If your friend, partner, roommate or resident has experienced an incident of sexual violence, stalking or is in an abusive relationship, there are things you can do to help.
If they need immediate assistance let them know they can:
Additionally, you can:
As a trusted person in a survivor’s life the most valuable things you can do are to: support them and connect them to resources. For more information about the resources available on campus and in the community such as counseling support, medical care, or options for reporting the incident, please click here
Here are some important things to remember when supporting someone:
• Believe them and validate their experience: Anyone can experience violence regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, race or any other identity.
• Listen: let them talk about their experience in the way they want to.
• Assure the person that they are not to blame: They do/did not deserve what is happening to them, nor are they the cause.
• Support them: Encourage them to see that they still have choices and support them in the choices they make. Empower them to know that they have options.
• Don’t judge them: whatever the person did/is doing to survive or cope is the right thing to do.
• Talk with them about their options for what to do next: provide them with options for where they can get help.
• Honor their privacy:
• Blame them for what happened. No one deserves to be assaulted, abused or stalked.
• Don’t press them for details. You don’t need to know everything in order to support someone and connect them to resources.
• Don’t ask why questions: they can feel blaming and shaming, and they’re often impossible to answer
• Let your emotions take over. It can be very difficult when someone we care about has been hurt, but the hurt person isn’t the one to vent to.
• Tell them what they “need to” or “should” do.
It is also important to note that having a friend who is raped, abused, or assaulted can be a very upsetting experience. For this reason it is also important that you take care of yourself. Even if your friend isn’t ready to talk to one of the resources listed, you can get support for yourself. You can also get ideas about ways to help your friend through the recovery process here on the website or in HAVEN training.
If you’d like to get involved to prevent interpersonal violence from happening on our campus, consider being HAVEN trained, One Act trained, attending campus events on IPV or joining a student group working to end interpersonal violence, such as Project Dinah. Learn more about preventing IPV at Campus Health’s webpage or accessing relationship resources for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. You can also submit a non-emergency question about how to prevent interpersonal violence from happening to your friends here. One Act Peer Educators will respond within one to two weeks.