If someone you care about is sexually assaulted, here are some things to keep in mind as you help her.
Be supportive. Really listen. Make it clear that you care about her feelings.
Do not ask for details. Give her the opportunity to talk about her feelings, fears, and reactions as she chooses.
Do not tell her what to do. It is her decision whether to report the rape or not. You can help her clarify her options or refer her to a rape crisis hotline for that kind of help. In the Marion County area, the rape crisis hotline is (503) 399-7722 or call toll free in Oregon 1 (866) 399-7722. Elsewhere, look in the front pages of the local telephone directory for the hotline serving the area where you live.
If she has just been sexually assaulted and she decides to report it, remind her not to destroy evidence by bathing, douching, changing clothes, or applying medication.
Encourage her to get competent, sensitive medical attention.
Encourage her to talk with someone trained to help sexual assault victims. However, a survivor of sexual assault must be able to decide for herself when and if she wants to receive support and counseling.
Seek support for yourself. Your feelings matter, too. By talking through your feelings with someone on the crisis hotline or a counselor, you will be better able to provide the on-going support she will need. Remeber not to use her to help you work out your own feelings.
Be gentle, patient, and sensitive to her needs. Don't presume you know her needs. Ask before you reach out.
Don't expect her to heal quickly. Neither should you discontinue your support when you think she should be back to normal.This information provided by, or adapted from information provided by, Mid-Valley Women's Crisis Service.