Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual contact. Sexual violence includes such crimes as rape, incest, statutory sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual assault, or any sexual contact without consent. Anyone who has been a victim of a sexual assault needs compassion, sensitivity, and caring. This is where you can help.
Many people want to help friends and family members who have been hurt, but sometimes they don't know what to say or do. Unless you have been victimized by sexual violence, you may not be able to understand a victim's feelings. It is important to remember that not all victims react or feel the same.
You are likely to experience some strong reactions when you learn of a friend's or loved one's assault. Reactions or feelings of anger, rage, shock, revenge, desire to "fix it," to move on, feelings of helplessness, or rationalization that "it wasn't that bad" are common.
For victims to become survivors, they need empathy, understanding and perhaps a listening ear. Do not be judgmental and ask victims why they did a certain thing, wore a certain item of clothing or went to a certain place. Remember, no one deserves or asks to be raped.
You can provide important information and support. By reading this brochure, you are taking an important step in educating yourself about sexual violence. The fact that you care will make the biggest positive difference.