The SHARE coordinator is able to provide confidential consultation to advise staff and faculty about their status as responsible reporters as well as options and resources for students.
- Faculty and Staff who learn of sexual misconduct or violence affecting the campus community can refer to the Responsible Employee Program and Reporting | Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion | University of Pittsburgh. This guide was designed to provide faculty and staff with information regarding their role as a responsible employee, how to talk with a victim of sexual violence and support resources on campus.
How to care for victims of sexual violence
When someone you know and care about has experienced sexual violence, you may feel uncertain of what to do. Most victims turn to friends and family first following an incident. The reactions of the people around the victim and the support received are critical for survival and recovery.
To help someone you care for, DO:
- BELIEVE THEM.
Following sexual violence, many are often in shock and may be emotionally numb. They often fear that no one will believe them or that their experience will be minimized. All you need to do is listen—it is not your job at this time to play detective or offer advice of what you think you would have done in a situation.
- LISTEN & PROVIDE COMFORT.
Allow victims a safe space and time to be heard. Victims may or may not want to be touched; just ask. Allow victims to talk through their feelings of shame but reinforce that they are not to blame. This can be tremendously healing.
- PROVIDE PROTECTION.
Victims have been robbed of control and often feel scared. Offer to spend time with them if needed.
- PROVIDE INFORMATION.
Encourage victims to attend to their medical needs as soon as possible and offer to go with the victim. Call the PAAR hotline if you are uncertain where to go or what to do immediately following a rape or sexual assault. A medical advocate from PAAR can also be present at the hospital to assist with support and explain the options and resources. Call the Women’s Center if you are feeling unsafe within your relationship.
- ENCOURAGE THEY GET SUPPORT.
Experiencing sexual violence can be tremendously overwhelming and victims often feel stuck. Provide your loved one with referrals for counseling and offer to go with them, if needed. Remind them they are not alone and can heal.
- GET SUPPORT FOR YOURSELF.
You may find yourself experiencing a wide range of emotions from fear, anger, and confusion. You may need to talk to someone to discuss your feelings in the aftermath. You can call the University Counseling Center at 412-648-7930 for support or call the national rape crisis support hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.