Friends and Family

Parents of Survivors/Victims

When your child experiences a violation or traumatic event, you want to be there to help them through it.

Discovering that your child has been assaulted or violated can be distressing, and you may notice the testing of your own emotional well-being. There is no perfect formula for healing; there is no “right” or “wrong” way to act in the aftermath of being violated. A key part of being a supportive person to a survivor is affirming their experience however they may express it.

Remaining calm, believing your child, and giving your child a sense of control are great places to start. Next, be available to talk or listen nonjudgmentally to allow them a safe space to express emotions. Remember to stay attentive to your own needs and feelings as you support your child; it’s not uncommon to experience secondary trauma, sometimes called vicarious trauma, as you help them navigate their own healing journey.

Find more information about secondary trauma and ways to manage it.

More Ways to Help:

You may feel at a loss for what to say to facilitate a supportive environment.

Here are some things to say to a survivor:

(Source: RAINN):

  • I believe you.
  • It took a lot of courage to tell me about this.
  • It's not your fault.
  • You didn't do anything to deserve this.
  • You are not alone.
  • I care about you and I am here to listen or help in any way I can.
  • I'm sorry this happened.
  • This shouldn't have happened to you.

Some things to avoid saying to a survivor:

(Source: DoD Safe Helpline):

  • You have to report this to the police.
  • You should go to the hospital.
  • It could have been worse.
  • How did this happen?
  • What were you doing out so late?
  • How were you dressed?
  • Had you been drinking?

See more tips for talking with survivors from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).

Get more information at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) Guide for Friends and Family.

Parents of Respondents/Accused

If your child has been accused of sexual misconduct, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed and/or confused.

Our goal is to ensure your child receives appropriate support, receives due process, and is treated respectfully and fairly. Respondents and complainants have the same rights in navigating the University Grievance processes. See LSU’s policies prohibiting sexual misconduct, including complainants' rights.

Under PM-73, the Respondent shall have the right to be presumed not responsible of all allegations until found responsible for the alleged conduct by a Hearing Panel under this policy.

Please note: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) strictly limits the disclosure of a student’s college records without the student’s consent, except in limited circumstances.