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What if you are approached for help?

As a member of Purdue University's faculty, you are placed in a position of leadership and trust by many in the Purdue community.  You are seen as a teacher, mentor, and an advisor.  As a result, you are in the position of being able to offer help and advice to those who approach you.  In addition to the guidelines on the How to Help web page, here are some suggestions to help someone cope with sexual assault.

  • Encourage him or her to get medical attention, even if there are no apparent injuries.
  • Encourage her or him to file a report by contacting the police. Filing a report does not mean the individual must file charges.
  • Listen to him or her. This individual came to you for help and support in a difficult time. Be non-judgmental and try to help him or her or refer the individual to people who can help.
  • Don't promise total confidentiality. Only a counselor or certified health professional can promise total confidentiality. 
  • Be understanding about absences.  A student who has experienced sexual assault may miss classes for medical procedures, investigation meetings, or stress.  Encourage students to communicate with the Office of the Dean of Students or you about missing class.
  • Understand that a student may be unwilling to return to your class due to the presence of an attacker.  If necessary, the University will assist the a student in making reasonable efforts to avoid contact with an alleged attacker(s) by adjusting workplace or academic arrangements and/or, in the case of a student, campus living arrangements.
  • Don't bring both parties together to attempt to resolve the issue. You should provide the necessary route for help by suggesting who the individual can contact, but do not attempt any mediation or conflict resolution on your own.
  • Report suspected sexual assault against children. Under Indiana Law, all persons over the age of 18 must report any suspected sexual assault against children, child abuse and child neglect to the police or Child Protective Services (800-800-5556). You may also report to campus police.  In addition you may report anonymously through the Purdue University Hotline at 866-818-2620 or the Purdue University Hotline.  Employees who make good faith disclosures are protected against retaliation by the Protection Against Reprisal for Good Faith Disclosures (Whistleblower Protection) policy.
  • File a Federal Clery Act Report.  If someone approaches you and informs you of a possible sexual assault, you must file a confidential report to comply with the Federal Clery Act. The form is located on the Other Resources page.  To learn more about the Federal Clery Act, please visit The Clery Center for Security on Campus website.

If you have been sexually assaulted

  • Seek medical care as soon as possible, even if you don't have any apparent injuries. For more on what to expect during a post-sexual assault exam, visit the Seeking medical care page.
  • Contact the Police to report the assault. Reporting doesn't mean you must press charges. For more to expect while filing a police report, visit the Contacting the police page.
  • Seek emotional support to help sort out your feelings about the assault. You are encouraged to make use of the support services offered through your campus's Employee Assistance Program and the Women's Resource Network.  Men are also welcome to use the Women's Resource Network.

If you have been accused of sexual assault

The Purdue University procedures for resolving a sexual assault complaint can be read in its entirety under the Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment policy.