Supporting Survivors of Sexual Abuse / Assault

Supporting Survivors of Sexual Abuse / Assault

Supporting Survivors of Sexual Abuse / Assault 1400 1002 TALK Hong Kong
It’s not always easy to know what to say when someone tells you they’ve been sexually abused or assaulted, especially when that person is a family member, friend, or loved one.


Tips from resources we like

The Courage to Heal is a favorite of TALK and many of our attendees and therapists.  It could benefit you as a supporter too as it can give you some insights to what the survivor is going through.  It also has a section specifically for supporters.

  • Be willing to listen
  • Join with the survivor in validating the damage
  • Be clear that abuse is never the child’s fault
  • Educate yourself about sexual abuse and the healing process
  • Don’t sympathize with the abuser
  • Validate the survivor’s feelings: her anger pain and fear
  • Express your compassion
  • Respect the time and space it takes to heal
  • Encourage the survivor to get support
  • Get help if the survivor is suicidal
  • Accept that there will very likely be major changes in your relationship with the survivor as she heals
  • Resist seeing the survivor as a victim

RAINN in the US also has some great tips:

  • 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, 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 you are concerned about child being abused

Reading / Listening for partners of survivors

Back to top
Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
Click to enable/disable video embeds.
Our website uses cookies for 3rd party services like Google. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.
Skip to content