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 How can I help a survivor of rape or sexual assault?

Click here to download this document and summary of on- and off-campus resources.

  • Listen

  • Communicate that you believe them

  • Help to clarify what you think the survivor is saying

  • Let the student decide what s/he wants to talk about

  • Don't ask accusing questions

  • Don't make decisions for the survivor

  • Show that you care. Suggested supportive comments:
    • "It's not your fault."
    • "I'm glad that you told me."
    • "You have a lot of courage to come forward."
  • Remind the survivor to have compassion for her/himself

  • Encourage the survivor to seek medical attention, if s/he hasn't already

  • Complete the Sexual Assault Anonymous Reporting Form

    Any member of the campus community may use the online Sexual Assault Anonymous Reporting Form to file a report about an assault that one has either experienced or heard about without having to disclose the names of either the person who has been assaulted or the person who committed the assault. It is a mechanism for bringing the incident to the attention of the University in order to better understand the extent of the problem, plan more effective prevention and response efforts, and create a safer campus community.

    The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires most staff and faculty (except for staff in the Counseling Center and Religious Resource Center) to report, anonymously at a minimum, an assault if one is brought to their attention.

    This form is one option for reporting a sexual assault or rape. Survivors may choose whether or not they also wish to file a police report or pursue judicial action.



(Above adapted from What you need to know about rape and sexual assault, a publication of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.)