One of the most important aspects of supporting someone who has survived sexual violence is working to restore their sense of power and control over their body and their life.
When someone decides to sexually violate another person, they take away that person’s freedom to make decisions about their own body.
This can be deeply traumatic and have long-lasting consequences.
That’s why it’s crucial that a survivor of sexual violence have control over all decisions related to their recovery, big and small.
This includes things like:
when, where and who they disclose to;
any decisions related to their safety, physical and mental health;
if they want to report to police;
and what kind of self-care or community supports they need.
Only the survivor knows what they have been through and what is best for them.
As a support person, you can outline some of the choices that a survivor has following sexual violence and what those options may entail.
The goal is to empower the person to make informed decisions about what types of support they need and want to access. Making this world a better place for those who have survived sexual violence, is a collective effort.