April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month!
Use Your Power! Come out to our events during Sexual Assault Awareness Month #saam to learn more so you can #recognize dangerous situations, #support a friend, or learn how to #intervene. Tweet & instagram our hashtags. Ask for consent every time in every sexual encounter. Tell us about it at #iaskforconsent! Read about all our events at www.udel.edu/saam. Call Student Wellness at 831-3457 if you have questions about the events.
Helping a friend who has been assaulted...
If someone you know has been sexually assaulted, the following are steps you can take to provide appropriate help and support to the victim/survivor:
- Listen, be supportive and non-judgmental. Don't let your own emotions get in the way of your response. Understand that the survivor may be at a very different place emotionally than you would expect her/him to be. Survivors experience a wide range of reactions and emotions to sexual assault.
- Make it clear that the sexual assault was not the survivor's fault.
- Let the survivor choose which details to share with you. Don't press for information.
- Let the survivor decide what actions to take to help her/him regain control. If you are uncertain what the survivor wants from you, ask.
- Offer options. Suggest calling and talking with an S.O.S. victim advocate, available 24 hours/day, who can explain all the options in detail, accompany the victim to these options, and provide crisis care. To reach S.O.S., call 302-831-2226 and ask for S.O.S. They will take a 1st name & phone number, page the advocate on duty who will call you back within 10 minutes. Other options to suggest are calling the police; seeking medical attention at ChristianaCare Medical Center, the Student Health Service, or Planned Parenthood of Delaware. If the victim does not wish to speak to an on-campus victim advocate, he or she may utilize ContactLifeline by calling 302-761-9100 or 1-800-262-9800. The victim may also wish to seek counseling at the Center for Counseling and Student Development.
- Suggest that s/he tell trusted others about the assault (family, close friends, significant others) in order to broaden their network of support.
- Refer your friend to this website or the list of Frequently Asked Questions about sexual assault and specifically to the information listed on the page about If you are victimized. If s/he seems resistant to help, you may want to read this page yourself, to get more detailed information about the options available to her/him.
Providing support for a survivor of sexual assault can be very emotionally painful and draining at times. Furthermore, if you have been a survivor of sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse, it can stir up your own feelings of victimization. Either way, as a helper, don't be afraid to call S.O.S. or the Center for Counseling and Student Development for emotional support for yourself. Make sure that you have an outlet for your feelings. It is also very important that you know your limits. If you can no longer provide the kind of or amount of support that the survivor is needing, try to help her/him get to these other resources as you establish your own helping boundaries. This step is healthy and important. If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be in good shape to help others.
Read more about supporting a survivor and yourself.
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