University of Vermont

If someone confides in you...

Be non-judgmental and believes the survivor.

No one asks or deserves to be hurt, threatened, or intimidated. Many survivors are most concerned no one will believe them. As a trusted support person, it is important to listen, believe and make sure that survivors have the resources they need to make the best choices for themselves.

Determine what the person needs or wants from you.

Be honest about what you are able to provide them based on your role.

If you are a staff or faculty member and you have questions about your reporting responsibilities, click here for more information.

Let them know there are confidential services.

There are confidential services on and off campus to support and assist them whether or not they choose to make a report. The Victim's Advocate offers free and confidential services which support all survivors and their supporters at UVM. Other confidential resources include, counselors at Counseling & Psychiatry Services and campus clergy.

Encourage the person to get medical attention immediately.

Encourage the survivor to seek medical attention if they were sexually assaulted or physically injured. The Campus Victim's Advocate or a friend can accompany the survivor to the exam where they can request the appropriate level of care depending on their needs.

Seek out support for yourself.

Supporting a survivor can be hard and emotionally draining, especially over time. Talk to someone other than the survivor about your feelings.

Last modified August 22 2013 03:57 PM