Copyright © The Center for Hope and Healing. All Rights Reserved.
21 George Street, Suite 400 | Lowell, MA 01852 | T: 978.452.7721 | 24-hour Hotline: 800.542.5212 | F: 978.458.2822
For Loved Ones
For family, friends, and partners
When a loved one has been affected by sexual violence it can be difficult to be supportive when you are also feeling traumatized by their experience. The Center for Hope and Healing (CHH) can help. All of our services are available to friends and family of survivors as well. CHH can help friends and family to process their own feelings about the incidents, and to offer support for trauma that they are experiencing. CHH can also aid family and friends in better understanding the reactions of a loved one and the best methods for being a supportive element in their lives. CHH does not need to be offering services to your friend or family member for you to seek free and confidential support from our support team. Be sure to remind the survivor that what happened was not their fault, and that they deserve help if they want it.
So your friend or loved one has been sexually assaulted. What now?
As a support person, it is important to remember that the violence experienced by your loved one has an effect on you as well. Sometimes we do not know what to say or do when we are confronted with this situation, and that is okay. The best thing to do is to make sure that the survivor has the support and control that he or she needs. While making suggestions is all right, do not pressure the survivor to make a decision. What they choose to do now ought to be based on knowing all the facts and options available, and you can help make sure your survivor has all the information necessary to make the right decision for themselves. As a support person, it is also important that you allow the survivor the time and patience they may need to heal. Remember to take care of yourself and get informed in order to make sure you are at your best when you are helping your friend.
Take a look at our "For Survivors" page to find more information about what your friend or loved one may be feeling and experiencing.
What will happen if you call The Center for Hope and Healing?
You have many options in terms of your next steps when you call us. Depending on your needs, we can make an appointment with a counselor for you, accompany you to the hospital or police station, and even support you by attending court hearings. We believe that providing a wide range of services is the best way to meet the needs of survivors and allows you to make the most informed decisions about your care. We can help you to work out what your best next steps will be and support you in your journey for healing.