Statistics suggest that one in every 6 women and one out of every 33 men have been the victim of a rape. Whenever a man or a woman is subjected to a sexual assault they will feel as if the whole world has let them down and there are different emotions that sexual assault victims will express. Some victims will become angry and others can go deep into depression and there are some who will not show any signs of emotion at all and become comatosed. One difficulty family and friends face is not knowing how to support or what to say to sexual abuse victims, as they are very often reluctant to talk about their rape or sexual assault. If you happen to be the friend or relative of a victim of sexual assault or rape then here are a few tips that can be used to help victims of sexual assault:
- Suggest to victim to seek medical attention as they may have to be tested for STD or pregnancy.
- Try to convince the victim to report the crime to the police. Never pressure the victim, and only make suggestions and if the victim does not want to report the incident, then respect the decision.
- Be patient to listen to the victim even if they talk about the event repeatedly. Never stop them when they are describing the event and be all ears to what they say.
- Keep telling the victim that they are not responsible for the rape or sexual assault and that she/he is the victim.
- Let the victim know that you are always there for them and that you are just a phone call away if they need you.
- Make sure that you let the victim know that there is no wrong way or right way to feel after the sexual assault.
- Let the victim know that sexual assault or rape is a heinous crime and that no one deserves to go through such an incident.
- If the victim is not able to overcome the trauma, then seek the assistance of therapists who will be able to help the victim in getting back to normal life.
- There will be a lot of different emotions that will run through the mind of a rape victim like anger, guilt, fear, humiliation, confusion, anxiety and shame. Talk to the victim and let them know that such emotions are common and that it can be controlled.
- Victims of rape or sexual assault will take time to recover and you should give them that time.
- Keep asking the victim what you can do to help them and this is much better than assuming the needs of the victim
The tips that have been discussed above is general information that will be helpful to relatives or friends of victims of sexual assault or rape to appropriately interact and promote recovery. There are many victims who will need medical assistance and the help of therapists to overcome sexual assault and it is always a good strategy to encourage the victim to seek out such professional support when the victim is able to do so.