How you can help a friend or loved one who has survived sexual violence


LISTEN, RESPECT, REASSURE
Do listen carefully to what is shared with you.
Don’t ask for details.
Do help the student or loved one gain access to desired help and resources
Don’t make decisions for the survivor; let her or him have control over the situation.
Do explain that sexual violence is never the survivor’s fault, even if she or he was intoxicated or feels guilty.
Don’t ask if the survivor flirted with or “led on” the perpetrator.
Do explain that obeying the perpetrator’s orders or having a physiological reaction does not mean that the survivor wanted the sexual violence to occur.
Don’t ask why the student or loved one didn’t scream or run.
Do tell the survivor that she or he did everything right.
Don’t state what you would have done in a similar situation.
Do tell your loved one: “However you are feeling right now is ok.”
Don’t tell the survivor: “I understand how you feel.”
 
Do practice Self Care: Supporting a person who has survived sexual violence can be difficult and emotionally draining. Do take care of yourself during this process by reaching out to your own support network of friends and/or College support services like the Counseling Center.