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How to Help

 Believe Them

  • Being believed is often the most important factor in a victim's recovery
  • Only 2-8% of reports are false

Tend to Their Safety

  • Make sure he/she has a safe place to stay
  • Offer to stay with them, or have them stay with you
  • Even if he/she doesn't feel hurt, there may be injuries that could use medical attention
  • Suggest going to the hospital.  It's important not to force them.

Offer Small Choices

  • Sexual Assault is about power and control.
  • Small choices like whether to talk at your place, my place; Pepsi or Coke can help build confidence to make big decisions
  • Whether you agree or not, it's important to support the victim's decision


  • Listen more and talk less
  • Let the survivor tell you what they're ready to
  • Follow their lead with physical contact, and ask before you give them a hug

Put Aside Our Need for Revenge

  • It's very common to feel angry
  • Seeking revenge doesn't help the survivor; it only helps our own selfish need for violence.
  • It may put the survivor in more danger of further retaliation, and at great risk of losing a system of support

Take Care of Our Own Limitations

  • Recovery is a long process that often needs professional assistance.
  • Being a friend in this situation takes a lot of emotional energy, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and making sure that you're well equipped to help your loved one further.

(Adapted from John Faubert's "The Men's Program")



Redhawk Health Educators
One University Plaza, MS 8220
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701