Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

How to Respond to Someone Who Discloses Victimization

  1. Believe his/her experience without question.  Do not blame the victim.  Reassure him/her that the responsibility for the abuse rests solely with the offender.
  2. Respect his/her fear.  The offender often threatens, manipulates, exploits or bribes the victim.
  3. Accept his/her strong feelings.  Be supportive.  Have an attitude of acceptance.
  4. Listen without making judgments.  Do not criticize his/her actions or feelings.
  5. Protect the victim's privacy.
  6. Care about his/her well being.  You may need to cope with some difficult emotions of your own.  The victim desperately needs your calm strength at this time.

--Courtesy of Lancaster YWCA Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center--