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What to do

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What to do...

if someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, domestic/relationship violence, or stalking:

  • Believe them. People rarely lie about dealing with these issues.
  • Listen and concentrate on understanding their feelings.
  • Allow them to be silent; you don’t have to talk every time they stop talking.
  • Ask how you can help.
  • Don’t ask questions that imply that the rape, abuse, or stalking is their fault, such as “Why did you go to his room?”, “Why are you staying with that person?”, or “Why didn’t you run away?”
  • Offer to accompany them to the police, to seek medical attention, or to seek counseling.
  • Help them regain a sense of control by letting them decide what to do. Help them explore the options and then support them in making their own decisions about how to proceed.
  • Remind them that rape, abuse and stalking are not their fault.
  • Offer shelter or companionship, so they don’t have to be alone.