Social Work: What I learned, What I’ll Miss & What I’m looking forward to About Being A SAHM

family-reunification

May 14, 2005, I was 23 years old, fresh out of college and looking for work. I obtained my bachelors degree in Psychology from Oakland University and wasn’t exactly sure what type of job I was looking for when my BFF, Marcia, told me that Judson Center had an opening for a foster care worker. While I didn’t know much about foster care, I needed a job and knew that I wanted to help people, so I reluctantly submitted my resume. After two interviews I was offered the job, though I’m still not sure how because I was so wet behind the ears. I was very nervous but I accepted the position. Foster care was intense, a lot of work with very few happy endings, therefore after six months I decided to transfer to the Family Reunification Program (FRP). FRP is where I built my career. I loved working in FRP and I believe in the work that we do.

Sadly my agency lost their FRP contracts to other agencies and my program will be closing today, 9/30/13. I know that all of my coworkers will land of their feet and I am excited about the opportunity to become a stay at home mother, which has been my desire for a while now. It’s been a awesome journey and I’ve learned a lot but I believe now is the season for me to focus on my family.

Over the pasted nine years while working in FRP, I’ve been honored to work with some amazing families throughout Wayne County MI. I worked with families who’ve had their children removed due to some form of abuse or neglect and the courts returned back home after most of the safety issues had been resolved. I did in home case management for four years and then after obtaining my Masters in Counseling while working full time, I became a supervisor in FRP. Over the years I’ve seen parents maintain their sobriety so that their children’s wardship could be dismissed from the system. I’ve seen father’s step up and get full custody of their children while the mothers work to get themselves stable and back on track. I’ve seen families rebuild their trust and repair their relationships and communication skills so that their home environment can be peaceful again. It’s been a beautiful thing to be a stepping stone in several families lives on their road to successful and a better future.

Social work can be very challenging at times and it isn’t for everyone. I believe that my relationship with Jesus Christ is what helped me to be an affective social worker. I often prayed for guidance on how to best serve the families. I had to listen to Holy Spirit regarding when to respond and when to be quiet. The love of Christ kept me going back to some homes each week though I knew I would not be well received. I thank God for protecting me while in the community and for showing me favor with my clients, supervisors and other professionals.

What Social Work Has Taught Me

Over the years I’ve learned….

1. Early on that the families ultimate success or failure was not up to me, it was up to them. I learned to pray for my families and leave them in God’s hands, instead of staying up all night worrying about them.

2. That my role as a mandated reporter was to report any suspected child abuse or neglect and to leave the investigating up to Child Protective Services. I didn’t need to look under people’s beds and in their basement, that wasn’t my job. I was there to keep families together.

3. To dot all my i’s and cross all my t’s because in social work, if it wasn’t documented, it didn’t happen.

4. Not to take bags into clients homes because you might bring unwanted guest home with you.

5. How to remain professional and not freak out when I saw bugs or mice running around people’s living rooms.

6. My way around the City of Detroit after the first two years of continually being lost and calling my dad, my husband or my dad’s buddy Ron for directions (before GPS was popular).

7. How to testify in court and how to interact with Judges, Referees and lawyers.

8. How to pay rent and utility bills, file police reports and sign up for government assistance, all things that at 23 I had not been exposed.

9. How to work with people of all different backgrounds and to appreciate other’s differences. To be open minded and understand that all families don’t look like mine and that is ok.

10. How to safety plan with my clients and help them to be resourceful. This was helpful in the situations where I was able to locate free resources for families in their communities and help them safety plan so that their families needs were met and everyone was safe.

11. The most important thing I’ve learned was how to be strength based and solution focused, which is the foundation that FRP is built on. No matter what the situations looked like when we initially started working with a family, we were taught to ALWAYS locate the families strengths and to build on that. We were taught to focus on the solutions and not the problems. We were taught to be optimistic and to believe in our clients success even when our clients were doubtful. The strength based solution focus model has been imbedded in my brain and I plan to continue using it in my everyday life.

I’ll never forget some of the great success stories where families beat the odds or challenging cases that ended in the children being removed from the home. I’ll never forget the stress of file reviews, countless interviews in attempts to locate competent staff or the few after hours home visits I had to attend in times of crisis. I’ll never forget the supervisors I had that trained, supported, and challenged me and who made me the social worker/therapist that I am today.

I’ll miss Judson Center, it was truly a great agency to work for. I’ll miss exploring cases and problem solving with my peers. I’ll miss the excited yet nervous feeling I’d get every time I went on a initial home visit. I’ll miss the feeling of pride after having a great home visit where the family was open and engaging and had a major break through. I’ll miss the joy of seeing families get praised by the Judge and get their case dismissed at court. I’ll miss some of my staff that I know truly cared about the families and were dedicated to serving them to the best of their ability.

I’m looking forward to being at home with my family and having time to spend with them. My husband and I were working opposite shifts so sometimes it felt like days went by before we got a moment to slow down and enjoy each other. I’m looking forward to being active in our girl’s development and education. Elyssa is 2 1/2 years old and Elaina is 3 1/2 months. I want to be there to watch them grow and take a even bigger role in their daily learning. I’m looking forward to putting Elyssa in dance or swimming classes and taking her to the library for toddler time. I’m looking forward to supporting my husband with his business and being more of a help meet to him. I’m looking forward to seeking God about my future business ventures and educational goals. I’m looking forward to being a therapist at some point. This is truly an end to a great era but the beginning of something awesome as well. I know the Lord is with me and my family and I have complete peace about the journey that is ahead because He is guiding my every step.

STOP Trippin & START Trustin

strength

Hey you, YES YOU! STOP trippin and START trustin!! Remember God’s got you. I know it looks bad. I know you’ve been waiting and praying and waiting and praying but so what, keep trustin, keep believing!! I promise you, God hasn’t forgotten you. Even though it may look bad, remember that He’s BIGGER, He’s STRONGER, He’s ABLE and He’s FAITHFUL!! God cares about your needs, He cares about your pain. He has awesome plans for you. Don’t let life beat you down. Get up, talk to God, seek His face, and follow HIS plan. Seek encouragement and godly counsel from those around you. We all need help, we all need support. I just want to encourage you today to know that you’re not alone. This battle is not yours, it’s the Lords! Get up, put your boxing gloves on and get back in the fight. Below are your tools to fight the feelings of fear, failure anxiety today. Read those scriptures, mediate on them and hide them in your heart. Today will be an awesome day and victory is headed your way!! AMEN!!!!!!

Nehemiah 8:10 AMP Be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

FORGET ABOUT IT, KEEP PRESSIN ON!

Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 KJV

What things do you need to forget about from 2011 and keep pressing in God in 2012? What or who did you let hold you back, put you down and prevent you from being all that God called you to be? Whatever it was, it’s time to give it to God, move forward in Him and walk in ALL that He has for you this year.

Here’s a list of things to forget and press on in Jesus this new year.

1. Failed relationships/friendships

2. Failed businesses/ministries

3. Financial struggles

4. Your loved ones drama that you can’t control or change

5. Feelings of depression because you’re not where you felt you should be by this age

For many, last year was an extremely hard year. Unemployment, financial struggles, martial, emotional and physical issues BUT GOD! If your reading this then you made it into 2012, your still breathing and you have a chance to partner with God and watch Him do miraculous things in your life and your loved ones lives. Forget about what the news, doctors, employers, neighbors or even yo mama said. What does the word of God say? What did God promise you? That He would never leave you or forsake you. That He loves you so much that He died on the cross for you. That He has plans to prosper you and give you a future.

I know it’s hard and sometimes impossible to just shut tragedies and concerns out of our minds. Seek help from a counselor, pastor or trusted loved one if you need to talk, cry and/or pray your way out of last years issues. It’s ok to need someone to help you get over your problems,  but it’s not okay to let your past control you and hold you back. We are to cast our burdens to Jesus because He cares for us!

Lets check ourselves today. What have we been confessing? Who have we been talking to? Are we speaking death over ourselves and our situations or are we speaking life? Is your best friend reminding you or the word of God and encouraging you when you’re venting about your problems or is he/she telling you  that nothing good ever happens to you and you should just give up? Forget the drama, forget the failures, keep pressing towards God, towards His love, promises and His word. 2012 WILL BE an awesome year because God is on our side.

Psalm 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

Israel Houghton- Moving Forward http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw1DxO_umwo

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HE Can Change A Hoe Into A House Wife

2 Cor 5:17  (KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We all have made bad choices in life at some point, but thank God for His mercy and grace. Today’s post is dedicated to the women who want to move past their mistakes and press to get where God has called them to be. God knows the things we’ve done in our past that we’re not proud of but He can make ALL things new. God loves us despite our mess. God wants to make our mess our message to others to help get other’s free. God can do supernatural heart and brain surgery, causing your heart to be healed of past hurts from bad decisions and your mind to be at peace and ready to move forward in victory. If your ready to move from a hoe to a housewife, God is able to help you start the process.

In college I made bad choices about friendships and romantic relationships and as a result I became confused, angry and insecure. I was messed up and was not marriage material at all. It’s so amazing for me to look back at where I was 11 years ago and see how far God has brought me. I have not arrived by any means but God gets all the glory for the restoration, peace and joy that I have right now. The picture in this post of me and my husband on our wedding day in 2008, we met at our church and we are more in love today then ever before, to God be the glory.

Here are 3 things that I did to allow God to transform me from a lost woman into a woman on the road to victory:

1. I surrendered my life fully to Him. I realized that on my own I was messing up my entire life. My grades were slippin, my relationships were stressful and nothing was going right. I decided to stop focusing on guys and drama and start developing my relationship with Christ. Once I made the decision to walk away from mess, God was able to begin His work in me. I started getting rid of everything that was hindering my relationship with Christ and the drama seemed to disappear with every passing day. I wanted more of Christ, I was hungry for change and Christ had been waiting patiently for my return back to Him.

2. I found myself a new group of friends. It’s impossible to hang with the same no good friends but expect to do good and live right. I had to end so called friendships with males and females that were only bringing me down. At one point I only had one other Christian female friend, she was my roommate, and we hung out, prayed, served in campus ministry, shopped, cooked and studied together.  We both ended up joining Word of Faith and God blessed us to meet lots of other Christian friends who became like family and the rest is history. It’s easier to remain holy, sober, productive etc when you surround yourself with like minded people who are going places and on the grind for Jesus.

3. I had to change my way of thinking. I changed my focus from how I could find me a boyfriend and get some money to buy cute clothes and hang with my bad news friends and started focusing on God, graduating from college and trying to make something of myself. I knew I wanted to one day get married and have something to offer my future family. I had to change my mindset from only thinking about pleasing my flesh in the moment, which always got me into trouble, to setting myself up for a successful future with Christ at the center. To change my thinking, I changed what I read, what I listened to and what I viewed. Listening to secular music, reading trashy novels and sitting around watching soap operas when I wasn’t in class wasn’t going to help me change my thinking and reach my goals. I was introduced to Christian hip hop and other gospel music that I’ve never heard of, Christian novels that had humor and drama minus the sex scenes and I found more wholesome things to view on tv; it all made a world of differfence in my behavior and attitude.

It doesn’t matter how many people you’ve dated, fooled around with or slept with. It doesn’t matter what lies you told or the deep dark secrets that you carry in your heart with shame. God already knows, He sees, He hears, He saves and He forgives! If you would like to ask the Lord to come into your heart right now and experience a life better than you could ever imagine, please say this simple prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I need you, please come into my heart and be the Lord of my life.  I repent of my sins and I turn away from them, please forgive me Lord and show me how to walk in your ways. Thank you for dying for me on the cross and raising from the dead. Thank you for the gift of eternal life, in Jesus name I pray amen.

If you prayed this prayer I’d love to know about it. Please email me and feel free to email any questions to joanna.willis@hotmail.com I encourage you to get hooked up with a local church and surround yourself with like minded people.

Philippians 3:13-14

Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Shout Out To All My Diamonds! Ladies Live Your Worth!

This past Wednesday I attended the women’s ministry meeting at my church, Word of Faith Southfield http://woficc.com. The women received an awesome on time word from our First Lady, Minister Tiffany Butler. The title of the message was Live What You Are Worth. Min. Tiffany helped us to see that the Proverbs 31 woman in the bible, can be likened to a diamond. She gave us several examples, definitions and scriptures that I will share with you below. The reason I wanted to blog about this message is because it’s one that EVERY woman should hear. The world tells us that we are only valuable and desirable if we are sexy, skinny, rich and successful by their standards. God has a standard and His way is always right. God’s way won’t have you alone, depressed, hurt and confused! When you don’t know your worth, you live a life that is not pleasing to God and that is hurtful and dangerous to yourself. Below are my notes of the key points from the message. I encourage you to order the message to hear it in it’s entirety. You can order the CD, DVD or MP3 at http://woficc.com

Live What You Are Worth

Proverbs 31 teaches us that a virtuous woman is most desired and searched after by a REAL man of God.

The Proverbs 31 woman can be compared to a diamond. Diamonds are precious, of high cost, valuable, cherished, their pure and durable. Diamonds are capable of withstanding wear and tare.

Just as we take care of the diamonds we own, God takes care of us. We are pure and spotless in God’s eyes.

God designed each of us specifically for a special purpose, just like a jewelry maker designs a diamond.

Ladies it’s time to STOP shaking up, STOP tripping, and know that you HAVE a man who loves you!! JESUS!

Ladies take a second and acknowledge God’s presence and He will whisper sweet nothings to you. He will tell you how much He loves you, how special you are in His eyes, just like His word tells us in the bible.

Stop depending on a man and depend on God! We need to start bragging on Jesus and ALL that He’s done for us!

With Jesus, you don’t have to drop it likes it’s hot, all He wants is for you to spend some fellowship time with Him. (in prayer, praise, worship and getting into His word daily) He wants to know you deeply, not just on the surface when you come to church.

Single ladies, you already have a man who knows how to treat you! God is loving you and taking care of you and when you develop a true relationship with Him and then your man of God comes along, you’ll already know how he should treat you.

Married ladies, make sure you brag on the man who created your man!

We ALL need to know our worth and live our worth everyday!

John 4:10-18

5 Keys To Living What You Are Worth

1. You must have a pure heart and live holy. Matt 5:8. Act and dress like a woman of God at all times.

1 Timothy 2:8-10 Luke 1:58. Live holy to be blessed. Single ladies stop wearing sexy, too tight clothes to church in hopes of finding a man! 3 rules, nothing too tight, too short or too sexy, just don’t wear it!!

2. Be obedient to God, hear and obey His word.

3. Be a woman of compassion.

4. Be patient Hebrews 6:12. Diamonds don’t chance us around the jewelry store saying PICK ME PICK ME, so ladies we need to learn to wait patiently to be picked by our future husband. Also ladies, stay out of these married men’s faces. God won’t tell you that someone else’s husband is yours!

5. Be committed to living a godly lifestyle at all cost. 2 Thess 2:15

**Question: Diamonds, how do you plan to live your worth this year?** Please post your answers below.

My Recent Forgiveness Test: Thank God I’m Free From My Past

You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well- Lewis B. Smedes

Yesterday I found out that the man who raped me had gotten married and has a child. Honestly when I saw the pictures through a mutual associate who does not know about the rape, I felt all types of emotions and forgiveness was not one of them. For a few seconds I felt anger and hate trying to rise back up. Who was he to be happy? Does she know what he did to me? What type of father will this rapist become? Even though I had been praying for him throughout the years and actively working to shed the layers of negative emotions and unforgiveness, in those first few moments I was walking in the flesh.

Then I had to remind myself, I can’t wish ill on someone and say I’ve forgiven them. I can’t judge him based on what was done ten years ago. I’m certainly not the woman I was ten years ago. I decided that it was better for me to pray, walk in love and forgiveness towards him verses continuing to stare at his picture and wish evil to come his way. In the past, I forgave him so that I could be free of the bondage that held me captive.Yesterday I made that decision again with God’s strength. Forgiveness is a decision and must be done often for the same event sometimes. 

That night I called a friend who had also survived rape in college. She’s a believer also and she was very encouraging and supportive. She helped me to remember that I am human and it’s okay to have initial negative reactions but it’s the decisions I made quickly following the incident that proved that God had done heart surgery on me and I was strong and delivered from the past.

 God has truly done heart surgery on me! Like the lady in this picture, in 2003, I feel like my heart was literally taken out and replaced with a new one. Back in college, following the years after the rape, I was angry, hateful, bitter, fearful, insecure and confused. I couldn’t say the word rape, I literally crossed out the rapist’s name in every book that I read, I wrote depressing and angry poems and made bad choices in my relationships. When I gave my heart to the Lord fully, I asked Him to heal me of all the pain and make me new. I sought the help of my campus minister and she encouraged me to start going to counseling. I joined Word of Faith in Southfield MI, started receiving life changing messages about God’s love, healing, faith and I learned to have an intimate relationship with God. Years later, I know that I am healed and restored and I refuse to let this recent incident take me back. Back to the horrible place that I once was. God has given me a new heart, a new start and I wont allow the past, the young man or the devil to destroy all that I have worked so hard in God to overcome.

To the man who changed my life forever I say the following: I pray God’s mercy, grace, correction, protection, peace, comfort, restoration and salvation for you. I pray you are or do become the man who God has created you to be. I pray you learn what is means to be a godly faithful, nonviolent husband and a godly devoted father. I pray you make better choices and live a holy life in front of your son. I pray you never ever put another person through the things you put me through. I pray you seek God for forgiveness and you learn to forgive yourself. I pray God’s blessing over your family. In Jesus name amen.

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com

Healing For Her Soul: Shining Light on The Darkness

“If the occurrence of rape were audible, its decibel level equal to its frequency, it would overpower our days and nights, interrupt our meals, our bedtime stories, howl behind our love-making, an insistent jackhammer of distress. We would demand an end to it. And if we failed to locate its source, we would condemn the whole structure. We would refuse to live under such conditions.” – Patricia Weaver Francisco, Telling: A Memoir of Rape and Recovery

 I wrote this poem when I was going through and preparing to receive my healing.

The Story of A Hurting Woman

7/7/02

As she looked into his eyes

She knew right then

That she’d never look at men

The same way again

He stole her innocence

He crushed her pride

But she told no one

Her shame she tried to hide

To this day the thought of it

Still makes her want to lose control

A friend she thought he was to her

Some of the events of that day

Are still a blur

For some reason

That night she did not yell

Because of the embarrassment

Her story she did not tell

He ripped at her clothes

As her mind went blank

Into a secret safe place

In her mind she sank

To hear his name

Still makes her want to cry

He had no right to violate her

But he did have the right to die

A part of her died that day

The part that thought the world was a safe place

The part that trusted men

Now avoids a strangers face

She hurts to this day

And there’s nothing anyone can say

To erase what has been done

But what she did not know was

She wasn’t the only one

By Joanna Willis

I was sexually assaulted in September of 2000. It wasn’t until 2002 that I was mentally, emotionally and spiritually ready to acknowledge what happened to me and deal with the effects that the assault had on my life. I was fearful, angry, bitter, hateful and distrusting of men. Once I was ready to admit that I had been assaulted, I had to deal with the emotional rollercoaster that followed. 2002 was the perfect year to begin my healing process because I rededicated my life to Christ in Jan of that year.  I was going to church, reading my word, applying the bible to my everyday life and attending counseling. I wouldn’t have been able to handle the hurt and pain during that season without the Holy Ghost.

Part of the reason why I did not seek help immediately after my assault was because I did not know what to do or where to go.  I’m not blaming my parents, college or church, but the fact of the matter is, I hadn’t been  educated regarding what sexual assault was, how to protect myself or what to do if I was victimized. My own ignorance, mixed with shame, fear and embarrassment kept me silent and allowed my attacker to go free.

It is vital for everyone to know what to do to if they or someone they know has been assaulted. Also, it’s very important for the loved ones of the survivors (I will not use the word victim) to know what they can do to support them. Please read the following info below.

If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

  • Try to get to a place where you feel safe.
  • Reach out for support. Call someone you trust, like a friend or family member. You are not alone; there are people who can give you the support you need.
  • Contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline (toll-free 1-800-656-4673) or a local rape crisis hotline are resources for you.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Medical care is important to address any injuries you may have and to protect against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
  • Most importantly, know that the assault is not your fault.

You have the right to…

  • Be treated with respect and dignity.
  • Privacy. That means you can refuse to answer any questions about the sexual assault, your sexual orientation, your sexual history, your medical history (including HIV status) and your mental health history.
  • Have your conversations with a sexual assault counselor/advocate remain confidential.
  • Decide whether or not you want to report the assault to the police.
  • Not be judged based on your race, age, class, gender or sexual orientation.
  • Have a sexual assault counselor/advocate accompany you to medical, law enforcement and legal proceedings.
  • Request that someone you are comfortable with stay with you in the examination room.
  • Ask questions and get answers regarding any tests, exams, medications, treatments or police reports.
  • Be considered a survivor of sexual assault, regardless of the offender’s relationship to you.

If you are considering filing a police report…

  • Try not to bathe, shower, change your clothes, eat, drink, smoke, gargle or urinate prior to the exam.
  • Seek medical attention for an exam and evidence collection as soon as possible after the assault.
  • Bring a change of clothes with you.
  • You have the right to have a sexual assault counselor/advocate with you during your medical exam.
  • Reporting to the police is your choice.

Remember, you are not alone and you are not to blame for what happened.

http://www.connsacs.org/seeksupport/assaulted.htm

A Word to Support Persons

The survivor of sexual assault has been through a very traumatic experience and it is important that she/he receive support, assistance, and accurate information. Your being there in a supportive way is immensely valuable.

Allow the survivor to make choices and remain in control. Give reassurance that she/he is not to blame. Listen as she/he talks about the experience. Be accepting of the survivor’s many emotional reactions including anger, fear, anxiety, and depression.

Believe what the survivor tells you. Know that revealing this experience takes a great deal of strength and courage. Letting the survivor know that you believe what they have told you and that the assault was not their fault is extremely important.

Be respectful of privacy. Don’t tell anyone about the assault without the survivor’s permission. The survivor has only chosen to tell you and it may be hurtful or detrimental to their healing process and recovery.

Be a good listener. Here are some things to keep in mind when a survivor chooses to talk with you:

  • DO concentrate on understanding the survivor’s feelings
  • DO allow silences
  • DO let the survivor know you are glad s/he told you
  • DON’T interrogate or ask for specific details about the sexual assault
  • DON’T ask “why” questions such as “why did you go there?” or “why didn’t you scream?” or “why didn’t you go to the hospital right away?”
  • DON’T tell the survivor what you would have done or what they should have done

Let the survivor make their own decisions. Always let survivors weigh their options and decide how to proceed in their own recovery process. Telling a survivor what you think they “should do” about the options available to them can contribute to a survivor’s sense of being disempowered. Instead of taking charge, ask how you can help. Support the decisions the survivor makes, even if you don’t agree with them!

Remind the survivor that you care. Being “there” for survivors is very important. You can do this in a number of ways; by being a good listener; accompanying them if they seek medical attention or walking over with them to get counseling or crisis support at the Counseling Center; making arrangements to have dinner or coffee with them; asking the survivor “how can I be helpful”; voicing your concern by saying things like “I’m sorry that this has happened”; telling them how courageous they are; or telling them that you don’t see the survivor any differently may all be tangible ways to show that you care about the survivor.

Give the survivor space if s/he needs it. Be sensitive to the fact that the survivor might want to spend some time alone. Don’t take it personally. Survivors may just need some time to pay attention to their own needs from time to time.  

If you are a romantic partner of the survivor, ask for permission before touching or holding the survivor. Do not rush sexual contact. The survivor needs to decide when it is right to have sexual contact and to pace the intensity of involvement. Accept the fact that the survivor’s renewal of sexual interest may occur at a slow pace. Discuss the subject of sex in a non-sexual environment.

http://www.oakland.edu/?id=6581&sid=208