When you know that your friend has been raped or sexually assaulted, you should realize that her world has turned upside down. As they have been violated in the most private thing they had. You may not know how to respond to their suffering, but they often need to trust someone and want to be heard. There are many ways to help a friend who has been a victim of rape or sexual violence. Here are some essential tips you can follow to help your close friend who had that kind of accidents:
1 The first thing you should do is to be there for your friend. Try not to say anything till your friend starts talking to you.
2 As a friend, it is important to listen to what your friend is telling you very carefully. At sometimes, the assault victims need to talk about their accident.
3 Give your friend the space to talk freely about the accident. Try to be supportive and don’t be judgmental at any moment of the conversation.
4 Try to understand the person suffering and make your friend feels that she is not a bad person or guilty. Be patient with your friend when she talks about her trauma as recovery from rape trauma takes a long time. You should also realize if you couldn’t stand these feelings about the trauma. You can seek counseling for your friend (find a trustworthy person or a doctor).
5 If your friend is willing to seek medical attention or report the assault, you should accompany her wherever they want to be.
6 Keep in your mind that when a person has been raped, her power has been taken away from her. Give your friend the chance to regain control over themselves. Then let your friend make their own decisions even if you disagree with her. Supporting them in making their decisions will help them to feel more secure and gain their lives back.
You know now that a part of the healing program from a rape or sexual assault includes regaining the control over the victim’s life. In addition to all of the help, you can offer them like listening patiently, going to counseling together, being sensitive and supportive.