Normalising Your Reactions

It’s normal to experience some severe emotions if someone you care about has shared with you that they have been raped. Your reactions may commonly include anger, disgust, blame, fear, guilt at not protecting her, and helplessness. You may cope better by knowing some of what she is experiencing and by knowing that her reactions to the assault are normal, so have a read of some of the other resources around this site.

You are encouraged also to recognise your own needs and feelings and make sure you also look after yourself, so you can support her too. Talk to someone about your feelings – either someone she is comfortable knowing or a counsellor.  Let her know that you are talking about it as this will keep her in touch that you too are having your own reactions to it. In time you may be able to talk together about the impact the assault has had on your relationship/friendship/family.

Always remember though, that ultimately this trauma has happened to her and she is likely to be experiencing more of the same shock, disbelief, sadness and anger that you are. You will be on a similar healing path, although at different places and in different phases most of the time.

Learn more about how to help others – whether they be children, youth or adults.