Listen. Be there. Don’t be judgmental.
Be patient. Remember, it will take your loved one some time to deal with the crime.
Help to empower your loved one. Rape and sexual violence are crimes that take away an individual’s power, it is important not to compound this experience by putting pressure on your loved one to do things that he or she is not ready to do yet.
If you are dealing with an issue involving your child, create a safe place by talking directly to them.
If your loved one is considering suicide, follow-up with them on a regular basis.
Encourage your loved one to report the rape or sexual violence to law enforcement (call 911 in most areas). If your loved one has questions about the criminal justice process, talking with someone on the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1.800.656.HOPE, can help.
Let your loved one know that professional help is available through the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1.800.656.HOPE, and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.
If your loved one is willing to seek medical attention or report the assault, offer to accompany him or her wherever s/he needs to go (hospital, police station, campus security, etc.)
Encourage him or her to contact one of the hotlines, but realize that only your loved one can make the decision to get help.