How to Support Survivors of Sexual Assault / Rape

  • Listen
  • Believe her or him
  • Be supportive
  • Reassure your loved one it was not their fault
  • Let the victim know you are there for them when they are ready to talk
  • Help the victim receive medical attention. Some emergency departments have specialized programs for collecting sexual  assault forensic evidence. If he/she does not want to report, he/she may prefer to go to a clinic or their primary care physician. Call MOCSA for names of recommended physicians
  • Stay calm: you'll be more helpful if you stay in control of your own emotions
  • Suggest that the victim talks with someone trained to help victims of sexual assault
  • Be gentle and sensitive
  • Don’t make decisions for the victim. Even if the victim is under 18, allow them to be part of the decision making process
  • Don't blame the victim for the assault — the blame always lies with the offender
  • Don't pressure the victim to talk — give them the chance to talk about their emotions and reactions when they choose
  • Don't tell the victim what he or she must or must not do — it is up to the victim whom to tell and whom not to tell

Please contact the MOCSA crisis line (816)531-0233 or (913)642-0233. Relay Services: 7-1-1.