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It is hard supporting a friend or family member who has experienced sexual violence or abuse. Although listening and being there for the person is being supportive, here is some useful information that might help.
Listening without judgement is important when supporting a survivor. Telling another person what has happened can be incredibly hard for the survivor, so staying free from judgement is vital.
When supporting a survivor, it is important to not force them to make any decision. You may have opinion on what the survivor should or shouldn’t do, but it is important that you leave these decisions up to them. Your first reaction may be wanting to go to the police, but this needs be the survivors decision.
It is important to remember that the blame for sexual abuse is not on the survivor. Self-blame is not uncommon in survivors, and being aware of this and reassuring the survivor that they are not at fault may help.
Helping the survivor with practical tasks may be helpful if they want it. Tasks such as finding information and support for the survivor. Showing them organisations such as CSASS and the support we offer may help.
Rape Crisis England and Wales (RCEW) – Supporting a survivor
CSASS – Self Care