friendship

How do you deal when you find out your friend has been raped?

My best friend recently told me she had been raped last week, but she won't say much and she's really depressed. I know that is normal after something so big like being raped, but as a friend, what am I supposed to do? I've never experienced this issue before so I'm not really sure what to do, what to say, how to act, when to leave her alone, etc. 
Helpppp me 

"Listen without fixing." 

Somethings can't be fixed (or undone). She might not want to talk about it if she feels you might start giving her "advice" on how to deal with this. The trick is to "listen attentively without responding" (which can take a bit of practice since we're all so used to giving "advice" about how to "fix" things). The listening itself is the fix. 

It helps decouple the emotions from the event. The memory of the event stays the same, but the emotional reaction to the memory diminishes. 

When something really bad happens like this, people have a strong need to tell someone. They want to talk, they don't want to listen, they want you to listen.

And if they ask you, "What should I do?" you can answer, "I don't know." (I know this works because that's what someone said to me one time when I was really upset over something. I ranted on for a whole hour and all he did was listen. At the end I asked, "So what should I do about this?" and he said,--(thoughtful pause) "I don't know." So I thanked him for listening and said goodbye. Five minutes later I came back to him and said, "Why the hell do I feel better?")

I am not an expert counsoler in this area at all, and do hope others with better insight comment to your question.  I will say this - rape makes you feel dirty, you will think it was your fault, and it willl be with you for the rest of your life.  These are the feelings, among many others, your friend is experiencing.  It is never our fault, I think that is one of the strongest points to be emphasized.  

As with other posts, once again del677 has given good advice.  Be there for your friend.

talk to her. let her understand what had happened was not her fault. rape can happen anytime , anywhere. ask assistance from guidance counselor.

 

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