Resources for friends, family & the BCIT community
If someone discloses an experience of sexual violence and misconduct to you, the role you play can be critical.
A person who has experienced sexual violence and misconduct may choose to disclose this information to friends, family, or any member of the BCIT Community. It is important to understand that all individuals express or experience their reactions to an violence in different ways.
A supportive response to such a disclosure includes:
- listening without judgment;
- communicating that sexual violence and misconduct is not the fault of the person who has experienced sexual violence and misconduct;
- helping the individual to identify and/or access available on- or off-campus services, including emergency medical care and counselling (see resources);
- helping the individual identify compassionate individuals within their existing support system;
- encouraging the individual to seek the support they need and allowing them to make their own decisions;
- respecting the individual’s right to choose the services they feel are most appropriate and to decide whether to report to the police;
- recognizing that disclosing can be traumatic, and an individual’s ability to recall the events may be limited;
- respecting the individual’s choice about how much they disclose about their experience;
- making every effort to respect confidentiality and anonymity;
- respecting the language used during the disclosure and referring to the individual in a manner that is consistent with how they wish to identify themselves, for example “survivor” or “victim”; and,
- inquiring about what you can do to be supportive.