What to do if Someone You Know Has Been Raped

Generally:
· Be supportive by listening and taking what the person says seriously.
· If you want to hug or touch the person to show your support, ask him or her first. Remember, the person may have been violated and did not have control over what was done to his/her body. By asking if the person wants touch, you help him/her take back control.
· Don’t ask “why” questions; they can make the person feel judged.
· Tell the person that it’s not his/her fault. Most survivors will blame themselves for what happened. It is important to counter that with strong messages that the harassment/assault was the fault and responsibility of the perpetrator and not the survivor.
· Don’t judge his/her actions leading up to, during, or after the incident. Regardless of what the survivor was wearing, drinking, etc., the perpetrator is responsible.
· Allow the person to make his/her own decision about whether or not to report the assault, who to tell, etc. Support those decisions.
· Allow the survivor to share what he/she wants when he/she wants. Don’t pressure the person to share information before he/she is ready.
· Offer resources . Encourage the person to get support.
· Be there during the long healing process. Provide ongoing support.
· Tell the person that everything he/she decides to share with you is confidential (see the exceptions below).

Specifically:
· Ask, “Are you hurt? Do you need a doctor?” If the person needs medical attention, ask, “Do you want me to call the hospital the survivor is insured at.
· If no, remind the person that if he/she wants to report the assault, or at least keep that option open, then he/she should preserve all evidence. A medical examination does not mean that the person has to file a report. At the very least, he/she should be checked for STDs, HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, and other concerns.

32 Comments

  1. tin said,

    June 24, 2007 at 7:56 am

    what if that friend told you about her being raped after she gave birth?

  2. melody said,

    September 13, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    what if you were raped?

  3. mel said,

    September 17, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    what if the person fears that she may be pregnant or she may have contracted a std.

  4. brooke said,

    December 13, 2008 at 7:34 am

    i dont remeber the exact date but it happened 8 months ago i have no stds and im not pregnant this guy was bf i reported it and nothing happened i had a rape kit done and that was more violating it was done by a male doctor i was 15 years old….im still dealing with nightmares depression and my family is standing by me all the way

  5. nina said,

    January 26, 2009 at 3:35 am

    it’s hard my best friend doesn’t want to do anything about it
    she’s afraid if her family find out they’re going to disown her

    • austin mccoy said,

      July 12, 2010 at 5:30 am

      thats exactly what im goin trough she told me she was raped and who did it so i asked the person and he said that he did so i saved all the messages on my phone….,,so should i notify the police cause i cant just let it go cause i know who did it and have evidence of him saying he did

      • kaela said,

        December 25, 2011 at 8:54 pm

        do what u think is right and if u have all the profe then u can take it to court chances r he will be charged n sent to jail my dad is a socal workerhe deals with this type stuff all the time n the judges tend to favor the girls and help them in anyway posible since most of them have kids n or grandkids n they can relate. ill be praying for u n your friend n my email is kaelahill72395@gmail.com if u ever need to talk orgive it to ur friend im in the process of becoming a counsolar for girls my age n may be of some help i have had two friends be raped and another friend is thirteen n now pregnate n i ve helped each of them through it hope i can be of some help

    • M-J said,

      November 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      i just found out today that one of my friends was raped by a guy she new i have been through this befor though with two other people and i still dont have all the answers but the best thing i can say is dont give up on your friend even if she pushes you away let her no that ur there for her and always ready to listen if she needs to talk also constantly remind her that no matter whatit is NOT her fault it is the attakers fault and let her no that she is still loved and respected in your eyes just be the best friend you can she will open up and tell u more of the details when she is ready but do incourage her to do something about it DONT force her just keep her open to the idea and let her no u will be there for her no matter what

  6. D.Dennis said,

    January 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    what if youve been raped and now your pregnant how do you tell ur family that without them thinkin that your just being an irresponsible teen

  7. randy said,

    January 26, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    What do you do if you think your friend is lying about being raped and all her friends went and beat up the guy and now the guy is after your friends and is bringing bats, rocks and guns?

  8. Rosey lopez said,

    March 28, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    My sisters daughter was molested by her stepfather for 5 years. My sister wants to go to the police, but is afraid CPS will take her daughter from her..what can I do, or where can I get information for my sister??

  9. wen said,

    May 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    but what if they dont want anyone to know and they are under age??? What do you do if they do self harm because they are traumatized??

  10. michelle said,

    May 29, 2011 at 8:01 am

    what if she speaks up years latter

    • Aileen said,

      December 13, 2011 at 3:13 am

      that’s okay. she can still file a case if she wants to.

  11. Ernest Smith said,

    December 13, 2011 at 1:15 am

    I only wish there was more I can do to help my friend who was raped a year ago. She still brings it up and I am now finding out the same guy raped another girl. Anyone who can help me please, these woman don’t want to report it but, this man is getting away.

    • Aileen said,

      December 13, 2011 at 3:12 am

      can you convince her to report it? or maybe you can bring her first to talk to a psychiatrist.

      you may call:

      Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
      Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU)
      Rehabilitation Unit Tel. No.: (02) 734-8635
      NCR Ugnayang Pag-asa, Legarda, Manila
      Tel. Nos.: (02) 734-8617 to 18
      Philippine National Police (PNP)
      Women and Children’s Concern Division (WCCD)
      Tel. No.: (02) 723-0401 loc. 3480
      Call or text 117 (PATROL 117)
      National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
      Violence Against Women and Children’s Desk (VAWCD)
      Tel. Nos.: (02) 523-8231 loc. 3403
      DOJ Public Attorney’s Office
      Women’s Desk
      Tel. Nos.: (02) 929-9010; 929-9436 to 37
      Philippine General Hospital (PGH)
      Women’s Desk
      Tel. Nos.: (02) 524-2990; 521-8450 loc. 3816
      Women’s Crisis Center
      Women and Children Crisis Care & Protection Unit –
      East Avenue Medical Center (WCCCPU-EAMC)
      Tel. Nos.: (02) 926-7744; 922-5235
      KALAKASAN
      Tel. Nos.: (02) 735-5555
      email: kalakasan@gmail.com

  12. kaela said,

    December 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    ild say go for it if u have all the profe then he is as good as charged already my dad is a social wrker so i have seen a bunch of cases like ur the judges tend to stand up for the gurls n the men are held fully responsablle do what u think is right n help ur frind she will be grateful for it

  13. meagan said,

    January 9, 2012 at 2:28 am

    My ex boyfriend was raped but wont press charges because he was threatened. I just recently found out I know 2 other guys that are also victims from the same guy. This guy is taking kids in a raising them as there own and raping them. there is 15 or more guys that are living there getting raped.. They are all guys, and I dont know what to do. What can I do

  14. 11yearoldboy said,

    March 9, 2012 at 6:34 am

    I’m 11 I just found out that my 11 year old friend was burned and raped by her dad but does not want to tell anyone and I’m the only person she told I am absolutely shocked that she just wants to keep quiet. She said her mom knows to many bad things about her. She said she feels she will betray him. I am at a loss for words.. What do I do??

  15. N.K said,

    March 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    One of my friend was sexually assaulted. She doesnt see it that way but the guy who did does. What do I do should I tell someone or just leave it?

  16. Jessica lynberry said,

    November 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Today I was just informed by one of my best friends mother that her daughter, my friend had been raped when she was just a little kid. It really breaks my heart to see how rape can have an effect on a person. From this horrible tragedy in her childhood she has grown to not understand how a man should truly treat her. And she is a victim to her boyfriend now. Not only does he control the living shit out of her, he also turns all of her friends including me against the two of them. He has created this sick illusion that they are the team that is against the rest of the world. He has beaten on her before and raped her several times. It worries me what is going to happen to her because she is too caught up in his “perfect” life, but in reality he is a loser and will never make it past his fucking door step in life. It would be greatly appreciated if someone could give me some advice on what I should do to help my friend.

  17. Sierra said,

    February 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    I am seventeen years old, and I just found out that my baby sister (she’s 14) was raped about 8 months ago. She made a bad decision and got drunk at a skate-park. Since then, she had been acting out, and my family had been hard on her for her disobedience, but we had no idea what she was going through. Her grades dropped, she began lying often, having trouble with other kids, and so on, which was way out of character. We found out yesterday, when the police arrived to our home, showing us a paper she wrote in school. She broke down and cried and explained what happened. I’ve never seen my dad cry like that; he wondered why she didn’t tell anyone and felt like a failure as a father. She tried to tell me and I didn’t realize it. She dropped hints the whole time, and I didn’t understand until she came out and said it. As her sister, I have always been there for her, backed her up, protected her, and I’ve never been ashamed to do so in public or let my friends and her enemies know it . I’m her big sister, and for once I can’t offer her any type of advice, because I can’t understand how she feels. I want to support her, she’s only 14; hell she was barely 13 at the time.. If i could I would make sure that bastard paid, but she was so impaired she doesn’t remember WHO it was. I don’t know what to or how to handle it or be there for her. What do I do?

  18. Hannah said,

    April 1, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    My friend is 16 and I told her parents. Was that the wrong decision?

  19. Michael said,

    April 8, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    what do i do if i know that my friends been raped but she was drunk at the time and she doesnt remember who they were or what they looked like?

  20. Maycee said,

    May 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    My froend hope was raped by her uncle,and I don’t know what to do.i really want to tell my mom about this but I’m not sure,please help me!

  21. Tiffany Potter said,

    June 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    my best friend told me about being raped by her uncle around 5 or 6 times and she told her family and they didn’t belive her about it. she is only 14 and i am scared for her

  22. Abbie Jane said,

    July 8, 2013 at 5:22 am

    What if you were raped years ago, by two guys, and the boys were under the age of 16. Now years later you want to report it, and you finally tell someone you trust what happened, and you want to go to the police about it. What would happen?

  23. sabrina said,

    July 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    what do i do if i know someone who got raped and she doesnt want to do anything about it.

    p.s she is my twin

  24. mark said,

    July 22, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    My ex gf was raped, she told me about it briefley but wont tell anybody else.
    She does not know the person anyway, but she will not talk about it.
    She has pushed me away because of this, its ruined my life.
    I want to be there for her but she wont let me.
    Should i leave her alone or keep trying? Im really scared, i dont want to lose her but i feel she blames herself and i fear she will do something silly. What should i do?

  25. nec83 said,

    September 4, 2013 at 5:27 am

    my friend was rapes repeatedly by her childs father and she is still refusing to go to the cops . he is a level 3 sex offender this isnt the first girl to not report him i have found out of 4 others what do i do ? can i report it all or should i back off?

  26. jadey said,

    June 15, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Thankyou so much for this..
    Very needed añd usefull advice!
    My friends have bien amazing
    But i still shut out…..


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