In today’s I will be giving you knowledge on how you can support sexual assault victims.
When someone goes through
sexual assault it is really hard, and it changes this person. Sometimes this person comes out better than before, and sometimes this person develops depression or other mental illness. It is sad to see that, one person’s selfish action ruined another person’s life. When you have been sexually assaulted you see yourself as worthless. When someone used your body for their benefit, and didn’t care about you, anyone would think this way. You don’t value yourself as a person, but also you don’t value your body as well. I don’t blame any of sexual assault victims of thinking this way, but it isn’t true. Someone used you, but doesn’t mean you are nothing.
This is how I think sexual assault leads to depression. See if you think very negative about yourself of course you will develop depression. So in times like this, when the sexual assault victims are not feeling their best, they need people around them, who will be there for them. It is really important to have people around you can talk to, but not everyone knows how to handle it, and how to be around them. When people never had anyone being sexually assaulted, it is hard to know how to act, but don’t worry I will tell you everything you need to know.
Take story seriously:
This is very important to do, because if they have people close to them already judging them, they won’t feel good. They trust you, and are coming to you to tell you the story, so most likely it is true. I would also avoid questions like:”are you sure”?, and :”were you drunk”. Being drunk doesn’t give anyone right to rape you, and also sexual assault victims can’t always be sure they have been raped. Sometimes your brain blocks the memory, but if the person didn’t feel good about having sex, that is a sign the person was raped. You don’t want to make them question themselves, because most of them already do it all by themselves. I guess the best thing to start is to just listen, and if they ask you for advice just think what you would do in this situation, but also mention that no matter what you support them. I think just listening to them will give them good sign that they can trust you, and also talk to you about it.
Nothing can make the situation worse than victims seeing their loved once angry over the situation. I am sure you will feel pain, and be very angry, but hold this for a while. Victims don’t have to see their loved once in pain, because of what happen to them.
Give them control:
As you know someone took away their power by sexual assaulting them, so it is very empowering for them to have the power. Let them make decisions. This way they will feel in charge of their own life. If they want to go to some place, even though you don’t think it is good idea let them. Don’t act like you know better than them. Support them and really be there for them.
Do things with them, that make them happy:
I feel doing things they enjoy will make the healing faster. When you do things you love you are getting better, and you mood and your energy are higher. If it is going outside for walk, and talking about life do it. Make sure you are doing stuff they enjoy, I know it sounds selfish, but that is really something they need. Don’t call them to invite them clubbing, because you for sure know they probably wouldn’t go there.
Make sure you are available for the victim:
Victims have a lot of pain and angry so be their shoulder to cry on. When someone has been sexually assaulted they need to express their emotions. If they hold big and painful emotions, it will damaged them mentally in long run. Let them know you will be there for them at anytime time of any day. One of the biggest steps of recovery is knowing they have someone. What you are doing is nothing, you are helping a lot.
Having physical contact with someone after they have been raped, and getting comfortable getting physical contact is big part of recovery. In the beginning you for sure need to make sure they are comfortable getting physical contact, but it is also important for you to give them as much as possible so they feel comfortable again. For example every time you see them make sure you give them hug, of course don’t push them, but let them know it will be helpful.
When you feel they are in good place challenge them. That could be for example taking them to crowded places, so they can relearn to be around many people or take them to meet new people. If you feel it is too much for them, listen to them, and be there for them. Challenging them, and making them do things they might never wanted to, will make them recover as well. This would be the last part of recovery, but also very important.
Doing all the points
I mentioned in this article will give them high change of full recovery. I feel people who can’t recover from rape, probably don’t have people who can talk to, and express their feelings. Making sure they can talk to you is step in right direction. What I wanted to mention as well is, you need to make it clear to them that it was not their fault, nothing they could have done about it, and nothing to be ashamed. I would tell them to see this as something they can learn from, and something that will make them stronger in long run. I know it sounds bad, but seeing as negative will not help them recover, knowing it is a lesson it will be easy to move on.
Just be patient and know it will take time, but it is highly possible for them to recover. If there is any more questions please write in comments or personally email me on firstname.lastname@example.org I will be happy to help you in any way I can.
We are all meant to do great things together.
Reminder: Be there for them and support them!
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