Supporting Survivors


What are two core strategies that responsible citizens may use to help victims of gender- based violence?


Everyone can play a crucial role in supporting victims and survivors of gender-based violence. While there are many things you can do, here are two specific strategies.

The first strategy is to believe and validate survivors when they share their experiences. This involves listening without judgment, avoiding questions that might imply doubt, and explicitly stating belief in their story. Simple phrases like "I believe you" and "It's not your fault" can be incredibly powerful and help counteract the self-doubt and shame that many survivors struggle with.

The second key strategy is connecting survivors with appropriate resources. This involves becoming educated about local organizations that provide services such as counseling, legal advocacy, and safe housing. When a survivor discloses their experience, supportive individuals can offer to help them reach out to these resources if they feel ready. However, it's crucial to remember that the survivor should always be in control of their own journey. The role of a supportive person is to provide information and assistance, not to make decisions for the survivor.

The primary goal for those supporting survivors should be to empower them, not to try and "fix" the situation. While there may be a strong urge to take action, it's essential to follow the survivor's lead and respect their choices. By offering steady, non-judgmental support and helping connect them with professional resources when they're ready, caring individuals can play a vital role in a survivor's healing process. Healing is a journey, and consistent presence and support can make a world of difference to someone who has experienced gender-based violence. Thanks for asking!

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