الشفاء قد لا تأتي بسرعة، ولكن سوف يأتي
Healing may not come quickly, but it will come❞
- Don’t make it about you and your frustrations in not being able to help or change the situation
- You can’t change what happened
- Ask the person if they are comfortable being touched before touching them/hugging them, etc
- Do not expect or ask the person to recount it because it could be retraumatizing/triggering. No explanations are necessary.
- Do not bring up that one time you worked with a survivor at a DV clinic or what happened to your freshman year roommate. Do not share other people’s experiences unless they have given their consent to you to do so.
- Do not label what happened to the person unless they are comfortable naming it
- It is a whole process itself to move from ‘this happened” to “this is ___”
- Do not pressure the person to take action.
- Especially, especially do not intervene on their behalf and without their consent. Do not guilt them for whatever way they choose to handle the situation.
- Do not imply the person is being oversensitive, but also do not react to the other extreme (I would be wary of words like “strong,” “brave,” “resilient,” “courageous,” unless it reassures that person in ways they need it.)
- Pls do not quote religious scripture (hadith, psalms, whatever) or turn it into an allegory or a larger metaphor about the motherland/ ummah and the trials we have to overcome as a marginalized people (I know this is highly specific, but I’ve been around this a lot.)
- Do not say, “I’m sorry this had to happen to you.” Nothing had to happen.
- Do not theorize or talk about it in psychoanalytical, theoretical, overly-intellectual, political, or clinical terms.
- Don’t expect the person to begin consoling you
- Don’t threaten the perpetrator or focus too much on them.
What to say:
- Simple affirmations. You are beautiful, you are loved, and you deserve the best.
- The easiest thing to say: “It is not your fault.”
- If they are dissociating or having a panic attack, try to be as gentle as possible. It often helps to remind them where they are, offer them water and help them breathe steadily.
- A lot more can be said without words, with the way you look at someone with empathy, or the way you hold them if they are comfortable being held
- Be kind and loving
- Less complicated, less vocabulary can be better
- Believe them
- Believe them
- Believe them and affirm their realities no matter what