Reporting best practices
Best practices when working with an impacted party:
A faculty or staff member is often the first person at the university individuals will tell if they have experienced sex/gender-based violence or another form of sex-based discrimination.
An impacted party may share the information for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Requesting a different seat in class
- Requesting a room change in the residence hall
- Explaining an absence or requesting an extension
- Asking not to be placed in a group with a certain student
- Stepping down from leadership in a student organization or within a department
- Missing work or asking for a different work location or assignment
- Complaining about a colleague’s behavior
- Explaining uncharacteristic behavior
- Requesting assistance or support
All faculty and staff should be able to identify Title IX-related concerns when they are raised by individuals to ensure that students and employees receive appropriate support, resource information and complaint options. Faculty and staff employees must submit the Sexual Misconduct Form to report any possible incident. Due to federal confidentiality protections, employees must not share the information received with anyone outside of the Office for the Resolution of Sexual Misconduct: Title IX Institutional Compliance, Prevention & Response (ORSM), without prior consultation with that office.
Tips to keep in mind:
- When possible, speak to the individual(s) in a comfortable location
- Share that you support the individual’s right to be treated seriously and with respect
- Be aware that the individual may be experiencing a wide range of emotions including shame, anger, fear, or denial
- Interrupt to inform the individual about your limits to confidentiality and that you only will report to those who have a need to know–ensuring their privacy
- Explain the option of discussing the incident with confidential resources such as Employee Assistance and Wellness (employees), 928-523-1552 or Counseling Services (students), 928-523-2261
- Remember that:
- Impacted parties are not responsible for causing their assaults.
- People of all genders and gender identities can be impacted by sex/gender-based violence.
- Avoid asking why questions. It is not your role to determine what happened.
- Minimize the situation
- Express personal biases
- Try to explain the differences between “sexual assault,” “rape,” “stalking” and other forms of sex/gender violence. The distinction might be immaterial to the feelings the reporter may be experiencing about the incident.