University of Houston-Victoria

Title IX and Equal Opportunity

Student Questions (Sexual Misconduct)

What do I do if my friend was sexually assaulted?

Will the University tell my parents?

What if I was drinking alcohol and I am underage?  Will I get in trouble for that if I report?

What about changing residence hall rooms or classes? 

What do I do if my friend was sexually assaulted?  

First, know that sexual assault can happen to anyone. Although there is no one response to a trauma, some common reactions can include:

    • Self-blame;
    • Distrust of others;
    • Feeling nervous, helpless, fearful, hopeless, or sad;
    • Trouble eating or sleeping;
    • Trouble with concentration or focus; and/or
    • Substance abuse.

Second, offer support, be patient and listen. Avoid making assumptions or suggesting reasons for the assault. Reassure that it was not their fault. Recognize that some individuals will want to talk about what happened but others will not. Thank them for what they are able to share.

Third, help them find appropriate resources, discuss options and ask them what they want to do next. Do not pressure them to make decisions or take action. Just let them know that you are there for them.

Fourth, consider contacting a counselor or advisor to help you through the process or to learn about resources. You do not have to break your friend’s privacy to seek information.

Finally, remember to take care of yourself. Pay attention to how what you learn impacts you. Seek counseling if you need help understanding what has happened and how it makes you feel.

Will the University tell my parents?

Whether you are the reporting or responding student, the University's primary relationship is with you and not your parents, unless you are a minor (under the age of 17). In the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. University officials will directly inform parents:

    • If a student provides permission and requests the University make contact,
    • In certain instances where a health or safety emergency exist, and/or
    • If the University determines such communication is necessary. 

What if I was drinking alcohol and I am underage? Will I get in trouble for that if I report?

The University encourages the reporting of Sexual Misconduct. Sometimes witnesses are hesitant to report because they fear student conduct violations such as underage drinking.

To encourage reporting, the University has an amnesty or immunity policy for cooperating witnesses that applies to non-violent student conduct offenses. This can include alcohol or drug-related conduct.

Immunity from student conduct charges is separate from criminal case decisions if the incident resulted in police involvement.

What about changing residence hall rooms or classes?

We offer services to improve your safety on campus including workplace, classroom or housing changes. Talk with the Title IX Coordinator about services that may be available to you.

*For general questions that apply no matter your status (student, faculty, staff or visitor), see Title IX Frequently Asked Questions.