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  • Writer's pictureMary Laird

Advise from a Survivor

For the survivors:

  • Reach out to someone that you know you can trust

  • Go to the nearest crisis center or hospital to get documentation of everything and make sure you are okay

  • Put your clothes in a bag and do not wash them or shower

  • If you decide to report the assault to law enforcement, take a friend with you to make it easier

  • If you are able to, go to law enforcement with an attorney

  • Try to go to the crisis center/hospital right after the assault occurs

  • Write down everything you remember, even if it is difficult

  • Find a support group or therapist, it is good to talk to someone to get help

  • Take pictures of bruises or anything that shows that this happened

  • Journaling- this is a great way to get everything out of your head and helps when you are not ready to talk to others

  • Feel all of your emotions without shame

  • Let others know your boundaries

  • Find ways to distract yourself- coloring books, reading, journaling

  • Know that you WILL be okay

  • It is not your fault

To Stay Safe:

  • Always let your friend know where you are going

  • Do not let anyone make a drink for you, even if you think you can trust them

  • Communicate your boundaries

  • -Nail Polish that changes colors if you have been drugged

  • -Strips to take with you to test your drink for drugs

  • Do not trust everyone- most rapists are someone that you know

  • Meet people in public, never alone

  • Be aware of your surroundings

  • Trust your instincts

  • Have a way to protect yourself (pepper spray, etc.)

For Loved Ones:

  • Avoid Judgement

  • Let the survivor take their time in telling you what happened

  • Give them space, but check in periodically

  • Allow them to feel their emotions

  • Listen and abide by their boundaries

  • Let them know they will be okay and it is not their fault

  • Let the survivor decide who to tell about the assault

  • Ask before offering physical support

  • Be patient

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