Journal and Blog
I work with women; who years later find themselves processing for the first time (or the millionth time) sexual trauma from their past. Because healing is not linear. It is important for both survivors and community members to understand how to respond.
First A Few Things To Know About Trauma
Research estimates 58%-94% of victims seek help from family and friends. That gives everyone a responsibility to help victims come forward, recover and heal. Regardless of when the experience actually took place. (Start Believing professional training)
An important thing to think about it the impact of positive/negative reactions.
When a survivor receives a negative reaction from a friend, family member of formal support. Research concludes that individual is more likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress, have delayed recovery and more likely to develop thoughts of self-blame.
Genuine love, and empathy are sincere. Trust the relationship they came to you, should say something about the trust they share with you. Think about their safety; both emotional and physical. Validate their experience, its not your role to decide why it happened, what they did or didn't do right...etc. Provide support as they move forward, offer open communication. Remember the way we share our experiences through the language we us creates cultural shifting, that can be empowering both to the survivor and those finding themselves in positions to be informal and formal support. Say Maya Angelou has said, "When we know better we can do better."
National Sexual Assault Hotline 800.656.HOPE (4673)
Start With Believing
Rape and Sexual Assault/Utah