A secondary survivor is a family member, partner, friend or anyone affected because someone they know or care about who has experienced sexual violence. A secondary survivor can be traumatised and may or may not experience some of the same symptoms as the survivor.
The important part to note is that this is normal, because they care about the survivor of sexual violence, it affects them as well. Their responses and feelings are real and valid. It can be difficult when someone discloses to you that they’ve experienced sexual violence and you might not know what to do.
You may experience:
There is no feeling that isn’t normal and there is no set way that a secondary survivor may respond with. Whatever emotions you are experiencing, it is vital that you take care of yourself. Self-care can contribute to your own personal wellness and help you better support the primary survivor.
SV2 offer services to support secondary survivors of sexual violence. At SV2 we provide:
One to one counselling sessions to work through the impact it has had on the secondary survivor
Parent support sessions which are informative, psychoeducational and tailored to their individual needs – your child must be accessing SV2 services for therapy or be on our waiting list
A 6-week online support group and a 12-week face to face support group, which helps participants understand trauma, learn about coping strategies, managing their emotions and self-care. These groups are open to victims of sexual violence and also secondary survivors.
Emotional and practical support with identifying coping mechanisms that best suit and support you.
Referral and signposting to external agency support based on your needs.
Help and support
Our team are here to help you and offer support for recent and past vicitims of sexual abuse. See how we can help you to move forward.