Supporting a High School Student Survivor

This is part of our toolkit for high schools student survivors. Return to the landing page here, learn your Title IX rights here, and see answers to frequently asked questions here. We are always looking for feedback — email us at knowyourix [at] gmail [dot] com. 

If you’re a survivor

Know that what you’ve experienced, or are experiencing, is not your fault. No one has the right to touch your body in ways that make you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or in pain. And no one — including a boyfriend, girlfriend, teacher, parent, relative, or friend — should tease, taunt, manipulate, or hurt you. If they do, it’s not your fault; it’s theirs. Know too that you’re not alone. 44% of survivors of sexual assault are under the age of 18. There are resources here, here and here for teenage survivors of dating violence and sexual assault.

Good people to talk to can include family, friends, a partner or significant other, a therapist or guidance counselor, or a teacher. Follow the links below to check out our tips on starting these conversations, as well as information on mandatory reporting obligations. Ask people you trust to help you develop a safety plan, as outlined here at loveisrespect.org.

If you’re a teacher, family member, or friend of a survivor

When a survivor comes out about having been sexually assaulted or abused by an intimate partner — whether it be their first time telling anyone or their hundredth — recognize that the process can be extremely difficult and that you should be as supportive as possible. When a victim comes out to you, remember that they have chosen to trust you with a part of themselves. Respect this.