Sexual Assault and Dating Violence
When You Are Talking With Someone Who Is In Distress About A Violent Relatoinship...
- Safety and health issues are always your first concern.
- Listening is usually more helpful than offering advice.
- Avoid ultimatums . . . they'll back you and your friend into a corner that is difficult to get out of.
- Get additional help and advice for yourself . . . it's always OK to contact an RA or someone from University Health Service, University Counseling Center, Rape Crisis Service, or University Security.
- Don't disqualify yourself from being a good listener because you have not dealt with this type of situation before.
- Remember that the most important role you can play is that of a caring person who is there to listen to and support your friend . . . without feeling like you should take the problem on as your own.
- Don't make excuses for someone else's inappropriate behavior.
- Use statements that bring order to the situation and serve as a reality check, for example:
- "You know, I've had a lot of boy/girlfriends and none of them ever made marks on my arms like that."
- "Regardless of the circumstances, no one should ever hit you or throw things at you."
- "Just because someone has been drinking doesn't mean they aren't responsible for their actions 100% of the time."
- "No one has ever told me to dress or act a certain way."
- "You shouldn't have to stop hanging out with your friends because he or she expects you to account for every minute of your time."
- Stalking and domestic or dating violence are prohibited by the University of Rochester's Policy against Discrimination and Harassment.
- Help your friend make contact with the resources available on campus and in the community.