What role do loved ones have when it comes to sexual assault/violence?

Here are some ways you can react when a loved one tells you that they have been sexually assaulted or experienced sexual violence

Harmful Reactions

  • Judge
  • Doubt
  • Minimize, question or dramatize the situation
  • Point out the victim’s weaknesses
  • Ignore the situation

Helpful Reactions

  • Listen
  • Believe
  • Receive
  • Encourage
  • Support
  • Exonerate
  • Empower the victim to make their own decisions

You may feel as though you are unable to emotionally distance yourself from your loved one’s situation. This is a normal reaction. It is okay to ask for help and support if you need it.

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