Help a Friend

If your friend or loved one has experienced sexual misconduct, you may be wondering what to do. The most important thing you can do is listen to them. As they talk, be careful not to judge them. Show that you believe them and ask them how you can help. You can encourage them to seek assistance, but let them have control over what happens next, such as filing a report.

Be sure to take care of yourself, as well. You can talk to a counselor at Counseling and Consultation Services to help you process what happened.

Additional tips:

  • Don't try to rationalize what happened. Never make excuses for the offender.
  • Don't avoid your friend. They may worry that people are scared of them. If you avoid them, you may reinforce their shame and fear.
  • Help your friend with tasks like running errands, child care, laundry, etc.
  • Educate yourself about sexual violence and the trauma associated with it.
  • Take it seriously if your friend mentions thoughts of suicide. Get them support from appropriate resources.

If You're an NIU Employee

Some NIU employees are considered responsible employees. If a responsible employee becomes aware of sexual misconduct, they must report it to the Title IX coordinator. This can lead to an investigation. If you're not sure if you're a responsible employee, contact the Title IX coordinator at 815-753-5560 or titleixcoordinator@niu.edu.

If you're a responsible employee, here's what to do if a student or employee tells you about sexual misconduct:

 

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