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My friend was raped, but she's acting happy. How can I help?

Dear Panel,

My Friend Was Raped

One of my friends (who is 16 years old) was recently raped in her house by her boyfriend of three weeks. She told me about it the day after it happened, and she cried and cried.

Now She Says It's No Big Deal

For some reason, after a few hours, she suddenly stopped being depressed. She told me that she wasn't planning on doing anything about the rape because it was "no big deal" and that she was "fine, really."

Is She Covering Up Her Feelings?

Her usual outgoing mannerisms just seem out of place a week after being raped. Also, she was abused by her stepfather a few years back, and she used this same sort of outgoing, happy-go-lucky behavior to cover up her hurt.

Any thoughts on what I should do to help her?

– Helpful Friend


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