My boyfriend was sexually assaulted as a child: advice?

Questions and discussion about sexual or other abuse or assault, and support and help for survivors.
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My boyfriend was sexually assaulted as a child: advice?

Unread postby littlebirdie » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:39 pm

A little background: I've been dating my boyfriend for about 2.5 years now, and he just told me a couple weeks ago that he was sexually assaulted at a summer camp when he was about 8 or 9. This was over a video call, and I could tell it was really hard for him to tell me: later he said that he was a little worried that I would be mad he hadn’t told me earlier (which is apparently a common thing for survivors), but I don’t care about that at all.
We talked the next day about it and he said that he had “gotten over it” and that he was fine, and he just started seeing a therapist, so I’m hoping he’ll tell them, but I’m still worried. Another issue is that the camp counselor that assaulted him may still be working with children, and my boyfriend could tell the camp director but he’s afraid that the director would lose his job (I honestly think the director should), and of course it’s a really personal thing to tell someone about that. My boyfriend is a very independent and strong person and he said that he didn’t want me to feel sorry for him, but it’s still really stressing me out. Any advice as to what I can do?

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Re: My boyfriend was sexually assaulted as a child: advice?

Unread postby Sam W » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:57 am

Hi littlebirdie,

It sounds like you're already doing a good job of supporting him after he told you and acknowledging that he's done something really brave just in opening up to you, which is great. If you're not sure how best to support him around this going forward, the next step (if you haven't already done so) is to ask him if there's anything in particular he wants or needs you to do with this information. For instance, if you two are sexual at all, are there boundaries he needs to feel safe? Or, if he's planning on telling other people sometime soon, does he need you to support him in that? Does that feel like a conversation you two can have?

You mention this situation is really stressing you out. Are there particular elements of it that are causing that stress, or is it more general stress that's coming from the fact that you've learned something distressing?

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