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Responding to Disclosures

Individuals with Reporting Obligations (IROs) share basic information about resources and options when receiving a disclosure about sexual assault, sex/gender-based harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, and/or a violation of protective measures.

It takes courage and vulnerability to share experiences of sexual misconduct. Share what you know about resources, and let the individual know you are here if they need anything, and that there are a variety of people and resources across campus who can support them.

Sample Scripts

For Individuals with Reporting Obligations (IROs)

“Thank you for trusting me with this information. I want to let you know that I am considered an Individual with Reporting Obligations at University of Michigan. This means that I need to report to the Equity, Civil Rights & Title IX Office when I learn about potential sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking. You can absolutely talk to me about this, but before you shared more about your experience I wanted to make sure you knew about my reporting obligations so you could decide if you wanted to tell me more. I can also connect you to a confidential resource. What questions do you have about this?”

For Non-IROs

“Thank you for trusting me with this information. While I am not someone who is required to report this information, I do want you to know that sharing this information with the Equity, Civil Rights & Title IX Office is an option that you have. ECRT is responsible for responding to all allegations of sexual misconduct on campus. There are also many confidential support resources both on and off campus that are available to you. Does any of that sound helpful to you right now?”

Talking Points

Safety first

  • “Are you feeling a safe distance from the person who hurt you?” “Do you have any concerns about your safety?” For all immediate safety concerns contact DPSS 734-763-1131

Do not investigate

  • Listen without pressing for details or asking questions. Even well-meaning questions can sometimes sound blaming.

Lead with empathy

  • “I’m sorry that happened to you.” “Thank you for telling me.” “How can I support you?” “It’s not your fault.”

Mirror Language

  • If they describe themselves as a “victim” or “survivor” then use that same language. Do not label anyone’s experience for them. Use correct pronouns during your conversation.

Refer and connect

  • Share what you know about options and resources. Consider sharing information about SAPAC and ECRT.

Make a plan

  • “How can I support you going forward?” “I am here if you want to talk about this.” Avoid becoming a sole support. Respect their decision to share or not to share updates with you.