How to Date a Survivor of Sexual Abuse

How to Date a Survivor of Sexual Abuse When I first met my current partner, fairly drunk already in a pub in February, I told him very matter-of-factly that I wasn’t looking to date at the time because I was a Survivor of Sexual Abuse 6 months before. We’ve both done a lot of learning since then, figuring out how he can help me, and how I can help him help me, and how I can help myself, so I thought I’d write a little piece on how to date a survivor of sexual abuse. This list is non-inclusive, so I would love to hear from you in the comments if you have any more tips to share.

DON’T make rape jokes

It might seem funny, it might seem blasé, it might seem laddish, but it is never ever appropriate. It will not win you any points with a Sexual Abuse survivor. Even revealing a fetish for consensual non consent is a bit hard for a rape survivor to process. Why would anyone fetishize something so soul destroying? In the same sense, don’t be boastful about how you think you can convince anyone to sleep with you. It might be true. You might have that charm, but to a rape survivor, it comes across as controlling – in a bad way – and manipulative.

DON’T slut shame

There are some “friends” I will never come out to as a survivor. Mostly friends who think I was too eager to please, and just looking for momentary validation. A romantic and/or sexual partner should be someone you can trust, and feeling belittled or disrespected, or responsible for what happened to you can lead to a cycle of self blame which, for me personally, makes me shy away from the physical stuff and from feeling sexually liberated and free to express my personality through the way I dress. Hiding away in baggy jumpers and jeans so’s not to attract the wrong kind of attention can dramatically impact one’s self esteem. Let your partner feel proud and confident of who they are and the way they dress. A short dress does not mean “yes”, and that’s something society needs to learn. But maybe do encourage them to wear a long coat over their bum skimming skirt if they’re going to walk home alone… Society hasn’t learnt yet, and it’s ok to be protective.

How to Date a Survivor of Sexual Abuse

DON’T “booty call”

I came out as a survivor to an old FWB of mine on a night he turned up at 1am trying to convince me to come home with him. A Sexual Abuse survivor needs to feel like he/she has more worth. We’re not sex objects who will drop our knickers/boxers at the click of your fingers. We’re living, breathing, feeling human beings (as EVERYONE is). Yes, some people will just have sex for the sake of sex. Some people even like being used by non romantic partners or anyone who will take them. But personally, for me as a survivor, that part of me has died and I want to be loved as hard as I can be loved, and then we’ll see about sex.

DO learn your partner’s triggers

They could be anything, and neither of you will have control over them. The person who abused him/her took all that control, and it might be gone forever. For example, I had my hair pulled by the man who did the thing he did to me, and now hair pulling is a hard limit, even when done in jest. Other things might be comments about your partners appearance. I was told “you could be a model if your hair wasn’t so fucked up”, so now any comments about my hair on a bad hair day could trigger me. It could even be a dream, and nobody on earth can control their dreams. Triggers will be unique to each survivor, so get your listening ears on and try to avoid triggering if you can. You could even keep a regularly updated trigger list to share between you. Communication is everything.

How to Date a Survivor of Sexual Abuse

DO be there

If that’s what your partner needs. Lying enveloped in someone’s arms, with no expectation for anything else weighing you down, and no pressure to talk about a traumatic experience, can be so much more healing than hours and hours of talking and reliving. Help create happier memories to fill their mind with. Help to move into the future rather than looking back too often. Get out of the house. Discover new happy places, go for a walk to get some fresh air in your lungs, run hot baths, spend time with mutual friends and talk about something completely different. Laughter is often the best medicine.

DO take things slow

As a survivor of sexual abuse, I only want to make whoopee with someone who’s going to stick around. I didn’t jump straight into bed on date one. There are other ways to get to know someone. Less intimidating ways. A back rub, a movie date, sofa snuggles. Create intimacy and trust before taking things to the next level. Learn to read your partner’s body (my partner knows my body better than me when it comes to things that make me feel tense). And remember to communicate verbally. Verbal consent is not a mood killer. Everyone should be doing a hell of a lot more of it. But to a rape survivor, it’s especially important. It helps us feel like our experiences do matter and are valid, and that you’re being protective over us.

How to Date a Survivor of Sexual Abuse

The images used in this blog are from the Yana Mazurkevich photo project

How to Date a Survivor of Sexual Abuse
Article Name
How to Date a Survivor of Sexual Abuse
When I first met my current partner, fairly drunk already in a pub in February, I told him very matter-of-factly that I wasn’t looking to date at the time because I was a Survivor of Sexual Abuse 6 months before.


Hippie at heart. I love creating things. New to the world of kink. Discovering my submissive side and my love of receiving pain. I mostly write erotica. Not hugely into Doctor Who, with the exception of David Tennant.

You may also like...

How to Date a Survivor of Sexual Abuse

by littlebixxie time to read: 6 min
Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!