Support for You
Supporting you, supporting her
Seeing someone you care about dealing with a traumatic experience like rape or sexual assault can be distressing for you. But if a woman who has experienced a sexual assault is confiding in you, it is a positive sign: she is beginning to open up and talk about it. Talking is a good thing and a step on the road to recovery.
However, if a woman has been attacked sexually it helps to have face-to-face counselling from a specialist rape counsellor, or she can suffer from the effects for a long time. Give her our details so that when she is ready she can contact us directly. Rape Crisis London for help.
Your reaction to what happened is important, because it could affect how she feels. You may feel angry, upset, worried, overwhelmed. You may even think that you could have done something to prevent it. But the responsibility for the attack is not yours. It lies firmly with the assailant.
Whatever you feel, it is very important that you believe what she’s telling you.
A woman or girl who is attacked will be suffering emotionally but what happened will also have a ripple effect on the people supporting her , people like you. And providing the support will be difficult for you.
You need to be realistic about what you can offer in terms of time and emotional support. Be clear and honest about what support you can give and what you feel you are able to hear. Bear in mind that consistency over a longer period is probably more valuable than a short burst of intensive support which peters out.
You should also consider getting support for yourself. You may need to talk to somebody about what you are feeling. It will make it easier to support your loved one.
We can help. Rape Crisis Centres help not only the women who have suffered the assault, but also the people who are supporting them. Please get in touch if you feel you need support with your support.