If a student seems to be exhibiting some of the signs or changes mentioned in “Signs and Symptoms…” and you are worried, there are several options that can be used to address the problem. Choosing an option depends on your level of comfort and familiarity with the student.
Scenario 1. I don’t feel comfortable approaching the student.
If you don’t know the student well enough or for other reasons are not comfortable approaching the student, you have 2 options.
1. Use Early Alert Services, and describe the student behaviors, NOT that you think it is possible interpersonal violence.
a. Early Alert Services provides coordinated services for students who are experiencing serious personal or academic difficulties.
b. Faculty and staff can refer students via the Early Alert Referral Form .
c. Your Early Alert Services Referral form will be sent to Transition and Retention Advocate who will then coordinate efforts with departments across campus to address the needs of this student.
2. Call for a consult: It is possible to contact one of the following departments in order to bring them into the effort to approach the student:
a. The Women’s Center Violence Prevention Program Coordinator, can be reached at 401-874-9131 or via email.
b. The Dean of Students, Mary Jo Gonzales, can be reached at 401-874-2101.
Scenario 2. I have approached the student and s/he told me about the assault. Now what? There are several things to keep in mind once a student has informed you that they have been assaulted.
1. As an employee of the University, you are now required to report the incident.
a. Inform the student that you will have to complete a report. Assure the student that in such events their privacy is a priority and will be respected and information will be shared only on a “need to know” basis.
2. If appropriate at the time, inform the student of his/her options for reporting and resources.
It is important that control remain in the hands of the victim and that s/he is not compelled to take any action they are not comfortable with.
a. Depending on the timing of the incident (within 4 days), you may recommend that the student go to a a local Emergency Department to receive a rape examination, which will include medication to prevent pregnancy, STDs and other issues.
b. The Women’s Center and the Counseling Center provide counseling and/or support specific to sexual assault victims and can be an important way in helping the student deal with this terrible experience.
c. The student has two separate and distinct ways of possible resolution:
i. A formal complaint to the Office of Student Life: The student can pursue the Student Conduct Process on campus.
ii. A criminal report to URI Police or local police: This is distinct from the University’s Student Conduct process.
iii. A student may choose to complain to both the University’s Conduct Office and to file a police report.