What you might have noticed in your partner
People who were sexually abused in childhood can struggle with the effects of being abused for a long time, even if the abuse stopped many, many years ago. Some people have blocked out their trauma for many years as a way of coping and something can trigger their memory which can be traumatic years later.
There are many possible short and long-term effects that can result from being abused in childhood, some of which may make sense to you, and some you may find more difficult to understand. The important thing to remember is what you may be noticing in your partner now is likely to be happening because of the experiences they had to cope with when they were a child.
The list below shows some of the effects that being sexually abused in childhood can have on survivors in their adult lives. It is not a complete list and not all of these effects will be experienced by everyone, but there are likely to be things on it that you might have noticed in your partner:
Sometimes these effects emerge later in life because feelings and memories about the abuse have remained buried for many years. Some of these effects are actually ways that the survivor has learnt to cope with what happened to them as a child. Although these feelings can be overwhelming and unpleasant, they are part of the healing process and with appropriate support and help these can be managed.