What Can You Do?

How to Help a Friend

If you know or suspect that someone you know is or has been a complainant of sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship violence or stalking there are things you can do to help:

  1. Always believe them. It is important that they feel supported during this time so assure them that you believe what they are saying.
  2. Ask how you can help. It’s not necessary for you to know the details. They may not want to talk so simply ask what you can do to support them.
  3. Reassure them that what happened was not their fault. They did nothing wrong.
  4. Let them know that help is available and provide them with contact information found on the Reaching out for Help page.
Become an Active Bystander

A bystander is someone that is around while an incident is occurring but may not be an involved party. Bystanders have the power to speak up and say or do something (without putting their safety at risk) to stop a situation from occurring. Below are a few things that you can do to help someone in need:

  1. Call 911 if there is immediate danger.
  2. Speak up. Sometimes just by calling someone’s name you can stop a bad situation such as a friend attempting to drive a vehicle while drunk.
  3. Don’t become an audience. Don’t cheer on the negative behavior or encourage it to continue.
  4. Show respect. Avoid making derogatory comments towards a group of people and encourage others to do the same.