What Are Practical Do’s And Don’t For Others?
How you speak with a survivor makes a significant difference in the recovery process. Realize the healing power of your words. Proverbs 12:18 says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
-Don’t react with shock or horror. Respond with compassion.
-Don’t suggest the victim could have avoided it. Affirm that the victim is not at fault in any way!
-Don’t ask for details of the incident. Suggest the victim write down details for authorities.
-Don’t offer quick and simplistic answers. Encourage the victim with God’s unfailing love.
-Don’t press the victim to initiate immediate forgiveness. Refer the victim to professional counseling.
-Don’t criticize choices or decisions made by the victim. Strongly suggest the victim report the crime.
– Don’t infer that this was God’s chastisement for sin. Encourage medical treatment.
-Don’t change the subject. Urge the victim to write down her feelings.
-Don’t speak at all if you don’t know what to say. Comfort with your presence.
In all that you say and do, “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2)
Realize, regardless of your suffering, there are no hopeless situations, only those who have grown hopeless.
Ecclesiastes 9:4 says, “Anyone who is among the living has hope.” Therefore, never, never, never give up hope!
- Sexual assault centre launches new campaign about believing victims, not blaming them (metronews.ca)
- Choices (ssaitco.wordpress.com)
- Maria’s* story: sexually assaulted at the age of eight (capsaus.wordpress.com)
- Advocating for Survivors (ssaitco.wordpress.com)
- 27 Survivors Of Sexual Assault Quoting The People Who Attacked Them (buzzfeed.com)