What to Do When Someone Disclosed to You Their Sexual Assault Experience

 What to Do When Someone Disclosed to You Their Sexual Assault Experience

It is not easy to know how you respond to a friend or someone who has told you about their sexual violence experience, you may not know how to respond or you may be speechless. There is actually no right reaction to hearing someone's sexual assault story.

Remember, your goal should always be a support to the victim, however, you need to be careful as well in not forcing them into doing what you think would be right or best for them to do. The most important thing you can do is listen, and try to understand the support that the victim needs.

Here are other practical things you can do to help:

-Avoid judgment

-Never assume that the violence is not serious

-Research on which kind of support is available

-Research on what the victim/survivor might experience

-Give them the choice

-Help them explore options

-Seek expert advice

-Remind them it is not their fault

-Remind them that they can trust you

-Remind them that they are not alone and you are there for them

After knowing the victim's/survivor's story, you might be affected and you would be experiencing a range of difficult and intense emotions yourself. You may be feeling grief, anger, anxiety, confusion, disbelief, sadness, guilt or wanting revenge.

Coping skills and self-care strategies will help you move through these mixed feelings, it might also be crucial for you to ask support and to discuss your own feelings.

If you are searching for more information about helping a sexual violence survivor/victim, visit our website at www.stopsexualviolence.com or call directly at 617 5591 1164.


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