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Heartland Community College

How to Help a Friend

You can take an active role in helping a friend or family member who is a survivor of sexual violence.

Immediate Support

  • Make sure your friend or family member is safe.
  • Help them secure medical services.
  • Offer to be with them or to call a support person.
  • Offer to call the police (either 911 or the non-emergency number).
  • Offer to report the incident to the College's Title IX Coordinator. 
  • Offer to call victim advocate services for assistance with immediate needs.

Ongoing Support

  • LISTEN to what your friend tells you. Know that talking about what happened usually takes a great deal of strength and courage.
  • BELIEVE what he or she has to say. People rarely make up stories about sexual violence. Reinforce that they are not to blame.
  • SUPPORT your friend during this difficult time.  The recovery process can be slow. 
  • RESPECT your friend's privacy and confidentality.  Do not share anything with anyone without your friend's permission.
  • CARE for yourself.  Seek help to deal with your feelings about what happened.