Helping Sexual Abuse/Assault Victims

If someone you know has been sexually assaulted, abused, or harassed, here’s how to help:

Do:

  • Ask the person – “How may I help?” Let them determine next steps.
  • If the person wants to talk, listen. If the person doesn’t want to talk, honor that as well. If you are uncomfortable listening, help the person find someone who can listen. CFPA staff are available 24/7 at 1-800-559-7233.
  • If the incident was very recent, suggest that they go to the hospital for a forensic exam.
  • Offer to drive them to the hospital, CFPA, or the police station.
  • Offer to help install new locks or find another place to live if there are safety issues.
  • Remind them it wasn’t their fault. It didn’t matter what they were wearing, if they were drinking, or if the other person was in a position of power. It’s never okay.

Do Not:

  • Don’t blame the victim.
  • Don’t second guess or judge their behavior.
  • Don’t ask why it happened or ask about specific details.

Pay attention to your own feelings. If you find that it would be helpful for you to speak with CFPA staff, services are available for you also.

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All victim services are free and confidential.