Incidents of sexual and relationship violence happen every day, but many survivors do not disclose their experiences for a long time after the event (if ever they do disclose). Because so many people are living these experiences in silence, it is important that we are respectful around this topic in our day-to day lives.
Some things to say if a loved one does disclose an experience of sexual violence: 1) I believe you. 2) It's not your fault. 3) You have options, and there are resources available to help you.
RAINN, along with state coalitions (e.g., NCCASA- North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault), usually keep up-to-date resource libraries on their websites, and are wonderful places to turn for help for finding counseling options, identifying 24/7 hotlines, and for learning more about the public health issue that is sexual violence.