A positive and supportive first response to a disclosure of sexual violence can be the foundation of someone’s healing journey.
It can be difficult to talk about sexual violence. When someone discloses to you, thank them for trusting you with their story. Let them know that they do not need to share any more than they are comfortable sharing. Allow them to express their feelings openly and without fear of judgment.
Offer them supportive messages such as:
- I believe you
- This is not your fault
- I’m here to listen
- Your feelings are valid
- It’s okay to not be okay
- You are not alone
- You get to choose what to do next
- I support your decisions
Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, support is available through your local sexual assault centre or Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence.
Learn more about how to respond to a disclosure.
If you want to learn more about how to respond to disclosures of sexual violence, AASAS offers First Responder to Sexual Assault and Abuse Training.