Sexual assualt while dating
"It was obvious what I was telling him, but I couldn't say the words or specifics straight out. "Sex-wise is the same; I know he'd like more sex, but he respects that I don't want to."Carlson said that while it was important to pay attention to a partner's boundaries, they might also not feel comfortable revealing them explicitly."Being an attentive partner also requires that if someone doesn’t feel comfortable expressing their boundaries due to previous trauma, cultural norms or anything else that you take the physical and emotional cues that are right there in front of you," she said.He was incredibly supportive, holding me while I wept and divulged such a secret."Many survivors of sexual assault and other traumatic experiences are triggered to relive their trauma by certain stimuli, the Washington Post reported. "For all you know this could be your new dating partner’s first time making the personal choice to be intimate again after a sexual assault."Always ask yourself if the questions that come to your mind are information you need to know or if you’re just curious.Odds are that if you’re not working with survivors in a professional capacity there is literally nothing you need to know, and the way to support your partner is to be open to them talking about it, but not forcing it.
If you have taken the time to educate yourself, you probably won’t say any of these things: What were you wearing?
And like I now tell my husband when we go away for the weekend: I may have a lot of baggage, but I’m strong enough to carry it myself. Even if this person is at the beginning of the process, you do not need to save or fix the person. And while I don’t have to tell them about my history of sexual violence, I often do because I think it’s an important way to make the issue more accessible and personal.
Sure, sometimes the person sharing might be doing so because they need some help, in which case you can refer them to a professional. And even if you are, you are on a date, not in a therapy session. But stunned, open-mouthed silence was something I encountered far too often. By doing so, I hope to make it easier for friends, dates, and regular people to talk openly about the things that make them who they are.
You can ask questions, but don’t pry if they don’t want share something."Alison*, a 37-year-old writer and mother living in Seattle, told ATTN: that she was sexually abused by her father as a child, and she wasn't sexually intimate with a partner until she met her husband, at 29."After being together for three months, I told him about my experiences (my father also was a drunk, threatened us with firearms, and was — and this should be obvious — a total jackass).
I told my husband about the sexual abuse, but kept it vague and said it quickly," she said. "Ask what to do if I am triggered, or what that would look like. You don't have to bombard me with questions, but let this type of communication can be a casual, regular part of getting to know me and being with me."Pay attention to your partners boundaries and what makes them uncomfortable."My husband is very supportive, let's me talk about it if I want to, but never pushes me," Alison said.