How do I get someone to report a sexual assault?
Last Updated: 01/27/2020 at 5:10am
Katherine Aucoin, Transpersonal Counselling Psychology
I offer you compassion and support on your unique journey. I look forward to working with you to heal your emotional wounds and find more freedom and joy.
Top Rated Answers
You cannot force someone to report a sexual assault, even though you mean well it might not be the right thing to do in that particular situation. Instead, the best approach to take would be to thank the person for confiding in you and ensure them that you will always be there to support them. The next step you should take is finding out about organisations local to you that may be available to help you both through this challenging time. Rather than focusing on reporting the sexual assault, it could be advantageous to focus on healthily expressing your emotions, doing a pregnancy test and getting checked for any STIs.
As much as you may want to and as much as you may want to person responsible to be brought to justice, you can’t force someone to report a sexual assault because it’s a very personal, private, and traumatic experience and the process of reporting can bring up a lot of very difficult feelings and memories through interviews, exams, and court proceedings. What you can do however is support them as they heal from this experience, let them know that you believe them and are on their side, and stick by them if and when they do decide to report on their own terms.
Unfortunately you can't force someone to report something like this. While it may be the right thing to do, you person assaulted needs to come to be ready and prepared to do something like this. Sexual assault can cause PTSD. Having to relive this event over and over to explain the stories to all different people can be draining as well as painful for the victim. The best thing you can do is to support and love them in this time. You may not fully understand what they are going through but being there as a comfort is amazing!
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