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Caring for assault victims

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DON’T:

• Tell them how to feel. Ask how they are feeling. And allow them to feel that way. Emotions are real. Feelings are not wrong; how we handle them can be wrong. They do not go away on their own, but if denied, are sublimated into our character and actions. It is far healthier to face them.

• Expect them to “get over it.” This is a major trauma to the spirit and psyche. Survivors will adjust, accept and heal, but they will always have a tender scar. They can never forget; they can only slowly integrate it into their lives.

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