You have the power to be a first responder...

The support and understanding of friends and people in a position of trust can be very helpful to a sexual assault victim. Many victims worry about how their family, friends, and others will react. It is important to let the victim know right away that you care and want to help. There are some specific things you can do that can positively influence a survivor’s healing process.


  • Listen to survivor and protect their privacy

  • Tell them “it’s not your fault” and “I believe you”

  • Empower them to make their own choices

  • Refer them to SASO’s hotline or to medical attention, police or therapist

  • Let them know there is hope for healing

  • For further information, go to SASO's Supporting a Loved One Page

  • Visit 10 Simple Things You Can Do to support sexual violence survivors

  • Use the WGAC's helpful phrases guide


SASO offers periodic First Responder training to help friends, family and the general public understand the dynamics of sexual assault and oppression and how to best respond to a disclosure of sexual assault. See Training/Events for more information on upcoming trainings.




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