Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response

branches bloom with cherry blossoms against a clear blue sky

Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response


Student Wellness and Health Promotion (SWHP) is committed to creating social change in order to foster a community of respect, safety and care. SWHP engages in a trauma-informed, vidtim-centered, mutli-faceted approach to prevention, education and intervention efforts. Through intentional partnership within our campus community, our work aims to create awareness, address inequities and oppression and encourage a sense of responsibility throughout our Blue Hen community.

Flowering trees on campus

Supporting a Survivor

It is common for victims or survivors to lean on someone they trust after experiencing trauma. It can be overwhelming or even scary to know what to say to someone experiencing sexual violence, dating/domestic violence or stalking. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be an expert, you just need to be a supportive person.

  • Per University policy, unless you are a confidential resource (Center for Counseling and Student Development, Victim Support Services or pastoral), advise the individual that you are required to report the incident to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, but you will not tell anyone else. 
  • Tell the person what your requirements are before they tell you the story so they can choose whether or not to share.
  • Listen to the disclosure without blaming the victim or passing judgment.
  • Respect the victim’s process of healing and seeking resources.
  • Restore control by allowing the victim to choose their next steps.
  • Ask if they are currently safe; if there are immediate safety concerns, please call 911. 
  • Be clear that you believe the victim.
  • Be non-judgmental and supportive.
  • Ask if they are interested in reporting to the police and respect their decision.
  • Provide information about possible next steps and resources such as victim support services, counseling services, Title IX, UD’s 24-hour support, etc.
  • Ask what you can do to help.
  • Use phrases like:
    • “You are not alone. I am here for you.”
    • “It’s not your fault.”
    • “I believe you.”
  • Avoid pushing for details or asking a lot of questions. Telling the story of what happened can be incredibly re-traumatizing, so it is important to let the survivor lead the conversation. 
  • Avoid pushing what you think they should do. Empower them to begin to regain control by making their own decisions about next steps to take.
  • Avoid judgment, blaming, shaming the victim or excusing the harm that occurred.
  • Start by believing; believing a survivor when they disclose something happened can have a significant impact on whether or not they engage with support services.
  • Sexual misconduct is never the victim’s fault; no one has the right to cause harm to another person.
  • The healing path for every survivor is different and can take time. Be patient as you support this person during their process.
  • Be calm during the disclosure and access any self-care resources afterwards as it can be difficult listening to someone disclose a traumatic experience.

Prevention and Education

SWHP works to prevent sexual misconduct by developing programs and campaigns designed to promote a community of care. Our goal is to help every member of the Blue Hen community feel confident to take action to prevent sexual misconduct.

a group of students poses in front of the Consent Art Installation in Perkins

Conversations about Consent

During this 50-minute workshop participants discuss how being part of a caring community means playing a role in cultivating a culture of consent. Peer-guided discussions develop a shared meaning of consent so participants understand how their peer community has a shared responsibility for the wellbeing of all. Conversations include: boundaries; how power, privilege and alcohol affect consent; and safe methods for interrupting harmful behavior using the CARE bystander strategies (Create distraction, Act directly, Rally others, Extend support). As Blue Hens it is everyone’s business to look out for each other.

a group of students learns information at a table at the Support Fair

Blue Hens CARE

Being part of a caring community means everyone plays a role in ending sexual and relationship violence! In this 90-minute workshop, participants learn about the bystander approach as a lifelong process, explore safe strategies for interrupting behavior, discuss the role of power and practice supporting others. As Blue Hens, it is our business to look out for each other. SWHP’s Blue Hens CARE Peer Educators facilitate ongoing workshops for fraternities, sororities and athletes or by request.

four students hold sexual misconduct support signs at the 2023 Spring Support Fair

Support Fairs

Every Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April) and Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October) the Blue Hens CARE Peer Educators collaborate with other student groups across campus to host support fairs on The Green. The focus of the fairs is on consent and healthy relationships. Students and our campus community are encouraged to visit different tables for activities and education.

a student talks to two other students at a table at the Support Fair

One Love

The One Love Foundation was founded to honor the tragic death of Yeardley Love by engaging young people through compelling, relatable films and honest conversations around healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors. SWHP partners with UD Athletics and Fraternities and Sororities Leadership & Learning to facilitate One Love programs.