Reporting Understanding Title IX Resources Printable Materials Supportive Measures If you are Assaulted Report an Incident How to Support a Friend Contact Us CVIC Confidential Advisor Committee for Sexual Violence Prevention & Response
How to support a friend who has been sexually assaulted
If a friend confides in you about an incident of sexual violence, the most important things you can do are to listen and believe. You should also encourage your friend to contact the resources UND has to offer.
Attend to immediate needs
- If this is an emergency, call 911
- Does your friend need medical care?
- Does your friend have a safe place to stay?
Support your friend
- Listen without judging or giving advice.
- Everyone processes trauma differently. Don't criticize your friend's feelings.
- Don't push your friend to reveal details about the incident or ask questions just because you're curious.
- Don't criticize your friend's actions before, during or after the incident.
- Believe your friend. Understand that it has taken a lot of courage for your friend to confide in you.
- Important messages to tell your friend: "It's not your fault." "I'm sorry it happened." "I'm here to help and support you."
- Give support throughout the entire process. Recovery takes time and your friend will need support from trusted people.
- Don't try to take control of the situation. Let your friend control his or her own life and support your friend's decisions.
Take care of yourself
- Understand how this incident affects you. Any feelings you are experience are completely normal.
- You may want to talk with someone about your own feelings. Resources available to victims of sexual violence are also available to you.