A Note to Those Closest to Sexual Assault Survivors: Friends, Spouses and Families Adapted from a Rape Crisis Center Newsletter How does rape affect a person? How does rape affect those closest to a rape survivor? How can those closest to a rape survivor do "the right thing"? The answer to all of these questionsis that we don't know but we have some ideas to share with you. Hopefully they will offer a beginning for giving effective support to survivors of sexual assault. It is the those closest to the survivor who most influence how the survivor deals with the assault. What is rape? Rape is legally defined as forcible vaginal penetration (a man cannot be legally raped in most states, see XXXX)