April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and each week we will walk through the different sections of the It’s On Us campaign. It’s On Us’s mission is to build the movement to combat sexual assault by engaging young men and changing campus culture.
All survivors exhibit immense courage, whether they choose to disclose and/or report, or if they decide to process and heal on their own. Our goal is to create an environment where all survivors feel supported and have resources and people they can reach out to if they choose.
Survivors of sexual violence often endure significant trauma, and many experience feelings of isolation, guilt, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
One of the most important aspects of supporting survivors is your ability to maintain confidentiality when confronted with disclosures. A survivor is putting their trust in you, and it is solely up to them whether or not they choose to report to their campus or to law enforcement, or if they choose to disclose to other people. Therefore, it is not up to you to tell a survivor’s experience to anyone, even if you believe they should.
Your job is to listen and offer whatever support you feel comfortable providing as an ally and advocate.
Taking care of yourself after handling a disclosure of sexual violence is important. It’s okay to seek out help for yourself after supporting a survivor. Remember that you can always offer referrals to trusted resources.
There is no one way to support survivors; therefore, culturally relevant resources and programming ideas for survivors at risk for re-victimization—or with histories of prior trauma—are included here.
What to Know
- Understanding your campus’ protocol on confidential reporting.
- What is a Campus Security Authority?
- On-Campus Disclaimer: Each campus is different when it comes to on-campus resources. Please consult your campus’ website for information about resources you can utilize on campus, as well as any additional resources in your surrounding area.
- Intersection of Title IX and the Clery Act
- Resources for your campus administrators
Where to Go
- Contact your local rape crisis center or state coalition to find out which hospitals your campus have trained sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs)