Not that we want you to get used to rape! We really want you to fight for equality & free women from all the boundations & trauma that our society has set up for women. We want you to free her from our patriarchial thoughts & attitude & we want you to make this world a safer place for women so that crimes’ like rape don’t occur. But till the situation change, it’s time that you learn, how to behave with ‘THE BRAVE RAPE SURVIVORS’. “I was raped” – If someone confesses so, people do not know how to react to it. While some people overreact to it, there are some who take it casually. Both these behaviors can be disappointing for the victim. So, here are some tips to tackle such situations. • Don’t attack the victim with a barrage of questions – When someone confesses about this, don’t attack him/her with your questions like “What? When? Where? How? Why? Who? This may scare them more. Be calm to this situation. • Be a good listener- You should learn to listen rather than to interpret him/her based on your own doubts. Let him/her speak whatever he/she wants to say and don’t judge them and jump to conclusions in. • Never say “It’s your fault” – Never blame the survivor for the mishap. Repeat after me – “Rape is not victim’s fault ever, it’s always the rapist who is guilty, off course, irrespective of the circumstances. Don’t say, “You should have called for help, you should have not gone alone, you shouldn’t have gone to that place, and you should have kept something to protect yourself”. Don’t make the survivor feel guilty. • Never question her clothes – Never blame the girl’s outfit because rapes are unexpected and it has nothing to do with clothes. Rape can take place anywhere, anytime and to anyone. Be it a girl in a fully clad dress or skin tight outfit, no man has the right to rape. • Encourage to seek medical help – Advice her to go for a medical examination in such cases. Especially encourage her to take the pregnancy test and tests that detect STD (sexually transmitted disease) like AIDS. • Suggest talking about this to parents or counselor – If you think that you are naive to handle the situation, encourage her to speak to her parents or any sensible and mature person, they can give better solution. There are situations where parents are not supportive or cases where she is scared to share with her parents. In that case, advice her to opt for a counselor because they know better to handle such cases. • Don’t overreact- Don’t overreact by displaying emotions which reveal that you are shattered because of it. Never start weeping or become tensed. All these behavior will do no good, because the victim has already undergone a battle. This behavior of yours might make her feel worse. Try to make her feel comfortable instead of aggravating her pain.
• Don’t ever say “Just get over it” – Rape is never a minor issue for girls. It badly affects the victim’s psyche. You shouldn’t take it casually because it may be casual for you but only the survivor knows how it feels to be raped. Don’t say her that she is overreacting to it or she should forget all these. To recover from such trauma it takes time. So, give her some time to recover. • Don’t be “fake” – Never try to fake sympathy because she may start feeling weaker. Maybe she is uncomfortable because of the physical and emotional trauma. Give her some space and support her. However, make sure that your support is genuine and it is not mere sympathy.
About the Author: This article is contributed by Anjali Kumari, our intern.