How to Help a Friend: Sexual Assault

How to Help a Friend: Sexual Assault

The process of recovering from a sexual assault or rape takes time. As a friend, your help during this process is essential. Survivors need a great deal of support and caring as they begin to address and survive a very frightening and violent experience. Friends and family can help by:

  • Listening and being available.
  • Believing and not judging.
  • Offering a safe place to stay or even staying with the survivor.
  • Recognizing that recovery takes a long time.
  • Respecting the decisions that the survivor makes.
  • Being gentle, sensitive, and respectful of the survivor's wishes for closeness or affection.
  • Dealing with your own feelings.

If your friend has been recently assaulted, please review the recommendations below for a list of steps you may want to discuss with your friend about obtaining further professional assistance.

Recommendations for Sexual Assault Reporting

  • Go to a place where you feel safe and contact someone who can help you. This may be a friend, family member, a Resident Assistant, campus police officer, the Project SPEAK office, or a crisis counselor from the Rape Crisis Center (405-943-7273).
  • Do not bathe, clean up in any way, or change clothing, if you plan to make a police report. If you must urinate, try to capture the urine in a plastic or glass cup for evidence testing. If you must change clothes, put each item in a separate paper bag and take them with you.
  • Try NOT to disturb (clean up or rearrange) the scene.
  • Think about whether or not to report the crime (all forms of sexual assault are crimes); it often helps to seek support from someone you trust while you make your decision.
  • Go to the Emergency Room to get health care and treatment. It is important to receive medical attention, whether or not you plan to report the crime to the police.
  • You can call UCO Police and report the sexual assault, EVEN if you don't want to prosecute or haven't yet decided whether or not to report the crime.
  • As soon as you have a quiet moment, write down everything that you remember about the assault, including a description of the assailant/attacker.
  • Talk with a trained counselor, understanding person, and/or the Project SPEAK advocate.

Statistics on Sexual Assault

The Project SPEAK office is here to assist you and/or your friend in finding resources or information that is needed regarding this issue. Please call the Project Coordinator for more information or to schedule an appointment at 405-974-2224. The office is located in Nigh University Center, Room 402. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. If this is an urgent situation or you need more immediate assistance, please call 911 or the UCO Police at 405-974-2345 or contact one of our community resources.

Contact Us

Project SPEAK
100 N. University Drive NUC 
Edmond, OK 73034
Phone: (405) 974-2224