In Honor Of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Here's 5 Things To Never Say To A Survivor
Start writing a post

Content warning: This article contains mentions of sexual assault.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), which means it's time to recognize how we can better support survivors. After my assault, many well-intended friends said things that have caused more harm than help. If someone finds the courage to share their story with you---feel honored that they trust you. Instead of trying to advice or judge---listen. Consolidation and support are always welcome, but please refrain from saying these five things to someone who has experienced sexual assault.

1. Why didn't you fight back?

It's a known fact that when facing trauma, the brain initiates what's known as "the freeze response." This quite literally paralyzes someone in fear. Even if someone has the ability to fight back---it might not be safe to do so. I guarantee the survivor did everything they could to make it through the moment.

2. I know them. They would never do that. 

Okay, so maybe this person has never caused harm to you. But it does not mean they are incapable of sexually assaulting someone else. Believe someone when they tell you they experienced sexual assault.

3. Why did you go there?

More than half of all assaults are committed by someone known to the survivor. Going to someone's house/apartment is not "asking for it." Hanging out with someone you perceive to be your friend is not an invitation to be groped. It is never the survivor's fault.

4. Boys will be boys.

No. Stop allowing boys and men to get away with criminal acts because "that's just how they behave." Do better.

5. But you said yes before. 

Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Just because this person is a significant other and/or you've agreed to certain sexual acts before does not mean you are entitled to be used at any time. No means no. "I'm not sure" and "maybe" also do not equal yes. Consent is freely and clearly given.

Unfortunately, it's estimated that every 73 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in America. When someone shares their story with you, do not take this privilege lightly. It is not your place to judge. Don't assume fault. Just listen and say, "I'm here for you."

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, visit RAINN or contact 1-800-656-HOPE.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Olivia White

"The American flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies from the last breath of each solider who died protecting it."

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Separation Anxiety in Pets

Separation anxiety in pets is a real thing and recognizing the warning signs is important.

429925

Since March, Covid-19 required most of the world to quarantine in their homes. Majority of people ended up working from home for nearly five months. This meant pet owners were constantly with their pets giving them attention, playing with them, letting them out etc. Therefore, when the world slowly started to open up again and pet owners began returning to normal life work schedules away from the home, pet owners noticed a difference in the way their pet acted. Many pets develop separation anxiety especially during this crazy time when majority people were stuck inside barely leaving the house.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

447774

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1784522

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments