At Marquette, we know that 80% of student victims of a violent crime go to their peers to get help and talk about the incident and do not seek out further services.
A victim could easily come to you rather than other offices like the Counseling Center, Public Safety or Student Health Services.
Here are a few suggestions on how to respond should a friend confide in you about an assault.
- DO listen and allow the friend to say everything s/he wants.
- DON'T ask questions that are judgmental. It doesn't matter where the assault occurred, whether or not they fought back, or if they were drinking - it is NEVER the victim's fault.
In every sexual assault, the perpetrator is 100% responsible for their actions.
You may think she made a poor choice, but no matter what choice they made
they did not deserve or ask to be sexually assaulted.
- DO tell your friend that you want to help. Encourage your friend to consider using resources available on campus and in the surrounding community that offer safety and support.
- DON'T give the victim unsolicited advice or try to tell the friend what s/he must do. It is okay to encourage actions but allow the victim to take control and decide how to proceed. Regaining control is a critical part of healing and the victim must be allowed to direct their own recovery so be supportive of their decisions.