How Can You Help?

  • Continue to educate yourself. Telling someone about an experience of sexual assault is a difficult decision that should be met with caring support.
  • Encourage medical attention. Care is important because there may be internal injuries that are not noticeable, or the victim may have been exposed to sexually transmitted diseases. Additionally, a forensic exam can help provide evidence should he decide to prosecute.
  • Give the victim control. All control has been stripped from him during the assault. Allow the victim to make decisions about what steps to take next.
  • Maintain confidentiality. Let the victim decide who will know about the assault.
  • Let him express his feelings. Listen without adding your opinions. If the victim wishes to remain silent, do not force a discussion. Say you will be there to listen always.
  • Believe him. Make it clear to the victim that you believe the assault happened and that the assault is the fault of the abuser, NOT the victim.
  • Encourage counseling. Give the victim the hotline number for the nearest sexual violence crisis center, but let the decision be his.
  • Seek help for yourself. Don't ignore your own feelings, but you may not be able to share all of them with the victim right now. Your local crisis center can provide counseling for you if you need to talk.