For many survivors, it is difficult to share about an experience of sexualized and gender-based violence. It is important that all disclosures and reports of sexualized and gender-based 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 sexualized and gender-based 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
(Toronto Metropolitan University, formally Ryerson University, n.d)