Sometimes when we think about sexual abuse...we think we don't know anyone who has experienced it....but that may not be the case. Almost one in five women and one in 71 men have, at some point in their lives experienced rape or attempted rape. Statistics don't reflect those numbers because 63% of sexual assaults are never reported. We know that 8 out of 10 victims knew their attacker.
IF someone has chosen to confide in you ...regarding their own case of domestic abuse or sexual violence these are things that the experts suggest that you do:
- “I believe you.” The most important thing to do when supporting a survivor is to validate their experience. Let them know you believe them.
- “It wasn’t your fault.” It is essential that a survivor understand they are not responsible for their assault or abuse. Be a supportive voice and remind them that they are not to blame.
- “I’m sorry this happened to you.” Mindful language is key: let survivors know that what happened was unacceptable and that you take their experience and feelings seriously.
- “Can I help?” Let survivors know you are there to them without being forceful. This allows survivors power of choice on whether to seek out your help.
- “What do you need most right now?” Give the survivor space to decide what comes next; there is no single right or wrong way for a survivor to respond to an assault or abuse
No matter where you live..the neighborhood, socio-economic status does not escape sexual abuse. Find the shelter in your area...know the hotline number you can give someone to get professional help. The easiest thing to do is write a check...or make a point of going out of your way and calling that shelter and asking what they need most...bedding, food, supplies of all kinds. These not for profit organizatioins need to feel the helping hands of the community to help people not in a place to help themselves.
This has been a community caring message brought to you by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, Broker Associates who do truly care about the residents of southeastern Wisconsin ...their lives and all things real estate.