Support a Survivor
Learning that someone close to you has experienced an incident of sexual misconduct can be difficult to process. As a friend, partner, or parent, there are steps that you can take to support a survivor during the healing process.
How to Support a Survivor
Survivors may initially confide details of an incident to someone with which they feel a level of comfort. Keep in mind that it is extremely difficult for survivors to come forward with details of the incident.
Allow survivors to share as much or as little information as they feel comfortable sharing. Listen without judgment and do not push for details. Allow them to share what they want when they feel comfortable sharing.
Let survivors know that you will support them in any way you can. Individuals who are survivors of sexual misconduct will often feel a range of emotions. Let them know that these feelings are normal.
Inform the Survivor of Their Options
The first response as a supporter may be to attempt to fix the problem for a survivor. It is important to remember to be patient and allow a survivor to choose how to go forward. Providing information and guidance on available options to a survivor can be helpful. However, do not force the person to go forward. If there is hesitation in receiving outside assistance, offer to accompany the person. Regardless of the choice that a survivor makes, remember to respect the individual's choices.
Consider learning more about resources to find out how you can be a more effective and supportive ally.