12/13/2021 - Friend in crisis- SA
I have a friend who opened up to me about being harmed by another peer while under the influence. They feel guilty and responsible even though they were abused while physically helpless which is of course not their responsibility. I want to help them in any way I can, but I'm not sure what to do because I know it's important I protect their confidentiality as well. I just don't want any other girls to get hurt by this boy and him to think it's okay to take advantage of inability to consent. I've tried looking around for resources specifically near where they were attacked but it's hard to anonymously report that way. What is the best thing I can do?
Hello, I'm so glad you decided to reach out about this because eventhough it might not have happened directly to you this is still a lot to process. The best thing you can do for your friend is to be there for them, even just holding their hand or texting to check in can mean a whole lot. I understand wanting to be the voice for your friend who has been suffering, but encouraging them to say something could be the most empowering and helpful way for them take that control back. They can call (360) 695-0501, which is the YWCA, a non-profit that offers support for women. They can connect you to other resources and people that should be able to help. Staying anonymous might not be possible, but the most important thing big is the safety/wellbeing of your friend and other people. You can offer to be there every step of the way, especially during that phone call which can be pretty nerve wracking. This is all up to your friend of course, it might be a long time before they're okay with the idea. Whenever they're ready, that's when they'll need support the most. Good luck, and as you're there to support your friend, we're here to support you so please feel free to reach out again.
hi, i'm so so glad you reached out to us!!! i know it's nervewracking when wanting to help someone but keep their confidentiality. i'm so proud of you for wanting to help out your friend in this situation, i could never imagine having to go through that. also kudos for looking for resources, super smart !!! there are more than a few things you can do in this situation, i'll do my best to provide some clarity/options. just remember that this is advice, and the best i can do is provide support. it sounds like you're doing this already, but i'd say one of the most important things is to keep their confidentiality. do they want to report this, or do they not? this especially is something that's really hard to talk about, so keep that in mind to respect their boundries. other than that, if i were in your shoes i would offer to be with them if they decide to seek medical/professional help if they would like you to be with them as support! it can be scary reaching out for help, i know because i've done it myself. the journey is less scary when there's a hand to hold. you can check in with them every now and then to see how they're doing. while it's not your job to be their therapist and fix their problems, you can still show them you care and want what's best for them, even if you may not know what that is. i know this because it helps me when my friends notice i'm down. while they and i know they can't fix my problems, them coming up to me and saying, "hey, do you need anything?" it shows me that i am loved and cared for.
I do have to mention that although we are anonymous and confidential, we are mandatory reporters. This means that when we have someone contact us and share information that includes anything along the lines of someone being hurt or hurting someone else, (or in this case something involving a situation where something is legally required to be reported, such as sexual assault) we have to report it to someone bigger than us. While we are a support line, we are not a crisis line. You may have someone reaching out to you to follow up on what you shared, and how to support your friend. In the case you are followed up on about this, there should be ways to help your friend while keeping yourself confidential! If you are reached out to, you can definitely talk to them about your privacy and/or concerns and they will do their best to help you and your friend!!
RAINN is the rape, abuse and incest national network where you can call or use their live chat to get confidential support to get more questions answered about seeking medical attention, legal information, and more. you can call them at 1.800.656.4673. (24/7!)
i'm not sure if you're in the Clark County area, but here's YWCA clark county sexual assault crisis line ! toll free: 1.800.695.0167. local: 360.695.0501. they are also 24/7, providing medical and emotional support to sexual assault survivors and even their families. they can provide support groups, advocacy, and more.
you can suggest these resources to your friend if they are interested, they're both available 24/7 over the phone!
thank you so much for reaching out to us, you sound like an amazing friend !!! :) i wish the both of you the best, and if you'd like you can follow up with me when i'm on my shift to tell me how it goes or if you have any questions, i'd be more than happy to !!! i'm monika, i'm here on mondays every other week and thursdays when i'm not here on mondays. (kinda confusing, sorry.) We are open mondays-thursdays from 4-9, and fridays from 4-7! If you contact us while we’re not open, we will get back to you asap once we open!
good luck, stay safe!!! have a great rest of your week!!! :)
I'm so sorry that your friend has gone through that, it's so hard to hear when a friend has gotten hurt like that, and I can't even imagine what your friend has gone through recently.
If you or your friend is comfortable with it, there are some confidential services such as End Harm Line at 1(866)363-4276, that is for reporting from people like you or your friend to call and report all anonymously. RAINN which offers confidential support, and YWCA can also help your friend too by offering counseling options. It's all up to your friend, and their comfort levels. TeenTalk is also happy to help as well to talk to and offer support. It is likely that if you talk to someone in an upper position in the boy’s life such as a principal, his boss, etc. and mention that it has to stay anonymous they will hopefully respect that while also taking it seriously.
Unfortunately I know people who have had to go through similar experiences, so that's how I know about things like that, hopefully it will work out alright for your friend and you.
You sound like a wonderful friend though. I hope the best for both of you, no one should have to go through what your friend has gone through, I hope that the perpetrator will get reprimanded for his actions as soon as possible.
Hi friend! thank you for reaching out and im very happy that you're trying to do why you can to help your friend and try to protect those around you. Reporting abusers is hard and i understand that and trying to keep it anonymous is even harder. We have a few resources on our website that would help reporting this anonymously. RAINN is a good website you can visit to get some questions answered by professionals while trying to keep it as confidential as possible. Their number is 1(800)656-4673. this is a big step and im very proud of you for being brave and wanting to help not only your friend but other people that might have to go through the same thing. Of course, there are other ways to report but unfortunately there isn't much confidentiality around that. If your friend chooses, they can go to the hospital where they can get medical care or an evidence kit. of course, the sooner the better but its understandable if your friend decides to not choose this option. The hospital will try to protect your friends privacy as much as possible meaning that only people they want to know will know. legally, the hospital must call the police but if your friend chooses to not interact with the police, they do not have to. Everything is optional and they get to choose what tests the hospital runs, who to talk to, ext. If your friend is afraid of their safety if they do report the crime, police can assist in the protection part of that. You are both so incredibly brave and i'm very proud of you for reaching out. I hope i was able to help you even just a little bit and i hope your friend can find some peace in their heart after eveything they have gone through. sending a lot of hugs and warmth <3 please stay safe