Ask The Experts
How do I convince a friend to come forward about sexual assault?
First, it's important to understand that individuals who are sexually assaulted feel many different emotions when trying to process their assault. For some people, one of those emotions is a sincere fear or discomfort with reporting. He or she may fear retaliation, may not want to relive the details of their assault, or may simply not want to go through the months and sometimes years associated with reporting. You can be supportive by ensuring your friend is safe from further harm and injury. Help him or her determine safety risks and listen to your friend’s concerns about reporting to make sure they have correct facts. You can also provide him or her with information on how to report by contacting a number of resources: Victim Advocates at 912-767-3032, the Chaplains at 912-767-8666/8667, the Rape Crisis Hotline at 888-241-7273, or www.preventsexualassault.army.mil. If your friend still chooses to not report, it's important to continue to listen and be supportive, as well as encourage your friend to seek help.