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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Feb 20

What to do When a Friends Tells You that They’ve Been Sexually Abused

Posted By iamincontrol | February 20, 2018

Sometimes bad things happen to people, even the people we care about. If a friend tells you that they’ve been sexually abused, it is important to know how to handle it. Here are a few basic steps to being a good friend in those moments:

  1. Believe them. It will mean so much to that person by simply saying “I believe you”. It will be so comforting to your friend. The easiest, and most important, thing you can do is believe them when they tell you.
  2. Support them. For some victims, telling a trusted friend is all that they want to do. For others, they want to report it to the police. For some, they would like to talk to professional counselors. In whatever your friend chooses, support them.. Sometimes victims can change their minds. At first, they might want to report it to the police and then in a few days they may change their minds. To be the best friend you can be, you should support them in their decisions.
  3. Take care of yourself. Hearing the trauma that someone else went through can be triggering for you. If hearing about what a friend went through brings back memories of an experience you had- get help. Even if you have not gone through sexual abuse, it may be a good idea for you to get counseling. It is important to remember that you cannot take care of your friends without first taking care of yourself.

Hearing about a traumatizing experience a friend went through can be hard. It is important to remember these three steps to help maintain a positive relationship with that person and take care of yourself. To learn more about how to deal with this type of situation: https://www.rainn.org/articles/tips-talking-survivors-sexual-assault