How to Support a Survivor

  • Call 911 if assault is in progress
  • Believe the victim/survivor.
  • Check for injuries or medical needs.
  • Ensure safety.
  • Don’t judge.
  • Be supportive, empathetic, and sensitive.
  • Expect different behavior and reactions (anger, tearful/crying, laughing, calm, collected, detached/numbness).
  • There is no “normal response” to violence, abuse or trauma.
  • Respect personal space (don’t touch or hug).
  • Don’t pry. Remember you are NOT the investigator.
  • Avoid asking unnecessary questions. Instead ask “What do you need?” or “How can I help?”
  • Contact service providers for consultation and support.
  • Guide to appropriate resources.
  • Respect privacy (tell only those who need to know for reporting purposes).