Reference: Pandora's Project (

What to say to a sexual abuse survivor:
I'm sorry this happened to you.
It wasn't your fault.
You survived; obviously you did the right things.
Thank you for telling me.
I'm always here if you want to talk.
Can I do anything for you?

What NEVER to say to a survivor:
It was your fault.
You could have avoided it had you ____________.
It's been so long! Get over it!
You wanted it.
It's not that big of a deal; it happens to lots of people.
I don't believe you. (that's the very worst thing to say)

DO respect him enough to not pity him.

DON'T assume she does or doesn't want to be touched. Some people can't stand a hug at this point; others can't make it without one.

DO comfort her. Bring a cup of tea and a blanket. Play soft music. Make the environment comfortable.

DON'T try to solve all the problems for him. He has had her control taken away from him; try to avoid doing that again.

DO offer to accompany her to her first therapy session.

DON'T demand to know every detail of the rape or abuse.

DO allow her to tell you as much or as little as she needs to.