How To Help

Important Facts:
  • Sexual assault is about power, control, and aggression.
  • Someone’s actions or dress cannot send a message “asking” to be raped.
  • Most sexual assaults are planned in advance and are not impulsive acts.
  • It is not uncommon for a victim to “freeze” when confronted with a dangerous situation. This does not mean the victim “wanted it”.
  • Sexual assault may make the victim feel powerless. Continue to allow the victim to make his/her own choices and be in control of what he/she needs.
How You May Feel as a Significant Other:
  • Guilty: you were unable to prevent this from happening to your loved one.
  • Rage: toward the perpetrator and you may fantasize about revenge.
  • Anger/Resentment: toward your partner for not being “more careful”.
  • Jealous: that someone else has had sexual contact with your partner.
  • Overwhelmed: especially if you become the target of your loved one’s rage, sadness, and confusion.
  • All of these feelings are normal.
Do’s and Don’ts:
  • Do validate your partner’s feelings
    • Don’t blame the survivor.
  • Do LISTEN to the survivor
    • Don’t force the survivor to forgive.
  • Do find time to spend together
    • Don’t isolate yourself.
  • Do blame the offender NOT the survivor
    • Don’t take outbursts personally.

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