When someone discloses a sexual assault to you…
- Allow and encourage the victim to make decisions whenever possible.
- Encourage sharing of feelings, but don’t press for details or force a discussion.
- Communicate your understanding, acceptance, and support.
What to say to someone who has been assaulted…
- “No one deserves to be assaulted. This was not your fault. You did not deserve to be sexually assaulted”
- “Whatever you did to survive the situation was the right thing to do.”
- “I believe you. It was not your fault. This was something that someone did TO you.”
- “Regardless of ____________, (how you were dressed, how much you drank, if you were flirting, what you did prior to the sexual assault, etc) there is no excuse for sexual assault. You did not deserve this.”
- “That must have been a very unsettling / scary / confusing / uncomfortable / frightening experience.”
- “You are not crazy. You are reacting normally to a difficult situation.”
- “It doesn’t make a difference if you consented to do other things sexually with this person. You said “no” to this part, and that person did not respect you. You have the right to change your mind at anytime when you are with someone.”
Referring someone to the Victim Assistance Team…
- I’d really like to call a VAT advocate to work with us here if that is ok with you. I can stay here with you, but they are a good resource to have.
- We’re really fortunate to have a service called the Victim Assistance Team on our campus to help students with this kind of concern. Let’s give them a call.
- VAT advocates are students, staff, and faculty trained to assist someone who has been assaulted by explaining all of the options that you have. They are also trained to understand the reactions that you may experience.
- An advocate can assist you in getting connected with other services on and off campus to make sure you are getting what you need after this serious situation.
- Advocates can make sure that you are able to deal with any possible legal or academic concerns.
- Do you want me to call them for you?
- Do you want to use my phone?
- Do you want the advocate to meet you here?
- Here is their phone number- 492-4242, ask for an advocate when you call. When will you call them?