HOW TO DEAL WITH RAPE SURVIVOR
- IWB Post
- April 11, 2014
“Try to forget that incident.” – is what the rape survivor is told and suggested by loved ones. Rape is one of the most dreadful experiences and sadly in India a woman is raped every 22 minutes. There is a medical term ‘Rape Trauma Syndrome’ and it is certainly not cured by telling the victim ‘Calm down, forget about it.’
Though, there is no right or wrong way to heal. Everyone has their own way of healing. However, scroll down to find out 5 ways we all can deal with the rape survivor in case he/she confides in us. These suggestions are collected from various websites under Experts’ guidance.
1. Do not ask questions = Do not blame = Believe in her:
‘Why did you go there alone?’, ‘Were you drunk?’, ‘What were you wearing?’, ‘Where did he touch you?’, ‘Why didn’t you shout for help?’ – Stop the questions. The survivor is already under a feeling of guilt or blaming herself for the rape. Don’t add to the misery. Also, don’t tell ‘No, this can’t happen’. Believe in her words. She has shown trust in you and chose to tell you everything. So listen.
2. Tell her – ‘It is not your fault’
Let the survivor know that it was not her fault! Encourage counseling. Let her know that we as individuals are not ‘wired’ on how to deal with rape by ourselves and to seek help from professionals who are experienced in handling such cases.
3. Do not force her to file a case:
If she doesn’t want, stop forcing. Let this be her will. Reporting the case is good but this involves medical examinations, police inquiries, which mean speaking about the incident to complete strangers. Don’t judge her decision, support her and give her the needed time. May be after 2, 3 days of peace; again encourage her to file the case.
4. A Man can be a friend to her as well:
If you are a male and rape has happened to your female friend, don’t hesitate. Don’t take her to another female to talk to. You can be her ear. She is in a state of shock and may not trust any other men in her surrounding now, here starts your role. Respect her privacy and don’t force her to talk. This will help her regain the trust and she can come up with the talking.
Remind the survivor of where she is. Ask her to sit down and place her feet on the floor. Describe her surroundings to her, and ask her to do the same. Talk politely. Remind her to take deep breaths. Provide her the medication she has been prescribed, if not, consult a doctor asap.
REMEMBER – Rape can happen to anyone at any age and under any circumstance.
NOTE: If the rape victim is male, do not indicate that male rape is fake or that the assault didn’t happen. Men are sexually assaulted too. Know about Male Sexual Assault: http://www.bandbacktogether.com/male-sexual-assault-resources/