Student Help

Help Someone Else


In an Emergency 24/7

From any campus phone,
call 4300 or 911

From a mobile phone,
call SMC dispatch

If off-campus, call 911

If someone you know within the SMC community has experienced sexual assault/misconduct, we can help you help them. Sometimes, the most valuable advice comes from someone the individual already trusts. Whether you’re a friend, roommate, parent, or concerned member of our faculty or staff, we can point you to resources that you can share, as well as provide support for you through the process.

  1. Listen
    • Confirm the person’s safety. Ask the survivor, “Are you safe right now?” If they say no, help them create a plan to get to a safe place. Call 911 if necessary.
    • Provide nonjudgmental support. Your role is not to determine whether or not something occurred. Your primary responsibility is to remain supportive of the survivor while referring the person to others who are trained in providing assistance and/or intervening.
  2. Refer
  3. Report, as required
    The following types of employees are considered to be “responsible employees” who have responsibility for reporting allegations of sexual misconduct to the District’s Compliance Administrator/Title IX Coordinator:
    1. Academic Administrators (including project managers)
    2. Classified Managers
    3. Department Chairs

Excluded employees: Employees of the Health Service Center, Ombuds Office, and Center for Wellness and Wellbeing shall not be designated as responsible employees to ensure that students have a mechanism to confidentially report incidents of sexual misconduct.

Responsible employees do not have any responsibility to verify or gather facts about alleged sexual misconduct and should refrain from doing so. However, responsible employees must report any details that they observe or hear about to the District’s Compliance Administrator/Title IX Coordinator. This section is not intended to negate the mandatory reporting responsibilities required under any other provision of law such as California’s child abuse reporting law.

If you are required to report the incident, explain your reporting responsibilities to the person who has disclosed the information to you.

If the incident involves alleged sexual assault/misconduct by a student, faculty member, staff member, or a third party, contact the Compliance Administrator/Title IX Coordinator Lisa Winter, at 310.434.4225 or Email:

Do's and Don'ts

While you are not expected to act as a counselor, when you are with someone who has experienced sexual misconduct, you should be aware that the supportiveness of your response can be critical in the healing process. Though there is no one "right" way to respond, the following may serve as a guide identifying more or less helpful responses:


  • Give the survivor your complete attention.
  • Validate the survivor's feelings.
  • Tell the survivor:
    • "I believe you."
    • "This was not your fault."
    • "You have options."
    • "Thank you for coming forward."
  • Offer the survivor options:
    • To sit or stand.
    • To share more or be silent.
    • To call referral agencies or not, or to have you call.
  • Ask the survivor what they need.
  • Remind the survivor that they are not alone, that other people of all genders have experienced sexual misconduct.
  • Provide the survivor with information about the resources available to them including confidential counseling, medical resources, and reporting resources.
  • Suggest to the survivor that they preserve evidence
  • Follow up with the survivor.
  • Report the incident to the Director of HR or Compliance Administrator/Title IX Coordinator if you are a University employee.
  • Take care of yourself after dealing with the situation. Get support for yourself if you need it.


  • Tell the survivor that you know what they are going through.
  • Label the experience for the survivor or make any legal conclusions.
  • Minimize the survivor's experience (e.g. that's just how that person is.)
  • Tell the survivor what they should do or make decisions for them.
  • Ask the survivor questions that suggest they are to blame (e.g. What were you drinking? What were you wearing? Why didn't you run? What were you doing in that place?)
  • Question whether the survivor is telling the truth or show doubt about their story.
  • Tell the survivor that they need some proof or evidence.
  • Touch the survivor's leg, shoulder, hand, etc. unless they have explicitly told you that it is okay to do so.
  • Talk about your own issues or history.
  • Guarantee complete confidentiality, particularly if you are a University employee with a reporting obligation.
  • Panic. Take a deep breath and focus on listening to the survivor.