When speaking with someone who has experienced sexual misconduct:
- Don’t be judgmental. Believe in your friend; do not blame them.
- Let your friend make their own decisions. Encouraging your friend to make decisions will help them gain a sense of control.
- Respect your friend’s privacy. Do not share what happened to your friend with other people. Let them decide who will know.
- Encourage your friend to get help. Provide your friend with information on where they can get help.
- Be there. Offer your support and understanding.
- Listen. This is a great way to show your support. Do not push your friend to talk, but when they are ready, be available with an open mind and heart.
- Be patient. Healing takes time; just be there for your friend.
- Take care of yourself. Find support for yourself. A counselor can help you process and understand your own feelings about your friend’s experience.