Knowing how to help your friend who has experienced sexual assault can be difficult. Here are some steps to support the people you care about.
Sometimes a person just needs you to listen and believe them and that is enough.
Ask them what they need and how you can help
Be guided by your family member or friend on how you can help. Don’t jump into action unless they ask you to.
Stay in touch
If they become distant or withdrawn, it’s important to keep a line of communication open by letting them know you are here to talk whenever they need. Their support network is critical.
Share support services with them
Let them know that services like the Sexual Assault Helpline can assist and are free to access.
Provide validation rather than blame
Victim-blaming is not OK. Avoid asking questions like “What were you wearing?” or “Why didn’t you report sooner?” The person who used abuse or violence is always to blame.
Call us for free advice
You can call our Sexual Assault Helpline to get more information about how to support a loved one impacted by sexual assault.
7:30am until 11:30pm, 7 days.