If someone comes to you for help, recognize that they might be struggling with painful feelings — anger, fear, denial, or embarrassment.
As a supportive friend or ally, you provide support, give assurance that College and community resources are available to help, and offer assistance to access these resources.
Suggestions for how to help victims/survivors of interpersonal violence:
- Be a good listener by being attentive and not passing judgment on what an individual shares with you.
- Respect the individual’s need for privacy. It is their choice what and how much to share. If you are a College employee, be candid about your obligation to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator.
- Remain patient. Each person is different in how they cope with experiencing sexual or relationship violence and how much time it takes to heal.
- Help to empower the individual. Instead of offering advice, ask how you can best support them. Offer encouragement, but do not pressure the individual to take any particular action. Respect their decisions.
- Be present. Having someone there as they explore medical, legal, and on-campus reporting options can be comforting when faced with difficult decisions and interpreting processes and procedures.
- Be mindful of your own needs and be sure to take care of yourself. People in supporting roles can benefit from professional assistance by speaking to someone at the Becker College Counseling Center.