Helping a friend

Things to say to a survivor of sexual misconduct:

  • I’m glad you told me.
  • I’ll support whatever you choose to do.
  • I can assist you in getting the help and resources you need.
  • I’m here for you.
  • Thanks for telling me.
  • I’m sorry that happened to you.
  • It’s not your fault.
  • What can I do to help?
  • You can always talk to me.

Things NOT to say to a survivor of sexual misconduct:

  • Well, what were you wearing?
  • Were you drinking?
  • Why didn’t you…?
  • Were you leading them on?
  • You shouldn’t have…
  • They thought you were hot, take it as a compliment.
  • They just couldn’t help themselves.
  • Did you fight back?
  • Why did you let them defile you like that?

Common signs of trauma:

  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Numbness
  • Denial
  • Insomnia
  • Increase or decrease in sexual activity
  • Compromised decision making
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Outward displays of emotion don't mirror inward emotion (i.e. laughing while describing their assault.)
  • Mood swings
  • Self-medicating behavior
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Flashbacks
  • Difficulty recalling details of events surrounding the trauma
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