If Someone You Love is Raped, Lee Van Donselaar, Ph.D. & Kim McKay, M.S. In addition to its effect on the victim, rape profoundly affects family members and other loved ones. Partners of victims may have a particularly difficult time coming to terms with what has occurred. Yet, a partner is in a unique position to help a victim deal with the consequences of such a traumatic event, and thereby assist the loved one in making the transition from victim to survivor. Below are some helpful hints for becoming an ally to your loved one. Know the Facts and Myths: Rape…
Help with Immediate Concerns:
The survivor needs...
Be a Partner in Healing:
Anger… Shifts the attention from the survivor’s needs to your needs. Blocks communication. Is easily misinterpreted as anger toward the survivor.
SummaryPartners of loved ones who have been raped play a crucial role in the trauma recovery process. It is vital to provide a safe, accepting environment in which the survivor can release painful feelings. By letting the survivor know you trust in her/his ability to recover, you empower her/him to overcome the pain. As the healing process proceeds, it is recommended that you resume joint, pleasurable activities which brought you closer together in the past. Be patient: Complete resolution may take months or even years. Finally, for your own well-being, it is recommended that you find a trusted friend, confidante, or group to whom you can vent your own pent-up feelings. ReferencesIf She is Raped; A Guidebook for Husbands and Fathers, (1991). A.W. McEvoy & J.B. Brookings, Holmes Beach, FL: Learning Publications. Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child, (1991). L. Davis. New York: HarperCollins. Outgrowing the Pain Together: A Book for Partners and Spouses of Adults Abused as Children, (1991). E. Gill, New York: Dell Bantam Doubleday.
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