Address Specific Concerns
Be aware of where victims would feel the safest during appointments and interviews. Although victims may be physically safe, they may not feel safe. They may be afraid of returning home or of running into their offenders. They may worry about the safety of family members, especially if the attacker is known and has threatened them. Signs that victims do not feel safe may include looking over their shoulders, fearing the thought of being alone, feeling they have to constantly watch what they say and do, and feeling something bad is going to happen.
Be prepared to help victims struggle through the many questions they may have that affect their feelings of safety:
- Should I report the assault to police?
- Do I need to move? Can I afford to move?
- Will I have to leave campus?
- Will the perpetrator come back? Has he or she been apprehended and jailed?
- What do I do if I see him or her again?
- Does my attacker think he or she can still live with me?
In This Toolkit: Advocates