Things You May Be Feeling as a Friend or Family Member

It’s very difficult to learn that someone you care about has been sexually assaulted. You are likely to experience many feelings.  Some of these may include: anger, anxiety, fear, confusion, disbelief, guilt or sadness.  You may even know the perpetrator.  This can cause even more shock, anger or confusion.  It’s important that you don’t ignore your feelings.  It’s also important that you don’t put the survivor in the position of having to care for you.  If possible, talk with another friend or family member.  You can also call Michigan’s Sexual Assault Hotline, your local sexual assault service program, or a Child Advocacy Center. Most of these programs provide support services to family and friends of survivors too.

Supporting a survivor of sexual assault or abuse is a very important job, but sometimes it is not easy and can be emotionally heavy.  That’s why it’s very important that you take good care of yourself too.  Try to think of things you do that bring you joy and energize you and practice them as often as you can.