08/31/2015 10:21 am ET Updated Aug 31, 2015

How NYC's Commissioner On Domestic Violence Wants Colleges To Address Rape

The most important thing is to validate the victim's experience, according to Rosemonde Pierre-Louis.

As part of HuffPost Live's weeklong dive into campus sexual assault, Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, New York City's commissioner to combat domestic violence, spoke with host Zerlina Maxwell about what students should know when they report an assault and how universities should address rape victims. 

"We want to make sure that students know about resources that are on campus," Pierre-Louis said. "They should know who their Title IX coordinator is. They want to know that there's an envionrment that if something has happened to you, that you can come forward, get help, get support. That you're not going to be retaliated against or that they're going to push aside your story."

Pierre-Louis's advice to Title IX coordinators -- or any person who's talked with a victim about their sexual assault -- is simple: first and foremost, it's imperative to "validate the experience" of the victim. 

"The worst thing you can say is, 'What did you do ... to cause this?'"she said. "You certainly want to be able to connect them to resources. Certainly for the Title IX coordinator, they should absolutely talk to [the victim] about the process that's been set up on their campus about filing a complain, about getting services and getting treatment." 

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