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Families & Friends

If someone in your life has survived a sexual assault, he or she may need your support to move forward. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Listen to and believe the survivor. Affirm the survivor's decision to confide in you.
  • Help the survivor understand that the sexual assault was not their fault.
  • It's natural to feel anger, helplessness, grief, or sadness. It is helpful for you to deal with these emotions so that you can be an effective support person. Rape Crisis Centers offer free and confidential services to families and friends of survivors.
  • Educate yourself about the survivor's options. This will help clear confusion for both of you, and promote faster healing and recovery.

Find out more about the specific challenges and resources available to adolescents and adults. If you are supporting a child who has survived a sexual assault contact the Children's Advocacy Center or a Rape Crisis Center.

Forensics for Survivors © 2015 All Rights Reserved

This project was supported by Grant #2009-WF-AX-0014 awarded by the Violence Against Women Grants Office, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety & Security Office of Grants & Research and subgranted to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Points of view in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice or the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety Programs Division.


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