I think my friend was sexually assaulted. How can I help?
If the assault happened recently, refer them to medical care for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, injuries, and/or pregnancy prevention. Access campus and community resources for crisis support and counseling for both yourself and your friend.
Be a source of support! As a victim of sexual violence, your friend has experienced a loss of power and control. As a friend, the best thing you can do is to help him or her regain control.
- Believe and tell him/her so!
- Reassure the survivor that you still love him/her and that the assault was NOT HIS/HER FAULT.
- Don’t question or judge what was done to survive.
- Validate the survivor’s feelings. They are natural, healthy responses to an abnormal situation.
- Encourage the survivor to get medical attention, but do not force.
- Respect the survivor’s decision to report or to not report the assault.
- Be patient – it takes time and space to heal.
- Don’t tell your friend what to do. Instead, help him/her explore options.
- Listen to their needs and do NOT enforce your own.
- Get involved in awareness and prevention activities here at UNCG!
- Speak up! If you see a potentially negative situation or if you think an offense is taking place, then get help immediately or speak up to curtail the event from happening. There is no wrong way to assist, except to do nothing at all. Help in whatever way feels comfortable for you. Sometimes being the voice of ‘good’ can make all the difference.
- Make sure YOU have someone to talk to. As supporters of survivors, you may sometimes feel some effects of secondary trauma.
I hate that this is happening! How can I be part of the solution?
GET INVOLVED! UNCG has many awareness and prevention activities throughout the year.
Sexual Assault Awareness Week takes place during the last week of August and includes events such as The Clothesline Project and Take Back the Night.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Be on the lookout for speakers, documentary screenings, and more throughout the year! Join the SVCA Allies listserv for email updates about upcoming trainings, events, and to have your voice heard in the planning of events! To join, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336.334.3139.
Sign up for RAD (Rape Aggression Defense), a self-defense course through UNCG Police.
How do I become an SVCA ally?
- Join the SVCA Ally listserv by emailing email@example.com or calling 336.334.3139.
- Trust your gut. If you think something is wrong, it probably is.
- Speak up if you see someone intentionally getting someone else drunk.
- Remind friends that sexual contact with an intoxicated person is against the law and may result in a rape charge.
- Create a supportive environment where survivors are believed and not blamed.
- Intervene (in a way in which you feel safe) when you see behaviors that could lead to sexual violence.
- Educate yourself & be a resource.
- Be active! Do something personally to make a difference.
Is there an online resource that I can visit that can offer me any additional resources?
Notalone.gov offers the following resources on their website:
- A collection of national crisis resources searchable by zipcode
- Legal guidance and federal policies
- Information on resolution and compliance reports conducted by the U.S. Department of Education