The Male Response

What to expect from your loved one

 Sexual Assault is a traumatic like crisis and it can overwhelm a person’s ability to cope. The months after the assault may be difficult for you and the survivor and may come with ups and downs. The recovery process can be slow, but it’s different for every survivor. No matter what you are feeling you should never try and persuade or make decisions for the survivor.

Your loved one has choices on what to do after his/her assault. The options are to

  • Call a rape crisis center for support,
  • Seek medical attention at a hospital,
  • Report the sexual assault to the police, or
  • Take no action.

Reactions of survivor 

Your loved one may have physical, mental and/or emotional damage from their experience. It is important that you don’t take offense to the way they express or don’t express themselves. Some survivors will talk to their loved one and other will not, but it is important for them to know you are there if they should need you.

 Recovery 

Recovery for all survivors is different. Some survivors will return to their daily habits right away while it may take weeks or even months for others to return to their day to day lives.

The healing process takes time. Be patient. Helpful messages to make sure your loved one is feeling your support are

  • You believe him/her,
  • You support him/her, and
  • You know the assault was not his/her fault.

 Don’t ignore your need for healing

When your loved one gets hurt, you also hurt. Many loved ones, especially men, blame themselves for not being able to protect their loved one from the harm they went through.

If you feel this way you should find a way to deal with your feelings by

  • Contacting SACIS or CAISA for services that are free and confidential,
  • Join a SACIS or CAISA counseling group,
  • Write your feeling in a journal to keep from bottling them up, or
  • Talk wit a trusted friend.