1. Ask if we liked it.
No one likes being physically overpowered.
2. Tell us "it's just sex".
Rape is a crime of power, control, and extreme violence
where sex is used
as a weapon against someone weaker. It is not sex.
3. Tell us how we could have avoided
Believe me, if we could have prevented it we would have.
4. Make fun of us.
We have faced an attacker who sometimes is willing to
kill and have
survived. What's there to make fun of?
5. Tell us it would never happen
to you and why.
We didn't think we would become statistics either.
6. There's no need to avoid us.
We're still the same person you've come to care about
or learned to care
about. We've just been unspeakably hurt. We're not contagious.
7. Please don't treat us like we
have the plague.
Chances are we don't. Do you?
8. God isn't punishing us for some
misdeed by allowing this to happen.
God helps us heal. He doesn't send someone to hurt His
9. Don't tell us it was God's will
we were raped.
Do tell us it was God's will that we survived!
10. Don't disbelieve us.
According to survey respondents being disbelieved is
a survivor's greatest
11. Don't tell us that survivors
make up tales for attention.
According to The National Coalition Against Sexual Assault
reports only happen 2% of the time. That's a 98% chance
that no matter how
strange it sounds to you the rape isn't being fabricated.
12. Don't tell me not to talk about
Yes it upsets me to talk about it but that is the only
that I can sort through it.
13. Don't say, 'it happened on a
date, that's common".
When you say that it belittles me and my feelings about
It's not common because it happened to me and I'm not
14. Don't say "other people have
it worse off than you".
I'm not "other people". I'm me.
Some other suggestions for Partners
of Survivors that may help:
12. Don't feel you need to retaliate
against our attacker.
We know the perpetrator is capable of violence. Please
don't make us worry
about you being hurt. We'll feel more secure knowing
you'll remain in one
13. Don't blame us for what happened.
It's not our fault.
14. Don't tell us to "get over it".
We would if we could and we are trying our best. Support
us as we struggle
to find our way again.
15. Don't tell us to to put what
happened out of our minds.
It's not that simple.
16. Don't tell us "it's no big deal".
Rape is an enormous challenge to heal from. It haunts
even our dreams.
17. Try to understand our need to
If we disagree about safety issues in the future please
what may sounds strange to you may help us feel safe.
18. Don't say something like, "Well,
it's been six months (a year, 5 years
etc.) and ask if we're "over it"
Chances are that we may not be ready to go back to life
as it was. We may
never be ready and may have to create a new life for
ourselves as we learn
to be safe again.
19. Don't tell us we are weak because
it impacts our life.
We are stronger than words can describe.
20. Don't ask us what you are supposed
to do to get past what happened to
We aren't sure what we're going to do.
21. Don't ask us if we did anything
on purpose that led to the rape.
We didn't do anything except survive.
22. Don't ask us if we couldn't
have done something differently during the
We made the best choices we could to survive. We got
away without being
killed didn't we? That's proof our instincts were right.
Please help us
learn to realize that ourselves.
23. Don't tell us that it's not
rape because we knew the attacker.
Numerous studies tell us that our perpetrators are more
likely to be known
to us than unknown.
24. If you give us a hug and we
pull away please know that chances are
we're not rejecting you, we're
We may have a hard time being able to respond right now.
25. If we do pull away from you
please don't get mad. Tell us you care.
Chances are you'll get that hug after all!
26. If you're together and the survivor
has a flashback try not to be mad
at the survivor.
We hate the darned things too! Flashbacks are always
rough. It's difficult
to know what to do. It's got to be difficult to watch.
Any anger should go
the one who caused the rape and not the survivor who
has to put her life
27. Don't be afraid to talk to us
if we're upset.
Knowing you are there may be just what we need.
28. If we become suicidal please
don't take that as a sign of weakness.
Take that as a sign we're overwhelmed, trying to cope,
and need help.
29. Don't pretend rape doesn't happen
to people you know.
It does. Thank you for reading this to learn about it.
30. Don't get the idea rape just
happens to "those" kinds of people.
This crime happens to as many as 1 woman in 4. It crosses
economic and social boundaries.
31. Don't be afraid of a person
who was raped.
I promise as a survivor, the rape will effect you but
won't rub off on
you. The person you love is still the same person as
32. Don't deny your feelings after
finding out a friend was raped.
Call a rape crisis center's hotline and find out what
support is available
33. Do not tell us we should take
it as a compliment.
Rape isnt about lust or attractiveness, its an act of
power and force.
34. Do not tell us "Oh yeah, I know
a bunch of girls who've
We realize we arent the only ones but by saying that
it belittles how it hurts by making it just another
35. Do not tell a survior "Its no
We know otherwise.
36. Please don't tell us "Oh well,
you'll have other dates that will go better."
What happened wasn't a bad date, it was a crime.