Support someone else
If someone you know, such as a friend or family member, tells you they have been raped or sexually assaulted, they may need immediate medical attention and support.
- Help to get them to a safe place and assure them of your support.
- If they are injured, suggest they seek medical attention – call 999 or 112.
- Call the National 24-Hour Freephone Helpline at 1800 778888 for free & confidential support and information on their options.
What you can do to help
If someone is telling you about what has happened to them, it is because they trust you. For that reason, you are very important to them and what you say and do matters a lot. Below are some points that may help:
- Offer your support and attention: One of the most important things you can do for a survivor of sexual violence is tell them that you believe them and you are there for them. Another invaluable help is simply to listen and accept what they are saying.
- Don’t blame: A person is never responsible for being assaulted.
- Be understanding & non-judgmental: Survivors may have problems with everyday things like eating, sleeping and concentrating on work or study. This is because they are traumatised and there are a wide range of different ways this can be expressed. Don’t expect them to be back to their usual selves quickly – try to understand
- Let them make their own choices: Sexual violence was forced on them so it is vitally important that you do not take away their decision-making powers or pressure them into any actions or choices. Don’t interrogate them or push them on their actions – it is up to them to say what they need to do. You can find out what options are open to them, but let them decide what they want to do.
We have put together some resources that may be useful for you or the person you are supporting.
You can find out about options and supports after rape, sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence in Ireland in our online guide: Finding Your Way after Sexual Violence
This guide also has a section for supporters and how you can support someone following sexual violence
How we can help you
It is important to acknowledge that those supporting survivors of rape & sexual abuse can themselves be upset by the experience and may need support. You can contact the National Helpline 1800 77 8888 at any time to access support and information. You can also use our webchat support service to get confidential support one to one via online chat.
The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre provides a limited counselling service for families, friends and those wishing to support clients who are attending the Centre.
With the client’s permission, a person who wants to find out about the effects of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or childhood sexual abuse and how best to help can have up to three support sessions in the Centre. These sessions are always provided by a therapist other than the one the client is attending and can also be useful in offering support to the family member or friend themselves. You can contact our counselling department on our National Helpline 1800 77 8888 or email email@example.com.
Support from DRCC
The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is a national organisation offering a wide range of services to people who are affected by rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or childhood sexual abuse. These services include:
- The National 24-hour Freephone Helpline,
- Webchat support,
- One to one counselling & therapy,
- Accompaniment to court and Garda stations as well as Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU)
- Helpful resources
- Outreach services, specialised training, awareness raising & campaigning, youth programmes & outreach and policy & advocacy work.