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Rape Counseling/we didn't know she was raped

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Question
i have a friend who was a victim of rape.she said it happened months ago. she kept it all by herself and until now she's not telling us what really happened. she's pregnant by the way. how can i help her?

Answer
Dear Juvia,

My name is Susan and i would like to try help you with you friend if i can.

Firstly can i say that you have started to help your friend by looking for advice.  Rape is a very difficult subject to approach especially when the victim doesn't or cannot speak about the ordeal.

Your friend must have so much going on in her head right now and the best thing you could do for her is to listen and be there when she needs to talk.  She will be blaming herself for what happened.  Try to get her to open up to you about it but don't force the subject as we don't want her to clam up and just bottle it up even more than she is at the moment.

Whats best for a rape victim is to talk about it. Speaking to someone whom they trust is better at the start as you could then help build her up to speak to someone about this attack but again it cannot be forced.

If it happened months ago and she has opened up to you now then she must be crying out for someone to help her and she obviously trusts you.  Try to find out who it was if she knew as sometimes victims know there attacker, talk her through her feelings especially now that she knows she is pregnant.

My advice to you would be to listen when she needs to talk and try to get her to open up to you but in a gentle way the more you know about the attack the better prepaired to help you can be.  Realistically these people should not be allowed to get away with doing this to someone else but it's upto the victim to change that and that can only happen with alot of love and support from family and friends.

Be there for her,  tell her she is NOT to blame,  let her know how wrong this has been and that there are people and groups out there who can help her come out the other end but it is at her pace.  She can still report this to the police but its better evidence wise to report it straight away but its her choice.  She needs help to deal with all the feelings about the rape and the fact she has become pregnant because of the attack.  How does she feel about the pregnancy?  Help her to look at things realistically and help her to open up if not to you then to someone else.

Your friend is a very brave woman she needs to hear that and you sound like a really good friend.  Continue to do what you are doing and try to help her seek out help when she's ready, until then be there, be understanding and be patient.

I hope this has helped you to help your friend.  please let me know how it goes.

Susan

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susan O'neill

Expertise

I can answer any question about rape and domestic violence. I can answer how they feel inside. I can help when it comes to suicide attempts. I can give them advice on where to go for help.

Experience

I was raped at the age of 17 i am now 37, and i went through 6 years of being a punch bag. I had my front teeth kicked out of my mouth. I had a really hard life but have come out the other end

Organizations
I am a Jehovah's witness

Education/Credentials
I am not qualified i just have experience in this field and want to help people find the proper help and talk to them about how to cope with the feelings that come with these things.

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