Responding with compassion, validation, and support when an individual discloses that they may have been a victim of physical, emotional, sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct, can be an important part of their healing process. Sometimes the most valuable advice comes from someone the individual already trusts. Whether you are a roommate, parent, faculty, or staff member you should strive to respond to an individual’s disclosure with the sensitivity and respect they deserve.
Make sure the reporting person is safe. Help the person get to a safe place, if needed. If you are concerned for their immediate safety, call 911 or Campus Security at 541-962-3911.
It takes incredible strength and courage for someone to reveal they are a victim. Listen actively and without judgement. Avoid asking questions or digging for details. It’s best to allow them to control what information they share.
The single most important thing you can do to support a reporting person is to tell them you believe them. Many individuals often worry that they will not be believed or that they will be judged. Your reaction can influence whether or not they choose to share information with others, including the police or mental and physical health counseling services.
Learn about resources available to victims, including medical care, evidence collection, reporting options, and counseling. The more you know, the better you can understand and support the reporting person.
Let Them Make Their Own Decisions
It is important to provide information but allow the reporting person to make their own choices. Offer to accompany the person to seek the services that they choose. Support the decisions the person makes, even if you don’t agree with them.
Remind Them You Care
The reporting person may worry that they will be thought of or treated differently by other people. Let the person know that it is not the case and that you are there to help them through this. The kind of support the person gets may determine how quickly they will heal.
Don’t Guarantee Confidentiality
All EOU employees, including student employees, are considered responsible employees and must report incidents of sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct that may violate Title IX. If you are required to report the incident, explain your reporting responsibilities to the person who has disclosed the information to you.
Take Care of Yourself
Providing support to a reporting person in the aftermath of an incident can be incredibly difficult. In addition to supporting the person, it is very important to take care of yourself. It may be helpful to reach out and talk to someone about how you are feeling.
Emotional Support and Advocacy
There are plenty of trustworthy people at EOU who want to support you and can point you in the right direction toward resources. They can be mentors, faculty and/or staff. However, it is important for you to remember that they cannot guarantee confidentiality. Only the confidential resources listed below can make that guarantee at EOU.
Eastern Oregon University (EOU) offers resource options to support any student, faculty, or staff member who has been affected by an incident of physical, emotional, sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct. You do not have to file a formal report or press criminal charges to receive assistance. Whether you are looking for counseling and emotional support; academic, housing, or work accommodations; or to learn more about reporting and investigations, the information below can help you get in direct contact with the resource the best fit your individual situation.
Students, if you would like to discuss an incident confidentially, you can contact any of the confidential resources listed below. Confidential resources will not disclose information about the incident, and seeking advice from a confidential counselor does not constitute a report to the university. Keep in mind that if you disclose to a university employee (Responsible Employee) who is not designated as a confidential resource, they are obligated to pass information they learn about the incident along to the university’s Title IX Coordinator.
Faculty, Staff and Student Resources:
- Title IX Coordinator (8-5, Mon-Fri) 541-962-3476
- Shelter from the Storm (24/7) 541-963-9261 (confidential)
- Union County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) (24/7) 911 (confidential)
- Union County District Attorney, 541-963-1007
- La Grande Police Department (24/7) 911
- Grande Ronde Hospital (24/7) 541-963-8421 (for physical injury)
- Campus Security Services, 541-962-3911
- Sex Matters Website
- Human Resources Website
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest Nation Network), 24-hr. Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
Additional Resources for Students:
- Director of Student Relations (8-5, Mon-Fri) 541-962- 3476
- Student Health and Counseling Center (8-5, Mon-Thurs and 8a-12 on Friday) 541-962- 3524 (confidential)
- Your RA or Area Coordinator (24/7)