Tips for Support Persons
You have an important role to play in supporting your friend, family member, partner, or acquaintance on their path of healing. You may be unsure of what to do or how to be there for this person in your life. The most important tip for supporting a person who has experienced violence is to be present for them; tell them that you believe what they're telling you and it was not their fault. These simple gestures help them feel validated and less isolated.
You may have gone through something similar or have ideas for what this person should do next. Unless this person asks you to hear those experiences or advice, it is important to create space for them to share their experiences with you if they want to and make choices for their healing. Allowing the survivor to choose what feels right for them helps to restore some of the control that was taken from them.
Finally, you may be encountering secondary trauma yourself as you seek to support this person in your life. There are resources for your support as well, you will find their information below.
The Sexual Violence Center
(Serves Hennepin, Carver, and Scott Counties, but all are welcome to call)
24-hour crisis line: 612-871-5111
“Knowing What to Say to a Trauma Survivor” by Sarah Super