When someone you know is made a victim of sexual violence, there are important actions and words for you to utilize as their friend and supporter:
If you feel comfortable doing so, you may also be able to offer your friend other forms of support. A safety plan maymake your friend feel more comfortable, and, depending on the specific experience and needs of the survivor at that time, may include brainstorming answers to questions like:
Thinking about situations that may arise may make your friend feel more prepared and equipped to safely respond, but is not necessarily a conversation a survivor will be ready to have right away.
Pay attention to the way in which you are handling the situation as well, with special notice to your own emotional, physical and mental health. Know that there are many different ways of obtaining support, and that networks are often stronger than single individuals. Counseling Services and other staff and faculty are available to you as well and it is healthy for you to consider the support you may need or want. No one needs to go through this alone.
It's easy to feel powerless to change past events and current attitudes about sexual violence, but there are many groups and resources on campus to get involved in effecting change: