Rape is a big stigma in our society. It’s a topic which no one wants to even talk about openly. Sex being a taboo in our society, Rape becomes a subject which can’t be discussed in public. Now, in this situation you can easily imagine how helpless and ashamed a woman feels who survives a sexual assault on her. How can she expect people to come out in her support and understand her trauma? Let’s not discuss about men, just focus on your own role as a woman.
Here are 8 positive ways you can actually help a rape survivor:
1. Developing Empathy with Rape Survivors
One of the most effective ways to help Rape Survivors is to develop empathy towards them. Don’t show them your pity. They don’t need to be pitied. They need your actual concern instead of the fake one ‘ Poor girl she lost her purity! Who will marry her now? or What will happen to her family ?(in case she is married). What the survivors actually need is, their own counterparts i.e. women understand their pain and help them in overcoming it. Try to feel their pain and be truly sympathetic and understanding to them.
2. Showing Love & Care
A rape survivor is hurt emotionally and physically. She needs love and care. She needs to be shown that women around her empathize with her and that they are full of love for her. Your genuine care and concern will help heal her emotional and physical wounds. Show her your love and care by all means you can whether she is someone near or any distant woman you have never met and seen. You can voice your support to her through social media.
People don’t always need advice. Sometimes all they really need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand them.
3. Respecting the Person
Now, this is one of the most important thing you can do to actually help rape survivors anywhere in the world. Almost everywhere, rape means losing your ‘respect’ which is totally wrong. A woman’s value and her virtues are far beyond to what happened to her body. Nothing in the world can snatch her respect. But it’s the people’s attitude that matters a lot to the survivor who is not in a good mental state having suffered the trauma. So, it’s our responsibility to show due respect to the survivor and tell her not to take this shit from anyone that she has lost her dignity and virtues!
4. Making Her Feel ‘Normal’
After a rape, a woman starts to feel her life is no more normal. It has turned upside down for her. She is being ridiculed and ashamed everywhere. You have to put an end to all these feelings of the survivor by making her feel she is perfectly normal and her life too would be normal very soon. Tell her that she is a strong woman and must fight for justice. She is as normal other women around her and must move forward in life.
You may feel weak, but within you is the strength to live, within you is the strength to overcome and achieve that which you deserve.
5. Giving Her Strength
Women often feel weak after the traumatic experience of rape. So, it’s our duty to give them strength to fight for justice. Show them your unconditional and unwavering support. You can form groups online and real ones to show support to them. Tell them to take help of media in raising their voice against the culprits as it reaches the ears of both government and public.
I’ll be damned if somebody’s gonna say that every creatively intelligent thing I ever did is all boiled down to one dickhead that did that to me.
6. Helping Her in Every Way You Can
Help rape survivors in every way you can- financially, physically, emotionally, verbally. If the survivor belongs to a poor family you can give her some financial help. If she is a minor, you can help her bear her medical expenses. You can also teach her and help her do better in academics. In other cases, you can provide counseling sessions to the survivor to get over the trauma.
7. Changing People’s View towards Her
Rapes happen in every country of the world. It is difficult to check pervert men from committing this heinous crime on women. But what’s more torturous to women then an actual crime is the people’s attitude towards them after they are raped. In major parts of the world, women are considered impure, untouchable, pitiable after the rape. People claim no one will marry them, they can not live with self-respect, they can not go out and talk about their experience in public. This makes the survivors weak. So, you have to help people change their attitude towards the rape survivors. Tell them to stop blaming and disrespecting the survivors and shame the culprits instead.
8. Shaming the Rapists
Rapists often get strength by thinking that if ‘I rape this woman she won’t be able to show her face to anyone due to shame’. They feel they are making the woman’s life hell by raping her and she and her family will suffer endlessly. This proves to be true when we as a society fail the survivors by putting blame on them.
Why did she get out at late night? Why was she with her boyfriend? Why was she wearing provoking clothes? and so on. There is a long list of blames, others will do for victims. Stop blaming and shaming the survivors. It’s NEVER the fault of a girl or woman. It’s the fault of pervert thinking of men. Little girls and old ladies get raped more often than the young women. How do they provoke rapists? It’s high time, we show the face of rapists in public and shame them for heinous deed. Make their life hell. No girl should ever marry a rapist. A rapist should not have any friends or relatives. He should be ostracized by all of us.
We must send a message across the world that there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence – The shame is on the aggressor.
In the end, I would urge all of you educated people out there reading this post to take a pledge as responsible citizens of our country to always come forward and help the rape survivor and her family in every way you can as well as shame the rapist for committing this inhuman act. Only our support can bring about a change in our society. Hope you all will sensitize more people around you to develop genuine feelings of love and respect towards a rape survivor.
Sometimes it’s very hard to move on, but once you do, you’ll realize it’s the best decision you’ve ever made!