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

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