Supporting a friend

If a friend confides in you that they have experienced sexual assault, harassment or hate crime, they are showing a great deal of trust in you. There are a few key things you can do for them:

  • Listen. You may have lots of questions but don't interrupt your friend. Let them tell you what happened in their own words, and show that you are really listening to them.
  • Don't try to investigate, or question aspects of their account.
  • Ask them what they want to do - don't make decisions for them. Sometimes your friend might not be ready to come forward and seek support - don't force them, just let them know that support is there whenever they are ready.
  • Let them know that support is available if they wish to access it - direct them to this web hub or talk through the pages together.
  • If you are concerned about your friend, you need advice or you’re not sure what to do, you should contact Advice and Guidance or Counselling for confidential advice and guidance. You shouldn’t share your friend’s confidential information with anyone else unless you have a good reason.

Signpost your friend to the sources of support available.

Short guide to supporting survivors of sexual assault  (Rape Crisis)