What do I do if someone I know has been raped?
This is by no means a comprehensive list. However, here are some of the basic ways you can support your family member or friend if she has been raped:
If she comes to you for help immediately after the rape:
- Ensure that she doesn’t wash herself as it could wash away evidence.
- Accompany her to the hospital Emergency Room or the police station immediately – whichever is closest.
- Help her fill in all the required forms.
- Request for a female doctor or police officer to attend to her if she is too traumatised to speak.
- Contact the nearest women’s shelter or rape centre for support and advice on what to do next.
Other ways of providing support:
- Don’t blame and never judge her – be supportive.
- Help her get counseling sessions with a professional.
- Accompany her to counseling sessions should she request it.
- Accompany her to follow-up check-up appointments with the doctor.
- Remind her that it was not her fault in any way. She did not ask for it.
- Be a patient listener. Let her tell you the story, or if not, just be there for her.
- If she is experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, make it a point to check in on her regularly to ensure her safety and prevent suicide.
- If she has children or other dependents, offer to babysit them when she has to go to court, to the counseling session or the doctor’s appointment.
- Support her when she files charges against the perpetrator.
- Accompany her to the court trial/hearings if the case is brought to court and should she request that you do so.
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- RAINN – What to do after sexual assault
- The NHS – Help after rape and sexual assault