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For Friends, Parents and Partners of Survivors

One of the main things that YOU can do is "be there" for your friend, daughter/son, or partner. It is important that she/he has the support of friends and family, it can be very helpful in the healing process. As a friend, parent or partner there are many things that you can do to help... ·

Talk: Tell your friend right away that you care about them and want to help in any way that you can.

Listen: Be a good listener. Let your friend do the talking and let them decide what, when and how they do it. Don't pressure your friend by asking lots of details and questions.

Believe: It is not the victims fault. Believe what your friend is telling you. Many victims feel uncomfortable talking about it because they are ashamed and already blame themselves for that happened. Don't ignore what happened or try to "smooth it over."

Ask: Ask your friend if there is anything they need or want.

Encourage: Encourage your friend to seek medical attention, even if they do not seem physically hurt or it happened a while ago. Encourage them to seek support and talk to a counselor in person, or encourage them to call a 24 hour hotline.

Assist: Help your friend find information and resources. If your friend asks, accompany them to get help. Go with them to get medical care or to report the assault with the police.

Understand: Try and understand what your friend is going through. It is a very difficult time for them. They have just been though an emotionally painful experience. Just being there when your friend needs you, will help a lot. Be patient with your friend. Understand that the healing process takes time.

Respect: Always respect your friend's privacy. Do not disclose personal information to others that they shared with you. After all, they chose to confide in you because they trusted you. Let your friend decide who they tell and who they do not.

Take care of yourself: If someone you know is raped, you might be very shaken up as well. There is nothing wrong with getting some support for yourself even if your friend does not want to talk to a counselor. A counselor can help you better understand what you are feeling and what your friend is going through. It may also help you get ideas on how to help your friend.

As a friend, parent, or partner of a survivor, you are important and there are many things you can do to help. Make sure you let them know you want to be there for them when they need your support. The support you give to the survivor will help determine how the healing process will move faster. Make sure you assure them that they are NOT to blame for the assault. Be positive and encourage the victim to get help. Let the survivor be in control of the decisions she/he makes. Be aware that each victim will react differently, in their own way and own time.