If you have a friend or family member who has been charged with sexual assault, it can be difficult to know how to support them. You want to show that you care and that you’ll stand by them through the court proceedings, but at the same time, you’re not sure if there’s anything helpful that you can say, especially in the days immediately following the charge.
Knowing how to support someone who has been charged with sexual assault can be difficult, but there are things you can do that will help them through this difficult time.
How to Support Your Friend or Family
Ask If It’s True Or Not
When your friend or family member tells you they’ve been charged with sexual assault, it might be hard to know how to respond. But the first thing is to ask them if the accusations are true. You need to know if they’re innocent or guilty. This can help define how you approach them in the future. Their answer will impact everything you believe in and say, so it’s best if you ask them straight up.
Don’t Make Assumptions About Their Charge
Not all sexual assaults are the same, regardless of what our society has taught us. It’s important to understand the finer details of the case.
Your friend or family member can be straight, queer, male or female. It could have been in the context of an otherwise healthy and safe relationship, or it may include sexual contact with someone too drunk or high to consent. There’s also the possibility that the charges allege that sexual activity was agreed upon by the pair, but then one party withdrew consent at the moment.
A lot of accusations can arise, which can turn people against the defendant. The most important thing to do is to ensure that you do not make any assumptions about your friend or family member.
Be Honest About Your Feelings
The best way to respond is to let your friend or family member know how you’re feeling about their sexual assault charge. If you’re angry, you may need some time before they can see you again. If you’re heartbroken and want to stay away from them, then let them know it. If they know where you stand, it can help them get emotional support from someone else.
Support Them Through The Court Process
Saying that sexual assault is a difficult process through the courts is an understatement. Your friend or family member will be required to prove ample evidence and reason on why they’re innocent. It’s extremely important for someone facing sexual violence charges to know that they always have your unconditional love and support throughout this long and arduous process – no matter what verdict comes down at the end of it.
Be Patient While They Process The Charge
You can help by letting your friend or family member know that you’re there when they are ready to talk about the charge, not one set out by anyone else.
Remember that you can’t push someone into talking, but if you’re patient and understanding, your friend or family member will come around when they’re ready.
Listen To Their Lawyer & Ask How You Can Help
Your friend or family member’s sexual assault lawyer (https://www.dunlapcriminaldefencelawyer.com/sexual-assault-lawyer/) will be able to provide you with insight on how you can help them. You might have evidence that proves your friend or family member may be innocent. Or you might be able to offer some valuable information that demonstrates the accusations are false or misleading. In some cases, you might be advised to stay away or not give up any information you might know. Whatever their lawyer says to do, it’s best that you do it.