How to help a student or employee who has been sexually assaulted:
- Someone who has been sexually assaulted or raped may not use those specific words when describing what happened.
- Inform the individual, up front, that any information you receive regarding gender discrimination or sexual violence will be reported to the Title IX Coordinator. See “Why do I have to tell the Title IX Coordinator?” below, for more information.
- Listen to what the individual is telling you. Sometimes assault survivors need to talk about what happened, and may be overwhelmed by any questions. Be careful not to interrogate the individual.
- Do not blame the survivor or use any language that may sound judgmental or suggest that it is the survivor’s fault.
- Be sensitive and understanding that the individual is in distress and most likely dealing with a wide array of overwhelming feelings (i.e. anger, sadness, shame, guilt).
- Employee Expectations – Mercy College has designated all employees as “responsible employees,” who will report gender discrimination or sexual assault to the Title IX Coordinator.
- The student or employee is not required to file a report with the Department of Public Safety, local law enforcement, or to pursue disciplinary action against the other party. Despite having the information shared with the Title IX coordinator, the student or employee is not obligated to pursue criminal charges or an internal investigation.
- Inform the student or employee of the available resources.
Why do I have to tell the Title IX Coordinator?
Title IX requires that any notice of sexual violence or gender discrimination be forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator for further review. The Title IX Coordinator needs to be aware, in order for Mercy College to maintain compliance with Title IX, the Clery Act, SaVE, and VAWA.
The Coordinator determines:
- If there is a threat to anyone else in the College community
- If the student is enduring a “hostile environment” at school due to the situation.
- If a formal investigation needs to follow.
- How to stop the behavior, remediate the affects, and prevent it from reoccurring.
- If it needs to be reported for Clery Act purposes.
Leslie Erwin, Title IX Coordinator
Director of Compliance and Risk Management
Betsy Cardwell, Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Youngstown)