Obligatory Reporters: Faculty & Staff
The college has moral and legal responsibilities to follow up on all disclosures of sexual and relationship violence. Reports of violations of the Discriminatory Harassment and Sexual Misconduct policy (DHSM) or Title IX are not accusations, but requests for investigation and assistance. Any community member may report concerns, but certain employees must report possible violations of the DHSM or Title IX. A list of these employees is available on our Title IX website.
Obligatory reporters cannot keep the information they are given confidential, even if the survivor asks them to do so. Reports are to be made by telephone call or email to the Title IX Coordinator (or designee), or to Community Safety within 24 hours.
Responding to Disclosure
The first responses a survivor receives can have long-lasting positive or negative impact on their well-being. As the recipient of a disclosure, your role is to reassure the survivor that they were right to confide in you, get them to resources that can help them, and fulfill your legal reporting obligations. You don’t have to provide advocacy and ongoing emotional support, nor find out what “really” happened.
Some helpful responses include:
- “I’m sorry this happened to you.”
- "I'm sorry you had this experience."
- “You did nothing wrong. You are not to blame for the harm someone else did to you.”
Avoid the following:
- Responses that convey skepticism or disbelief, as these are the most damaging to survivors
- Asking questions beyond what is necessary to make a report
- Telling the survivor that they “have to” do anything
- Making promises about what will happen next
Steps to take
1. Remind about obligatory reporting
As an obligatory reporter, you cannot keep the information you are given confidential, even if the survivor asks you to do so. When you suspect that someone is going to disclose, gently interrupt to remind them that you are an obligatory reporter. Offer them confidential resources, and let them know that you are willing to listen if they wish to continue.
2. Check safety & reassure
- Ask the person if they are safe now; if not, call Community Safety: 503-788-6666 (ext 6666) or 911
- Ask if they need medical assistance; if so, refer them to the Health & Counseling Center.
Disclosing sexual or relationship violence can be embarrassing and frightening. There is no need to ask for more details than the person initially gives you about the incident. While you cannot make promises about what will happen next, you can tell the person that you appreciate their trust and give them resources that can be helpful to them.
When you conclude your conversation, ask if they would like to speak with an advocate, a counselor, or someone in Community Safety. Give them appropriate phone numbers from the Resource List. If the Health & Counseling Center is open, you may call to confirm that a walk-in counselor is available. If possible, walk the person to the HCC or to Community Safety or wait for a CSO with them.
If the survivor is in danger, or you think the perpetrator may be dangerous to someone else, call Community Safety or 911 as soon as possible.
You must report:
- Sexual harassment
- Unwanted sexual contact
- Sexual assault
- Physical or sexual violence between romantic partners
If you know the name of the survivor or alleged perpetrator and the type of incident, that is enough to make a report. Third-party information must also be reported if you have the name of either the alleged victim or perpetrator. You must disclose all information that you have about a situation.
If you need more information or are not sure what to do, please contact Community Safety, the Title IX Coordinator, or the Program Director for Sexual Health, Advocacy, & Relationship Education.