Sexual Assault how to help
If you are in immediate danger or feel unsafe, call 911.
YWCA 24-Hour Confidential Crisis Line
For all other YWCA Sexual Assault Services
Call 616.459.4652 (business hours only)
- Believe her/him.
- Reinforce that the assault was not her/his fault.
- Validate his/her experiences.
- Be supportive; don't over-react.
- Be patient. The survivor may express a range of strong emotions.
- Allow the survivor to offer or not offer the details of the assault; don't pry.
- Don't gossip. Allow the survivor to choose with whom s/he shares the details of the assault.
- Understand that the survivor might not want to be touched.
- Consider that this experience is only ONE part of this person's life. Don't let it overshadow other aspects and experiences.
- Avoid being overly protective or attentive. The survivor may want safety and company, but not necessarily want to be the center of attention.
- Don't take decision-making power away from the survivor.
- It is O.K. for you to have needs as well. Find support for yourself.
- Call the YWCA for additional guidance.