HOW YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS MAY REACT IF YOU TELL?
The people who care about you may have certain reactions to cope with in response to your disclosure to them. How family members or friends respond to you is very important to you and being able to anticipate certain responses may better equip you for your disclosure. Below are a few points that may prepare you.
When you need to talk, other people may not want to listen.
Some people may want to make decisions on your behalf, not allowing you to make them.
Even though you did nothing wrong, parents may set boundaries for you to protect you and seem over involved.
You may only need comfort and people will want to push you for more information on your story.
You may be prepared to share, yet people may avoid you as they do not know how to handle the situation and help.
Close friends and loved ones may feel this way and behave in these above points as they feel that they should have been able to prevent the abuse or protect you in some way, a lot of the time they are angry at not being able to help before. If the people you love do not understand, try and educate them about this occurrence, open their eyes, help them to help you.
If not, talk to someone else about your experience, there is always someone there.
Contrary to the above responses and the more hoped for response from family and friends is that they surround you with love and comfort. This way you will achieve feelings of safety and reassurance along your path to healing. It is very important to have a support system along your way to becoming a thriver. Your family and friends can provide you this support.
Adapted from an article from Association Of Alberta Sexual Assault Services