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How Do You Help a Survivor of Sexual Assault?

Keep in mind the following concepts…

The perpetrator, not the survivor, is responsible for the assault — always.

Survivors have made the best choices and decisions possible — given the constraints, fears, feelings, and circumstances at the time.

No one deserves to be raped.  Sexual assault is not about something that was wrong with the survivor — or anything she or he did, said, wore, or thought.

Survivors have strength and healing capacity.  Although it may take time and be difficult, every survivor can move through an individual process and recover from sexual assault.

And then…

Tell her the rape was not her fault.

Believe what she tells you.

Tell her you are glad she is alive.

Allow her to make her own decisions.

Do not tell her what to do.  Offer her options.

Explain to her the options of contacting the police, hospital, rape crisis center, family, and friends.
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