Supporting a Friend/Student
Support for survivors can be essential in their ability to recover. Here are some suggestions for how to help.
- Be a good listener by being attentive and not passing judgment on what this person shares with you.
- Respect the survivor’s need for privacy. Be sure to tell the survivor before they start sharing if you have a College role that prevents you from keeping information confidential. Tell the person that you want to support them, and this support may involve sharing this information with people who can help. Please note, the only truly confidential resources on campus are the counselors at the Emmons Wellness Center and the clergy at the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.
- Believe the survivor. Reaffirm that trust by telling and showing the survivor that you believe what she/he told you.
- Remain patient with the survivor. Each person is different in how they cope and how much time it takes to heal.
- Help to empower the survivor. Instead of offering advice, ask how you can support her/him. Do your best to not pressure the survivor, and respect this person’s decisions. You may want to refer to this brochure, which has information about survivors' resources.
- Be there for the survivor. Having someone there as the survivor explores her/his medical, legal, and on-campus options can be comforting when faced with difficult decisions and interpreting processes and procedures. If the survivor has questions about the criminal justice process, talking with someone on the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE) can help.
- Be mindful of your own needs and be sure to take care of yourself. People in supporting roles can benefit from professional assistance by speaking to a counselor or clergy member.
Reference: Help a loved one. Rape Abuse and Incest National Network.
- 24/7 Confidential Hotline:
- Survivor Advocate Karla Aguilar:
- Title IX Coordinator Ruth Jones:
- Campus Safety Emergency Line:
- Dean of Students Office: (323) 259-2661