I know a victim

Helpful attitudes when being told about an experience of sexual violence


Learning that someone you know has been a victim of an act of sexual violence can be very difficult to hear, especially if that person is close to you. Many people do not dare to reveal what they have gone through. They are often afraid that others will judge them or refuse to believe them. Be aware of your own emotions when you are trying to help a victim and respect their needs.

When someone tells you about their experience of sexual violence, the way you react can have a big impact on their recovery. Listening to them, believing them, and supporting them in their decisions will encourage them to regain control of their life. If, on the other hand, they feel you are judging them or diminishing their experience, it could cause even more damage.


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Sexual Violence Helpline


You may feel sad, angry, powerless or all three. When someone has been a victim of sexual violence, it affects everyone close to them. Maybe you know the assailant, maybe you’re worried about the victim’s safety, or maybe you are a survivor of sexual violence yourself. Whatever you are feeling is a normal human response, and you have the right to ask for help for yourself if you need it. The counsellors at the Sexual Violence Helpline will help you get through this difficult time and suggest ways to support the victim.


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To talk to someone, obtain support or find out what resources are available to you, call one of our Sexual Violence Helpline counsellors at 1 888 933-9007.