How to Help Friends or Loved Ones

Listen and be supportive
Listen without judging, let them know the assault was not their fault, and encourage them to get help from CVIC or another provider without putting pressure on them to do so. It is their decision whether or not to seek help.

Encourage them to take care of themselves
Encourage them to practice self-care during this time. Remember that there is no timetable for recovering from trauma, so don’t push them to engage in activities they aren’t ready to do yet. If you are concerned that they are considering suicide, learn the warning signs, and offer help and support. For more information about suicide prevention please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800.273.TALK (8255) any time, day or night.

Remember that you can’t “rescue” them
Although it is hard to see someone you care about suffering so much, they must be free to make their own decisions about what they want to do. Support them in their decisions as they try to find a way to get their life back.

Excerpted from Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

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