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Helping a Friend


Sexual assault affects not only the survivor, but also the people closest to the survivor. If someone you know has been sexually assaulted, there are resources available to you as you process what your friend has experienced. Here are some helpful ways to support a survivor of sexual assault:

  • Listen without judging.
  • Be patient.
  • Believe what you hear.
  • Reassure your friend that he or she was not to blame for the assault.
  • Avoid questioning the survivor; do not ask why questions.
  • Inform your friend about the resources available. If you are the first person your friend has told, strongly encourage your friend to tell an authority in the Gordon community. Help your friend do so.
  • Encourage your friend to seek support, including follow-up medical and mental health care. Offer to accompany your friend to seek this care, and for later appointments as well.
  • Let your friend make his or her own decisions about how to proceed.
  • Find a safe place to get support for yourself so you are able to talk about what has happened and how you feel about it.