Don't start searching for things your friend should have done differently. You are not alone; there are people who can give you the support you need. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
It is important that you not assume you know how he or she is feeling—almost any reaction is possible and completely normal. Seek out counseling or therapy for the child and the entire family. If you do all the problem-solving, your friend may miss opportunities to learn new ways of coping. As a friend, you may also experience similar symptoms because your friend's difficulties may stress you directly and strike personal chords with crises you have had in your own life. You may struggle with low self-esteem, which can be a result of the negative messages you received from your abuser s , and from having your personal safety violated or ignored. Existing studies, while being limited to selected districts and provinces, however provide a clear indication that many children in the country are exposed to violence. Let him or her tell you what he or she is comfortable sharing in his or her own time. Try to get the lopsided relationship back on more even footing. Support the child and the decision to tell, no matter what he or she says. Learn what to do in the event that you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse. Underreact to or minimize the information. Safeline What can friends and family members do to support survivors of sexual abuse? Insist your friend seek help if the crisis escalates to the point of being worried about your friend's safety or long-term well-being. You have a right to be taken care of yourself and you don't want to let your friend down by taking on responsibilities that you cannot sustain. Remember to take care of yourself—seek support if you need it. Often both survivors and their supporters struggle with feeling helpless and angry in the aftermath, and it can take some time to learn how to respond. If your friend refuses to seek help and the crisis appears to be worsening, you may have to seek resources. This can be found from the internet, from books, and again, get support from us for yourself if you need it. All are likely to generate new feelings of injury and anger, hurt and resentment, either on your part or your friend's. Your friend may need other forms of support, like dropping classes or changing his or her place of residence. Every eight minutes , a child is sexually assaulted in the U. Become familiar with resources you can recommend to a survivor, such as the National Sexual Assault Hotline However, survivors can find it difficult to talk to people close to them and often this is to protect them from distress. It is important for you to understand that it was the person that hurt you that should be held accountable—not you. Let your friend know he or she is not alone.
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