Help a family member or a friend who has been sexually assaulted
The support and understanding of family and friends can be very helpful to a sexual assault victim. There are many ways you can specifically do this:
Listen without judgement The most important thing you can do is listen. Ask the survivor how you can help before doing anything. It is important that they are in control of next steps.
Tell them you believe them Survivors need to know that they are supported. Disclosing an assault to a trusted family or friend is not easy and they need to know that you believe them.
Don’t blame them for what happened Let your friend know it wasn’t their fault and there is nothing they could’ve done to prevent this from happening. Support their decisions.
Never pressure them to do what you think is best. They know what they need to do to feel safe and it is your job to support their decisions. Providing resources to help them make an informed decision is very helpful, but you must remember that the decision is theirs to report the assault, seek medical attention, etc.
Talk to them about their options for medical care There are significant medical concerns.
Take care of yourself, too Get help for yourself if you’re feeling overwhelmed or frightened. Find someone you can talk to about those feelings. Support and information for you and your friend is available through the statewide sexual assault hotline 1-800-277-5570.
“Nothing you did (or didn’t do) makes you deserve this.” or “It’s not your fault.”
“I’m sorry this happened.”
“I believe you.”
“I’m glad you told me what you’re going through.”
“How can I help you feel safer?”
“I’ll support your decisions.”
“You’re not alone."
“What can I do to help?”
Sexual Assault Learn more about sexual assault, the many forms it can take, the impact it has on victims.
Bystander Intervention Become an active bystander and equip yourselves with the tools to safely intervene when you identify signs of abuse or unhealthy relationships. Legal Resources Get informed about legal resources available to victims in NH to help keep yourself or a friend safe.
The 13 member programs of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence provide services regardless of gender,age, health status (including HIV-positive), physical, mental or emotional ability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status, race, national origin, immigration status or religious or political affiliation.