Help a Friend
Helping someone can be a frightening experience, but it is important for you to know what to do to help someone in need.
To help a friend, these are steps you can take:
- Believe them. Statements such as “I believe you” and “It wasn’t your fault” can be extremely helpful.
- Make sure they feel safe in their current location.
- Listen and be available.
- Don’t judge or blame your friend for what happened.
- Encourage action, but allow your friend to decide what actions to take.
- Encourage your friend to seek medical attention, but don't force them to do so. Making choices helps your friend to regain control lost during the assault.
- If they’d like to speak to someone confidentially, students can call a confidential advocate at 507.452.4440. Or, encourage them to call the Advocacy Center of Winona at 507.452.4453 any time, any day.
- Be patient. Healing from a sexual assault takes time.
- Consider getting help for yourself. Supporting a friend can be stressful. You can use mental health resources such as WSU Counseling Services as well.
Remember, sexual violence is never the survivor's fault!