Supporting Those Around You

It can seem overwhelming to support someone who has experienced sexual violence. At Langara, we believe sexual violence response is everyone's issue and it is important for us to take care of each other.

If someone comes to you and discloses that they have experienced sexualized violence, respond in a way that supports their individual needs, and shows compassion and empathy. This is referred to as a trauma-informed approach. Below are some examples of how to respond with a trauma-informed approach:

  • Listen empathically and without judgement or interruption
  • Validate the individual's experience or reactions (show respect and compassion)
  • Reassure the individual that it is not their fault
  • Ask them if they feel safe
  • Help the person identify safe individuals within their existing support system
  • Provide information about on- and off-campus resources and help them connect to supports if they choose
  • Avoid giving personal advice
  • Do not call the police, unless you are specifically asked to do so – many people choose not to report and that's ok
  • Ask the individual what you can do to be supportive.

Know your limitations and boundaries. If you feel unable to assist someone, try to direct them to resources that can help. Know that you can access help too and we encourage you to talk to someone while maintaining confidentiality.

As Langara, we refer to this trauma-informed practice as the Listen, Respect, Refer approach. Read more below to learn more about these individual steps HERE.

Learn more by viewing the following websites below: