University of Vermont

We're here to help

If someone you care about is a survivor and you want help to give them the support they need, our door is open for you! Contact the Victim's Advocate at or 656-7892 to learn more.

What should I expect from a survivor?

Survivors may feel a sense of..

  • blame and/or shame
  • fear
  • embarrassment
  • disbelief and/or self-doubt
  • confusion
  • fear that the perpetrator will deny or have a very different account of what happened
  • concern about retaliation from the perpetrator.

Concerns about confidentiality and loss of control

Survivors may be struggling to hold on to a sense of choice and self-efficacy since the incident itself is a loss of control. As a result, they are likely to have concerns that any disclosure will lead them to lose control of who may find out and what might happen.

Fear for personal safety

Survivors may be hyper-vigilant, jumpy and fear being alone or in public where they might see their perpetrator. They may not sleep or concentrate well. They may have concerns that the perpetrator will find them and hurt them again.


It is possible that the survivor may minimize the seriousness and underestimate the possibility for danger associated with the incident or situation. It is extremely important that the person being trusted with the information takes it seriously and that the person provides referrals, seeks out help through the Campus Victim's Advocate and/or assists the survivor as necessary.

Mental and physical health concerns

The survivor may be worried about infections, pregnancy, or may face other health problems as a result of anxiety or physical injuries from an assault. They may be concerned that they are going crazy due to normal reactions to traumatic incidents or experiences. They may be depressed, tired, angry, and/or sad and have difficulty concentrating among many other normal responses.

Last modified September 11 2013 03:30 PM