Offer support Yet another far-reaching consequence of sexual abuse is a lack of self-worth or even a latent sense of guilt in the victim.
Thus your girlfriend may at times suffer from a lack of self-confidence or even a crippling form of self-doubt. This could be because subconsciously the person feels that she was in some way responsible for the abuse in the past, that she may have encouraged or invited, so to speak, the heinous act. What you can do to in such a situation is to regularly appreciate her achievements and attributes — no matter how small they seem. So you could compliment your girlfriend on the new hairdo that she has got or praise the new Italian recipe that she has tried out.
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The essential thing is to keep reminding your partner that she is much more than a product of her painful past, that she has incredible potential and active possibilities to live a happy, meaningful life. Help her to trust again Women who have suffered sexual abuse as a child are particularly prone to having trust issues later in their adult relationships. Apart from the physical pain, what hurts most when abused as a child is the realization that no one, not even an adult from the circle of family or friends, is worthy of trust.
The memory of this abuse of trust makes it difficult for the victim to have faith in others, ever again.
So you may find your girlfriend at times suspicious, jealous and highly emotionally insecure. Taken to an extreme, the inability to trust a partner may also result in commitment issues where despite finding herself compatible with you, she is unable to commit to the relationship.
How To Tell Your Partner You've Been Sexually Assaulted
Give her enough time to find out that you are truly committed to the relationship. When you feel that your partner wants to talk about her painful past, be sure to listen actively and later offer unconditional support. It is common for victims of abuse to give in to addictions related to drugs, alcohol, and sex or succumb to depression.
If such self-destructive behavior is still in the initial stage, you could communicate your concerns to your partner. Sooner or later, the person will have to take charge of her own life and put the demons of her past to rest. Take professional help If you truly want to be with this woman but find yourself unable to cope with her emotional ups-and-downs despite your sincerest efforts, the only way left is to seek professional past.
I grew up in a family where respecting women was the norm. Being surrounded by so many successful and confident women made me admire them. My father had taught me from a young age to appreciate and respect women.
5 Tips for Dating a Survivor of Sexual Assault - ATTN:
Whenever I failed to do so, my penalty was harsh. I recall a day when I was nine years old. Innocently, I ordered my mom to make dinner for me, complaining about my hunger. My father was absolutely livid—I was grounded for a month and told that no woman would ever be my subordinate, and that I was never to treat one as such.
He was someone relatively close to me: Her normally rosy colored cheeks turned white, and her infectious smile violently turned into a full-fledged frown as tears rolled down her face.
I need to get away. The rape has been so traumatic for my girlfriend that she is considering transferring away from our current university—a place that once brought her joy and comfort.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of this situation is that her rapist, a man who turned a confident and bubbly girl into an insecure mess, takes no responsibility for his actions. He brags about their hook up, and believes she is making the entire story up. This creates a deeper sense of neglect for my girlfriend, who feels ashamed and lonely in the seemingly winless battle against her own mind. Those close to my girlfriend have felt unimaginable sadness. Her mother has taken mental health days home from work, unable to concentrate on her career.
Dating a Woman who was Sexually Abused as a Child
Her father has cancelled trips because all he can think about is his daughter. I often have what feels like hundreds of emotions flowing through me at a single time. I feel embarrassed—my own fraternity a place that I spent six miserable weeks pledging my allegiance to accepts rapists.
And maybe the worst emotion of all—I feel alone. And if I ever complain about how I feel, it will be trite compared to the trauma that my girlfriend feels on a daily basis. As my story can prove, rape is a crime that can ruin far more than two lives.