Supporting a Survivor/Victim
If you know a survivor/victim who needs your support, there are many things you can do to help them process what happened as well as feel safe and empowered. Some of these things include:
- Listening to and believing what they have to say
- Maintaining confidentiality
- Being patient with however long it takes them to heal
- Following up with them about how they are feeling
- Encouraging them to seek medical attention and/or report the assault, but allowing them to have the decision-making power
- Assuring them that the assault was not their fault
- Helping them locate a counselor if they are interested in counseling
- And more.
Supporting a survivor/victim can be hard to do, so if you know somebody who has been assaulted and are helping them through their experience, it is important to make sure you are also helping yourself. Seeing a counselor, doing things that are unrelated to the survivor you are helping, and letting the survivor/victim know if you need to take a break from talking to them are all things that can help you be in a better position to support survivors/victims in your life.