How to be sup­port­ive

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

The im­por­tance of fam­ily mem­bers, friends and part­ners for a sex­ual abuse sur­vivor can­not be over­stated.

HELP out­lines some prac­ti­cal ways to be sup­port­ive in times of need:

Ac­knowl­edge the ex­pe­ri­ence by talk­ing. Of­fer sup­port and leave your views to one side

Show her you are sup­port­ing her through your ac­tions and be­hav­iours

Be pa­tient and an ef­fec­tive lis­tener. Al­low her to ex­press her feel­ings. Do not pres­sure her into talk­ing

Ask her about her own re­ac­tions. She is the ex­pert at this time. Un­der­stand that she may not want to talk

Avoid at­tempts to over pro­tect or dis­tract her from the re­al­ity of the as­sault

Let her know you care and are hurt­ing with her; though don’t ex­pect her to look af­ter you.

Af­ter be­ing raped, many peo­ple feel to­tally ex­posed. One re­ac­tion to this is the need to keep to­tal con­trol over who knows and who doesn’t. Check with her be­fore you tell some­one what has hap­pened to her

What she wants might seem to change from one minute to the next – try not to take of­fence if she seems un­grate­ful for your sup­port.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to seek sup­port for sex­ual as­sault visit HELP at hel­pauck­land.org.nz or call the 24-hour helpline on 623 1700.

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