the person know you will treat anything disclosed as private, meaning only pertinent information (who, what, when, and where) will be shared with the Title IX Office, and no one else.
    • If someone discloses to you, it will be important for you 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.
    • In addition to reporting to Denison, there are several other options for reporting including to law enforcement or reporting to a third party. More information can be found in the “Something Happened to Me” page of the site, under the “How do I report?” section.
  • Talk to student about 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 the student.

    • The road to recovery for a survivor of sexual violence can be long and difficult and, in some ways, may not ever end. Continue to check in and offer your help.
    • It may be difficult to understand what a survivor 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 a survivor 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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