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My friend was raped? What do you suggest I can do to help.

+4 votes
They don't completely acknowledge it was rape because of fucked-up socialization shit ( socialized female). What is an anarchist's response to this? I've been raped myself and it's bringing back a lot of shit. They live about 4 hours away and I have no way to see them until april.
asked Jan 27, 2013 by AngryCunt (1,420 points)

2 Answers

+9 votes
 
Best answer
I went through something that sounds similar to this a while back (though, your description is vague, so I am just guessing). My advice:
I think it is important not to impose one's own perception of a situation. Simply engage in conversation about what happened and how it has affected that person, and let them come to whatever conclusions are appropriate for them. They may not be comfortable with calling something rape or assault, but they can still recognize that what was done wasn't okay and was harmful. Validate those feelings, don't force your friend to label them with your own words and ideas. In my experience that involved a lot of watching crappy television shows and cooking grand meals and being there for whenever the tears came. Just being a shoulder to cry on and a safe person to talk to when she wanted or needed and someone who knew her secret but didn't define her by it was more helpful than sitting her down and trying to work through anything intentionally or trying to convince her that I understood what happened to her in words she didn't/wouldn't relate to.

Also, be mindful of how your own experiences may cloud your perception. Your experiences may be relevant and helpful to this situation, but it may be harmful as well. Be there for your friend and support them in what ever way they need, but also find a support person for yourself that can be there for you in processing your experiences, the friend who you are trying to help is not going to be a good person to support you and trying to work this out with them is likely to be detrimental to their own processing of their situation.

Hope that helps, and best of luck.
answered Jan 27, 2013 by Katherine diFiore (5,490 points)
edited Aug 18, 2015 by Katherine diFiore
yea, the thing about support people getting support is usually ignored/overlooked.
it's really stressful to deal with sadness and rage, and it is really easy to try to work on our own issues through the issues of our friends (whether we realize it in the moment or not). so do your best to find someone to talk to about your own experiences, especially while you're trying to be helpful to other people.

and yea, good luck and take care.
+3 votes
The Philly's Pissed group wrote some zines on supporting survivors that you might find helpful.

1. Support Zine - http://www.phillyspissed.net/node/18
2. Supporting a Survivor of Sexual Assault: a Primer - http://www.phillyspissed.net/node/13
3. Thoughts About Community Support Around Intimate Violence - http://www.phillyspissed.net/node/10

Rape culture is the worst shit. I don't know your friend's situation well enough to give advice with much certainty, and as a male I have a different lived experience, but, perhaps discussing with them about the concept of prior informed consent, acknowledging their understanding of the situation, the concept of victim v. survivor, and asking them what they need from you, would be useful starting points, leading up to more discussions and if they find it useful then something empowering such as a public call out of this person if their identity is known, physical vengeance, learning self-defense, or whatever makes sense to them.

An anarchist's response is to empower the disempowered and disarm or destroy oppressive dynamics and individuals, to do what must be done as defined by the survivor and the context of the situation.
answered Jan 28, 2013 by AutumnLeavesCascade (9,010 points)
I hope I am commenting on this right now and not asking another question? Anyways just wanted to say thank-you. I didn't really want to go into a lot of detail cause its not my situation. I have talked to them about consent, victim v. survior and asked them what they needed from me etc and I think I'm helping somewhat. They don't want to involve cops not for any anarchist based reason just because they don't think it was "that severe" and such reasons because of fucked up rape culture shit as you mentioned. I have found the zines very helpful and started looking through them.  Also, being a survior myself as I had mentioned this part you said really struck me " An anarchist's response is to empower the disempowered and disarm or destroy oppressive dynamics and individuals, to do what must be done as defined by the survivor and the context of the situation."  I've read some of the other answers you have given and you seem pretty awesome, at least on the internet. Thanks again :)
Glad I could help, hope your situation turns out well for both your friend and you. As well as it can at least given the difficulty of the situation.
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