Published: April 11, 2019
Group of in teal shirts walking arm in arm

Traumatic events happen every day in all communities, and the CU Boulder community is not immune. The way a person responds to a survivor matters. One's response can influence the survivor’s decision to seek out further help and can affect their healing process.

Research shows people want to help but sometimes do not know how to respond. As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April, the Office of Victim Assistance (OVA) has provided tips and information on how to support people impacted by sexual assault.


Sexual assault is unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact ranging from unwanted sexual touching to unwanted penetration. When someone is sexually assaulted, it is often by someone the person knows.


Other campus resources

If someone shares they have been sexually assaulted:

  • Remain calm.
  • Listen.
  • Take the situation seriously.
  • Avoid questioning and judging the survivor.
  • Address safety, physical and emotional.
  • Validate feelings.
  • Inform the survivor they have rights and options.
  • Support the survivor in doing what they decide is best for them.

Reach out

OVA is a free and confidential on-campus advocacy and counseling center for students, faculty and staff. People can reach out and contact OVA for support and guidance on how to help a friend, or for oneself.

Learn more at the Health and Wellness Summit

There will be sessions on a variety of topics at the Health and Wellness Summit on April 25, including supporting survivors, supporting student resiliency, campus resources, stress management, nutrition, emotional wellness and more. This summit is free and open to all CU faculty, staff and students.

Partners from other CU campuses will also present findings from each of their local campuses during the event. Attendees will be able to leave the summit with skills and tips that they can apply immediately to their everyday routines. In addition to formal presentations and panels, the summit will be hosting a variety of drop-in activities, including a hands-on expo room.

Learn more and register for the Health and Wellness Summit.