What to say to a survivor sexual abuse


7. “What happened to you is real.”

“I wish somebody had told me how real it was. How bad it was. I was drugged and didn’t remember much, and tried to push away what I did remember. Three weeks later, I tried to take my own life.” — Julie C.

“I would have loved to been told that it was serious. That it was a real issue and they believed me. I was told it was common for girls, and that I just needed to grow a backbone and deal with it. I was told I was imagining things. I was told I should have said something sooner. There was no support and it was really frustrating and discouraging for me. That was all from my parents, and it made it difficult to tell them things in the future.” — Kaitlyn R.

8. “This doesn’t define you.”

“‘This doesn’t define you.’ For me personally, I had multiple incidents close together. I’ve found it difficult to heal from it, and it has taken a lot of energy. Sometimes it seems like it’s the only thing I do. I just need that reminder that this terrible thing that happened is not the only thing in my life. Being a victim/survivor is not my only identity.” — Robyn C.