If someone shares with you an experience of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking, below are some things to keep in mind:

  • Listen. Don't judge.
  • Don't probe for details.
  • Ask if they have safety concerns and if they do, utilize these safety resources
  • Know and be clear and up-front about your ability to maintain confidentiality or not
  • Let them take the lead. These types of experiences take away someone's power—don't compound this effect by forcing your opinions on them.
  • Avoid unsolicited touching or hugging.
  • Acknowledge what you don't know and avoid making promises or predictions about things you don’t control.
  • Encourage them to contact an advocate or other confidential resource for support.
  • If they are receptive to seeking medical attention, offer to go with or help them connect with an advocate who can do so.
  • If they are interested in reporting the incident to the police and/or OSMRC, offer to go with or help them connect with an advocate who can do so.
  • If they indicate they are struggling with their university commitments due to the situation, let them know that OSMRC may be able to assist with supportive measures
  • Beyond meeting your reporting obligations, keep the information private and don’t talk about it to others.  
  • Know that retaliation is prohibited. Don’t contribute to an environment in which retaliation occurs.