Family and Friends
Common reactions for family & friends.
Anger | Some friends and family members’ initial reaction is to blame the survivor for the assault. They may ask questions like, “Why were you drinking with him?” or “Why did you let him in?” Such questions alienate the survivor. Anger may also be expressed toward the assailant. Often family members express the desire for revenge, which is often distressing for the survivor.
Guilt | Some friends and family members blame themselves, thinking they should have done something to protect the survivor.
Fear | People close to a rape survivor often are confronted with the possibility that rape could happen to them too.
Embarrassment | Answering questions about the assault from acquaintances may be embarrassing or shameful. Hearing details of the assault may be embarrassing as well.
Confusion | Some friends and family members may not know how to help. They may not have a clear idea of rape and how it affects survivors.
Rejection | Intimate relationships may be especially difficult for the survivor. Partners, family, and friends may feel shut out as a result.