For Resident Advisors (RAs), staff, and faculty: How to help a student or employee who has been sexually assaulted

FIRST STEPS

  • Someone who has been sexually assaulted or raped may not use those words to describe what has happened.
  • Listen what the individual tells you. Sometimes assault victims need to talk about the attack, but others may be overwhelmed by any questions. Don’t interrogate her or him.
  • Don’t blame the individual for her or his decisions.
  • Be sensitive. Understand that she or he is in distress, and will be dealing with a wide array of strong, and sometimes overwhelming, feelings.
  • If you are an RA, tell the student that you must forward information about the sexual assault or rape to the RC, who must then inform the Area Director. All parties will keep the information as confidential as possible, but certain information must be shared so that the student can receive the help and support she or he needs.
  • If you are faculty or staff, contact the university’s Title IX Coordinator to report the information. The Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the student or employee to explain his or her rights, and to review reporting options. Assure the individual that, while certain information must be shared, the university will keep the information as confidential as possible.
  • The student or employee is not required to file a report with DPS, local law enforcement, or to pursue disciplinary action against the other party. The fact that information about the sexual assault or rape has been forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator does not mean that the individual will be required to move forward and file a criminal complaint or internal investigation with SJACS or the Office of Equity and Diversity.
  • For students:  Offer to walk the student over to the Center for Women & Men. If that is not possible, ask the student if you may call the Center for Women & Men while the student is with you, in order to help facilitate a connection between the student and CWM. Explain the benefits of working with the Center for Women & Men such as gaining emotional support and learning about advocacy that its staff may be able to offer on the student’s behalf.
  • For employees:  Offer to walk the student over to the Center for Work and Family Life. If that is not possible, ask the employee if you may call the Center for Work and Family Life while the employee is with you, in order to help facilitate a connection between the student and CWFL, (213) 821-0800.

YOUR REPORTING OBLIGATIONS

If you are a Campus Security Authority,(CSA) you must fill out the proper Campus Incident Report Form and submit it to Department of Public Safety (DPS) within five days. The form is available on the DPS website, and a link to it also appears on the Center for Women & Men’s website. The form gathers only statistical information, not information that identifies the student.  Please note that RAs, RCs and ADs are all Campus Security Authorities.  Information on Campus Security Authorities is found here.

All staff or faculty who become aware of a sexual assault should report all known information to the university’s Title IX Coordinator, Jody Shipper, at (213) 740-5086, or jshipper@usc.edu.  This disclosure will be kept as confidential as possible.  Disclosing this information does not mean that the student or employee about whom the report is made will be required to make any disclosures to DPS, LAPD, or to participate in any university investigation.  Instead, this disclosure to the Title IX Coordinator ensures that information regarding resources, reporting options, and student and employee rights is provided.  Please note that certain specific individuals are exempt from this obligation:  licensed physician and clinical staff in the Engemann Student Health Center, licensed therapists or social workers at the Center for Women and Men or the Center for Work and Family Life, and clergy, are exempt from this reporting obligation.

If you become aware that a person who is under age 18 was sexually assaulted, this may be considered a form of child abuse.  It is imperative that you inform either local law enforcement or  Department of Children and Family Services Child Protection Hotline at (800) 540-4000.  For more information, please consult the university’s policy on Protecting Minors, at http://policies.usc.edu/p2admOpBus/protecting_minors.html.