There are many ways that you can help a friend or family member who has been a victim of rape, sexual violence or domestic abuse. If you would like advice and help, we are here for you. Feel free to call us at 308-532-0624 or on our crisis line at 308-534-3495.
How to help a friend or loved one
- Encourage your loved one to report the rape or sexual violence to law enforcement (call 911 in most areas). If the affected person is a minor child, remember that you yourself are required by law to report.
- Listen. Be there. Don’t be judgmental.
- Be patient. Remember, it will take your loved one time to deal with the crime.
- If your loved one has questions about the criminal justice process, encourage them to talk with someone at RDAP.
- Help empower your loved one. Rape and sexual violence are crimes that take away an individual’s power, and it is important not to compound this experience by putting pressure on your loved one to do things that he or she is not ready to do yet.
- If you are dealing with an issue involving your child, create a safe place and talk directly to them. Be patient, and avoid yelling or scaring them.
- If you are the non-abusing parent or other observer in a case involving a child, it is important to support the child and help them through this situation without blaming them.
- If your loved one is willing to seek medical attention or report the assault, offer to accompany him or her wherever s/he needs to go (hospital, police station, campus security, etc.)
It is also important to note that having a friend or family member who is raped or assaulted can be a very upsetting experience. For this reason, it is also important that you take care of yourself. Even if your friend and family member isn't ready to talk to a hotline specialist, you can get support for yourself. You can also get ideas about ways to help your friend or family member through the recovery process.