Danielle Swerin, a lecturer of criminal justice in the School of Public Service, was quoted in an Idaho Press article on the neurobiology of trauma, “Neurobiology of trauma: What the public can take away from Netflix’s ‘Unbelievable’ documentary series.”
In the article, Swerin gives advice to those who may be the first person a survivor of trauma confides in:
- Don’t ask “why” questions. A “why” question insinuates blame, which will likely make the person shut down.
- Know what resources are out there. Knowing what professional resources are available to assist the person is beneficial.
- Give choices and work with people, not for them. Swerin said it’s not a family member’s or friend’s role to make decisions for survivors, but, instead, to be in the role of providing resources or options so the victim can make choices themselves.
- Be empathetic and listen.