Helping 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

  1. Believe them. Statements such as “I believe you” and “It wasn’t your fault” can be extremely helpful.

  2. Make sure they feel safe in their current location.

  3. Listen and be available.

  4. Don’t judge or blame your friend for what happened.

  5. Encourage action, but allow your friend to decide what actions to take.

  6. 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.

  7. If they’d like to speak to someone confidentially, encourage them to call the 24/7 Confidential GBV Helpline at 507.452.4453 to speak to an advocate.

  8. Encourage them to consider contacting resources listed in this brochure in order to receive additional support or to learn more about their options, including reporting the assault to the university and/or to law enforcement.

  9. Be patient. Healing from a sexual assault takes time.

  10. Consider getting help for yourself. Supporting a friend can be stressful. You can utilize the resources listed on this website.

Remember, sexual violence is never the survivor's fault!