The Catholic University of America
How to Support a Friend

When someone has experienced sexual violence, chances are they will turn to a friend for help or support first. How you respond to your friend is very important. Consider the following ways of showing support:


  • Thank them for coming to you – this takes a great deal of courage and strength
  • Listen without judgment
  • Let them know what happened is not their fault
  • Don’t press your friend for details – allow them to share information when they are ready
  • Help connect your friend with University and /or community resources
  • Offer to go with them to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, to file a report or to the Counseling Center.
  • Be patient. It may take your friend some time to process the events of the incident and to decide how to proceed.
  • Consider going to a counselor yourself – it can be difficult supporting a friend through a traumatic experience.