Violence Intervention Prevention Center
Image of table in VIP Center.

Tips for Staff

At the VIP Center, we believe that no one has to do everything, but everyone can do something. We specialize in manageable Green Dots students, staff and faculty can do to make a big difference in violence prevention on our campus. A Green Dot is any moment when one says or does something to support a culture of nonviolence, which is essential to a successful academic experience. We offer a variety of ways to participate in this mission because we are convinced that the reduction of power-based personal violence (partner violence, stalking, and sexual assault) depends on commitment from faculty and staff as well as students.

Shaping a Violence Free Campus:

  • Share information about VIP at your staff meeting
  • Stop by the VIP Center in the lower level of Frazee Hall to pick up a Green Dot button or poster (among other things!) to show your support
  • Bring a student or co-worker to the VIP Center if they need help
  • Add a support statement to your email signature line: "Green Dot: Shaping a Violence-Free Campus," "Live the Green Dot so we can all See Blue," or "Green Dot Supporter"
  • Post a Green Dot flyer in your department or office and keep some resource cards with you so you can provide a student with a 24-hour crisis line or other contacts for help
  • Invite VIP to a department meeting to discuss the Green Dot strategy and how it connects to your work
  • Bring students or coworkers to the VIP Center to check out the space, find out how to get involved and get some free Green Dot gear
  • Attend a Faculty/Staff Green Dot training (offered each semester)

Supporting a Survivor

As a staff member, you are very likely interact with students or other staff members who have experienced power based personal violence (PBPV) including sexual assault, partner violence and stalking. Staff at the VIP Center work to address a variety of needs including safety, health and housing. These tips are designed to give you information and suggestions on how to have a productive and supportive working relationship with a student or colleague who may be experiencing PBPV.

How will I know if someone is experiencing PBPV?

  • The student/staff may come to you directly to share what they are going through and talk to you about how it is impacting them.
  • Someone may seek services from the VIP Center and request that an advocate contact you to let you know about the situation.
  • You may see behaviors that are concerning to you and approach the student to check on their well-being. (I've noticed you've been upset lately. Is everything ok?)

What if someone discloses to me?

Because of your role on campus, others may see you as a safe and trustworthy person to talk to about their experiences with PBPV. If they are experiencing difficulty with their work or school responsibilities, they may be coming to you out of necessity even if it is very difficult to discuss the situation. You have the responsibility to:

Ensure Safety

  • When someone discloses PBPV, regardless of how long ago it occurred, ensure that they are in no immediate danger. For example:
  • Are you in any danger now?
  • Do you have a safe place to go after we finish talking?

Respond Sensitively & Appropriately - Knowing what to do and say

When someone discloses, they are expecting a safe space, where they will not be judged and people will want to help and support them. Listen without interrupting, maintain eye contact, and smile or nod encouragingly as needed. This may mean being comfortable with crying and strong expressions of emotion, as well as periods of silence. Potential responses:

  • Thank you for sharing with me. That took a lot of courage.
  • I am sorry this happened to you. This was not your fault, you are not to blame.

Respond Sensitively & Appropriately - Knowing what NOT to do and say

The way people respond to disclosures can help or hurt those impacted. In general, avoid questioning their decisions, blaming them for what happened, minimizing what happened or how they are feeling, and telling them what to do.

Refer to Appropriate Resources

Staff members should be aware of and share the resources for those impacted by violence such as those found here.

For example, I am here to listen and support you, but it would also be helpful for you to talk to someone who has specialized knowledge in this area. In rare cases, you may be concerned that someone is an imminent danger to themselves or others. In such a case, tell them you would like to call the appropriate campus support systems, including UKPD or the VIP Center, and stay with them until help arrives. Finally, close with a statement offering additional support and confirming any arrangements such as: Thank you again for sharing what you’ve been going through. I appreciate that you felt comfortable enough to talk to me about it. If there is a way I can help, please let me know.

The VIP Center is available to provide information in the areas of power based personal violence including partner violence, stalking and sexual assault. Staff are also available to provide consultation regarding disclosures as well as concerns about potential problems that may arise. Contact us at 257-3574 to speak with a staff member.

Support for You

Keep in mind that VIP is a resource for you too. It can be difficult to hear about someone's experience of violence. Sometimes it can trigger memories or reactions to violence you may have experienced. Even if you have never experienced violence, it can raise concerns for you about campus safety, anger that someone you care about has been hurt, fear that you didn't say the right thing. We all have different reactions and it can be helpful to have someone to talk to about it. We can also consult with you if there are situations related to power-based personal violence that you are unsure how to handle.