Helping A Victim
There is not any "one way" or "correct way" for a victim to react after being sexually assaulted. A victim's demeanor can vary as they may cry, or be angry, laugh or giggle, or remain stoic and still be numb from the assault.
You can help a victim by:
- Making sure they are safe
- Helping them regain the feeling of control - they need to be able to make decisions and be in control
- Being an open listener – do not judge, accept their version of the facts and be supportive
- Let them know the assault was not their fault
- Reassuring them they are loved and cared about and be patient with them
- Encouraging them to seek medical attention
- Encouraging them to talk about the assault with an advocate, mental health professional or someone they trust
- Letting them know they do not have to go through this crisis alone – ask if they would like someone to stay with them through the night. This is not the time for them to be alone.
- Putting aside your feelings, and dealing with them somewhere else. Although it may be supportive for a victim to know you are equally upset, they DO NOT need to have to deal with your feelings of anger and rage in addition to their own.