waterford rape and sexual abuse centre



For Partners Family and Friends

You have an important part to play in the recovery of the person who has been sexually assaulted or abused.  You can give the same comfort and support you would give to anyone in a crisis, be it due to bereavement, an illness or sexual violence.

The victim may have many different feelings – rage, helplessness, fear, guilt, anxiety, depression, etc.  It will be helpful if s/he has someone s/he can trust to listen and let her/his feelings emerge.  Don’t try to make her/him ‘forget about it’.  Let her/him talk, if s/he needs to.

On a practical level, you may be able to offer help with child minding, shopping or other household chores which the victim may find difficult to cope with.   Other practical support might include accompanying her/him to the doctor, the Gardaí or to court.

You must be aware that helping someone you love to cope with the impact of sexual violence will take a toll on you as well, and you may need to talk to someone about your own feelings and concerns.

© Martin Quigley

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