Tips for Working with a Survivor

Title IX

  1. Utilize SART (The Sexual Assault Response Team): If you are working with a survivor the first place you should refer them to is SART. SART has had 40 hours of advocacy training and are completely confidential.

  2.  Listen: Let the survivor do the bulk of the talking your should not be interrupting or asking too many questions. 

  3.  Keep questions limitedYou should keep your questions limited to the following questions if possible: Are you hurt? Do you feel safe? How can I help you? Avoid asking questions about the survivor's experiences, this could come across as vitim blaming. In addition, if the survivor decides to move forward with a Title IX or law enforcement process they will need to tell their story, we want to limit the number of times a survivor is asked to share their story so as not to be re-traumatizing. 

  4. Try not to take control of the situation, offer options: When someone experiences sexual miscondcut they may feel their power and control has been taken away. Do not take that control away again by telling the survivor what to do, offer options for resources and next steps and respect the survivor if they refuse any or all options you provide.

  5.  Keep your reactions in check: Show concern and empathy, but keep calm and collected. Often survivors are hesistant to share their experience with others in fear of their reaction. In addition, if your face, comments, and/or body language show shock and fear that could retrigger the schock and fear the survivor felt during or after their experience. 

  6. Do not blame or allow them to blame themselves: This sounds easy, but sometimes questions which may feel like questions of concern can come across as questions which seem blaming. Avoid why questions, and let the survivor know by no means was their experience their fault. 

  7.  Reflect their language: If a survivor says they experienced a "bad-hookup" or a "heated argument" for example reflect that language when you are talking with the victim instead of trying to catergorize their experience as rape, assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, eceterda. 

  8.  Offer to walk/drive them to an advocate or health services: Sometimes a survivor wants to utilize resources but needs added support to encourage them to access these resources, or someone to help them find the resources they need.