How to support students who disclose to you

Often, the first person a victim tells is not the police or the ER doc; rather, it is a trusted friend or mentor. How that person reacts makes a huge difference in terms of the survivor's recovery. Do not doubt them, minimize their concerns, or panic. Instead, listen carefully, express empathy and support, believe them, let them know that it is not their fault, and encourage them to seek medical care and to make a report as per your institution's guidelines.

Please read content disclaimer

Being an Ally and Advocate

  • Concerned Persons Sexual Assault Response Guide  Your support can make a big difference to someone who has been sexually assaulted. Learn how to respond in an empathetic manner and take care of yourself.
    Tags: Reporting  Response 
  • Culturally Competent Service Provision to LGBT Survivors  We have an ethical mandate to serve all survivors of sexual violence. Yet LGBT survivors have often been excluded from our work.
    Tags: LGBTQ  Response 
  • If He is Raped: A Guidebook for Parents, Partners, Spouses, and Friends  Rape can happen to anyone, including males. Everyone needs to know what to do and what not to do if a loved one, friend, or even a male stranger tells you he has been raped.
  • PAVE: Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment  A multi-chapter nonprofit organization that uses education and action to shatter the silence of sexual violence through targeted social, educational and legislative tactics. Start a chapter at your campus!
  • Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates, Central Michigan University  Sexual Aggression Services and SAPA provide education, programming, advocacy and support for domestic and sexual violence prevention.
  • Start by Believing  This is a public awareness campaign designed to change the way we respond to rape and sexual assault in our communities. When someone comes to you . . . what will your reaction be?

Understanding Sexual Violence


Top of Page

The Minnesota Department of Health attempts to report all data accurately. If you discover an error, please contact us at
By using this system, you agree to not share these data in ways that would identify individuals or provide information on any malicious acts.