This book is aimed at the friends, family, and loved ones of sexual assault survivors, who are also deeply affected by the assault. This book inspires, encourages, and helps these secondary survivors to heal.
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The R.A.P.E. Foundation
Secondary Survivors is written to tackle the issues that friends, family, loved ones, and others deeply affected by sexual assault face. Inspiring, encouraging, and healing, this books reminds us that we are all affected by the trauma of sexual assault.
Chapter 1 – “But I wasn’t Raped!”
In a case where someone is raped or sexually assaulted, almost all focus goes onto the victim or survivor. Obviously, that is necessary. Survivors need medical and emotional support. They were attacked, and their world has just come crashing down on them. It is our job to help them put back the pieces.
Just because you weren’t attacked doesn’t mean you’re not affected or that you’re not allowed to feel, however. Clearly, there is tremendous concern for the survivor. We want to know that they are ok. We want them to be safe and healthy. We want to protect them and take care of them. But, maybe you’re feeling a bit angry, too. Maybe you are angry at the person who did this. Perhaps you even know who the attacker is. There might even be some anger towards the survivor. Maybe your heart is broken. We all feel sadness and pain when we see a loved one hurt. It would only stand to reason that you would feel that way. There is possibly even some shame. Perhaps you share the shame the survivor is experiencing. Maybe there is an element of family or community shame. Maybe, just maybe, you even feel some guilt that you did not protect your loved one.
These are all normal feelings, and they are also rather common. If you have experienced one of these, or all of them, it’s ok. It’s normal. There are no specific guidelines as to what you will feel, or how anyone (you or the survivor, or any other loved ones involved) will recover. Just know that what you are experiencing is typical.
As you read through this book, it is important to keep note of all the emotions you are experiencing, and also all the tools that you find helpful. Remember, you too are a survivor.