Finding out that someone you care for has experienced sexual violence can be extremely upsetting and confusing. You may have difficulty understanding what has happened. You may have many questions and want to do your best to help the survivor. The most important thing to know is that the person responsible for the abuse is the perpetrator. It is never the survivor’s fault.
When supporting someone who has experienced rape, sexual abuse or exploitation it is very important that you also take care of yourself. Doing this will likely mean that you can be more helpful and whilst we recognise that this may not always be easy, there are some key things that you can do which will help at this time.
Try to find an outlet for your own feelings. For some this may be through physical activity, such as exercise. For others it may be to speak to a close friend or rape crisis worker. Remember that ignoring your own feelings will not be beneficial to a survivor.
The Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline is also able to provide support and information, 7 days/week, from 5pm to Midnight, on 08088 01 03 02. Calls to this number are free and will not show up on your phone bill.