April is sexual assault awareness month
The number one predictor of how well survivors do in the long run is their level of social support.
How can you be of the most help? Listen. Believe them. Check in on them, even if you worry it will upset them (thinking no one cares upsets them more. They are likely already thinking about it anyway.) Tell them it is not their fault.
Don't align with the abuser. Don't interrogate them. Don't tell them what they should or should not have done or what you would have done.
Don't tell them to just "Get Over It" this message will set back their recovery a long ways and likely disrupt your relationship with them.
Remember healing is a process, not a race. There is no end point that a person can speed toward to be "done." Recovery may take months, years, or decades, and healing will likely be a lifelong process of integration. Be patient. Be kind.
Megan Garza, MA, LMFT is a certified Specialist in Treating Trauma at a Supervisory level and is Licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She specializes in work with sexual abuse survivors.