Helpful Immediate Responses and Referral Information
As a first point of contact, it is important to provide sensitive care and support to ensure that the student is not re-traumatized as a result of reporting the incident.
· Asking “why” questions or other questions that might imply blame.
(i.e. “Why didn’t you yell?” or “What were you doing there?”)
· Blaming or judging the student’s actions.
(i.e. “You shouldn’t have had so much to drink.”)
· Dismissing the student’s feelings or minimizing his/her experience.
(i.e. “You should try to just forget about it.”)
· Trying to “fix” the problem.
(i.e. pressuring them to report and/or telling them what to do)
Above all, do no harm. Sometimes, when individuals feel overwhelmed by hearing someone's story, people feel "pressured" to do something. When this occurs, people may unintentionally say things that can be hurtful. You don't have to say anything.
HOW TO MAKE A REFERRAL:
An important part of being helpful to a survivor of a sexual assault is providing information about options and resources. You may do this by helping the student get connected with one or more of the resources listed below. Some examples of ways to facilitate a referral for a survivor of sexual assault are provided below:
"I am here to listen and support you, but it would also be helpful for you to talk to someone who has specialized knowledge in this area.”
"Even if you don’t know what you want to do right now, it can be helpful to talk to someone about your options.”
"I would be happy to go with you to talk to someone.”
"What would make it feel safe for you to go talk to someone?”
Campus Against Violence Program
Contact: Dr. Kathleen Scott
Guerrieri University Center, Room 263
Student Health Services
Holloway Hall 180
Corner of Wayne and Power Street
Office of Student Affairs
Guerrieri University Center, Room 212
Life Crisis Center
24 Hour Hotline: 410.479.HELP (4957)
*The Life Crisis Center has multiple locations throughout Salisbury, MD. You will be given the address when an appointment is scheduled.
Peninsula Regional Medical Center
100 E. Carroll Street
Salisbury, MD 21801
Resources Available: Sexual Assault Forensic Exam
Salisbury Police Department
Call 911 – You will be directed to the correct police department depending on your location
Reprinted with permission from the University of California – Irvine, Sexual Assault Response Protocol