The Women’s Center provides support to victims of violence on campus, male and female as well as to friends and family of victims of violence.
Support for Victims
The Women’s Center provides advocacy to all victims of violence on campus. Our advocacy services include several mechanisms of support including:
- Review of reporting options
- Interview accompaniment
- Interview coordination (for on campus processes)
- Medical-Legal exam accompaniment (upon request)
- Court/Judicial Hearing accompaniment
- Resources and referrals
Additionally, the Women’s Center partners with Counseling Services each semester to offer support groups for interested members of the campus community. Contact the Women’s Center for more information on this semester’s group and meeting time.
All staff members of the Women’s Center are trained in advocacy skills.
Support for Friends and Family
What to do......if someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, domestic/relationship violence, or stalking:
- Believe them. People rarely lie about dealing with these issues.
- Listen and concentrate on understanding their feelings.
- Allow them to be silent; you don’t have to talk every time they stop talking.
- Ask how you can help.
- Don’t ask questions that imply that the rape, abuse, or stalking is their fault, such as “Why did you go to his room?”, “Why are you staying with that person?”, or “Why didn’t you run away?”
- Offer to accompany them to the police, to seek medical attention, or to seek counseling.
- Help them regain a sense of control by letting them decide what to do. Help them explore the options and then support them in making their own decisions about how to proceed.
- Remind them that rape, abuse and stalking are not their fault.
- Offer shelter or companionship, so they don’t have to be alone.
People close to victims/survivors of sexual assault or intimate partner violence often feel that they need to be strong and take care of their friend or loved one. It is normal to want to help and that support is crucial to the survivor, but it is important to remember to take care of yourself as well. If someone you care for has been hurt, especially if in a sudden or violent way, you may feel like a “secondary victim.” Secondary victims have to cope with their own feelings of violation, vulnerability, and helplessness, as well as with the issue of how to treat the primary victim in a helpful and healing way.
It’s important to remember that even if you have not been directly attacked or injured, you may experience some of the same emotional upset and mental confusion felt by the direct victim, since the victimization of someone close to you threatens your own well being and sense of security. Secondary victims are particularly likely to have difficulty with feelings of fear, anger, and guilt. You too may need some time and help in recovering from this trauma. Information and referrals are available for people close to survivors at the GC Women’s Center.