At some point in our lives, many of us will discover that someone we care about has been deeply hurt by violence. Victims/survivors often feel very alone and isolated from help, understanding, and support. Every survivor deserves support, options, resources, and safety.
As a friend, you can help and you can make a difference.
If You Find Out a Friend is a Victim…
First, take a deep breath…
Talking to a victim of violence is hard and you may be unsure of what you can do or say. Before you do anything, take some time to think about it.
Believe your friend.
It often taks a lot of courage for a victim/survivor to tell anyone about what happened. Most people don't like about being assaulted or abused.
Then tell her/him that …
“It’s not your fault.”
“I’m sorry this happened to you.”
“You don’t deserve to be abused or assaulted.”
“You have rights and options.”
“There is support available for you.”
Take care of yourself
Helping a friend with these difficult issues can be stressful, always remember to take care of yourself. You can't help your friend if you don't take care of yourself.
These crimes affect not only the victim, but also her/his friends and family, as well as the larger community.
Family members and friends often have to help their loved one manage the aftereffects of the assault, and they also have to deal with their own feelings about someone they care about being victimized.
Remember to take care of yourself, because a victim/survivor may be in a difficult situation for a long time. Getting support for yourself will allow you to be more available for your friend.
The Counseling Center can help you take care of yourself and they can help you to better help your friend.