Supporting someone who has been sexually harassed:

A person who has been sexually harassed may struggle with some of the following feelings:

  • Fear of being disbelieved
  • Confusion over details of the event
  • Worry that they may be blamed for the assault occurring
  • Fear of exposing the assailant, if it happens to be someone they know personally
  • Minimize the severity of what occurred
  • Seeking medical care
  • Worry that their friends or family may find out
  • Fear of being seen differently, or treated differently after an assault

A person who has been sexually harassed may benefit from:

  • Having a friend or advocate accompany them to a medical or counseling appointment
  • Knowing that they are believed and supported
  • Listening, rather than offering suggestions
  • Encouraging to report, and being given the opportunity to own their own process and decision making regarding the incident

A person who has been sexually harassed should avoid:

  • Initiating future contact with the assailant
  • Showering, changing clothes, or eating if the student intends to pursue a medical examination shortly after an assault
  • Taking any medication, or self-treating wounds until seen by a medical professional

If you are a friend of a person who has been sexually harassed please be aware of the following signs:

  • Inward posturing
  • Extreme fluctuation in a person’s physical appearance or eating habits
  • Changes in a person’s feelings or attitude
  • Self- criticism
  • Guilt
  • Confusion regarding a sexual encounter