Helping a Survivor
If a survivor confides in you, you can be an integral part of their healing process in obtaining support. Here are tips and strategies for supporters.
Listen fully. Be completely present and actively listening. Use eye contact.
Give 100% focus. Avoid doing anything that might give the impression that they don’t have your full attention, like looking at your phone or watch.
Do not be judgmental. Help them remain calm and in control.
Believe. The majority of reported rapes and sexual assaults happened. It is not your job to question someone’s truth.
Offer to help with reporting. Legal help is available for free at 567-SHATTER. Local district attorneys and police departments can also often provide the information the person needs to make an informed decision. Ultimately, reporting is up to the survivor.
Be patient. The healing process is unique for every survivor and can take years.
Offer emotional support options. Include local rape crisis centers, campus resources, or sexual assault hotlines.
Offer medical attention options. Evidence can often be collected within the first 5 days after an assault. Hospitals or clinics can address other medical concerns.
Take care of yourself. Helping others is difficult, so reach out for support for your own mental health as needed.