If someone chooses to share their experience with you two important things you can say to that person is “I believe you” and “It is not your fault.” Survivors may experience a loss of power and control as a result of their trauma. Nothing a person does or says justifies violence. It is essential as a support person to give survivors space and validate their ability to make their own decision regarding their healing. When a person shares their experience with you, it is important to remember that they have chosen to trust you, and it is essential to honor and respect that trust.
Make sure to take time for yourself and seek confidential support if needed. Supporting a survivor can be emotional and it is important to check in with yourself and practice self-care.
Steps to supporting a survivor:
- Refer: The survivor may want to seek supportive resources, you can help point them into that direction.