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This might be a tough one

A new friend of mine recently revealed to me that she was raped about three weeks ago. I met her about two weeks ago and we've become close friends (which is why she felt comfortable sharing this news with me).


Although the worst of it is now over and she even just went back to working, most of all it seems like her confidence is in ruins. She's an outgoing person and I can tell that she's more "in her shell" now than she lets on.


What can I do to support her as a friend? What are some things I could do to help her regain her confidence?

Re: This might be a tough one

That is a tough one Lex, but what a great friend you are for asking for advice on how to support her Smiley Happy

One of my best friends was in the same position last year, and I guess I imagine that the best thing you could do is to let your friend know that you're there for her.

I can imagine that she would be feeling very low on confidence and it would be such a tough thing to deal with. Has she thought about seeing a professional like a counsellor to help cope with feelings and such? Having someone like that to talk to could also be really good for helping to regain confidence too...

Remember to look after yourself too, because supporting a friend in that situation can take it's toll emotionally on you as well.

Re: This might be a tough one

i agree ^^^


Be there for her and let her know that you are there for her. It will be a slow process but I really think perhaps talking through it etc with others eg councellor will help or to begin with just u, obviously id report it as its a crime and it is not okay and needs to be dealt with but the trauma needs to be overccome through support and perhaps engaging in activites that can help restore the confidence such as public speaking, fun fact more people are scared of public speaking than anything else in the world


Inspire All Smiley Happy

Re: This might be a tough one

Hey Lex,


That is tough. It's really hard to know how to best support someone after they've been through something like this, but it's mostly important to just be there for her. Be available and let her know that you're around in whatever capacity she needs you to be... It's understandable that she's feeling a bit unsure and less confident than usual, and unfortunately it's often just something that takes time to regain trust in the world after experiencing something that destabilises our beliefs about our worlds. I'd say as a friend just let her know that you're there, but try not to act too differently to normal. She's had a huge disruption to her life, so it's probably a good idea to try and keep things feeling as normal as possible for her in other aspects of her life. Just things like hanging out, taking a movie over to her place or going out for coffee... Try to remind her that the world does keep spinning, even though it might feel like hers has changed a lot.


It might also be good to let her know that there are services available to help at times like these. I'm not sure where you're/she is located, but 1800 RESPECT is a great place to start. They offer phone and online counselling as well as referrals to local services for victims of sexual and/or domestic assault, and they can offer advice and guidance to friends and family as well - so you could contact them for some more ideas of how to best support your friend as well.


It sounds like you're a pretty awesome friend and she obviously trusts you a lot to share something like this with you - so just keep being there for her. Remember to look after yourself too though, it can be exhausting trying to help someone through something as massive as this. 

Re: This might be a tough one

Being the victim of any sort of abuse is wont to damage self confidence & self esteem.


Aside from what everyone else has said, from my experience as someone who's needed & given support - one really important thing to do is just 'be there' for your friend. Clearly you've already established trust since she confided in you, so you're already doing a great job at that, whatever you've been doing to show your friend can count on you, keep doing that Smiley Happy

Re: This might be a tough one

Thanks everyone. Really solid advice; I'll just keep doing what I'm already doing then! Smiley Happy


@InspireAll: Yes it's already been reported to police and she's going to trauma counselling soon. It's just the rest of the stuff outside that I need help with. And you've all been very helpful.



Re: This might be a tough one


Sounds like your new friend is pretty lucky to have a friend who cares about them.





Re: This might be a tough one

This is a tough one... when i was 16 my basketball couch took advantage of me and my trust and was not raping me but i guess u would call it sexual abuse. anyway from going through that easily the best thing that helped me was seeing a pyschologist to work out my feelings and emotions around the whole thing.. i didnt do this untill i was 21 after i had a break down.. dont let her suppress it because its going to come out and bite her later on in life...


thats the first thing  2nd thing is like the others have said. keep being that good friend for her. dont let her go quiet cause most of the time that means shes going somewhere dark in her head... shes gunna need time to deal with all these emotions but having someone by ur side makes everything easier... id also say once u feel things are getting better for her start to challenge her to do new things... doing that you may help her get a lust for life


Hopefully my advice came out right and its of use to you both

Re: This might be a tough one

That's a lot of really great advice, ryan! Thanks a bunch!
I really appreciate you using examples from your own experiences to illustrate your points. It mustn't have been easy for you but it clearly shows you turned out alright.

Re: This might be a tough one

I'm happy that it helps! That's one positive out of it I can help others from my experience even though it was bad. Hope ur both doing well