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Sexual Misconduct

A guide for faculty


As teachers and mentors, survivors of sexual misconduct may turn to University of Rochester faculty for help before seeking out other resources. This page is meant to as a helpful resource to guide your conversation should a survivor disclose to you.

Believe the student.

It is not your job to be investigator, lawyer, judge or juror. Help to reestablish safety.

  • Offer information about available supportive services (UCC, UHS, Strong ER, Restore hotline)
  • Allow him/her to make the decisions about what to do next
  • Respect personal space

Help identify options.

  • Discuss the ways that you may be able to help them. (Consider, for example, offering an extension on assignments; being clear about how long of an extension you are able to give).
  • Let the student know they have multiple avenues to support within and without the University. This includes options regarding bringing disciplinary or criminal charges against the student.
  • Refer the student to the University Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator in your school to discuss these options and to the options section of the sexual misconduct website

Communicate effectively.

  • Avoid asking "why?" it can sound blaming or attacking
  • Use reflection to confirm information, to clarify confusion- "it seems like you're not quite sure what you can do next..."
  • Be aware of your nonverbal behaviors, help them match your verbal messages

Be active.

  • Identify problems that need to be solved and help to brainstorm solutions
  • Be specific and concrete about smaller things, problem solve ("do you have a friend who you'd like to be here?" rather than"who can I call for you?")
  • Realize that sometimes being an active listener is what the survivor wants

Provide emotional support.

  • Validate and reflect feelings (e.g., "Of course you feel angry"or "it can be scary to talk about this")
  • Be genuine in your caring and support
  • Respect the survivor-hold the believe that the survivor has the ability to solve his/her own problems, whether s/he believes it now or not

Respect the student's privacy

  • Do not discuss the report with anyone outside of the "need to know" circle

If you learn of an incident of sexual misconduct, you should not:

  • Conduct an independent investigation or gather facts
  • Counsel the reporting or responding party
  • Notify the responding party of the allegation
  • Explain to either party how the University or criminal law investigation or adjudication processes work; refer them to the Title IX Coordinator
  • Attempt to mediate the issue
  • Encourage a party not to file a report
  • Take any action other than necessary immediate steps