How to Help Survivors of Sexual Violence

Fact: Rape is the most under-reported violent crime.

Many survivors do not file a police report for a variety of reasons, including lack of faith in police, fear of retaliation or re-victimization in court, and desire to prevent family and friends from knowing. If someone you know tells you that they have experienced sexual assault or abuse, it is important that you listen, believe them, and help them find additional resources and support.

How to help someone who tells you that they have experienced sexual assault or abuse:

  • Believe them – Most important to recovery
    • Not their fault
  • Listen more, talk less. Be patient.
    • Don’t ask “why” questions or judge.
    • Refrain from discussing your feelings.
  • Don’t threaten retaliation against the perpetrator.
  • Support their decisions. Help them regain control.
  • Encourage them to seek medical attention and/or professional therapy

Connect a Survivor to Helpful Resources!


Join or support survivors breaking their silence using the #MeToo hashtag on social media!