If someone confides in you that they are, or think they might be, the victim of sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, or other forms of violence, here are some ways you can help:
- Listen carefully and intently to what you are being told. Allow her to talk before jumping in to solve problems.
- Have a list of resources handy. The Transformation Project maintains a list of on and off campus resources.
- Ask questions to help assess the situation. Is she in immediate danger? What would she like to see happen, or not happen? What would she like to do next? Would she like to talk to a counselor about the issue? Does she need immediate medical attention?
- Present available resources and determine how you are willing to help her utilize them. Perhaps she needs a ride, directions, or a friend to go with her. Decide if you are willing to help in these ways, and be aware of your personal limitations (emotionally, financially, etc.)
- Encourage her to make use of campus and community resources. Many are confidential and free.
- Above all, allow her to make her own informed choices. The basis of violence is control; part of the healing process is taking charge of your situation and making decisions for yourself.
- Reinforce that it is NEVER her fault. She is not to blame. Empasize that no one deserves to be raped, beaten, harassed, or stalked under any circumstances.