How to Help a Friend
Guidelines for Helping after an Assault
- DO respect boundaries by giving your friend or loved one personal comfort space
- DO let them know it's not their fault
- DO listen to what they feel comfortable sharing
- DO ask them how they'd like you to help
- DO provide information about how to connect with CARE and offer to come along
- DO allow them to make personal decisions about how to proceed
- DO support their choices, even if you disagree with them
- DON'T assume you can give a hug or sit too closely to them
- DON'T make statements or ask questions that imply it's their fault (e.g. "You shouldn't drink so much")
- DON'T ask for details!
- DON'T assume you know what would be best for them
- DON'T tell them what to do (e.g. "You have to report this")
- DON'T be judgmental if they responds differently than you'd prefer. It is very normal for victims to decide not to report or to delay seeking counseling
- DON'T tell someone else's private story. If you are upset yourself and need someone to talk to, please contact the CARE office
There is additional pertinent information is you are a male friend of a survivor of sexual assault. To look at some other things to keep in mind if this is the case, please see our Men's Guide on How to Help.
For more information, contact UNCW CARE at 962-CARE or firstname.lastname@example.org.