How can I help someone who was sexually assaulted?

You can help a friend or family member who was sexually assaulted by listening and offering comfort. Remind this person you believe them. Reinforce the message that she or he is not at fault. A victim never causes sexual assault or “asks for it.” You can also explain that it is natural to experience confusion, have problems remembering what happened, or feel angry, numb, or ashamed.

Ask the person whether she would like you to go with her to the hospital or to counseling. If she decides to report the crime to the police, ask whether she would like you to go with her. Let her know that she can get help. Let her know about the hotlines to call to talk to someone. Get more tips on helping someone who has been sexually assaulted or abused.