If your partner has experienced sexual violence, relationship violence, or stalking, whether recently or in the past, they might disclose their experience to you. It’s okay not to have all the answers or know exactly how to respond. You just need to listen and be supportive and respectful of their needs.
- Listen: Don’t ask your partner lots of questions while they are disclosing to you. Let them guide the conversation and don’t pressure them to disclose more details than they are comfortable with.
- Support: Offer non-judgmental support to create space for your partner to guide the process and decide what option works best for them. Support them in however they choose to move forward.
- Refer: No person can have all the answers, and your partner might need additional support outside of your relationship. Let them know that they have options and help them find which one feels most comfortable.
It can be hard for a survivor to be intimate after an experience of violence. Make sure you are being respectful and supportive of your partner’s boundaries and comfort. There might be intimate activities that your partner was comfortable with before and is not now. It’s important to give your partner the space to discover and rediscover their comfort levels and what feels good to them now.If you are in need of extra support or are looking to better support your partner, make an appointment to talk with a CARE staff member.