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How to Help

Friends and family members of survivors of sexual violence often want to help a survivor through her or his experience but don’t know how. The resources below provide advice for friends and family about how to provide support without unintentionally increasing the stress that survivors experience, or otherwise doing harm.

A Guide for Friends and Family of Sexual Violence SurvivorsImage showing a cover page of A Guide for Friends and Family of Sexual Violence Survivors

This 23-page guide from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape contains a general overview of sexual violence. It includes some tips on communication, the common questions and concerns, the long-term effects, and how significant others can be affected.

As One Project: Rewriting Justice

This workbook (currently in development) is intended to help “ the capacity of friends and family to be effective advocates and allies to the survivor in their lives.”

Developed by the As One Project, the workbook is designed for parents of survivors but has helpful advice for every supportive person in a survivor’s life.

“Through addressing concepts such as resilience, empathy, self-compassion, and gratitude, we hope to empower parents of survivors to attain a greater sense of agency around their healing process so that they can, in turn, better support their child.”

Link to Workbook Website