What Can I Do If A Friend Is Raped?

After a sexual assault, there are several important things to remember. The following guidelines will be helpful in assisting a sexual assault survivor.

1. Believe them and offer support.
No matter what the circumstances, rape is NEVER the victim’s fault. With this in mind, one of the biggest factors in recovery is whether or not the survivor feels that they were believed. Believing and supporting your friend will help them in their recovery.

2. Encourage your friend to get medical attention.
If the sexual assault has just occurred, your friend will need medical attention immediately. At the hospital, doctors can treat injuries, check for STD’s, administer pregnancy prevention medication, and collect evidence if your friend decides to press charges. Remind your friend not to eat, drink, bathe, or use the restroom before seeking medical attention.

3. Encourage your friend to talk to a counselor.
If the sexual assault has just occurred, calling Rape Crisis can help your friend deal with the immediate crisis, as well as providing them with information and referrals. NWARC also offers one-on-one support to help deal with the after affects of sexual assault. On-going support may also be helpful.

4. Encourage your friend to report the sexual assault to the police.
Reporting the crime of sexual assault to law enforcement does not require that your friend press charges. However, pressing charges may help your friend feel empowered after a sexual assault and may keep the perpetrator from sexually assaulting someone again. To report, your friend may call the local police department, or on campus, call the campus police. Remember, the decision to report is always the survivor’s choice.

5. Offer support and safety to your friend.
After an assault your friend may feel too frightened to stay alone. Offer to stay with your friend or invite them to stay with you. Your friend will go through quite a bit in the months and years that follow an assault. Be prepared to offer support to your friend during their time of healing.



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Contact Info:
Northwest Arkansas Rape Crisis, Inc
614 E. Emma, Suite 247
Springdale, AR 72764

Hotline: 479-927-1020 or 800-794-4175
Business office: 479-927-1025