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Incident where I live...


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I live in a apartment where someone who works in the building was recently sexually assaulted by someone who lives in the building. I don't have the full details of what happened but as a result, she resigned and has declined to press charges (so far). The rest of us in the building are of course horrified by what happened. She was always super nice and we've had a few nice conversations, but that was as far as I knew her. I wrote a very brief note to tell her I was sorry to hear about what happened, and to offer support for anything she might need. But I'm having second thoughts about sending it because since this is a recent incident I fear it would only make things worse for her if she heard from a resident of the building. I feel awful for her but I'm unsure of what's the right thing to do, if anything. Opinions? Should I just leave this alone?

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That is a tough one. I was in a similar situation at an apartment I lived in. I happened to be out of town when it happened, but it is a scary thing especially when you are a single lady living alone. This woman was attacked in the fitness center. She was engaged to be married and her wedding was the next week. She still went on had her wedding and went on her honeymoon. I gave her lots of kudos. I would say no to the letter, but if you see her in person, I would tell her you're there if she needs anything.

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You don't need to mention that you heard of the incident but rather that you are sorry to hear that she resigned and will miss her. From there, offer the same support, make your feelings about her clear and keep your comments focused on her, how important she's been to you--and nothing else.

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A lot of times when bad things happen to people (crimes against them, diagnosis of cancer or other diseases, death in family, etc.) people don't know what to say, so they say nothing at all. But many times, that's the worst thing to do because it's basically not acknowledging this life-changing event and not validating the feelings or experience of the victims.


The best way to know what to do is to put yourself in her shoes. How would receiving a note make you feel? Would you want to know that people were there for you? What would you want to hear?


Now, if you think you would like to know that people where thinking of you and supporting you, then write the note, and in it write what you would want to hear if it were you in the situation.





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