This may be not the appropriate community, but I am looking for resources - books or articles - about how to improve the affective support towards an adult who suffered childhood sexual abuse.

I am starting a relationship with a person in her 30s who suffered constant sexual and physchological abuse as a child. She did not realize it until a few years ago, and she is going to therapy now. I am not trying to replace the professional help in any way, I just want to understand how to better support her when she talks about the things she had experienced, or when she feels guilty or unloved. I am doing my best to make her feel safe and loved, but sometimes I just don't know what to say.

I did some research, but found only books or articles for professional treatment, or guides on how to detect it. I understand the vastly difference between individual cases, but this is something so unrelated to my experience that any guidance will be very helpful.

Note: I am an academic researcher - on a completely different field -, so I might be able to cope with some technical terms or dense books.

  • $\begingroup$ The question would be better if you include the resources have you searched $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jun 27, 2020 at 5:27
  • $\begingroup$ How would including the books and articles found improve the question @Ooker when the items found were different to what is searched for? 🤔 $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2020 at 5:40
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisRogers not sure why you ask that. You know, for better context? $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jun 27, 2020 at 6:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Ooker - You know my stance on prior research and when it is said "I did some research, but found only books or articles for professional treatment, or guides on how to detect it." how would adding links to these add context when it is not what the OP is asking for? There is prior research done and no satisfactory results came up. The fact that this is highlighted satisfies me. What more could you need? $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2020 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisRogers I understand those are not what OP's asking. However, it may suggest some keywords that can guide us to look deeper. I understand that for those who are experts in this topic (like you), then such links are not necessary $\endgroup$
    – Ooker
    Jun 27, 2020 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


Rape and sexual assault definitely does not only affect the assaulted, but also the friends and family as they can feel helpless, not knowing what is best to do to help and support the assaulted.

As I mentioned in the comments, support groups such as

provide support to survivor's partners, friends and family too.

The following books are recommended by Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre

  • Allies in healing: when the person you love was sexually abused as a child, by Laura Davis
    ISBN: 978-0060552992

    Laura Davis is also the author of the well known book for survivors called The Courage to Heal Workbook which is a companion to the main book The Courage to Heal she co-authored with Ellen Bass

    Allies in Healing is available through Amazon as a Kindle book for a much cheaper price than a printed copy if that suits you.

  • Ghosts in the bedroom: A guide for partners of incest survivors, by Ken Graber
    ISBN: 978-1558741164

    Ken Graber draws from personal experience to show how partners can accept responsibility for their own issues, support the recovery of the incest or sexual abuse survivor, and work toward solving relationship problems together.


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