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For Faculty, Administrators, and Staff

If a victim/survivor discloses an incident of sexual assault, relationship abuse, stalking, and sexual harassment, you have tremendous potential to positively impact a student victim/survivor's life by providing them with a supportive reaction and referrals to resources. If you have questions at any time about how to support a survivor, please call a SART advocate at (845) 437-7333, SAVP Director at (845) 437-7863, or the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action/Title IX Office at (845) 437-7924.

Here are some ways to support a student survivor: 

1. Determine safety: If a weapon was used, the perpetrator is unknown, or the student does not feel safe from the perpetrator, call 911 or Safety & Security immediately at (845) 437-7333.

2. Explain your reporting responsibilities.

  • See Responsible, Private, or Confidential? 
  • If you are a responsible employee, you are required to notify the College’s Title IX Coordinator of the disclosure. 
    • To do so, you may email or call the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action/Title IX Office at titleix@vassar.edu/(845) 437-7924 or fill out an online notification form located at https://eoaa.vassar.edu/title-ix/reporting/.
    • Following your notification, a Title IX representative will provide outreach to the victim/survivor. The victim/survivor has the right to file a formal complaint as well as the right not to respond to outreach from the Title IX representative.
    • If a student would like to speak with someone without the Title IX office being notified, they may contact a SART advocate or the SAVP Director (both private resources), who will fill out an anonymous report form (with no names or identifying information). 

3. Provide support:

  • Listen and thank them for trusting you. 
  • Validate and empathize feelings and concerns.
  • Be non-judgmental.
  • Mirror their language (i.e. Do they say victim or survivor? What pronouns do they use? How do they describe their experience?)
  • If the incident happened in the context of an ongoing relationship, do not tell them they need to immediately leave the relationship. Leaving a relationship without a safety plan is often dangerous. 
  • Allow them to make decisions on the next steps.

4. Offer resources:

  • Provide a copy of any relevant SAVP information cards.
  • See Resources
  • Offer to connect the student to SAVP or a SART Advocate.