She is your friend, mother, wife, sister, girlfriend, fiance, co-worker, employee, student, boss, etc. Whoever she is there are a few things you need to do to help her through this extremely difficult and sensitive time.
Please note if a man comes to you with this same issue treat it the same. Statistically, women are more likely to be assaulted/harassed/raped, which is why I say she. I completely understand that men are sexually assaulted and raped as well.
- Make sure they are SAFE.
- Are they injured?
- Do they need a place to stay?
- Do they need medical attention?
- Believe them.
- Just believe them. DOn’t try and figure out who it is, if they’re telling the truth, etc. JUST BELIEVE THEM!
- Say “It’s not your fault.”
- Do not blame the survivor
- THey have probably already blamed themselves and heard comments about it being their fault.
- They can not hear “It’s not your fault” enough.
- Empower them.
- Let them make decisions.
- Their ability to make that decision was taken away when they were assaulted.
- You can make suggestions and choices but let them make decisions.