Supporting a Friend

Students that hold leadership positions within the Regiment of Cadets are an extension of the Commandant of Cadets Office, Cadet Cadre have a responsibility to share information about incidents involving sexual violence, including sexual assault/ harassment, dating violence, discrimination and/or stalking to a Title IX Coordinator or other Responsible Employee.

The best way to help your friend is by being supportive of whatever thier decision is in disclosing an incident of sexual violence, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and retaliation. Some helpful tips in how to be a good support system for your peers are below: 

  • Belive them!
  • Remain Calm
  • Thank them for telling you
  • Encourage them to talk with you about it, or direct them to Campus or Community Resources
  • Help them with the conversation:
    • Do you need medical care?
    • What happened?
    • When did it happen?
    • Where did it happen?
    • Who did this?
  • Support them in filing a complaint, if they choose too!

Be aware of the need for privacy. The Academy is a very small community. Always ask for permission before you tell someone about your friend’s experience. By asking first, you are helping to give them some control over the situation.  Allow your friend to consider all the options available to them.  

Always seek support for yourself after a friend discloses a traumatic event to you. Walking around with a friends trauma can often times feel like the weight of the world. Help yourself too.

Importance of "First Complaint"

The First Complaint is the first person a victim tells about the assault. The first complaint maybe called upon to discuss thier first communication with the victim. First complaint rules do not prevent follow up interviews or statements by others. This First Complaint is helpful in both Academy investigations and criminal proceedings. The concept of the First Complaint is to refute assumptions about reporting of sexual assault, and help assess victims credibility.