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Counseling and Psychological Services

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Kansas State University
Counseling and Psychological Services
1105 Sunset Ave, Rm 101
Manhattan, KS 66502

Monday - Friday: 
8 am - 5 pm

866-793-8010 (fax)

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K-State Survivors of Sexual Assault Speak Out

One out of every five college students will be sexually assaulted or an attempt will be made on them. What if it was someone you know? How do you talk to a friend or family member who has gone through sexual trauma? What do you say? What should you not say? As caring people we all want to respond in a multitude of ways when someone we love is harmed; however, often in the throes of our emotional reaction we forget the needs of the victim.

Survivors appreciate it when you do:
  • Listen and reach out
  • Ask what the survivor needs
  • Hugs are welcome, but ask for permission first
  • Acknowledge the weight of the assault
  • Recognize how significant of an impact the assault has on the survivor's life
  • Remember that recovery is a process and the survivor will not be "better" overnight
  • Be understanding of behavioral changes as they occur over time
  • Raise awareness about both sexual assault and the recovery process
  • Stand up for yourself and others
Survivors appreciate it when you don’t:
  • Blame the survivor by implying they were somehow at fault
  • Minimize the situation by saying things like, "It will be O.K." or "You'll get over it." Comments such as these may cause more harm than good. Sometimes saying nothing is best
  • Force the survivor to talk about the attack
  • Act like a counselor. Just be a friend
  • React violently by threatening to harm the perpetrator
  • Survivors are reaching out to you for a reason; respect that reason by not bringing up your own problems

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K-State Survivors of Sexual Assault Speak Out (pdf)