If someone tells you that they have been sexually assaulted, taking the time to listen to them can make all the difference. You don’t have to know exactly the right thing to say or what to do – just listen. Try to keep your own reactions more muted and allow space for their feelings, without judgement.
If it really isn’t the right time, arrange a different time and a suitable place to hear them out. If for some reason you are not able to listen, explain this and offer to help support them in finding support elsewhere.
You don’t need to try to solve the problem.- support them while they manage their feelings, explore their options and decide what to do.
It is really important to accept their choices even if it is not what you think you might do in their situation.
If you are worried about them, don’t ignore your feelings – get some support yourself to find out what to do next.