I’ve just been having a discussion about this issue, and would like to know what all you wise people think. Obviously, one important thing to do if you know you’ll be teaching triggering issues is to tell students when you’ll be e.g. teaching rape, and let them know that they don’t need to come to those classes or write about that topic. Another is to remind the class that it’s quite likely some of the people in the room, or those they’re close to, have been victims, and to ask everyone to bear that in mind. But a much harder question is what is off-limits in discussion. For example, there are lots of widespread victim-blaming views on rape that could be very triggering and/or upsetting. This seems like a reason to not allow their expression. But these are widespread views, so surely we should discuss them. One might even argue that there is an obligation to discuss them, so that they can be shown to be false.
What do you do in your classes? What works? What doesn’t? What do you wish people would do?