Every person who has ever been abused or assaulted knows multiple friends and family members who love them. That means the number of people who know and love a victim/survivor of abuse or assault is a huge population.
We all care deeply about our friends and family members. It can be disturbing and disorienting to learn that someone you love has experienced sexual assault, abuse, or another traumatic experience.
We feel a mixture of strong emotions. We don’t know what to do. We don’t know what to say.
In many areas of life, when we don’t fully understand something, we fill in the gaps with assumptions.
When it comes to supporting a person who has experienced serious harm, the approach of guessing what to do might work out okay, or it might unintentionally cause further pain.
It matters how we react when a person shares a very painful part of their lives. When someone who has experienced assault or abuse first shares that with another person, it is a critical point when either healing can begin or additional pain can be caused.
Most people want more than blanket advice such as “Believe them” and “Support them.”
Here is a summary of essential concepts that will help you know how to avoid common errors and be there in important ways. And they are designed to work proactively, meaning you do not have to know someone now who has shared their traumatic experience with you. It is obviously better to be prepared by knowing in advance how to respond. It is extremely likely that you know someone who has experienced abuse or a violation that has caused them real harm.
We believe knowing basic support concepts is part of being an educated person in this world.
Just click on this link below and receive a PDF download of this free resource. And feel free to share it with others. We hope this simple summary will help elevate the culture of support in meaningful ways.