Sexual Assault Response

The University of Mississippi

Guide for Title IX Mandatory Reporters of Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking

Why is reporting important?

Not only is mandatory reporting a legal responsibility of University of Mississippi employees, but it also serves to keep our campus and our students safe. Under Title IX, we have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for students that does not interfere with their ability to pursue an education. When an employee of the university is given notice of an assault, harassment, relationship violence, or stalking, the university assumes responsibility of that notice.

How to interact with the student:

First inform the student of your role as a mandated reporter.

  • If you think a student is going to reveal information that you would be required to report, then do your best to help her or him understand your role before the student shares the information.
  • Tell the student that you are not a completely confidential resource, and you are required to report sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence, and stalking. Make the student feel like she or he can still talk to you. However, tell that student to contact the Counseling Center or the violence prevention coordinator if she or he would like to talk to a confidential source.

Remember your role.

  • You are not a counselor or an investigator. You are there to offer support and listen to the student.
  • Make sure to connect students to other resources that will be able to serve their specific needs.

Keep the student’s needs and feelings at the forefront.

  • Respectfully listen and believe what the student tells you.
  • Let the student know that you care.
    • Example: Say something like, “I am sorry that you have to go through this.”
  • Do not overly express feelings.
    • Example: Do not say, “It is outrageous that you have had to experience this!”
  • Acknowledge nonverbal expressions, when appropriate.
    • Example: If anger flashes across your face, then let the student know that you are not angry at her or him, but rather you are angry that someone would choose to harm that student.
  • Do not define the student’s experiences for her or him.
    • Example: If a student does not outright say she or he was sexually assaulted, then do not tell her or him that you think it is sexual assault.
  • Use words the student chooses to use.
    • Example: If a student says, “I was taken advantage of,” then use those words instead of “rape” or “assault.”
  • Validate that what happened to the student was not OK.

Example: Say something like, “I am sorry that person harmed you.”

Establish clear boundaries, and act as a bridge to other forms of support.

  • Offer forms of support that are within your role.
    • Example: If you are a faculty member, then you should not try to act as a counselor, but rather extend assignment deadlines for the student.
    • Example: If you supervise the student, then try to work with his or her schedule as needed.
  • Refer students to confidential services if you think they are about to disclose information that would require mandatory reporting.

Even after a student gives you information that you must report, refer her or him to the University Counseling Center or the violence prevention coordinator for additional support.

Mandatory Reporting

If a student discloses information about sexual misconduct, harassment, relationship violence, or stalking, then you are required by law to report the instance to the Title IX coordinator.

To report, you may call 662-915-7045, or email the Title IX coordinator.

After you fulfill your obligation as a mandatory reporter, keep the student’s information confidential. Do not share unnecessary details if you must inform a supervisor.

Resources for Students

University Counseling Center (confidential) | 662-915-3784 | 554 Fraternity Row, on the corner of Poole and All American Drive

Violence Prevention Coordinator – Lindsey Bartlett Mosvick (limited confidentiality) | 662-915-1059 | 554 Fraternity Row, on the corner of Poole and All American Drive in the University Counseling Center

Family Crisis Services (24/7) | 662-234-9929 or 1-800-230-9929