How to Help a Survivor

Do not tell us to just get over it. Know that if we could, we would if it were that easy to do.
Listen to us when we need to talk.
Remind us that the abuse was not our fault.
Remind us that we are people of worth, just for being who we are. Tell us that we do not need to be perfect.
Give us unconditional love and/or acceptance.
Give us space when we need it.
Do not say you know how we feel. Do not tell us that we should not feel angry or sad. Allow us to express our feelings and do not judge us.
Do not tell us that we need to forgive and forget. We will do that in our own time and in our own way.
Do not ask why we did not tell anyone sooner.
Do not minimize our experience or our pain in any way.
Do not compare our experience to others. Chances are we probably already do this ourselves, and to know others do this is extremely detrimental.
Do not use the word "just". Just this or just that makes it feel like you are undermining our pain.
Help us to be gentle with ourselves.
Thank us for sharing our story with you.
Acknowledge how courageous we are being in sharing our stuff.
If our issues make you uncomfortable, maybe you need to look at your own childhood and see what is there - where the discomfort is coming from. Don't try to shut us up because of your discomfort.
Do not say "If that happened to me, then I would..." No one knows what they would have done.
Do not justify the abuse and brush it under the table.
Believe the victim and search for the truth.
Pray together. Be a friend. Offer your shoulder to cry.
Listen and don't tell us HOW to heal.


**Contributions were made (and are being made) to this list by myself and other survivors. Some made comments and you can read them on the original post.
If any survivors have anything to add to this list, please let me know. This is an ongoing list to help others help us! It gives us a voice.