How to help a friend

If someone that you know has been sexually assaulted, is experiencing dating/domestic violence, or is being stalked, reassure them that... 

You believe what they have told you. The victim/survivor may be disclosing the traumatic event for the first time or may have already attempted to disclose to others, who may not have believed them. Either way, know that your response makes a huge difference in being supportive.

You know it’s not their fault. The victim/survivor may feel guilty for what happened to them and will often blame themselves. It may be helpful to simply remind them that they are not at fault for what happened to them and that no one deserves to be assaulted, abused, or stalked.

You’re thankful that they told you. Disclosing to someone about a traumatic event is never easy. The victim/survivor may be embarrassed or ashamed to even speak about the event. It may be a good idea to acknowledge the strength and courage that it took for this individual to share this with you.

You’re sorry that this happened. No one deserves to be sexually assaulted, abused, or stalked. Showing empathy while someone is disclosing to you may help them to feel at ease in sharing what their needs and feelings are. 

You will do your best to protect and help them. It is helpful if you know your resources and ways to connect the victim/survivor to these resources.

Refer them to the CSUDH Victim’s Advocate or the CSUDH Title IX Officer for additional assistance.

Download the free Reach Out app in the iTunes App Store or on Google Play for on-the-go CSUDH-specific resources and options. 


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