Anti-Violence Program

We are committed to providing a learning environment free from violence, harassment, and discrimination. If you have experienced sexual or relationship violence, stalking, or sexual harassment what happened is not your fault. We’re here to help support you and assist in keeping you safe.

Graphic that reads "You deserve to be safe and respected."

Become an active bystander

Training Sessions

Students often see risky situations unfolding or hear about potential relationship or domestic violence. Learn to be proactive and intervene before a situation occurs or escalates. This is a two-hour, interactive training. In this training we will:

  • Identify red flags: What does it look like when someone we know is at risk? Or when someone we know is acting sketchy?
  • Explore barriers: What stops us from getting involved? What role does our identity and experience play in that choice?
  • Practice skills: Figure out what intervention style works best for the situation and what works best for you!

Training dates
Wednesday, November 1, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Monday, November 6, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Thursday, November 9, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Saint Paul College, Room 3320


Resources to help you.

Understanding the language

As a survivor navigating your options, you may be learning a whole new language of law, policy, and psychology. In this section we will highlight the most important terms.

Warning: The following pages contain definitions that can be triggering or hard to read. Feel free to skip this section altogether or come back at a later time.

Many advocates tend to use the term “victim” when referring to someone who has recently been affected by sexual violence; when discussing a particular crime; or when referring to aspects of the criminal justice system. “Survivor” is often used to refer to someone who is further along in their healing journey, or when discussing the short- or long-term effects of sexual violence. Some people identify as a victim, while others prefer the term survivor. You can choose whatever term feels right to you.

Affirmative Consent
Consent means giving and receiving permission to participate in a sexual activity. Before being sexual with someone, you need to know if they want to be sexual with you too. Ideally, consent is a clear “yes” spoken out loud.

Consent must be continuously given. Consenting to one type of activity does not mean that your partner has consented to other activities. Everyone has the right to stop sexual activity at any time and for any reason. Consent is about making sure that everyone who is a part of the activity is excited, engaged, and able to say “yes” or “no,” every single time.

No one should feel pressured, manipulated, or threatened to say “yes.” Someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired because they are sleeping, unconscious, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not able to give consent. Additionally, someone might be unable to give consent because of their age or their mental capacity. For more information about consent and Minnesota law visit the Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN):

Sexual Violence
Without consent, any sexual activity (including oral sex, genital touching, and vaginal or anal penetration) is sexual violence.

Sexual violence includes sexual assault, rape, or any other sexual behavior that happens because one person forces, coerces, manipulates or intimidates the other person.

Sexual violence can be perpetrated by strangers, acquaintances, family members, spouses, or dating partners. It includes being touched by someone else or being forced or coerced to touch someone else. Sexual violence can also happen when someone is not able to give consent because they are too young or incapacitated.

Sexual violence includes but is not limited to:

  • Sexual abuse of power: when someone like a coach, teacher, or religious leader uses their position of authority to force, coerce, or manipulate someone into sexual activity
  • Intimate partner sexual violence: when a spouse or partner uses sexual violence
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Incest or sexual abuse of family members
  • Reproductive coercion and safer-sex sabotage: when one partner controls or interferes with decision-making related to reproductive and sexual health. This includes damaging birth control, pressuring someone to have unprotected sex, or removing a condom without consent (sometimes called “stealthing”)
  • Sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation: when someone requires the other person to trade sex for money, food, a place to stay, or drugs or forces them to participate in pornography or stripping
  • Non-consensual explicit images: when someone takes or releases explicit photos or videos without permission, sometimes called “revenge porn.”

For more information about sexual violence visit RAINN:

Relationship or Domestic Violence
Relationship violence – also known as domestic violence or dating violence – is a pattern of behavior that is used by a current or former intimate partner to gain and maintain power and control over the other partner. It can happen when people are married, living together, dating, or after the relationship has ended.

Relationship violence can happen to people that have gone on a single date, just started dating, or have been together for years.

Relationship violence may include the use of physical violence, sexual violence, threats and intimidation, isolation, emotional abuse, spiritual and cultural abuse, economic deprivation, and financial abuse. Someone can seek help no matter what type or types of abuse they have experienced.

For more information about relationship violence visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

Stalking is behavior that is directed at someone that is unwanted, unwelcome, or unreciprocated that causes them fear or substantial emotional distress.

Stalking includes behaviors like following someone, tracking someone, sending unwanted gifts or messages, making unwanted calls, damaging property, monitoring phone and technology use, or posting information or spreading rumors about someone.

For more information about stalking visit RAINN:

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcome sexual behavior that interferes with someone’s right to feel comfortable at school or work. It can include comments, notes, messages, gestures, or physical contact. It makes the learning or working environment hostile and uncomfortable. This includes repeatedly asking someone on a date, especially if they have already said “no.”

One specific type of harassment is known as “quid pro quo” when someone with authority trades or tries to trade sexual contact for something the other person wants like a good grade or preferential treatment.

For more information about stalking visit RAINN:

Understanding your options

You Deserve to Be Safe and Respected Survivor Guide

You have many options after an assault or incident. You do not have to decide right away and it is okay if you decide you do not want to take any of the options in this section. You can choose as many or as few actions as you want.

Confidentiality is the legal and ethical duty medical professionals, advocates, counselors, and therapists must keep any information you share with them private. They also cannot tell anyone whether or not you are their client/patient.

You can make a report to the college and request confidentiality and ask to not have the complaint pursued. However, there may be times that the school is legally required to investigate and respond. If that happens the school will inform you of what is happening.

Exceptions to Confidentiality
All of the confidential resources have some limits on their confidentiality. They are legally required to make a report to the proper authorities if you tell them about a child or vulnerable person who is being harmed, or if you make specific, serious threats to harm yourself or someone else.

Privileged Communication
In addition to being confidential, your conversations with some of these professionals may also be considered “privileged communication.” This means that they cannot be forced to disclose information about you or what you discussed, even by a judge. Communication with advocates, medical professionals, and licensed mental health providers is considered privileged.

Mandated Reporting of Sexual and Relationship Violence
Most staff and faculty on campus are not confidential and are required by law to report violence to the Title IX office. The college is required to create a report for state and federal governments disclosing violence affecting students. This report does not include any personally identifiable information.

In certain situations, the college may also need to issue a warning to everyone on campus of a potential threat. The victim’s identity will be protected.

Confidential resources

Confidential resources may maintain your complete confidentiality, offering you options and advice without any obligation to tell anyone, unless you want them to.

Medical Care
Care for physical health or injuries and infection/ pregnancy prevention available at local hospital emergency departments. Ask for a forensic exam. You don’t need to report to police to get medical care.

  • Regions Hospital: 651.254.3456
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital: 651.232.3000
  • United Hospital: 651.241.800

What is advocacy?
Advocates provide free and confidential services for victims of violence, their partners, families, friends, and other concerned persons. The role of an advocate is to discuss your options with you, help you stay safe, and provide support and resources. If you need a safe place to stay because of relationship or domestic violence, advocates are able to help find space available. If you are interested in learning more about or filing a protective order (see below) an advocate can explain the process and assist you with every step. In some situations protection orders can help provide some safety measures on- and off-campus. Advocates can also help you enroll in the Safe at Home program which can keep your address confidential.

You can talk to an advocate even if you are not sure if what you experienced was sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking, or sexual harassment. You can talk to an advocate if the violence happened recently or if it happened a long time ago.

Calling the crisis hotline is not the same as calling the police. No one will call the police without your permission unless they believe that you are in immediate physical danger and cannot make the call yourself.

Protective Orders
If you are in fear for your safety you might consider filing a protective order. Protective orders, including Harassment Restraining Orders (HRO) and Orders for Protection (OFP), are designed to stop an abuser from continuing acts of violence, threatening, harassing, or stalking behaviors. Violating a protective order is a crime.

We strongly encourage you to contact an advocate from SPIP or SOS for assistance in completing the forms and filing the order in the correct jurisdiction.


SOS Sexual Violence Services
Advocates available 24-hours a day, every day to provide support over the phone. In-person advocates and support groups are available at the SOS office in Downtown Saint Paul.

Phone: 651.266.1000


Saint Paul & Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (SPIP)/Bridges to Safety
Advocates available 24-hours a day, every day to provide support over the phone. In-person advocates and support groups available at the SPIP office in Saint Paul, just a few blocks from campus. Legal assistance related to relationship violence provided at SPIP Office or Bridges to Safety Office in Downtown Saint Paul. Appointments are encouraged.

Phone: 651.645.2824


Sexual Violence Center
Advocates available 24-hours a day, every day to provide support over the phone. In-person advocates and support groups are available at the SVC office in Northeast Minneapolis.

Phone: 612.871.5111


You can talk with a confidential advocate on campus. See “In-Person Support” below for schedule and details.


Minnesota Day One
Advocates available 24-hours a day, every day for support and access to resources over the phone or by text. Day One advocates specialize in assisting with safe housing and transportation for survivors of relationship violence.

Phone: 1.866.223.1111; Text: 612.399.9995


Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN)
Advocates available 24-hours a day, every day for support and access to resources over the phone or by chat.

Advocates available 24-hours a day, every day for support and access to resources over the phone or by chat.

Phone: 1.800.656.4673; Chat:

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Advocates available 24-hours a day, every day for support and access to resources over the phone or by chat.

Phone: 1.800.799.7233; Chat:

Mental Health and Personal Counseling and On Campus
Free confidential mental health and counseling services are available to all students. Students are able to explore personal or academic concerns and receive referrals. Services are available throughout the year.

For more information on mental health and personal counseling services or to make an online self-referral visit:

Reporting resources

Reporting resources are available if you want to report crimes and policy violations. When you make a report, the individual or agency is required to take action. If you choose to report what happened to you to the College or to the police, you should know that the College and the police investigate and make decisions separately. An advocate from SOS or SPIP can help you navigate these processes

Local Police
Call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Advocates from SOS or staff from Saint Paul College are available to assist in talking to police on request.

  • Saint Paul Police: 651.291.1111
  • Minneapolis Police: 612.348.2345
  • Ramsey County Sherriff: 651.266.9333

If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, call 9-1-1 right away.

Sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment are crimes. If you want to report the incident or incidents to the police, you will most likely need to contact the police department in the jurisdiction (usually the city) where the crime occurred. Campus Safety or a 9-1-1 the dispatcher can help direct you.

  • Saint Paul Police: 651.291.1111
  • Minneapolis Police: 612.348.2345
  • Ramsey County Sherriff: 651.266.9333

Every survivor has the right to report the crime they experienced to the police but we also know that reporting can be dangerous, traumatic, or even cause further harm. Saint Paul College respects and supports the decisions you make about reporting.

If you plan to make a report and want assistance or would like to have someone supportive with you, staff from Saint Paul College or advocates from SOS Sexual Violence Services are available so please reach out. If you are unsure about whether you want to report the crime to police, you may talk with an advocate from SOS about the process and ask questions.

If you are injured or want immediate medical care, you may go directly to a hospital emergency department. At the hospital, the nurse can assist you in contacting the police if you wish.

Legal Concerns
If you are concerned that you may have an active warrant for your arrest most law enforcement agencies in Ramsey and Hennepin counties will deal with the warrant at a different time. Similarly, if you are concerned that you participated in illegal activity related to the assault or incident in most cases law enforcement will not take action unless it is a serious crime like homicide.

Privacy Concerns
You may be concerned about someone (like parents, a dating partner, or a spouse) finding out about what happened. If you report to the police they cannot guarantee that they will keep that information private. The job of the police is to investigate what happened and they will interview anyone who may have more information.

Crime Victim Rights

Right to Be Notified Of

  • Court process and how you can participate.
  • Agreements or offers made in the case.
  • Changes to court dates that required your attendance.
  • Final outcome of the case.
  • Changes or modifications to sentencing.
  • If the case is dismissed.
  • Release, escape, or transfer of the offender.
  • If offender applies to clear their record.

Right to Protection from Harm

  • Secure waiting area during court.
  • Your home and work addresses, phone number and birth date can be withheld in open court.
  • You can keep your identity private.
  • You have the option to file a protective order (page 10).

Right to Participate

  • Provide input on agreements or offers made or case outcome.
  • Request a speedy court date.
  • Be present during court hearings.
  • Provide a statement at sentencing on the impact of the crime on you.

Right to Financial Protection & Assistance

  • Reparations: assistance from a state-level board, for financial loss as a result of the crime (page 19).
  • Restitution: money paid to you from the offender as a part of their sentence.
  • Protection against employer retaliation for needing to take time off work to attend court.
  • Ability to terminate rental lease without penalty.
  • Access to a free sexual assault examination.

Criminal Investigation and Prosecution Process

Initial Report
After you call the police to make a report an officer will arrive to take a statement with basic details about the incident. You can request that an advocate be with you. They will ask information about the crime and determine what evidence needs to be collected. Usually an investigator will follow-up to gather a more detailed report within a few days.

The report usually includes questions about your activities before and after the assault and specific details of what you experienced. It is okay if you don’t know the answer to some questions or if you remember more information later, just describe it as accurately as possible. After your initial report, officers may interview the suspect and collect the evidence at the scene if possible.

Criminal Prosecution
Once law enforcement completes an investigation, the case is sent to the prosecutor’s office (the City or County Attorney’s Office). The prosecutor will decide if there is enough evidence to charge the case. If they decide not to charge the case it does not mean that they do not believe you, just that they do not have enough information to convict the accused perpetrator.

If the prosecutor charges the case, the accused perpetrator will be required to go to court several times. You are not required to go but if you want to go you can. An advocate can be there to support you. If the case goes to a trial, a representative from the prosecutor’s office will contact you to prepare you for trial. It often takes many months before a case gets to this stage.

Going to Trial
In most cases the accused perpetrator “pleads” before a trial. Rarely there is a trial. If there is a trial the case is decided by a judge or a jury based upon witnesses’ testimony and the evidence. To be convicted the defendant must be found guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

During the trial you may have to answer questions from the defense attorney. If the suspect is found guilty, a sentencing hearing will be scheduled. This is an open, public hearing you may want to attend. Sometimes the victim may read a victim impact statement which the judge can take into account as they decide the punishment for the crime.

Financial Help for Victims of Violent Crime
The Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Board helps victims and their families ease the financial burden they face as a result of a violent crime. The Board provides financial assistance to reimburse victims for their out-of-pocket losses suffered as a direct result of the crime. The crime must be reported to police to be eligible for compensation.

Some expenses that are covered include:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Lost wages,
  • Counseling expenses and cultural healing services,
  • Mileage to and from court, medical and mental health appointments,
  • Safety related home expenses such as door and window repair or lock changes,
  • Crime scene clean-up.

For more information contact:

Phone: 651.201.7300 or 1.888.622.8799

Advocates from can help you fill out a Crime Victims Reparations application.

SOS Sexual Violence Services: 651.266.1000

Saint Paul & Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (SPIP): 651.645.2824

Campus Public Safety

651.846.1322 | Room 1355 |

Officers from Campus Safety respond to campus incidents and can take action to help keep you safe.


Officers from Campus Safety are able to respond to incidents that occur on campus and can take action to help keep you safe on campus, even if the incident occurred off-campus. Making a report to Campus Safety can document what happened, which may be helpful if you are unsure if you want to report to law enforcement at this time, or if you file a student conduct complaint. Campus Safety reports are not confidential.

Campus Public Safety: 651.846.1322

Campus Public Safety can:

  • Assist students with immediate safety planning,
  • Assist students in completing a Saint Paul College conduct report (also known as a Title IX report),
  • Assist students in contacting local police to make a report,
  • Connect students to resources,
  • If the accused perpetrator is not a Saint Paul College student, the College can issue a Trespass Notice against them, remove them from campus, prohibit them from returning, and remove them from campus if they are seen on campus in the future.
  • If the accused perpetrator is a Saint Paul College student, the College will work with the Title IX office to keep you safe on campus.
  • Assist students in contacting the Title IX Coordinator to arrange for academic accommodations.

Advocates are available to be with you through the process of making a report.

  • SOS Sexual Violence Services: 651.266.1000
  • Saint Paul & Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (SPIP): 651.645.2824

Title IX Office
Mike Gerold: 651.846.1327; Room 1401B

The Title IX Office investigates conduct violations and determine academic accommodations that can help you succeed as you heal.

Online Anonymous Reporting
If you want the college to know what happened but aren’t sure you want to come forward, you can report it online anonymously.


The Title IX Office supports any student, faculty, or staff who has experienced sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, or stalking.

Title IX Office: 651.846.1327;

The Title IX Office can:

  • Provide support and advocacy,
  • Address immediate safety concerns,
  • Inform the student of available options regarding medical services, forensic evidence collection, and reporting to law enforcement,
  • Support in accessing health and counseling services,
  • Provide academic accommodations that can help students succeed,
  • Assist students with filing a formal criminal report or conduct report.

Online Anonymous Reporting
If you want the college to know what happened but are not sure you want to come forward you can report anonymously online here:

What is Title IX
Title IX a federal law that is intended to end discrimination on the basis of sex and gender in schools. Under Title IX discrimination includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking that get in the way of the victim’s ability to be successful in school.

Title IX requires that colleges respond promptly to student concerns in a way that stops the behavior, limits its effects, and prevents its recurrence. To keep the campus safe for everyone the college must investigate any incidents that happen on campus, at college events, or between members of the Saint Paul College community (students or employees).

Safety and Supportive Measures
When a student shares a Title IX concern Saint Paul College will work with the student to determine academic accommodations and safety measures that can help ensure a safe and productive educational environment for the student as they heal. Accommodations are available even if the accused perpetrator of the violence is not a member of the Saint Paul College community. If there is a Title IX investigation, accommodations can go into place immediately and are not dependent on the outcome.

Some types of Title IX accommodations include:

  • Identifying excused absences and ways to make-up work,
  • Rescheduling an assignment or exam,
  • Transferring to another section of a course,
  • Arranging for extra time to complete or make up assignments or exams,
  • Assistance in accessing academic support (e.g., tutoring),
  • Allowing the student to withdraw, re-take, or have extra time,
  • Working with the financial-aid office to re-calculate awards due to changes in family or dependency status,
  • Working with College staff to minimize the negative impact on the student’s completion rate and financial aid awards.

Some types of safety measures include:

  • Escorting students to and from classes or their vehicle,
  • Assistance in reporting to local law enforcement,
  • Assistance in filing an Order for Protection (OFP) or a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) which are a court-ordered petitions that prohibit the accused perpetrator from contacting the victim,
  • If the accused perpetrator is a Saint Paul College student, the College has many options including removal from campus, prohibiting contact, or limits on their involvement in extracurricular activities,
  • If the accused perpetrator is not a Saint Paul College student, the College can issue a Trespass Notice against them and remove them from campus if they are on campus.

Additional safety and supportive measures for student workers may be required.

College Processes

The College has two main ways to address sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence, or stalking when the person who caused harm is a student or employee.

If the person who reportedly caused harm is not a student or employee there will not be an investigation, but the college will provide safety and supportive measures.

Title IX Violations

The U.S. Department of Education requires that the College use the Title IX process for some specific incidents including:

  • Sexual violence, relationship violence, or stalking that happened on campus, at an off-campus college sponsored activity, or as part of a college class.
  • Some incidents of sexual harassment that are “severe, pervasive and objectively offensive” which means that they are extreme and have happened more than once.
  • Quid pro quo sexual harassment (when someone with authority trades or tries to trade sexual contact for something the other person wants like a good grade.

Conduct Code Violations
All other forms of violence, stalking, and harassment involving students or employees are violations of the conduct code. In that situation the College will use the conduct process.

Support: Advocates are available to be with any reporting student for any part of the process. Please contact SOS (651.266.1000) or SPIP (651.645.2824) to request an advocate.

First Steps: The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will meet with the student to discuss the situation, develop appropriate safety and supportive measures. The Director will also evaluate if the report is a conduct code violation or a Title IX violation, explain the student’s options and the next steps. If it is a Title IX violation the Director will share information about the Title IX formal and informal resolution processes. The Director will continue to meet with the student throughout the process.

Discussing the Option of Informal Resolution: If both people involved agree to it there can be an informal agreement. This is only appropriate when the person who caused harm has taken responsibility for the harm they caused. Some possible outcomes for informal resolution include the person who caused harm agreeing to a no contact order, making an apology, or receiving education or training to prevent them from causing future harm. Either person can decide that they want to change to a formal resolution at any time.

Launching the Investigation: The college will assign or hire a trained investigator who collects evidence and interviews witnesses. The investigator will write a report and submit it to the Decision Maker.

Decision Making: The Decision Maker – a highly trained Saint Paul College or Minnesota State employee – reviews the investigator’s report and determines whether the evidence shows that a conduct violation occurred. Based on that determination, the decision maker selects sanctions for the person who caused harm, guided by policy and regulations.

Notification of Outcome: The Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities meets with each party individually to explain the outcome of the decision making. Safety and supportive measures may continue, as appropriate.


Selecting an Advisor: Both people must have an advisor to be their representative throughout the process. Each person can select their own advisor or ask that the college assign them an advisor. The college typically assigns an attorney as an advisor.

Launching the Investigation: The college will assign or hire a trained investigator who collects evidence and interviews witnesses. The investigator will collect evidence which will be presented at the hearing. Before the hearing both people and their advisors will have a chance to review the report and make comments or corrections.

Hearing: There are three main groups involved in the hearing:

  • Hearing officials, including a judge who facilitates the hearing and the Decision Maker.
  • Person who experienced harmed and their advisor.
  • Person who reportedly caused harm and their advisor.

The hearing will be conducted over video conference and everyone will participate in it at the same time. Each group will remain in separate rooms throughout the process. All witnesses, including the person who was harmed and the person who caused harm, will be asked to share the information they have and both advisors will have an opportunity to ask the witnesses questions. The Decision Maker can decide if a question is inappropriate or irrelevant.

Decision Making: The Decision Maker determines whether the evidence shows that a conduct violation occurred. Based on that determination, the decision maker selects sanctions for the person who caused harm, guided by policy and regulations.

If you don’t feel like the College responded adequately to your report, mishandled the case, or you are unsatisfied with the outcome, you read about appeals and grievances here:

The US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Federal civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination in colleges. If you feel that your rights have been violated, report this violation to the Department of Education. More information can also be found at Advocates from SOS or SPIP can help you file an OCR report.

In-person survivor support on campus

Free, confidential drop-in in-person survivor support services is available on campus. Advocates from SOS Sexual Violence Services (651.266.1000 or email and SPIP Domestic Violence Intervention (651.645.2824) are available to meet with students. Drop-in advocacy is an opportunity to meet with a trained advocate, make plans for your safety, process what happened, prepare a protective order, discuss reporting, receive referrals to housing and financial support, and explore your options. Advocates can also assist you in supporting a friend experiencing violence. Support is available to students of all genders. Follow Student Life on Instagram for program updates.

Healthy relationship skills

Whether your relationship is casual or serious, it’s important to feel respected, safe, and heard. The components below are indications that your relationship is healthy.

FREEDOM – You might spend a lot of time with your partner, but you also need your space. Both partners should be able to have their own hobbies, likes, and outside friends. Always be yourself and know that you have the right to be free!

FAIRNESS – Relationships shouldn’t be one-sided. Each person should be willing to compromise and listen to the other person’s thoughts and needs. When it comes to opinions, both of yours matter.

BOUNDARIES – Each person has a right to decide what they are okay with in a relationship. This includes physical stuff, how often you talk to your partner, and whether you share your social media passwords. If you don’t like when your partner texts and calls too much or doesn’t give you alone time, you have the right to speak up!

TRUST & SUPPORT – Being able to rely on your partner helps you feel safe and secure in the relationship. It’s about knowing someone has your back and best intentions at heart. You expect your partner to be honest and they don’t let you down.

OPEN COMMUNICATION – Communication is a huge part of all relationships. Being able to express how you feel and taking time to listen to the other person is important and essential.

Remember, healthy relationships take skills and practice. If you are struggling in your own relationships or want to talk to an expert on how to improve your relationship skills seek out the Counseling Department.

Healthy Relationship Skills

Intervening in risky situations

You can help stop relationship or sexual violence or stalking. When something is not right it is essential for members of the community to intervene. Risky situations and harassment can escalate quickly so it is helpful to plan some strategies. If you have a plan, you will know what to do when something happens.

Identifying Risky Situations

We know that it can be hard to know how and when to intervene. It might feel awkward or strange to intervene but being prepared will help you take action when the time comes.

How can I tell someone needs me to intervene?

  • They look like they are uncomfortable or are shifting positions,
  • They are ignoring the other person but the other person is not going away,
  • They have already said “no” or tried to end the conversation,
  • They are trying to move away but their path is blocked,
  • They are asleep, passed out, or too intoxicated to care for themselves,
  • You feel like the situation is not okay – trust your instincts!
  • What else can you think of?

Options for intervening

With the strategies of direct, distract, delegate, delay, and document you can choose an option that works for you.

You can talk directly to the person causing harm so they know their actions are not okay. Assess your safety first. Speak up about the harassment or risky situation. Be firm and clear. You can also talk to the victim about what is going on. Ask: “Are you okay? Should I get help? Should we get out of here?”

You can interrupt harmful actions or words before they escalate by causing a distraction. You might start a conversation with the victim or find another way to draw attention away from them. Ask them for directions or the time, or drop something.

You can gather resources and support people to address the situation. Find someone in a position of authority—like a bus driver, a Public Safety Officer, instructor, or store manager, or a community leader—and ask them for help. Check in with the victim. If you think calling the police is the best option, ask the victim if they want you to call before you do.

You can check-in with the victim afterward because sometimes waiting is safest. You might say: “Are you okay? Can I sit with you? Can I accompany you somewhere? What do you need?”

You can document the situation so there is evidence of what happened. It can be helpful for the victim to have a video of the incident or notes about what happened. Always ask the victim what they want to do with the footage and never post it online or use it without their permission.

I Intervene

Supporting a survivor

It is not always easy to know what to say when someone tells you they have been a victim of violence or harassment, especially if they are a friend or family member. Telling someone they care about can be very difficult, so we encourage you to be as supportive and non-judgmental as possible.

Sometimes support means providing resources, such as how to reach advocates, seek medical attention, or report the crime to the police or the campus. But usually listening is the best way to support a survivor.

What Should I Say?

If someone shares their experience of sexual or relationship violence, stalking, or sexual harassment with you it can be difficult to know what to say. The suggestions below can help:

  • “I believe you.” Sharing their experience can be challenging and many survivors are concerned that they will not be believed or worried they will be blamed. The best thing you can do is to let them know that you believe them. Everyone responds to traumatic events differently so their reaction may be unexpected to you but that does not mean their story is not true.
  • “It is not your fault.” Survivors may blame themselves, especially if they know the perpetrator personally. Remind the survivor, maybe even more than once, that they are not to blame.
  • “You are not alone.” Let the survivor know that you are there for them and willing to listen to their story if they are comfortable sharing it. Assess if there are people in their life they feel comfortable going to, and remind them that there are service providers who will be able to support them as they heal from the experience.
  • “I am sorry this happened.” Acknowledge that the experience has affected their life. Phrases like “This must be really tough for you,” and, “I am so glad you are sharing this with me,” help to communicate empathy.

Every survivor heals in a different way. If someone trusted you enough to disclose to you, consider the following ways to show your continued support.

Avoid judgment. It can be difficult to watch a survivor struggle with the effects of violence or harassment for an extended period of time. Avoid phrases that suggest they are taking too long to recover.

Check in periodically. The event may have happened a long time ago, but that does not mean the pain is gone. Check in with the survivor to remind them you still care about their well-being and believe their story.

Know your resources. You are a strong supporter, but that does not mean you are equipped to manage someone else’s health. Become familiar with resources you can recommend to a survivor like the ones listed above. If the survivor seeks medical attention or plans to report, offer to be there. Your presence can offer the support they need.

If someone you care about is considering suicide please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1.800.273.TALK (8255) any time, day or night.

Supporting a Survivor

Resources for faculty and staff

Almost all college employees (including student employees) are mandated by federal and state law and must report if anyone discloses (talks about, shares, reveals) an experience of sexual violence, relationship violence, sexual harassment, or stalking. Only counseling staff are confidential resources and not required to report.

Responding to a Disclosure

When someone discloses sexual violence it can be hard to know how to support them, especially as a mandated reporter. The “Supporting a Survivor” guide above offers many resources but it can be hard to balance a survivor’s request for privacy and your statutory requirements as a college employee. If you sense that a student is about to disclose an incident that you would be required to report, it is important gently let them know upfront that you will need to report what they have told you with the college early in the conversation so they can make an informed decision on how much or how little they want to share. You can and should reassure them you will not share what they told you with anyone outside of that report.

After they have shared with you, please let them know that the following information:

  • The Title IX Office may be reaching out to them to offer resources, information, and support,
  • Unless the College is worried about the immediate safety of the campus community at large the College will not do anything (like start an investigation, tell anyone including their parents, make a police report for them, etc.) without their permission,
  • They have access to confidential resources both on- and off-campus.

Making a Report

The Director of Public Safety, Public Safety Officers, and the Title IX Coordinator are immediate resources and partners for you if you have questions about the welfare or behavior of a student.

You can make a report to by contacting any of the designated individuals in-person, by phone, or by email. Please include all relevant details that person told you, including the name(s) of the person(s) involved, their relationship with the person who told you, and the date, time, and location of the incident.

Department of Public Safety:
Office 1355, 651.846.1322,

Title IX Coordinator, Mike Gerold:
Office 1401B, 651.846.1327,

Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Wendy Roberson:
Administration Office, 651.846.1757,

You may also make an online report here:

Supporting Student Survivors in the Classroom

Many students at Saint Paul College are survivors of trauma and faculty can be an essential part of their healing process. The following suggestions can help student survivors be more successful in the classroom and engage with their learning more fully.

  • Provide a written overview in the syllabus of your responsibilities as a non-confidential resource on campus, along with an explanation of what that means for students. You can share confidential and other resources, as well.
  • Clearly label in the syllabus which (if any) readings, assignments, projects, or discussions will touch on the subject of sexual violence or related sensitive topics.
  • Offer a straightforward disclaimer around your expectations for the course. For example:
    Aspects of this course may be emotionally difficult, and learning about violence is always challenging. You may personally connect with or be affected by some of the material covered in this course, so I urge you to identify a support system outside of this class. I am happy to meet with you to discuss any concerns or accommodation needs, but I also encourage you to seek out confidential or other resources.
  • Make classroom expectations of respect explicit. If someone discloses during a class session, remind the students of that expectation. Tell students that the learning or insights they gain in class should leave the classroom, but the shared expectation is that any personal details that are shared should not.
  • If your course content involves continuous or deep engagement with sensitive topics, create ways for students to engage in private or opt-in ways like private writing reflection rather than class discussion.

Remember that each survivor’s experience is unique, so each survivor will have different topics they find difficult to engage with or hear and talk about but being proactive and understanding will help survivors feel supported.

If you would like to explore other strategies please contact the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Coordinator, Jess Cheney (651.846.1566,

Bringing the Anti-Violence Support and Education Program into the Classroom

If you are interested in exploring ways to integrate awareness of the realities of violence, knowledge of consent and healthy relationship behavior, or training on bystander intervention skills into your classroom the Saint Paul College Program for Anti-Violence Support and Education is available to support you. Some possible topics include:

  • Sexual and Relationship Violence Awareness: This brief 15-minute session provides a basic overview of facts surrounding sexual and relationship violence, information about campus policies and resources, and introduces key concepts for promoting a culture of safety and respect on and off campus.
  • Healthy Relationships: What makes an intimate relationship positive and worthwhile? In this presentation, students discuss key components of healthy relationships and explore ways to advocate for themselves and support their friends and loved ones in maintaining safe and respectful relationships. Partners: Saint Paul Intervention Project and Women’s Advocates.
  • Neurobiology of Trauma: What happens to the brain in traumatic situations like sexual assault? Based on the neurobiological research of Dr. Rebecca Campbell students will learn about the autonomic stress response and its impact on memory encoding and recall, gain understanding of the neurochemistry that can create seemingly unexpected reactions to trauma, and develop strategies assisting individuals who have experienced trauma. Partner: Regions Hospital Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program.
  • Sexual and/or Relationship Violence 101 for Professional Settings: Specialized trainings for students in healthcare careers, ASL language and interpreting, or criminal justice fields. Partnering with experts in the field, students learn about the impact of violence on their work setting, workplace specific red flags and safety concerns, and strategies for assisting victims in a professional role. Partners: SOS Sexual Violence Services , Saint Paul Intervention Project, Regions Hospital, ThinkSelf Minnesota Deaf Adult Education & Advocacy, and Standpoint Legal Advocacy. Other workplace areas are available upon request.
  • Bystander Intervention: What should students do if they see a peer or community member being harassed or have concerns that someone is in danger of sexual violence, relationship violence, or stalking? In this session, participants learn to recognize warning signs and practice skills they can use to discourage, deter, and de-escalate various behaviors that can lead to violence.
  • Bystander Intervention for Professional and Trade Students: Students who will enter the workforce in technical, health sciences, wellness, or services fields have unique opportunities to intervene in the lives of clients. Whether working in a client’s home, providing care, or developing long-term one-on-one relationships with clients, these students may be the first to identify signs of violence or stalking. In this session participants learn to recognize warning signs specific to their professional role and practice skills they can use keep the community safer. This offering is always adapted to meet the specific professional role of the students.
  • Embracing Challenging Topics in Curriculum: Maybe material in your classroom may already touches on sexual or relationship violence or maybe you are interested in integrating a book, article, or topic that examines to violence. The Saint Paul College Program for Anti-Violence Support and Education is able to be a resource as you develop lesson plans or offer support in the classroom.

All topics can be modified to fit time constraints (from 30 minutes to multiple class sessions). Please contact please contact the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Coordinator, Jess Cheney (651.846.1566, to plan a presentation or collaboration.

St. Paul College policies

Sexual violence is an intolerable intrusion into the most personal and private rights of an individual, and is prohibited at Saint Paul College. Saint Paul College is committed to eliminating sexual violence in all forms and will take appropriate remedial action against any individual found responsible for acts in violation of this policy. Acts of sexual violence may also constitute violations of criminal or civil law, or other Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees Policies that may require separate proceedings. To further its commitment against sexual violence, Saint Paul College provides reporting options, internal mechanisms for dispute resolution, and prevention training or other related services as appropriate.