Photo of campus in the fall with the flatirons in the background.

This page provides information on how to help when someone discloses a traumatic event. This could include, but is not limited to, serious accidents, assault, bias-motivated incidents, disasters, discrimination, harassment, hazing, intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking.

How to Help

The way a person responds to a survivor who shares their experience matters. One's response can impact whether the survivor will seek out further help and can also impact their healing process. Research shows that CU community members want to help but sometimes do not know how to respond. OVA can help you learn skills on how to provide a supportive response and learn more about resources on and off campus.


As a friend, staff or faculty member, or parent supporting a survivor it can be helpful to learn about the range of responses to trauma to help you better understand and support the survivor. There is no one right way to respond to trauma and impact can vary from person to person. OVA can help you learn more about the range of common trauma responses.

Click here for more information on trauma responses.

Secondary Trauma

When supporting a survivor of trauma it is not uncommon for people to feel impacted themselves. That can include having feelings of anger, distrust, changes in world view, disbelief, confusion and more. In addition, one may have thoughts and feelings about how a survivor should be reacting or opinions about reporting processes. It is important to support survivors in what they believe to be best for them, and it may also be important for you to get support regarding your own reactions.

Click here for more information on secondary trauma.

Faculty and Staff Resources

Faculty and staff often call the Office of Victim Assistance asking how to a respond to a student who has disclosed a trauma. In addition, academics may be adversely affected by the current impact the survivor is facing. You can learn more about how to respond to a student who has disclosed a trauma, how to get them resourced, and how OVA can provide academic advocacy.

Staff and faculty click here for more information on how to help a student and work with OVA.

Buffs Supporting Buffs

The Buffs Supporting Buffs campaign was created to increase awareness around sexual assault, discrimination, intimate partner abuse (i.e. dating and domestic violence) and stalking. This campaign aligns with our Supporting Survivors presentation and is focused on education, awareness and skill-building on how to help in a trauma-informed way.

View and print posters or pocket cards: