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Helpful Statements To Use During Sexual Violence Disclosures

 If a student/staff voluntarily discloses this incident, please know that this person likely trusts you and it is important for you to provide support and offer reassurance and resources with non-judgmental regard as they make decisions about what to do.  Many victim/survivors only disclose to one person so your reaction can play a significant role in their healing process.

 

Helpful Things You can Say to a Victim/Survivor of Sexual Assault/ Relationship Violence/Stalking

  • I’m very sorry that you have to go through this. 
  • I’m sorry that person harmed you.
  • We have campus and community resources to help support you.
  • If you would like to have someone with you when talking to the police or school administrators, the Victim Advocate on campus can accompany you. The Victim Advocate will help to make sure you are connected with the people who can assist you throughout the process.
  • I’m sorry this happened to you.
  • Sometimes when this happens, victims blame themselves – this is not your fault.
  • Thank you for trusting me with this information.
  • Thank you for telling me this, I realize how hard this is.
  • There are many on campus and community resources available to help, would you like to talk about these options?
  • The Victim Advocate on campus is available to help. The advocate is specially trained to work with those who have experienced sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking and can offer you help and provide options. Would you like to speak with the victim advocate?

Hurtful Things NOT to Say to a Victim/Survivor of Sexual Assault/ Relationship Violence/Stalking

  • It’s outrageous that you’ve had to experience this! 
  • Well, it sounds to me like you were raped/Abused/!
  • I’ll make sure justice will be served.” 
  • I’ll be there for you in whatever way you need. 
  • They won’t get away with it
  • What were you doing there with him/her
  • Why didn’t you scream/fight/call police?
  • I'm sure they didn't mean to do it
  • Just try not to think about it