FAQs About Support

  • What do Support Services Look Like?
    Support services through the SHAPE Office for those who have experienced harm is the practice of holding space, and connecting folks to additional resources. It involves sharing options, reviewing rights and resources, and supporting someone in determining which next step feels best for folks.

    Some forms of care and support can look like: 

    • Medical accompaniment to the Davison Health Center or Middlesex Hospital during office hours
    • Accompaniment to reporting at Middletown Police and/or Public Safety
    • Referrals to CAPS, WesWell, Davison Health Center, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Office of Equity and Inclusion, or other community agencies as needed for individuals.
    • Collaborate with community organizations and campus offices as necessary in advocating for trauma-sensitive policies and services throughout the university.
    • Additional support in accessing other options and resources as defined survivors.
  • How are Support Services Different from Counseling?

    Supportive services are centered on exploring options, and then support in accessing those options as needed, without a clinical approach. The SHAPE Director takes a trauma-informed, healing-centered approach, rather than using therapeutic techniques for clinical mental health treatment. The SHAPE Director can be a "sounding board" for questions and concerns about reporting, support options, and providing information on other resources, so that a survivor can make an informed decision about what resource feels best for them. 

    Counseling is a resource for exploring feelings regarding an experience of interpersonal violence, it's repercussions, and developing tools and techniques for self-care and overall wellness. It is a clinical, therapeutic intervention, offered for survivors on an on-going basis to explore or of the "why" of how they are feeling, rather than getting information regarding their options for support and healing. 

  • What Can I Expect from Meeting with the SHAPE Director or SHAPE Intern?

    Meeting with the SHAPE Director can be an opportunity for you to confidentially ask questions, explore options, and get information about how you'd like to explore your path towards healing. You don't have to share all of the details of your experience to still access resources and explore your options. 


    Meeting with the SHAPE Intern would be an opportunity to get information and explore options, from a peer perspective. You can also discuss ideas for planning events or starting an educational conversation on campus! Since the SHAPE Intern is a Wes student, it may feel more comfortable to start asking questions from a peer first. The SHAPE Intern is not confidential. The SHAPE Intern will take care to respect your privacy, and will also discuss with the SHAPE Director any disclosures of sexual assault, dating violence, sexual harassment, or stalking they hear.


    You have the right to feel safe and supported on campus, and meeting with the SHAPE Director or SHAPE Intern could be an opportunity to explore what you need to feel safe and supported here.

  • What is the difference between "Confidential" and "Non-Confidential" Resources?

    Confidential Campus Resources will not share details of your narrative, and have to submit a Confidential Crime Report (which is de-identified and only mentions the type of experience, not the details). This form is for data collection purposes, required by the Clery Act. 

    Non-Confidential Campus Resources are Responsible Employees at Wesleyan. If they receive disclosures, they are required to contact Debbie Colucci in the Office for Equity & Inclusion, sharing identifying information and the nature of the conversation; however, this does not start an investigation. It results in a follow-up e-mail sent to the student who made the disclosure, outlining resources for care and support on campus and in the community. 

  • What are the SHAPE Director's Student Hours?

    The SHAPE Director is available by appointment from 9 am - 4 pm Monday-Friday during the semester. For the Fall 2020 semester, the SHAPE Director will offer drop in Zoom hours during the semester on Tuesdays from noon – 1 pm, starting the first week of classes. The best way to access drop-in student hours is to send an email to the SHAPE Director to receive the Zoom link information. This is maintain confidentiality and privacy.

    Scheduling an appointment over email is the best way overall to make an appointment. Appointments are being offered virtually for the 2020-2021 academic year. No in-person meetings will be offered. Whether it is support for yourself or asking questions on behalf of someone else, please contact the SHAPE Director to set up a time to meet. 

    The SHAPE Director is also neither on-call nor available 24/7 via e-mail or otherwise. If you e-mail outside of business hours, she will follow-up as soon as possible or the very next business day at the latest. If you are in need of emergency support, consider contacting CAPS on-call therapist, the Women & Families Center Hotline, or New Horizons Hotline outside of business hours.

  • What is the Difference between "Survivor" and "Person who has Experienced Harm"?

    There are many terms folks who have experienced intimate violence choose to identify themselves with. Some prefer victim, as it communicates they experienced something out of their control, that was not their fault, in the past (also has an association with intimate violence being a crime). Some prefer survivor, feeling more connected to a sense of resilience and moving through an experience of harm; growing past it and healing from it, although healing is a life-long journey. For more reading, here’s an article from the New York times outlining one perspective on the label “survivor”

    Others prefer “someone who experienced harm.” This language aims to encompass that someone is more than their experience, rather than a “label” that defines who they are. It is a part of their lived experience that influences how they move through the world, without dictating who they are. The SHAPE Office uses this language interchangeably to honor the diversity of experiences and labels survivors feel connected to.

  • Do I Have to Identify as a Survivor to Contact the SHAPE Office?

    No. You do not have to identify as a survivor, victim, victim-survivor, or other identity connected to having experienced sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and/or sexual harassment to access resources through the SHAPE Office.

    If you or someone you know has experienced any of these types of violence, you are welcome to come in and explore what your options for support are, and what information is out there for supporting the person in your life navigating these experiences. We can talk about resources, information about the campus processes, or any other questions you may have about supporting others who identify as survivors or starting a personal path towards healing as a survivor yourself.

    In addition, if you're interested in getting involved in activism surrounding interpersonal violence prevention issues, the SHAPE Office could be a good place to start to understand what's out there as well.

  • Is the SHAPE Office only for Students?

    The confidential support services provided by the SHAPE Director are a resource only available to Wesleyan students. If faculty and staff are looking for  support, consider contacting an off-campus resourceDebbie Colucci, the Ombudsperson, or an HR Representative

    If faculty and/or staff have questions about their role as Responsible Employees, the SHAPE Director (as well as Debbie Colucci in the Office for Equity and Inclusion) can provide guidance on this.

    Community Education & Training Programs are available for students, staff, and faculty. If you'd like to schedule a training or workshop, please fill out this Program Request Form two weeks in advance of the request date.