Sasha Answers: How do I help my roommate?
Hi Sasha, My roommate has been sexually assaulted by her boyfriend. She didn’t report it, and doesn’t want anyone to know. We’re actually not that close, but she decided to confide in me. I don’t know what to do, or how to help her. This is very heavy and overwhelming, and a lot for me to deal with, so I can’t even imagine what she must be going through. What should I do? Thanks L
Right now you have to be there for her no matter how close or not you guys actually are. Any form of sexual abuse is traumatic and people will deal with their pain in many different ways. As a supportive friend please, make sure to keep reminding her that this is not her fault and that what he did was not only majorly wrong and disgusting, but criminal.
Personally, I would encourage her to go to the police, but if that’s too much for her to deal with right now, then look up some counsellors in your area and give her the numbers. Offer to go with her if she wants. She needs to talk this through and find out what her options are. And if she’s not even ready for that, then at least ask her to let her best friends know as well. Power in numbers and emotional support.
Lastly, I would lay down the roommate authority and make sure he’s not allowed in the house. He’s going to try and weasel his way back in and f-ck, most likely turn it around on her, so you need to assert some power and keep him out the best you can.
At this point, this is all that you can do – she’s going to have to be the one to make the decisions. The only thing you can do though is be there to try and get her to make the right ones.
Keep me posted! xx