Last update
2019-10-25 04:23:18

    How to treat your girlfriend, who's been a victim of rape and/or sexual assault

    1. Tenderly. Show her love, show her compassion, treat her gently. Some days she needs to be treated delicately.

    2. But, treat her like she’s strong. She is. Let her know that you know she’s a warrior.

    3. Check, and double check, and triple check that she is completely comfortable with any sexual activities the two of you partake in. Don’t just accept a yes. Check for body language, her facial expressions, her tone of voice. Do not go forward until you have established her comfort fully.

    4. Don’t get upset when she isn’t comfortable doing whatever sexual activity you suggest. Dont be pushy, and never force it. Let her set the boundaries. Respect them.

    5. Don’t become upset if she suddenly seems far away, or like she’s not paying attention, during sex. She’s probably disassociating. Stop. Do not continue to have sex with her. Let her come back to life.

    6. Encourage, and if she’s comfortable, participate in her healing. If she needs help finding a therapist, or wants to see a psychiatrist, or needs a support group, do what you can to help her with these needs.

    7. Do not ask about parts of her story she doesn’t readily tell. Maybe she’ll tell you details, maybe she won’t. Let her share what she wants and don’t pry into what she doesn’t. Never, ever suggest doubt or blame on any part of her story. Expect to be met with extremely negative emotions if you try to invalidate her.

    8. When she wakes up crying during the middle of the night from the nightmares she has about her incident or attacker, get her a glass of water. Make her tea. Comfort her in some way.

    9. Remind when you have to that it wasn’t her fault. That she is still a wonderful and beautiful and whole human being who has so much to offer the world. She will have periods of extreme depression. She will feel like she is worthless, or dirty or incomplete. She may feel suicidal or have self destructive behaviors. Help her see the good in herself when she cannot.

    10. Stand up for her, and all other victims of rape or sexual assault when it comes to victim blaming. Slut shaming. Your friends making rape jokes and talking about fucking too drunk girls. Discourage this behavior. Call them out on being fucking shit bags. Have her back.

    11. Be honest, all the time. She probably has extreme trust issues. Help her heal these. Help her regain trust in people.

    12. Treat her in ways that pamper and relax her physically. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but if you can afford it pay for her to get her nails or hair done, maybe get a massage. Feeling comfortable in your own skin, let alone having a stranger touch it, after an assault is extremely difficult. I’ve found small activities like these have helped me personally become more comfortable with touch overall.

    13. When it comes to your physical interactions with her, always start slow. Always approach slow. Kiss her gently, hug her softly, until you fully understand her comfort level with touch.

    14. Avoid her triggers. If she can’t stand to watch movies that have scenes of rape or sexual assault, don’t bring her to them or have them on while she’s around. If there was a song related to her attack, don’t play it when she can hear it. Learn what these might be from her and do your best to keep them out of her life.

    15. Give her the attention she needs when she needs it, and the alone time she needs as well. If she doesn’t want to be around you it doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you, she just needs time to herself. All people do, but in my experience victims can be much more one way or another on the spectrum, meaning she may crave constant attention, or want much more alone time than you’re used to.

    16. Accept her, and her trauma. And if you can’t deal with the truth and ugliness that comes along with rape- the PTSD, the flinching at intimacy, the night terrors, the poor communication skills, the sometimes desperate need to be validated in feelings and love- then leave. She is who she is because of what has happened to her. You cannot take her trauma away. You cannot change her. You can try and help but you’ll never repair the damage that was done. The last thing she needs is a man coming into her life and treating her like shit because she was ASSAULTED.

    17. Assure her of your love and protection often. Tell her you’ll never hurt her, and don’t. Tell her you love her, and mean it. And then act on it. Be a good partner, and be a good lover. Rape and assault victims are incredibly strong and beautiful people, who are able to offer so much compassion and love to the world because they have seen and felt the exact opposite of compassion and love. They have felt hatred and pain and control, and many of them will go above and beyond to prevent others from feeling these things.

    If any of this seems too difficult for you, or maybe you just don’t want to do it.. Don’t date that girl. You don’t deserve her, and she deserves a partner who will treat her like she’s meant to be treated. And to all my fellow rape and sexual assault survivors, do not put up with a man (or woman) who doesn’t think about your trauma and do what he has to to be in a relationship with you. If the partners you’ve been with aren’t living up to the standard you need, just stay single. You’ll meet someone someday who will be perfect for you, and treat you gently, and kiss your tears away and calm your fears, and make you remember that sex can feel good and be fun and not be a painful and tortuous trip into your own head time and time again. You’ll meet someone who will care for and respect your body. And it will all be worth the wait. You are beautiful, strong, and WORTHY.


    PTSD is very very real.