How to Help A Friend Who Was Sexually Assaulted

  • Coping with a traumatic experience such as sexual assault is difficult and a friend or family should not have to go through this alone.  To show your support, here are some actions you can take:
  • Listen. Be there. Communicate without judgment.
  • If the survivor seeks medical attention or plans to report, offer to be there. Your presence can offer the support they need.
  • Encourage the survivor to get support. Share resources like the National Sexual Assault Hotline and Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), but realize that only they can make the decision to get help.
  • Be patient. Remember, there is no timetable for recovering from trauma. Avoid putting pressure on them to engage in activities they aren’t ready to do yet.
  • Encourage them to practice good self-care during this difficult time.
  • If someone you care about is considering suicide, learn the warning signs, and offer help and support. For more information about suicide prevention please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website or call 800.273.TALK (8255) any time, day or night.