If you are a friend or family member of someone who has been raped or assaulted, you may feel that you do not know what to say. Just being there and listening is helpful. The incident may bring up strong feelings for you, but avoid expressing opinions that are critical of her behavior. To be supportive, here we can follow the below:
- Believe Her
If she feels ashamed or guilty, reassure her that the rape was not her fault and that her feelings are normal. Even if you feel you might have reacted differently, remember that her reactions are uniquely hers.
- Safe Place
Help her to think about what changes, if any, she would like to make that will help her feel safer, whether related to her physical surroundings or her interactions with people at home or at work.
- Expressing Feelings
The feelings of a survivor of sexual assault can be very strong. Expressing these powerful feelings in a safe environment is an important part of the healing process. You can be very helpful if you feel comfortable supporting her in expressing feelings of anger, sorrow, frustration, and fear.
- Offer options, not opinions
Survivors often struggle with important and complex decisions. You can be most helpful by helping her identify all of the options available and supporting her in her decision-making.
- Scatter myths about rape
You can empower a woman who has been sexually assaulted by helping her dispel destructive myths about rape and assuring her that you do not believe these false ideas.
She may feel more comfortable going either to a hospital or a rape crisis counselor to vent her feelings
- Possibility of Healing
Let her know that you believe that healing is possible and that she has the strength and capacity to heal.
Everything is possible in this universe and healing and recovering from this worst incident is also…
It’s NOT her fault… So do treat her with respect as usual. Don’t disrespect her for this and don’t blame her …