When a person is raped, she may have the worst feeling of her life and she will want to be alone without anyone’s presence. The victim will be in the most dreadful state and she may feel angry, guilt, numbness, confusion, fear, anxiety and shame. He loved ones can make her come out of the situation with some support to her. The way they speak, the way they behave will make the victim feel safe and better. When they feel like someone is caring for them, they will feel secure and will recover faster rather than recovering themselves. People around her can help them recover faster and also put them in dark forever. It is the way they speak and behave to them. When a victim is treated politely and with care, they will feel light and will want to recover fast but at the same time when we take on the rude behavior and criticism them for the incident, it will make them feel as if they pulled him to do the rape, which will make things worse and so they will want to keep strangers away and replay the situation they were in on that particular time. So there are certain things which should be told at that time and there are certain things which should be told. Even the most well meaning people may lose their mind and ask the wrong thing at the wrong time. It’s really hard to know what to say at particular time and what not to say.
Here are some of the ways NOT to help the RAPE victims,
- Don’t guilt or pressurize the victim to report the rape. It’s is up to her discretion to report or not to report the rape to the police. You can encourage the victim to do so, but never use guilt or pressure as a motivator; she may be going through a lot of grief, pain and guilt about the rape. With the intension of helping her, don’t make her feel worse.
- Do not imply or outwardly criticize her for not resisting the attack. It is never her fault, no matter what. This will make her thing that she was the reason and so she will lose her mind.
- Do not tell her that she was in the wrong place with a wrong guy; the victim should have known better. This will make her feel that she is the reason for the incident.
- Do not ask the victim about her costumes and what she was doing during the time of the rape. This implies that the victim should be blamed for behaving improperly. A question like this will make her feel that she was the culprit and when she gets a thought like this, while she is undergoing a bad nightmare, may make her take worst decisions.
- The victim can be anyone, not only drunken chicks. So don’t judge the situation of the incident by your own and pounce on the victim. Any one of any age can be raped. It’s not only teens who should be raped. Try to understand the situation and listen openly to the victim and then try to convince them rather than criticizing them for the incident. Most of the time we may be wrong and the victim may feel dirty about the wrong decision. Our wrong decision may lead their way to take wrong decisions.
- If the victim does not want to take about the rape, do not ask her more or push for the details. This will make them more uncomfortable than surviving a rape. They may be thinking it as the worst nightmare and will not want to replay it in their mind, and so when they don’t want to share about the incident, don’t ever compel them to do so.
- Don’t imply that she is misremembering the situation and she is lying. When a victim is talking about sexual violence, it is not the time for a debate. It will make them feel alone because she may think that no one is there to support her.
- Do not frighten them. When your loved one is raped, there are chances that she will feel jumpy and startled under the best circumstances. So do not try to fool them or touch them from behind. This will make them mood off and bring the flashbacks of the rape.
- Do not be offended if your loved one does not want you to touch her or be close to her. Touches may trigger the flashbacks of the rape. Ask each and every time before hugging them or holding their hand, if they are comfortable when you hold them. Do not assume that they will always feel comfortable with your touch.
- Do not take your feelings on the victim by saying that you were not able to protect them from a violent sexual assault. This can cause an unpleasant feeling in you and it’s not the victim’s responsibility to comfort you about how the rape makes you feel.
- Do not expect too much of yourself. The victim needs different types of support from different persons. You cannot be the sole individual to make her recover from the rape.
- Do not speak for your loved one, let them speak about that. Speak until and unless, she asks you to do so. Let her speak to the doctors, family and police’s questions.
These are some of the way you should not behave to the rape victims because this will make them feel uncomfortable and may start keeping you away. They need support but not pain. They are coming out of a nightmare and at that time if we make it more dreadful, they will find it more difficult to digest and come out of the situation.