Tips to help a friend who has been sexually assaulted
If your friend just told you that they were assaulted...
Believe your friend.
Ask your friend what would make them feel safe and try to help with that.
Do not ask questions that put blame on your friend. Tell your friend that it was not their fault.
Try to find out who the attacker was and if there is any chance the attacker could hurt another person. If there is, report it to the RCMP or Child and Family Services.
If your friend was JUST assaulted...
If your friend was assaulted within 72 hours, you can offer to support them in getting a Sexual Assault Forensics Exam at the hospital or a walk-in clinic. An examination could produce evidence for the offender to be convicted. If your friend is willing to do this, encourage them not to shower and to put the clothes they wore during the assault in a paper bag. This will preserve more evidence.
Even if your friend does not wish to complete a Sexual Assault Forensics Exam, still encourage them to see a doctor, as there is a risk of pregnancy, STI or injury.
People you can call for help and advice
RCMP - 911
To report a recent crime or someone in danger (available 24/7), or to request the emergency mental health PACT TEAM.
Child and Family Services
1-800-638-0715 after hours
To report the crime when someone 17 or younger could be in danger
Pace Grande Prairie
for advice and support services between 8.30am - 4.30pm
RCMP non-emergency complaints
To report the crime when nobody is in immediate danger
Peace Country Sexual Assault Helpline
For a safe place to stay if you are 17 or younger (available 24/7)
Odyssey House-crisis line
For a safe place to stay and support groups if you are 18 or older (available 24/7)
It is not uncommon for survivors of sexual assault to consider suicide. Keep a close eye on your friend and call the PACT Team or Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention for advice if you are concerned.