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Co-worker talked to me about rape today...

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I work at a YMCA, and a girl that I work with ( 1 8 is a moderatly good friend of mine. We talked alot over the summer, than I went to school, and I came back and we were "catching up" on what each other had missed out in our lives....

Well, she tells me that there is something that she needs to tell me, but in private, so we are alone and she starts telling me that she was raped a month ago... November 11, and than goes onto explain it.. yada yada yada.... I of course ask her who she has told about it, and she says only a couple of her close friends.. and she has no idea what to do...


So, me being the good friend/aspiring psychologist I am, I tell her that she really should talk to people at school, since I know there is a program implemented where you can report things like this....


Well, she responded with the typical "It was my fault" and " I don't want to make a big deal out of it" to which I told her it wasn't her fault, and to think about any girls that he could rape in the future, or has already raped, and that she should really report it for their sake if not her own.... well of course this got her to crying, which made me feel REALLY bad, but I didn't just want the issue to slide under the table, and I mentioned that if she ever wanted to talk about it, that she should really tell her parents, and try to get some sort of help, or SOMETHING!!! I felt so helpless!!!! I don't really want to bring it up again, since it is her choice... but I feel like i was a bit inadequate.....


is there any advice you guys can give me about this sort of stuff? this is the first time this has ever entered into my life, and shes a really sweet girl, and I feel awful about it.... so ya, anything would be nice!

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the way it went down was that she actually had class with him.... he invited her over to do homework... and I guess forced himself on her... and than claimed that she wanted to the entire time... and than was telling people that she called him right afterwards so they could do it again, and he had to tell her no.....


and according to her, he completely ignores her now....


telling people that she wanted to when he was confronted by one of her friends

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That is really a tough one. A few pointers:


Firstly. I do not know much about sexual abuse, but I know a great deal about shame. Sometimes when you feel you are about too crack, you end up blurting out to someone. Afterwards you just end up feeling even more deeply ashamed of yourself. So if you can, let her know that you were glad that she had the courage to confide in you, and that you respect her privacy. Right now she is probably afraid of being rejected by you or others.


Secondly, as for finding the right words, I think we would almost all be in that situation. When you experience someone in pain, you want to say someting clever that consoles or relieves the person of pain. Unfortunately such words do not exist. Maybe you could just tell her, that you wished that there were someting better to say. And please do all you can to respect her limits and decisions.


Lastly, you are probably mostly helpless to as if she will seek professional help or not. You can just accept her, and let her know that you think she deserves to feel better. In the end, trying to push her, will only push away, rather than to therapy.


Hope it goes well.

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