I had a call the other day from a friend of mine. Her friend had told her another friend had been raped; what could this friend do, what should this friend do, to support her?
It’s a really important question to be answered – because whilst many (most, I hope) people want to be supportive, sometimes that support comes out in unhelpful ways. And it’s important to be aware too of the responses that victims may have received already that were less supportive – so that those patterns and resulting beliefs aren’t reinforced.
In this short video I share my thoughts on being a supportive friend – and give some of those important ‘do not’s’ as well. Some of my so-called friends just weren’t up to the job; others were, have been, and continue to be, awesome.
Believe them, unquestionably. Hold space for them.
This video might be helpful for you to share with your friends as part of disclosing to them your story; it will help them know how to support you and to honour you for trusting them with the knowledge.
And so many people have said to me, the stats are shocking, that rape happens at all is shocking, but I don’t know how to help. They can share this video; so that when one of their friends is told by another that they’ve been assaulted, they are equipped with the knowledge of what, and what not, to do.
It has been proven that the most critical factor in trauma recovery is community; you can help by being part of that real-life support network for your friend. You can also put them in touch with the ReConnected Life Community where we provide a safe space for survivors to heal together.
Thanks Emily. The not knowing what to say or how to help is tough. I think this is going to be an invaluable resource for a lot of people.
All the best with your mission. You are an inspiration!