Be aware of ways in which your biases about sexual assault and victims may affect your ability to support and assist the victim. If you cannot be objective, refer the person to another support person.
Reassure the victim that you believe her/him (it is not your place to decide if she/he is telling the truth) and tell the victim that you will be supportive and help consider options.
Familiarize yourself with the usual emotional and physical reactions to victimization and help normalize these reactions for the victim.
REACTIONS TO VICTIMIZATION:EMOTIONAL
Be aware of local resources for each of the options for medical, legal, and support services. Stop any rumors or discussions of the incident as you become aware of them. Be available to listen to the victim as much as you feel comfortable. Should you have questions or personal concerns about this role you can call Deb Beazley at 293-1377 or the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center at 292-5100.
Know that you may reach a point at which you feel uncomfortable in continuing to support the victim. Your feelings are important and should be acknowledged. You are encouraged to call Deb Beazley to request support for yourself as you work through the process of assisting the victim.