Can I get support / advise from the SRRO without disclosing any identifying information?
Yes. Following best practice and a Victim/Survivor centered trauma informed approach our office provides consultations without needing to know identifying information about the Victim/Survivor and or the respondent.
What do I do if I receive a disclosure of sexual violence?
Listen to the Victim/Survivor, Believe them, let them drive the conversation as you navigate supports they may need. Take care of yourself afterwards.
What do I do if I know the Respondent or in situations of conflict?
First focus on the Victim/Survivor and what their needs are. Allow the Victim/Survivor make the decisions on how they would like to move forward. If you are struggling with a situation of conflict after supporting the Victim/Survivor reach out to the SRRO office and our office can provide you with Best practice and theory driven approaches in navigating situations of conflict.
What about safety? When should I call the police?
You should always call the Police when there is an immediate risk to life and limb. When there is not an immediate risk then it's best to allow the Victim/Survivor to make the decision whether to call the Police or not.
I don't feel adequately trained to receive a disclosure of sexual violence, shouldn't a person be a trained counsellor?
Research, best practice, and a trauma informed victim centred approach has proven the best way to support Victims/Survivors of sexual violence is to create a culture where everyone is responsible for receiving disclosures of sexual violence, where the Victim/Survivor can go to the person they feel most comfortable disclosing to, the person they feel should be made aware of. Research shows that the best way to receive a disclosure of sexual violence is to simply believe the person, support the person with empathy and to the next thing they need (counsellor, resource, self-care, etc.), and take care of yourself. You are not taking on the entire healing process with this person. You are simply acknowledging this person decided to reach out to you for support, you believe what this person is telling you, you support this person in what they need next, and you take care of yourself.
I still don't feel comfortable receiving a disclosure of sexual violence, what should I do?
Acknowledge that this will always be a difficult conversation to have. Understand that you are not a counsellor, that you are simply the safe person the Victim/Survivor decided to disclose to. Respect the research, best practice, and 1000's of Victims/Survivors of the past that have said the best way to support someone disclosing is to believe them, support them, and take care of yourself after.
I'm afraid if I hear a disclosure of sexual violence I will know the respondent and feel like I need to do something; what do I do in situations of conflict (eg. A member of the KPU community is the respondent)?
Your first priority when receiving a disclosure is to support the Victim/Survivor. If the Victim/Survivor gives you reason to be concerned about the respondent then share your concerns with the Victim/Survivor. Sexual assault can result in a profound sense of loss of power and control. You can help them regain control over their life by trusting them to make their own choices about what to do next. If you are still struggling with wanting to follow up with the respondent and at the time the Victim/Survivor does not wish to follow up with the respondent consider reaching out to the Student Rights and Responsibilities office and, while keeping all parties anonymous, share your concerns, our office may be able to support the Victim/Survivor and you to alleviate these concerns.
I don't feel I'm the best person to hear a disclosure, should I really be the person to hear this disclosure when I still don't think I'm trained enough?
It is common to feel uncertain about what to say or do when receiving a sexual assault disclosure. Remember that the survivor is telling you because they see you as a safe and trustworthy person. You have an opportunity to empower the survivor and assist them in their path forward and in accessing additional supports.