Women's Center At UVM
How To Help Someone You Care About
Who Has Experienced Gender Based Violence
Unless you are a trained victim's advocate, the three best things
you can do are provide a place for your friend to vent their emotions,
validate their feelings, and refer them to someone with experience and
expertise such as the UVM Victim's Advocate - firstname.lastname@example.org or 656.7892. Here are some tips.
If your friend has been sexually assaulted or is experiencing
relationship violence, you can expect them to be experiencing some
combination of fear, anger, guilt, shame, mistrust, and disconnection.
They may have experienced the fear of losing their life and as a result
be afraid of everything around them. Your friend may be angry at the
perpetrator but also angry at her or himself and at friends and family.
Even if the survivor seems to know it is not their fault, they may
experience shame and guilt. So much of our society tells them they are
at least partially responsible. As most assaults are perpetrated by
someone the victim knows, they certainly may be feeling a lack of trust
for those around them and the extreme stress, anxiety, loss of sleep
and feeling as though they have lost control makes many survivors feel
as though they are disconnected from normal life.
You can help your friend. You can help them focus on their strengths and provide a place for them to vent their emotions, even anger. You can help them understand that no one is responsible for being raped and that they have the right to feel a lack of trust for others. You can help them understand that it is normal to feel unstable under such difficult circumstances. Here's how you can help.University of Vermont
34 South William's
Refer them to an Advocacy Service
Advocacy services such as the UVM Victim's Advocate are the most complete resource for your friend at this difficult time. They can answer questions, provide a large number of options and be with your friend through medical and legal processes, not to mention the emotional recovery. These individuals are trained professionals who know what to expect. Most importantly, they are completely confidential and your friend will be left to make their own decisions. By referring to such a service, your friend can get the most complete care possible.
Additional Tips to Help Someone You Care About Who Is Experiencing Relationship Violence
Last modified September 20 2010 05:23 AM