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How to Disclose Sexual Assault as a Survivor, and How to Listen as a Friend

Trigger warning: This article discusses sexual assault.

The movie Promising Young Woman started a lot of honest conversations around sexual assault. Although it was fiction, it encapsulated the lived experience of many — if not all — women.

Since then, reality has trumped fiction. We’ve heard stories from Brittany Higgins, from Grace Tame. Post-humously, we’ve heard the stories of Kate, and about Sarah Everard. We’ve looked at these stories, instances, cases and known that it could’ve easily been us — and that in some cases, it has been us. According to ABC News, there’s been a “surge of women reporting sexual assault to police”, specifically in Canberra. But often, survivors don’t report their cases to the police — for a myriad of reason, all of which are valid. Sometimes, people only want to disclose their stories to those that they trust — a family member, a friend, a loved one.


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