Being accused of any violation of the Code of Student Conduct is difficult. In sexual violence cases, it can be particularly hard to process. Just as friends might turn to you if they are a victim of sexual violence, a friend might confide in you that they have been accused of committing sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, or relationship violence. Knowing how to support an accused individual—or, respondent—can be hard.
If someone accused of sexual violence turns to you for help, here are some ways you can provide support:
As you provide support to your friend, remember that you can best take care of others when you take care of yourself. Supporting someone who is dealing with sexual assault allegations can be confusing and emotionally fraught, so don't hesitate to reach out to those same support resources to get the help you need, too.
We all can feel deep loyalty to our friends; just like with reported victims of sexual violence, there can be a need to "fix" what your friend is experiencing or "make it go away." You might want to speak to the reporting student or take some action to communicate your support for the respondent. It is important for you to remember that Tulane prohibits retaliation against individuals (including the respondent) involved in the reporting, investigation, and adjudication of sexual violence. Also know that your friend might have a "No Contact Order" with the reporting student, so your actions need to respect that order's directives.
If you have any questions or concerns about what constitutes retaliation or about No Contact Orders, contact the Office of Student Conduct.