Help A Friend
Here’s How You Can Help
If someone you know within the Liberty University community has experienced sexual misconduct, we can help you help them. Whether you’re a friend, roommate, CGL, RD, or concerned member of our faculty or staff, we can point you to resources that you can share, as well as provide support for you through the process.
- Confirm the person’s safety. Ask the victim, “Are you safe right now?” If they say no, help them create a plan to get to a safe place. Call 911 if necessary.
- Provide nonjudgmental support. Your role is not to determine whether or not something occurred. Your primary responsibility is to remain supportive of the victim, while referring the person to others who are trained in providing assistance and/or intervening.
- Help the person get medical care if you are able.
- Help the person consider if they need to make a report to Liberty University Police Department or the OEC.
- Direct the person to on-campus or off-campus confidential resources.
- Let the person know that the OEC will implement supportive measures such as no-contact directives, housing relocation, adjustment of schedules, time off, etc.
Report, as required
Only Responsible Employees including some student-employees are required to report incidents of Sexual Misconduct to the OEC.
- If you are required to report the incident, explain your reporting requirements to the person who has disclosed the information to you and provide support and resources to them.
- Reporting Obligations for Employees
Other Ways You Can Help
While you are not expected to act as a counselor, when you are with someone who has experienced sexual misconduct, you should be aware that the supportiveness of your response can be critical in the healing process. Though there is no one “right” way to respond, the following may serve as a guide in identifying helpful responses:
- Give the victim your complete attention
- Validate the victim’s feelings
- Tell the victim:
- “I believe you”
- “This was not your fault”
- “You have options”
- “Thank you for coming forward”
- Offer the victim options:
- To sit or stand
- To share more or be silent
- To call referral agencies or not, or to have you call
- Ask the victim what they need
- Remind the victim that they are not alone, that other people of all genders have experienced sexual misconduct
- Provide the victim with information about the resources available to them, including confidential counseling, medical resources and reporting resources
- If necessary suggest to the victim that they preserve evidence
- Follow up with the victim
- Complete and submit the Incident Reporting Form if you are a Responsible Employee
- Take care of yourself after dealing with the situation. Get support for yourself if you need it. Consider speaking with a confidential resource.