Do You Know What To Say Part 3

Not alone

Not alone

I want to thank everyone who shared, with us the horrible responses they’ve heard when revealing their abuse to others.  I know it’s very painful to talk about, but our voices make a difference and people are listening.  Your courage never ceases to amaze me.

Today I am headed in a more positive direction.  I want to list some responses that might be helpful to those revealing rape or abuse of any kind.

  • I’m so sorry that happened to you
  • I believe you (A very big one. More often than not we aren’t believed)
  • I’m here to listen to as much or little as you’d like to share
  • What do you want to do next
  • Do you want to go to the police? Would you like me to go with you?

On a bit of a side note I want to suggest that you be careful about touch when someone is revealing abuse.  It might be an automatic response to want to hug us, or put your hand on our shoulder for instance.  Many of us can’t handle touch, and may even recoil at someone’s attempt to do so.  Just ask first.  Ask if you can hug us, or put your hand on our shoulder be okay with our answer if it’s “no”. We need to be able to say “no.”

If any of you have responses that you’ve found helpful or would find helpful that are not listed here, please let me know.  I will add them to a another post.

Have you had a good experience with revealing abuse?

There is hope!


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51 responses to “Do You Know What To Say Part 3

  1. I have had good experiences. I do not use/share any details. But when I comment or write about it the feedback has been acceptance and belief. I have been very lucky on that end. I appreciate you and your always kind ways Huck. Your world here is a safe one, and comforting one of acceptance and belief for many.

  2. This is brilliant! I actually got chills when I read the words “I believe you”. It is so critical to say that to a survivor. It is so important for their healing because in childhood, they were often told they were making it up. And it doesn’t happen enough. I might write a post about those three little words. :)

  3. The most important thing for me was being told “it’s not your fault.” Those four little words can truly change a survivors life. Growing up I was always made to feel like it was fault, so being told that meant a lot to me. My Therapist said to me, “thank you for trusting me enough to share your story” – that was also very helpful for me. The fact someone finally acknowledge that I was brave enough to share what was done to me really meant a lot.

  4. it’s a shame that the word abuse is so well known

  5. complicatedwaltz

    My (only?) great experience was courtesy my future husband. I will blog soon!!

  6. Now this is good stuff. Because it isn’t easy to know what to say. It is more about being ready to listen… and help… and believe what you are hearing even if you don’t want to.

  7. Tweeting this. Great post, as always!

  8. Sometimes – would you like to tell me about it? It’s not always easy to know if the person you are with wants to talk about it or not.

  9. I think the best experience I have had with sharing the abuse in my past is multi-fold. Primarily it has given me the opportunity to encourage those who are in those situations now or have recently gotten out. It can be helpful for a newly released person to talk to someone who has actually been there (like a positive “takes one to know one”). Also, it has helped me realize that I am not alone, that the feelings I have (even well after my experiences ended) are real and have been felt by others (like a positive “misery loves company”). :D

  10. Pingback: Three Little Words | Trafficked

  11. Pingback: “I Believe You.” Three Words That Can Change Everything — The Good Men Project

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