Results Data Analyses First, we provide descriptive information on the abuse characteristics of the sample and the study variables used in the proposed path models. Descriptive Information Table 1 shows the descriptive statistics and correlations for the variables in the study. Predicting Intimacy Problems From Stigmatization To examine the direct pathways from abuse severity to stigmatization to intimacy problems, we estimated the following pathways: Discussion Using three assessments over 6 years from childhood to early adulthood, we focused this longitudinal study on mechanisms that explain how youth with CSA histories become at risk for sexual difficulties and dating aggression.

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Cambridge University Press; Impact of sexual abuse on the HIV-risk-related behavior of adolescents in intensive psychiatric treatment. American Journal of Psychiatry. Sexual contact between children and adults: A life course perspective. Bugental DB, Shennum W. Gender, power, and violence in the family.


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SARCs are specialist medical and forensic services for anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted. They aim to be one-stop service, providing the following under one roof: Medical Services are free of charge and provided to women, men, young people and children. UK's leading charity specialising in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children.

The free helpline is for anyone, children or adults, concerned about a child at risk of abuse. The NSPCC also runs high profile campaigns for children's rights, such as Full Stop and administers regional teams and projects, and conducts research into child abuse and its effects. National organisation offering support and counselling for those affected by rape and sexual abuse. Rape and sexual assault.

Our services are confidential, free and available to anyone who's been raped or sexually assaulted, now or in the past. We can help, regardless of whether you have told the police or anyone else about the attack. Our volunteers can visit you at home if you want us to, and if doing so will not put you at further risk or somewhere else if you prefer. If you don't want to see anyone face-to-face, you can also talk to us on the phone, either at one of our local offices or at the national Victim Supportline.

National helpline for survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse, their families and friends. Provides emotional and practical support. Both organisations are based on self-help and provide support, legal information and advocacy. Rape and sexual abuse can happen to anyone regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, culture or social status. Living with the consequences of rape and sexual abuse can be devastating. We believe that all survivors are entitled to receive the best possible response to their needs whether or not they choose to report.

Women's Aid is the national domestic violence charity that helps up to , women and children every year. It was driving me crazy. Thank god she started to deal with the abuse. All that behaviour is starting to make sense to me now. You might feel relief after your partner starts talking about the sexual abuse. It helps you understand behaviours that may have baffled you for years.

Problems with sexuality, intimacy, and trust can be the result of childhood sexual abuse. I don't have a degree in psychology, and I'm afraid something I do or say could make things worse for her. And what if I touch her or do something in bed that really upsets her? You might feel inadequate coping with some of the changes in your partner when she is on the road to recovery.

Remind yourself that you are not the cause of these changes, and you shouldn't take it personally when she is angry or doesn't want to be touched. She looks like the same person, and I'm still in love with her, but she seems so different. It's like living with a stranger, and I really miss the old person. I know she's getting better, but where does that leave me? You might experience grief as you see your partner change. Remind yourself that she is the same person.

Experiencing personal changes can be as exciting and stressful for you as it is for her. You have to trust and be patient with her healing process.

Childhood sexual abuse and dating experiences of undergraduate women.

Any loving relationship needs the ongoing support and understanding of both partners. However, to be the partner of someone who is dealing with child sexual abuse takes extra understanding and patience. Being the partner of someone who experienced sexual abuse can be both an ordeal and a rewarding experience.

Greg's story illustrates some of the things that can happen to you as your partner recovers:. When Greg met his wife, Linda, she was in counselling because of sexual abuse by her grandfather. When they began a sexual relationship, Greg noticed that she resisted intimacy. She would always wear pyjamas to bed and never let him see her naked. Greg thought this meant that she was modest. Linda owned a successful computer software business and Greg worked as a journeyman welder.

He was flattered that a "professional" woman was interested in a "working-class" man like himself, and was even more flattered when she agreed to marry him. Linda told Greg about her grandfather after they were married. Greg supported her counselling and made a lot of aggressive comments about her grandfather. He saw himself as a "white knight" who had rescued her from an evil family. As Linda's counselling progressed, the relationship deteriorated. Instead of becoming more comfortable with her body, she still wore pyjamas to bed, and frequently resisted Greg's sexual overtures.

When he persisted, she told him that he was "a sex fiend". Then Linda accused Greg of attempting to control her, of being a chauvinist, and of flirting with other women. Eventually Greg lost patience. He told her to get on with her counselling so they could have a normal sex life. She accused him of emotional violence. In desperation Greg made an appointment to see a counsellor himself. The counsellor asked Greg to look at some of the assumptions he had made about Linda. Greg found that Linda's "modesty" was, in fact, a reaction to being sexually abused by her grandfather.

The counsellor also helped Greg separate what was true about Linda's accusations, from her perceptions of him that were distorted by the abuse. He had to acknowledge, for example, that his aggressive "white knight" approach was chauvinistic and controlling, and that Linda's perception of him as a "sex fiend" wasn't valid.

The counsellor also helped Greg see that he had idealized Linda as a middle-class achiever who had done him a favour by marrying him, and that this was quite unrealistic. This in turn led Greg to see how his self-esteem had been impacted by his own upbringing. In the end, he was able to be more supportive of Linda because he had a better sense of his own self-worth. He learned not to assume that he was automatically wrong when Linda attacked him. As Greg became more realistic about her, he gave up playing the "white knight". When Linda felt more in control of her recovery, she stopped her verbal attacks.

Greg also learned how to build greater non-sexual intimacy into their relationship. They both benefited in many ways from counselling. Greg's story contains several important principles for a healthy relationship. Both my parents drank a lot. As the oldest kid, I took care of everyone in my family. I did what I was supposed to and never asked for anything. After I finished school, I fell madly in love with Jack. No one had ever wanted me like he did. After a wonderful year together Jack began to remember being sexually abused as a child. I tried to help but I was angry. It seemed unfair that I'd finally found someone who loved me and now we had to deal with this big issue.

His family tried to be supportive but I was the only one he talked to about the abuse. Listening to him exhausted me and after six months, I was completely drained. Then my own sexual abuse experiences started to surface. I was frightened, knowing how much support Jack had needed. I wondered who was going to take care of me the way I was taking care of him. Certainly not my family! I felt like Humpty Dumpty, about to fall apart with no one to put me together again.

I couldn't tell anyone. I kept it all inside. I was sick all the time. Finally I had to tell my doctor and she was great. She helped me get the support and counselling I needed, and I started to feel better. I began to see how hard the last year had been. I had managed without asking for help, because that's what I had to do as a kid. No one ever cared about how I was doing and I thought that's how it always had to be.

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Now I know it isn't. I've had help from my doctor, my counsellor, my friends and my partner. It was a relief to tell Jack about it and he was shocked to realize I had the same needs he had. I guess we'd been going along almost like a parent and child. Now I've learned how to ask for support and he's learned he has something to give me. If your partner's recovery process has reminded you of your own sexual abuse, you might have these reactions: If you tell yourself your abuse was less serious and your needs can wait, you'll create a major problem in your relationship.

Your partner's recovery could take time and you'll become angry and resentful if you put your own needs on hold. Remember, your first responsibility is to yourself. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't support your partner or the relationship. In recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse, you'll both have to take turns giving and receiving support. Also you'll both need support outside of the relationship, from friends, a counsellor, or a support group.

A support group is made up of partners of adults who experienced sexual abuse as a child.

Most groups meet once a week and the purpose is to help each other through difficult times. People will probably talk about what has happened during the week and about their problems, frustrations and successes. You don't have to talk if you don't want to, and everything that is said in the group should be confidential. You'll have a chance to express your feelings and frustrations and to learn from what other people have to say.

You will be encouraged when you hear from group members who are further along in the process. In a partners' support group you don't have to worry about your partner's reactions to what you say and you will be with people who understand what you're talking about. To find out whether there are partners' groups in your community, contact a sexual assault centre or counselling centre.

If you and your partner are the same sex, the issues are similar: If your family and friends are not supportive of your relationship, this can be an added stress. Your children might suffer at first from your partner's recovery. They will probably sense the stress, and wonder whether they are causing it. Keep the explanation short and simple, and reassure them that they're not responsible for their parents' feelings.

When Your Partner Was Sexually Abused as a Child: A Guide for Partners

Your partner could be under additional stress if, when she was abused, she was the same age as one of your children. Be aware of this possible connection, but don't share this with your children as it may be very confusing to them. If your partner is putting a lot of effort into recovery, and is feeling exhausted, you can help by taking on extra responsibility for the children.

Plan to have fun with them while you give your partner time to rest. Your partner's recovery will affect the way you relate to her family, especially if the abuser was a family member.