Why reporting is important
All members of the Oglethorpe community have the right to be free from any form of sexual violence, discrimination, and harassment. The University actively encourages all members of the community to report and take action to make the University a safe, welcoming, and respectful environment.
Who needs to report?
Employees and officials at the university are responsible employees and required to report incidents of sexual misconduct. Students seeking confidential resources may consult with the University counseling center. In the State of Georgia, licensed counselors and clergy are the only parties that may be allowed to maintain confidentiality.
What should you do?
First, make sure the student is safe then inform them of your role as a responsible employee.
Offer support by acknowledging the student’s decision to share this information with you.
Here is an example of what you can say:
“Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I care about you, and I want to help you.”
Interrupt and Inform
Interrupt and explain that you have a duty to report and allow the student the opportunity to decide if and how they want to proceed.
- Explain that you are required to report because of your role at the school.
- Give them the option to stop and talk to confidential resources, like a counselor.
- Reassure them of the Title IX Coordinators resources and role
The student may decide not to report the incident to you, or to anyone. While you certainly can encourage them to report or get support, the choice is theirs and should be respected.
How to Support Survivors
- Listen to what they are saying without judgment, and try not to interrupt. Refrain from asking additional questions about their experience or interrogating them.
- Support the person by responding to their disclosure appropriately. Some helpful phrases to consider include, “I am sorry you’re going through a difficult time.” “Thank you for trusting me.” and “What would be helpful to you right now?” Let them know what happened was not their fault, and provide them with options to get support.
- Encourage them to seek counseling, medical assistance, or to file a report with the police after you have explained your role and obligations.
- Notify appropriate officials within 24 hrs. with written details of the alleged incident. You can submit a report via the Student Support Request Form or by contacting the Title IX Coordinator.