Regardless of the legal requirements and precedents generally associated with cases of domestic violence, the following steps are critical in initially responding to students who seek our advice and support in such situations:
- Students need to be informed, or reassured, that the threat of violence, or any violent behavior, real or perceived, is considered unacceptable and illegal. Implicit threats, as well as actual behaviors, now are considered felonies and no longer are deemed to be misdemeanors.
- Efforts should be made to identify student's support system/network, including family-based resources as well as shelters, battered women's groups, etc.
- Legal options should be identified, including pro-bono lawyers, legal advocacy groups, legal services, etc.
- University resources which can protect the confidentiality of students presenting with issues of domestic violence should be identified. Students should also be notified that in certain situations, mental health professionals and other University administrators may be required by law to act as mandated reporters, especially in cases where minor children remain in the family household.
The entire Suffolk community shares the concern that our campuses be safe and secure. You should be alert to suspicious situations and promptly report threatening, violent or criminal behavior to University Police and Security.
- If you observe a criminal act or a person acting in a suspicious manner on campus, immediately notify University Police at extension 8111 and report the incident.
- Include the following information when reporting an incident:
- Nature of the incident
- Location of the incident
- Description of person(s) involved
- Description of property involved
- Assist the Officers when they arrive by supplying them with any additional information and ask others to cooperate.
- Self-protection means knowing how to avoid being the victim of an attack and knowing what to do if you are.
- Be alert for the unexpected and don't take unnecessary chances. Be extra alert when you are walking by yourself.
- Walk with someone if you can. University Police provides an escort upon request.
- If you are attacked, you may consider using your natural defenses. Make a scene, scream, yell, kick, and try to get away. Run toward lights, people, or buildings.
- Do not panic, use your head. Get a good description of your assailant if possible.
- Be alert for suspicious persons or dangerous situations. Do not take chances.
- Be security conscious; watch out for others and their property.