How To Support a Sexual Assault Survivor

Believe the survivor when they confide in you. Listen, help and validate them as they process through their feelings. Let them know that you are open to talk about anything, even if it is uncomfortable.

Do not blame them, or yourself. Avoid asking “why” questions as much as possible. This often implies blame. Focus on their needs. It is very common for survivors to wait before sharing with people they love. Reassure them that they have your love and support.

Take the necessary steps to protect and ensure their safety. Encourage them to seek medical attention, or other University accommodations if necessary. Understand that they have the right to decide what steps they would like to take next. It is crucial for survivors to be able to make their own decisions in order to regain power over their own lives.

Discuss with the survivor their options and ask them what they want to do next. This may or may not include contacting a counselor, advocate, and/or the police. Reporting a sexual assault crime can be a very difficult process. It is not an appropriate option for everyone, but the Sexual Assault & Violence Prevention Specialist at CCSU can help you both navigate through their options.

You can get assistance by calling The Office of Victim Advocacy at 860.832.3796.

Take care of yourself

Educate yourself about sexual assault and the healing process. Realize when you’ve reached your own limitations. Find a supportive person or counselor with whom you can share your feelings so that your conversations with your student can focus on their needs.

Get Help

Seek immediate professional help on behalf of the student if they display any suicidal behaviors or if you are worried about their emotional or physical well-being by call the following:

Student Wellness Center


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7