Be aware of the survivor’s need for privacy. A college campus can feel like a very small community. Always ask for permission from the survivor before you tell someone who is part of the survivor’s family or school group. By asking first, you are helping to give control to the survivor which is one of the most important parts of their healing process.
You may want to talk to other people about what is going on so you don’t feel like you are carrying it all alone. All BARCC services are available to you. We can give you the help and support you need without compromising the privacy of the survivor.
These are just two examples of the many ways that you may be challenged in offering the unconditional support to the survivor. Respecting and supporting survivors’ choices is important to help them feel in control of their lives again.
Take care of yourself. You are an important person in the survivor’s life if they chose to tell you about their assault. Take care of yourself and your feelings so that you will be better able to help your friend.