Tips for Significant Others
- Do Listen.
- Do be supportive.
- Do say, "I'm glad you're alive."
- Do say, "I'm sorry this happened."
- Do say, "It's not your fault."
- Do say, "You did the best you could to survive."
- Do say, "I'm here for you."
- Do ask the survivor's permission when you want to provide physical comfort.
- Do provide information and options about resources.
- Do realize that sexual assault affects survivors in many ways and that almost any reaction is possible.
- Don't project your own feelings onto the victim.
- Don't say what he or she should have done differently.
- Don't say what you would have done differently.
- Don't ask, "Why didn't you run, scream, fight, leave?"
- Don't ask for specifics about the assault. But do listen if he or she want to reveal that information.
- Don't ask blaming questions such as, "Why were you wearing that? Why were you there? Did you lead him on?"
- Don't ask irrelevant questions such as, "Was he good looking?"
- Don't take control away from survivors. Allow them to make their own decisions.
- Don't forget that recovery from sexual assault is an ongoing process that takes months, years or a lifetime.
- Don't forget to take care of yourself. You can't support anyone if you don't support yourself.
ICASA Resource Manual
Donate Now You Can Help!