Here Is How You Can Support Your Friend Who Has Been Sexually Assaulted
Sexual assault is an illegal, unwanted or unwelcome form of sexual contact such as rape, touching or groping without consent. Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault, it is not gender-specific or age-specific. Sexual assault victims find this to be a very traumatic one, thus it is important that as a friend or family or cousin to give them all the support; because they would be needing a lot of it.
How To Support A Friend After Sexual Assault: A Step by Step Guide
Knowing the right kind of words to say is also important; you do not want to say things that could result in them having flashbacks or panic attacks. And in the long run, you want to prevent stigmatization.
Here is how you can support your friend who has been sexually abused:
1. Listen to them
At this point, they don’t need you to tell them why it happened or what they could have done to prevent it from happening. They don’t want to hear what you have to say if it is not going to make the situation better. They do not need you to judge them, all you need to do is listen to them. Don’t be too quick to speak, listen while they let everything all out.
2. Show support
If your friend calls you and they tell you that they have been sexually assaulted, it is because they trust you and they feel you can support or help them.
Let them know that they have your unwavering support through their trying times. Follow them to the clinic or hospital, you can also follow them to the therapist. Let them know that you are on their side.
3. Let them know that you believe them
One of the main reasons why rape survivors do not speak up is because they fear that society might not believe their sexual assault story. Do not interrogate them or try to challenge their story.
This helps to stop the stigmatization that usually surrounds rape.