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Should a victim tell their partner?

Hi Everyone, just looking for perspective here. Do you think it is important for a victim to tell their boyfriend/girlfriend? My friend was sexually abused as a child and wants to tell her boyfriend but isn't sure if that's something he would want to know. What advice do you think I should give my friend?

If she wants to tell her boyfriend I think she should! Talking about sexual abuse is very difficult when you're a victim and finding someone to trust to be able to talk about it will take time. But if she's ready to talk about it, I think that having someone, (boyfriend/girlfriend), to talk about this with could be really beneficial to the relationship and make her feel more comfortable/safe in her relationship as well.

The choice of a person to tell their partner is completely up to them. If they are a victim of such a traumatic experience, then it takes a lot out of a person to talk about that specific experience, and for them to tell someone can be extremely invigorating, but also extremely stressful. There is definitely a level of trust that a person needs to have with their partner in order to tell them about that, and it could take them a very long time to be able to emotionally handle speaking about the trauma. It could be better to tell a person with whom there is no sexual relationship with, because a trauma such as sexual assault can cause the victim to be very cautious about entering into a sexual relationship.

Hey there! I think this is an excellent question. I don't think that your friend should feel any pressure whatsoever to tell her partner about her past experience with sexual abuse. It does sound like, however, she may have put some thought into and is ready to share that part of her life. I think that personally, if she feels the desire to tell him, she should. I myself have been through some things in life, not as severe as sexual abuse, and I am very selective with whom I share it with. My last boyfriend of a few years was one person that I shared it with. It wasn't right off the bat, in fact, it took a bit of time until I knew that I really trusted and wanted to be with this person. He was very open to hearing about my experiences and what I went through and worked hard to make sure I knew he was there supporting me through it. I think that in this case, if your friends wants to share, she should. It could really open doors for the relationship as far as trust and comfort goes, and it will help her partner see more clearly who she is, and in turn, will (I hope) treat her the best way that they can.

I think that it can most definitely be a scary topic to share because we are afraid of the rejection and ridicule that we may face as some are not as understanding as others. It can bring back waves of trauma which I can imagine is extremely difficult for the survivor to feel in what should be a moment of strength. It sounds as though your friend would like to be open about this part of her life with her partner, and if she's ready, she should do it! Be sure to let her know that should any feelings return, she has you and a large support system backing her up 🙂

If your friend wants to share that information with their partner, I think that they should, if they feel that they trust them and are respected in the relationship. Opening up to people can be really difficult, however, it can be an important part of a relationship. Your friend shouldn't rush into telling their partner, or feel as though they absolutely need to, but it could help them feel better and more secure.

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