Student Health Services


How to help


How to help a friend, family member, or someone you know that has been sexually assaulted:

  • First and most importantly, believe them when they confide in you. Do not place blame on them for the sexual assault (there is NOTHING they could have done to deserve or cause what happened to them), and don't pressure them to talk.
  • Check and make sure they are not in any serious danger or displaying suicidal behaviors.
  • When you discuss options with the survivor you may need some extra support from an advocate. The survivor can talk to an advocate or, if they are not ready, you can talk to an advocate and bring the information to the survivor at an appropriate time.
  • Make sure the survivor gets the professional care and support they may need. Counseling can be very helpful in assisting with the healing process of coping with the sexual assault.
  • Take care of yourself. When you are supporting a survivor, you need to make sure the focus is on them and not on you. Taking care of yourself might include talking with an advocate or a counselor.

For more information on how to help a survivor: