Sexual trauma is a deeply personal and life-altering experience. It can leave a profound impact on a survivor’s emotional, mental, and physical well-being. If your partner has experienced sexual trauma, you may feel unsure of how to best support them.

Understanding the Impact of Sexual Trauma

How to Support a Partner Who Has Experienced Sexual TraumaSexual trauma can manifest in a variety of ways. Some survivors may experience immediate emotional distress, including fear, anger, shame, and guilt. Others may experience symptoms later on, such as flashbacks, nightmares, or dissociation. Sexual trauma can also affect physical health, leading to changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, and libido.

It’s important to remember that there’s no “right” way to react to sexual trauma. Every survivor’s journey is unique. Here are some common reactions you might see in your partner:

Creating a Safe Space for Healing

The most important thing you can do for your partner is to create a safe and supportive environment where they feel comfortable talking about their experience, or not talking about it at all, if that’s what they need. This can be achieved through the following ways:

Communication is Key

Open and honest communication is essential in any relationship, but especially important when supporting a partner who has experienced sexual trauma.

Supporting Recovery: Beyond Words

While words are important, actions speak even louder. Here are some ways to support your partner’s physical and emotional well-being through your actions:

Understanding Your Role:

While your support is crucial, it’s important to remember that you can’t fix your partner or “take away” their trauma.

Healing is a marathon, not a sprint. By building a safe and supportive environment, practicing open communication, and offering your unwavering support, you can empower your partner on their journey towards healing.