If the woman you are supporting is a close friend, family member or partner, you may feel helpless as she tries to cope with what has happened to her, but you are not. You can play an active part in her healing by giving her the space to deal with what has happened, in her own time.
You may experience some of the same emotions. You may be in shock after finding out about the rape or you may experience anger and rage. You may try to deny that it happened or be confused – and this may last for many days or even weeks.
You may feel that you want justice for what has happened to your daughter but if she does not want to contact the police or tell anyone about the rape, you should respect her decision.
On the other hand, you may not want to speak about the rape; you may feel that she should put it out of her mind and try to ‘get over it’. This may be the case if her attacker was known to her or to the rest of your family. But if she feels that she wants to report the assault to the police she should be supported through this process.
Support is available for you at this time, but it’s important that the time is right for you. You may be under pressure from others who feel you ‘need’ some support or counselling. If and when the time is right for you to seek support, you can call the Rape Crisis Centre and we will offer you either telephone support or a face-to-face appointment. This part of our service is available to men, and all our services are free and confidential.
If your daughter is going to court, we can also offer support through this process and information on what it will entail.
Please see our Friends and Family booklet for more information.
Click here to send us a message through our live chat system. It’s free and anonymous, and online now.
Click here to find out more about how you can support the centre’s work.