Everyone responds differently to sexual assault. Frequent responses include feelings of fear, distress, humiliation, anger, confusion, numbness, and guilt. It is important that survivors are allowed to experience and process through these feelings without the fear of having them invalidated or dismissed.
Guide for Friends
If someone has told you that they have been sexually assaulted, it’s likely to have been one of the hardest things they have ever had to tell you. It may have taken them weeks or even years to feel able to talk to anyone about what has happened. Respect the huge step they have taken and the trust they have put in you.
Guide for Partners
Whether your partner was recently assaulted or disclosed a traumatic experience to you from their past, it can be difficult to know how to respond. Remember that they have likely disclosed their experience to you because they trust you and may be looking for support. It is important to know that you do not have to go through this alone and there are many things you can do to help make your partner feel safe and supported.
Guide for Parents
As a parent it can be extremely difficult and overwhelming to hear that your student has been sexually assaulted. It can be hard to know how to act or what to say. The most important thing you can do is help them feel safe and supported. Students at Boston University have a number of resources available to assist them in dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault.