10 Ways To Support A Survivor Of Sexual Assault
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10 Ways To Support A Survivor Of Sexual Assault

Helping someone work through a sexual assault can be difficult, but there are ways you can provide the support they need.

10 Ways To Support A Survivor Of Sexual Assault
Little Things

Sexual assault is a serious traumatic event and people who’ve experienced it need all the support they can get from the people closest to them. It’s important to be there for them when they need it the most. Here are some ways that you can support a friend or a loved one who is a survivor of sexual assault.

1. Just listen

Many people feel they should say or do something to help the survivor or to make the situation better, but most times the thing that helps most is just having someone there to talk to.

2. Don’t blame

Don’t say things like “well you were drunk” or “but you were wearing that” or “but they were your partner”. The survivor is NEVER to blame for what the perpetrator did to them, no matter the circumstances.

3. Don’t judge

It doesn’t matter if the person was drunk, what they were doing, who they were talking to, or anything. The fact is that someone hurt them, and there is never an excuse for that.

4. Don’t question

Don’t ask questions about what happened. If they bring it up, feel free to listen, but don’t question them about it, especially right after it happened. They might not feel comfortable telling you about certain details or they might not want to talk about it at all, and that’s okay.

5. Ask what they need

You might think going to the police and filing a report will help them, but they might not want to do that. Everyone handles things differently; it’s your job to provide the survivor with what they need, not with what you think they need.

6. Promote self-care

Make sure they’re eating, hydrating, and taking care of their health both mentally and physically. Make sure they’ve been sleeping enough, taking any necessary medication, and doing what they need to cope.

7. Don’t try to “fix it”

In situations like these, there’s no logic or solution to find; the problems that come with sexual assault are far more complex than you may think.

8. Keep your emotions in check

You may think you know what’s best for the survivor, but that’s not always the case. If the survivor chooses to go one route and you don’t think it’s the one they should take, don’t get angry with them. The only thing you can do now is support them as best you can.

9. It’s not about you

One of the worst things you could do is make the survivor feel guilty because of their experience. Don’t say things like “this is really stressing me out” or “I can’t take care of you forever”. Supporting someone who’s gone through a sexual assault can be really stressful, but it’s important to let the survivor know that you’re there for them no matter what.

10. Remember to check in

One of the best ways to show someone you care about them is to check in on how they’re doing once in a while. Even just a text message or a note saying “just wanted to hear how you’re doing” could brighten up their day.

It can be really hard when someone you love has gone through a sexual assault, but it’s important to be there for them and help them to work through what happened to them. It won’t happen overnight, but over time it will get better.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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