Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Help Survivors of Sexual Assault

I read the following article first on a news website and then followed the link to the original source:


What I found interesting is what the author describes as helping her during what she describes as her 'recovery journey.' These are interesting and informative extracts:

My brother steadfastly believed what happened to me and validated how much I was impacted by being molested. The simple act of witnessing me in my pain helped me heal. And so did the mac and cheese he made me when I was sad, and the hours of Nintendo-playing we did when I was too down to do anything else.

My best male friend from college was by my side through the darkest days of my healing journey. After every therapy session, he helped me process what I was learning about myself. He saw me through the powerful emotions that went along with those lessons. He told me he loved me 10 times a day. He stood by my side when I told my story for the first time in public at a Take Back the Night event on our campus. He learned that while he couldn’t “fix” me, he could love me, and that his love would help me become whole again.

Simple acts of friendship and love are powerful tools that help survivors of sexual violence trust and heal.

They want to help, but feel powerless – and afraid to say or do the wrong thing.

The author's best male friend had to learn he couldn't 'fix' her. We tend to offer advice that is intended to help fix the problem but it appears from this experience that even though we may feel powerless, it's enough just to be there.

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