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BFF trauma: How can I help her?

 
My best friend was raped a few weeks ago. She discovered she was pregnant and decided to get an abortion. I understand her choice and respect her decision, but her parents don’t—they kicked her out of the house. She’s moved in with my family for now, but I don’t know what to do to help her. She’s really sad, and it kills me to see her like this. What can I do?

 

I’m so sorry about your friend.  Your friend is dealing with the aftermath of two traumatic events.  It is so generous that your family is allowing her live with you, and that you’re there for her when she needs a friend.

 

Lend an ear

Continue to comfort her and let her know that she can tell you anything.  Ask your parents if they’re comfortable with having your friend confide in them and if so, tell your friend that if she wants to talk to an adult, she can talk to your parents.

 

Get help

Right now, the best thing you can do for her is to be there for her and help her get professional guidance through this troubled time.  I would suggest to your friend to first talk to your school guidance counselor as a first step.  She can receive professional guidance and maybe even set up meetings with her parents to open the lines of communication.  The counselor could provide her with a list of professional counselors.   Give your friend the number of the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), to find a local counseling center. 
 
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BY MADDIE BROWN ON 2/8/2011 11:22:00 AM

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