• Do stay calm and remain non-judgmental. Put your own feelings aside and try not to communicate shock, disgust, embarrassment, or disbelief.

  • Do be supportive. Stay close to the alleged victim immediately after the disclosure to provide some sense of physical security.

  • Do assure the individual that he/she did the right thing by telling you about the allegations. Never tell the alleged victim that you do not believe her/him.

  • Do ensure the individual's safety. Ensure the alleged abuser(s) does not have access to the alleged victim.

  • Do explain the requirement to immediately report to DPPC and to your supervisor (assuming the supervisor is not part of the complaint).

  • Do assure the alleged victim that someone will stand by her/him in the process of getting help.

  • Do seek privacy, if possible, so the individual is protected from disclosing in public.

  • Do listen closely if the victim wants to talk, but do not ask questions beyond what is necessary to protect the victim and preserve evidence.

  • Do gather essential information, by asking:

    • What happened? Only enough to establish that abuse or a crime has occurred.

    • Where did it happen? Important to know for notifying the authorities, securing the scene and protecting evidence.

    • When did it happen? If within 120 hours of sexual assault, go to an emergency room for a sexual assault exam, preferably a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) designated hospital.

    • Who is the alleged abuser? If appropriate, ask obvious questions of the alleged abuser about what happened such as why he/she is two hours late arriving back from an appointment with the individual.

  • Do gather and document basic information on the alleged victim and alleged abuser, as reported.

  • Do, when possible, collect relevant logs, schedules, correspondence, etc.

  • Do prevent loss or destruction of known evidence.

  • Do contain & control the situation.

  • Do ensure allegations are not repeated to others.

  • Do control contact with the alleged abuser/suspect. Contact should be limited to one representative of the program.

  • Do file an Abuse Report by calling DPPC 24 Hour Hotline at 1-800-426-9009 V/TTY.

  • Do call 911 in an emergency.