It can be difficult for a sexual assault victim to talk about it. "Will they believe me?" "To whom should I speak?" "What will happen if I talk?"
There are many reasons to keep silent: myths and prejudices, fear of retaliation by the assailant, the feeling of being the only one in this situation, confused feelings toward the assailant, fear of the judicial process, fear of disturbing the lives of family and friends, and the feeling of being responsible for the event.
Helping a sexual assault victim is not easy. The person listening must be cautious of reactions, both her own and those of the victim, before delivering an opinion or initiating action.
Following are some suggestions:
- Listen attentively
- Believe the person
- Do not judge
- Do not ask biased questions
- Let the person say it in her own words
- Be attentive to the person's emotions and respect her pace
- Avoid strong reactions and control your emotions
- Put the blame on the assailant
- Check if the person is in any danger or if she has suicidal ideas
- Make sure that the person has a support network (family, friends)
- Check the available resources in the region and send her to them if needed
- If needed, go and get help
To learn more on how to help a sexual assault victim, go to:
Table de concertation sur les agressions à caractère sexuel de Montréal
The Quebec Coalition of Sexual Assault Centers (RQCALACS) and its members highlight, on Friday September 21st 2018, the 37th day of action on sexual violence against women by launching a new campaign: Ça me regarde!
C’est avec déception que nous avons pris connaissance du reportage où est diffusé un extrait d’une animation tirée du programme Empreinte – Agir ensemble contre les agressions à caractère sexuel. Le traitement médiatique qui a été réservé à ce thème délicat mais ô combien essentiel, met en lumière les défis que rencontrent les initiatives de prévention et de sensibilisation dans un contexte où les mythes et préjugés prennent parfois le dessus sur les droits de chacun et chacune de vivre une vie exempte de violence.
The Calacs launche the campaign #WeBelieveYou : « a plateform to commemorate the courage of thousands of women who at the time of the movement #BeenRapedNeverReported a year ago in November 2014 chose to tell their story or to denounce the sexual violence they had experienced. It is also a way to send a clear and unequivocal message to the victims: we believe you and to the relatives and loved ones: believe them», explains Nathalie Duhamel.