As the boyfriend or girlfriend of a person who has been abused, assaulted or stalked, you often will be the one closest to the victim. In addition to having feelings similar to a friend or family member who wants to help, you may also have some specific concerns.
- You may feel that you should have protected your partner from any assault or threat. You may feel guilty or ashamed if you were not present or if you and your partner were arguing at the time that the incident occurred.
- Similarly, you may feel a strong desire to retaliate against the person who hurt your partner. However, being aggressive with the accused will only further distress and worry your partner.
- Although it may be difficult, it is always most important to respect your partner’s wishes. A victim typically does not want any further violence or threat of violence as they attempt to recover.
- Sometimes you will be torn between the desire to treat your partner as if they were extremely delicate and the opposite wish to help them feel as if nothing has changed between the two of you. As always, it is crucial to ask what they need from you.
- For a while, your life as well as your partner’s will be changed. While your partner gets help to heal, you may also need support for the changes in both your life and your relationship.
- After a sexual assault you may want to assure your partner that they continue to be desirable to you, while at the same time being fearful of causing distress during expressions of sexuality.
- Talking about your concerns will often lead to a more open and satisfying sexual connection, while taking into account that there may be short-term changes in the ways in which that connection is expressed.
- For support and information, call CARE and talk confidentially by phone or in person.