My friend told me that when she was 14 she was raped. She quickly changed the subject. I want to talk to her about it, but I don't want to upset her. What should I do?
Sometimes friends want us to know stuff that's happened to them so we can understand them better. But even when people share information about themselves, they may not always be ready to talk about it. That's especially true when talking brings up difficult or painful memories.
Your friend may want to talk more about it with you, or she may not. You can simply be honest: Let her know you're willing to listen if she ever wants to talk more about it, but you don't want to upset her by bringing it up. That way, she knows you're open to hearing more and you leave the decision up to her.
You also could ask your friend if she's ever talked to a counselor about what happened. Lots of places have rape crisis hotlines or centers staffed with professionals who are trained to listen and help.
Whether or not you talk more about this together, your friend knows she has someone who's willing to listen and care. And you have a friend who's willing to confide. That means a lot.
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: July 2013
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network Call: (800) 656-HOPE|
|National Center for Victims of Crime This organization is devoted to helping victims of crime recover and rebuild their lives. Call: (800) FYI-CALL|
|Love Is Respect This site is the online home of the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, a community where you can find support and information to understand dating abuse.|
You can talk one-on-one with a trained advocate 24/7 who can offer support and connect you to resources.
|Date Rape About half of people who have been raped know the person who attacked them. This article explains what date rape is, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you've been raped.|
|Rape Rape is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse. Rape is about power, not sex. Both men and women of any age can be raped. Find out what you can do and how to take care of yourself after a rape.|
|Abusive Relationships Abuse has no place in love. Read this article to find out how to recognize the signs of abuse and how you can get help.|
|What It Means to Be a Friend Thousands of you filled out our friendship survey. Find out what some of you said about being a good friend.|
|About Getting and Giving Help Sharing problems can help us cope better. Get ideas on reaching out for (and offering) help in this article for teens.|
|Asking for Help: Getting Past Obstacles Sometimes our ideas and beliefs stand in the way of asking for help. Here are ideas for teens on how to get past 5 common barriers to getting help.|
|Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Sometimes after experiencing a traumatic event, a person has a strong and lingering reaction known as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Getting treatment and support can make all the difference.|
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