I was once part of a mission trip in Romania and a young woman asked a very similar question. I started my answer by explaining how pernicious a thing sexual trauma is. My Pastor’s mother started a very successful ministry (I mean successful in that many people came through and found healing) called ReClaim Global to help victims of sexual abuse. It affects nearly every area of a persons life in many ways that not even the person who experienced it understands. It is like this background noise in a person’s life that they need help to work through. So, I would encourage you to encourage this person to have the strength to seek professional help. They will be glad they did.
The next part of my answer laid out the argument from free will. As you mentioned you are familiar with that argument. I rushed through it because this question is not one of the head it is one of the heart. Especially when it is being asked by someone who has experienced it or there is someone close to the person asking who has experienced it. So I told the questioner, that answer deals with the head, now let’s deal with the heart.
Most people who experience trauma in their life want to know if God cares. If God could not stop it because it would undermine free will, does it affect him? I brought up Jesus when he goes to see Lazarus who had died. When he gets there, Lazarus’ sisters are weeping and angry. They asked the same question many ask, “Jesus! Where were you! If you had only been here this would not have happened!” Jesus doesn’t get angry. He doesn’t question their faith. He doesn’t give them a theology lesson (not directly). He weeps.
Their pain touched him. He shared in their pain. He was there, he was “God with them.” What is so fascinating is that Christ knew he was going to raise Lazarus. He knew he was going to set things right. Yet, he still condescended (a positive word) to meet their emotional needs of having someone their to weep with them in their time of grieving. He cares and is touched by our pain.
In the end, God will set everything right. There is no tear that is shed which will not be wiped away. God will ultimately heal those who are broken and resurrect that which is dead. But, in the mean time he is touched by our heartache, he has borne our sickness and disease, he bears our stripes with which others have marked us. He carries it with us in that he carries us. And he looks forward to the day he will fix that which is broken.
God loves your friend.