Responding with compassion, validation, and support when an individual discloses they may have been a victim of physical, emotional, sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct, is an important step toward healing. 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.
EOU offers options to support students, faculty, or staff members who are affected by an incident. Victims do not have to file a formal report or press criminal charges to receive assistance. They can receive services such as counseling and emotional support; academic, housing, or work accommodations; and learn more about reporting and investigations. The information on our Campus Advocate page
can help you make direct contact for resources that best fit individual situations.
File a Report
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 wants to disclose the information to you. If they want to talk through details but are not ready to fully report, refer them to the Privileged Campus Advocate.
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.