how to be there for a friend who was raped
March 30, 2008 8:01 PM Subscribe
What can I do to help a friend who was a victim of sexual assault?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A close friend of mine was raped by acquaintances this weekend and I'm struggling with how to help her. From what she remembers it sounds like she was drugged and then taken back to an unknown apartment before being raped, and waking up in the morning alone. Her boyfriend is also a close friend and had called me worried when his girlfriend didn't come home from the bar she had gone out to that night. And he called in the morning to see if I could come help out as moral support for him and his girlfriend.
We took her to the hospital yesterday for a full exam and she's already spoken to an amazing woman from social services who gave her information about the hospital's counseling services. She's receptive to the idea of using the counseling services; but she doesn't want anyone else to know about the rape, so besides myself, her boyfriend, and her best friend (who lives about 4 hours away from us) I don't think she'll have any friends to talk to.
She's on the fence about pressing charges, but knows enough contact information for the people involved that I think the police would be able to find them (she talked to the cops at the hospital, and her clothes were taken as potential evidence along with the results of whatever tests they did at the hospital). She doesn't remember everything, and the counselor told us that more things might come back and that we should encourage her to write everything down. It sounds like the people involved might do this regularly (she remembers video equipment and it doesn't sound like the apartment was anyone's house) and I hope she'll decide to press charges, but I think that's a pretty scary thing for her to think about right now and I absolutely don't want to pressure her at all.
I don't know how to talk to her about all of this though. I've told her that I'm totally down to talk to her about it if she wants, or just to come hang out with her and not talk about it if she wants that. But I don't want it to be this huge elephant in the room if she doesn't want to talk about it and I just don't know what the best thing I can do for her at this point is. Do I wait for her to bring it up? Ask how she's doing with it all? Some other option?
If anyone has any advice they don't want to share personally I've set up an email address: email@example.com