“It is the responsibility of the entire university community to foster a safe, healthy, and nondiscriminatory learning, living, and working environment that is free from sex discrimination of any kind.” Policy 162.7.1

Overview of Mandatory Reporting

All NDSU employees who observe or receive a report of any form of sexual misconduct must notify the Title IX Coordinator or the Equity Office (NDSU Policy 162.7). This document is intended to act as a guide to help mandatory reporters talk with a student who may have experienced violence. It is important to remember that every situation and student is different. A student who chooses to talk with you about their experience is doing so because you are someone they trust to listen and be caring and supportive. 

Request a training for your department HERE.

Tips for Responding to a Disclosure

Must Do’s of Responding a Disclosure of Interpersonal Violence

  • Explain your reporting obligations through Title IX to the student.
  • Refer the student to campus resources like the Sexual Assault Prevention & Advocacy Coordinator and the Counseling Center. Additional campus and community resources are listed HERE.
  • Submit your completed report to Title IX within 3 business days https://www.ndsu.edu/equity/forms

Do’s of Responding to Disclosures of Interpersonal Violence

  • Listen with empathy. Stay calm, nonjudgmental, and supportive
  • Remember that this student trusted you to tell you about a traumatic event in their life
  • Refer to relevant resources
  • Help the survivor explore options. Support and respect their decisions
  • Remember that the student trusted you to be supportive during a difficult time. Connect the student with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy Coordinator so that they may discuss options and resources.

Don’ts of Responding to Disclosures of Interpersonal Violence

  • Don’t promise confidentiality or anonymity.
    • Explain that you must report to Title IX but you will not disclose information to colleagues, other students, etc.
  • Don’t make statements or ask questions that blame the student for the assault (ex. questioning what the student was wearing, if they had been drinking, etc.)
  • Don’t investigate the situation on your own. Equity Office staff and/or the Sexual Assault Prevention and Advocacy Coordinator can help a student understand their rights and determine if they want to pursue an investigation.
  • Don’t take control, even if you think you know what’s best
  • Don’t contact law enforcement without the student’s permission

 

Guide to Responding to a Disclosure

  • Move to a private, calm, safe location that is comfortable for the student.
  • Explain confidentiality
    • Explain to the student that as an NDSU employee you are a mandatory reporter. This means you required to report the information to the Equity/Title IX office. A staff member for Equity/Title IX will reach out to the student via phone or email in the next few days. Remind the student that just because the information is reported to Equity/Title IX does NOT mean the student has to go through an investigation.
    • Let the student know that information shared with you will not be shared with other students or staff by you or by Title IX.
  • Listen to the student in a non-judgmental way
    • Give the student the opportunity to speak in their own way at a pace that is comfortable to them. Do not pressure or confuse the student with too many questions
    • The primary concern is the student’s emotional state.
  • Assess the immediate needs of the student including physical well-being and safety
    • Medical attention
      • A Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE Kit) may be performed up to 96 hours following a sexual assault. In Fargo, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) may perform a SAFE Kit at either the Sanford or Essentia Emergency Rooms.
      • Students may also seek medical attention from Student Health Service or their Primary Care Provider
    • Do not contact law enforcement without the students permission
  • Refer to relevant resources
  • Submit your report to Title IX within 3 business days https://www.ndsu.edu/equity/forms/
  • (optional) Follow up with the student in a few days or weeks. 
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