Attachment D: Role play: Supporting a rape victim
Do this role play only if you have training or country staff who are comfortable with the topic and who can help with the discussion afterwards. The role play should be carefully thought out by the staff, using the guidelines on sexual assault contained in Attachment E to prepare the roles.
FIRST ROLE PLAY: This role play should illustrate a friend trying to be supportive but not succeeding at it due to personal anger and lack of understanding as to what the victim may be feeling. This is an example of how not to do something. The second role play will illustrate the supportive friend handling the situation.
You have just been raped and have sought out your friend for support. You have cried a little but right now you have a calm exterior -- you feel like you may let down later on and need someone to comfort you. Your friend seems very angry and wants to call the police to catch the man; this is the farthest thing from what you want now.
Amy has just come to you and told you she was assaulted while walking on the beach. You are angry at her for doing such a "dumb thing" and you feel she's lucky she didn't get killed. Obviously you want to help; you think it is important that she go directly to the police so they can catch the guy.
READ CAREFULLY THE TECHNICAL GUIDELINES FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT and prepare for the role. Identify what a supportive friend would do, and for the first role play don't do it.
TRAINER NOTES: Stop the role play after 3-5 minutes and ask the trainees:
- How they think Amy is feeling at this point?
- Do they think the friend is being supportive? Why or why not?
- How might the friend be more supportive? Reassure Amy of her safety now; Listen more actively; Recognize that Amy appears calm but let her know it is okay to let down and cry if she wants to; Ask Amy what she wants to do, help her decide what is best to do -- mention the importance of seeking medical support and talking with the PCMO.
SECOND ROLE PLAY: Incorporate into this role play the suggestions of the trainees and others you have picked up from the guidelines on sexual assault, making the friend more supportive to Amy.
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