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Information for Partners, Friends and Relatives
A friend, relative or colleague may confide to you that she has been raped or sexually abused. This may have been long ago or recently. It is important that the woman is allowed to make her own decisions. Sexual assault involves control being taken from the woman, so it is important that she begins to regain control as soon as possible. Support her, but let her make her own decisions. Do not tell anyone else about what has happened unless she specifically asks you to. You can suggest that she contacts Rape Crisis. Do not make her contact us; it needs to be her decision. You can contact Rape Crisis for support or information.
If the attack was recent
- Talk to her about obtaining emergency contraception.
- Talk to her about going to a clinic to be tested for sexually transmitted infections.
- Do not try to force her to report to the police. If the woman wants to report to the police that must be her decision.
- The effects of sexual assault can last a long time. Let her know you are there for her and if she wants to talk you are prepared to listen.
If the attack was in the past
- Do not blame her for not talking about the assault before. The time for revealing abuse needs to be right for her. Memories can be blocked and return later.
- Listen and support her.
- The effects of sexual assault last a long time. The effects include anger, guilt, and depression.
- The long term effects of child sexual abuse are extremely damaging. In adult life it can lead to depression, substance misuse, loss of self-esteem and an inability to trust people.
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Tel: 01296 392 468