For many survivors, it is difficult to share about an experience of sexual violence. It is important that all disclosures and reports of sexual violence are responded to in a consistent, respectful and supportive manner. Supportive responses center the rights and preferences of the survivor, offer compassion and understanding, and provide clear, accurate information about options.
While it can be hard to know how to respond to a disclosure of sexual violence, keep in mind: you don't have to be an expert to be helpful. Just remember the acronym BRAVE.
B - Begin by listening
R - Respect confidentiality
A - Ask what support looks like to them
V - Validate them
E - Empathize
(Ryerson University, n.d)