When Someone Close to you has been assaulted

You can help by:
  • Listening and allwoing them the opportunity to talk about hte event in their own time and in their own way
  • Not judging them
  • Spending time with them
  • Allowing them some private time
  • Reassuring them they are safe
  • Allowing them the opportunity to express their feelings
  • Not taking the person's anger and feelings personally
  • Helping with some tasks (e.g., childcare or cooking), if this is what they want
  • Not saying things such as "lucky it wasn't worse"-people who have experienced a trauma are not consoled by these statements

Everyone reacts differently to a traumatic event.  Each individual is unique, with different experiences, coping strategies, and support systems.  Survivors of sexual assault have reported experiencing some of the following:
  • Denial
  • Guilt, shame, and self-blame
  • Fear and lack of trust of people
  • Lack of energy
  • Substance abuse
  • Grief, sadness, and depression
  • Anger and irritability
  • Shock or disorientation
  • Memory loss or flashbacks
  • Problems with sleeping or eating
  • Openly emotional or emotional numbness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
Healing from trauma takes time.  Sexual violence can have psychological and physical effects on a survivor.  Talking to an advocate can help victims make informed decisions, determine their next steps, and begin the healing process.   Please call the Family Crisis Center at 1-800-698-1240 or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.