Supporting Victims of Sexual Abuse – Message from Tulir

What should I do if someone discloses to me that they were a victim of sexual abuse?
If someone you know discloses sexual abuse, believe them, listen attentively, affirm the fact that they are talking about it, and remind them that they were not at fault. Avoid asking questions that may be perceived as blaming or judgmental such as, “Why didn’t you tell anyone at the time?” Instead, offer supportive statements such as, “That must have been awful for you,” or “I’m so sorry you were betrayed in that way.” Offer to help by asking, “Is there anything I can do to support you?” Oftentimes, sexual assault is committed by someone who is known and trusted. In these incidents, it can be very confusing. Feelings of betrayal may cause survivors to doubt others or themselves, but talking about it is part of the healing process. And guide them( if they seek ) to trained resources who could help the healing. Adapted National Sexual Violence Resource Centres’s newsletter.

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