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Sexual Assault how to help

If you are in immediate danger or feel unsafe, call 911.


YWCA 24-Hour Confidential Crisis Line
616.776.RAPE
616.776.7273

For all other YWCA Sexual Assault Services
Call 616.459.4652 (business hours only)


  • Believe her/him.

  • Reinforce that the assault was not her/his fault.

  • Validate his/her experiences.

  • Be supportive; don't over-react.

  • Be patient. The survivor may express a range of strong emotions.

  • Allow the survivor to offer or not offer the details of the assault; don't pry.

  • Don't gossip. Allow the survivor to choose with whom s/he shares the details of the assault.

  • Understand that the survivor might not want to be touched.

  • Consider that this experience is only ONE part of this person's life. Don't let it overshadow other aspects and experiences.

  • Avoid being overly protective or attentive. The survivor may want safety and company, but not necessarily want to be the center of attention.

  • Don't take decision-making power away from the survivor.

  • It is O.K. for you to have needs as well. Find support for yourself.

  • Call the YWCA for additional guidance.

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YWCA West Central Michigan | 25 Sheldon Boulevard SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Email Us | Phone: 616-459-4681 | Fax: 616-459-5423
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