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How to Help

What should I do if someone tells me they were victimized?

  • Listen – Pay attention, don’t interrupt, show you care, and validate their experience.
  • Address immediate safety concerns – Find out if the person is safe/has a safe place to go or if anyone else may be in danger.
  • Contact an advocate – Call our 24/7 hotline (407-823-1200) for more information on how to help. If it is okay with the person, call while they are with you. An advocate can talk with the person over the phone, come to your location, or arrange for the person to visit our office.
  • Be prepared – Have contact numbers, websites, email addresses, and referral options readily available.
  • Be flexible – Respect the person’s wishes, and do not force them to do what you think they should.
  • Be realistic – Recovery time and healing may take longer than you think.
  • Understand – Different people react to trauma in different ways. Familiarize yourself with common reactions to victimization.
  • Obtain resources – Visit our Resources page, ask Victim Services for information to keep on hand or request a presentation for your class, department, student group, residence hall, etc. Click Here for a downloadable list of resources and victim rights.
  • Respect confidentiality – Be honest if you are required to report what the person is telling you to someone else. Advocates provide confidential services to our clients.
  • Repeat information – People in crisis often do no retain verbal information/instructions. Follow up by email or provide written materials, if it is safe for the person to take them home.
  • Learn more crisis intervention tips.
  • Learn more about what to do if someone you know is sexually assaulted.
  • Learn more about what to do if someone you know is in an abusive relationship.
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What should I say if someone tells me they were victimized?

  • Be supportive and affirming.
  • Assure the person it is not their fault.
  • Let them know you’re sorry this happened.
  • Don’t blame the victim or question what they did or didn’t do.
  • Learn more about what to say/not to say.
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What if I want more information?

  • Visit our Resources page for a list of available resources at UCF and in the community.
  • Contact 407-823-1200 at any time to consult with an advocate.
  • Learn more in our Helping Handbook for friends and family members.
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