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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:[4]

  • 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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