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!
- What to expect when filing a Police Report
- View information on local resources, such as rape crisis centers, hospitals, shelters and more.
- Learn about the protections the Violence Against Women Act ensures or go to Women’s Law for information on orders of protection.
- U.S. National Hotlines and Resource Centers:
- 1in6 Online Helpline: A helpline for Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Adult Sexual Assault [24/7, free, anonymous]
- 1in6 Online Support Groups: Support Groups for Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Adult Sexual Assault [free, anonymous]
- Rape, Abuse and Incest National Hotline
- National Child Abuse Hotline
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
- National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
- National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
1-866-331-9474 or 1-866-331-8453 (TTY)
- Stalking Resource Center
Join or support survivors breaking their silence using the #MeToo hashtag on social media!