At ACPHS, all employees - including Resident Assistants - are considered Mandatory Reporters. Mandatory reporters are required to report all details of an incident of sexual misconduct, including the identity of the victim and the perpetrator, the date and location of the incident, and details regarding the incident if known, to the Title IX Official(s) for purposes of initiation of an investigation and appropriate action.
PRIOR TO DISCLOSURE
If you think a student is about to share with you information regarding an incident of sex or gender-based misconduct, you should stop the conversation and explain your responsibilities for reporting these types of incidents before they disclose it.
For example: “You stated you wanted to talk to me about something private and have asked if I could keep it between the two of us. As an employee of the College, I am required to notify professional staff when serious incidents occur, such as incidents of sex or gender-based misconduct. I am not able to hold information like that in confidence, but can listen, inform you of your options, and direct you to staff that can provide the specialized attention that is needed to address your concern. Your privacy will be respected, and we will work with you so that you can determine what is best for you. Would you still like to talk about it with me?”
If the Student Response is “No” ... direct them to other available resources. Please see the Resource Documents on the sidebar of this page. If a student is looking for support without making a formal complaint to the College, refer them to an on or off-campus confidential support resource.
If the student response is “Yes” ... follow the Three Important Steps listed below.
FOLLOWING A DISCLOSURE
As a responsible employee, if an individual discloses an incident of sex or gender-based misconduct, you are REQUIRED by law (Title IX) to report all known details of information to the Title IX Coordinator. The only exception to this mandated reporting are licensed professional staff in the Office of Counseling and Wellness or the Student Health Services Office.
Mandatory reporters should follow these three important steps:
STEP 1: REASSURE AND ASSESS SAFETY
Ensure the student is safe and provide non-judgmental support.
- Is there immediate danger? If so, contact Public Safety at 518-244-3177.
- Are there any injuries?
- Does the survivor need/want any medical attention?
Provide Non-Judgmental Support:
- Ask if s/he wants to talk about it or tell their story.
- “Would you like to talk about what happened?”, “You can tell me as little or as much as you would like.” Remember: They need to be aware of your reporting responsibilities before asking this question.
- Consider privacy and the sense of security.
- “Is this a good place to talk?”
- Once a survivor has disclosed, personal issues and concerns should be set aside in the interests of assisting someone who has sought your support, confidence, and assistance.
- Validate their concerns. Realize they are most likely experiencing anxiety, fear, uncertainty, and possible shock from their experience.
- “I’m sorry this happened to you”, “How can I help you best?”, “Thank you for coming to me and trusting me enough to share this with me. It was a brave decision and it can be painful and scary to talk about it.”
- Remain calm. Take a few deep breaths. Have them take some with you.
- Use their language and avoid labeling the experience.
- Use “could” rather than “should."
Things to Avoid:
- Avoid investigating or asking “why” questions. It can feel like blame. You’re role isn’t to find out all the details, but to connect them with resources and support services.
- Don’t make guarantees or promises.
- Avoid statements such as:
- “Are you sure that is what happened?”
- “Why did you do that?”, “Why did you go there?”
- “What were you wearing?”
- “You should report this”, “You should get a forensic exam done.”
- “I can’t believe they would do that. They are such a great person.”
STEP 2: REFER TO APPROPRIATE RESOURCES
Restate your reporting duties and refer the individual to resources. This website and its documents within can assist you in reviewing those options.
For Example: “Thank you again for sharing your story with me. I know that was difficult. I care about your well-being and would like to provide you with the best resources I know to support you. I am responsible to report this information to the Title IX Coordinator, who is our Dean of Students, Dr. Wendy Neifeld Wheeler. She will contact you to offer support and guidance and is well versed in what options you have for support and reporting the incident, should you choose to.”
STEP 3: REPORT TO THE TITLE IX COORDINATOR
The Title IX Coordinators are individuals who by law (Title IX) have remedial authority to address sexual misconduct complaints on behalf of the institution. The Title IX Coordinator will review options and resources with the reporting individual, explain their options for making formal complaints either with the College or with local law enforcement, and other rights of the reporting individual. For the purpose of this policy, the administrative officials identified on the sidebar of this page (Title IX Coordinators) are designated to receive sexual misconduct complaints and, if appropriate, to investigate those complaints for both the Albany and Vermont campuses.