I am sure that members of the channel have noticed that there are a growing number of partners of survivors coming to the channel, for help, for themselves and seeking help for partners too. I would like you to know that you are most welcome but am also aware that there are questions that you may wish to ask that perhaps can only be answered by the partner of a survivor. Therefore,hopefully, by the end of April the channel #partners should be up and running. This channel will be for partners of survivors in need of reassurance, guidance, help with locating groups in your area to join, or just plain old chat. The channel will be run by my husband Simon who I can assure you has been through it with me:)

In the meantime, I will begin listing email addresses each month on the newsletter of partners who have expressed a wish to communicate with other partners. Please know that you are still welcome to #survivors also.

If anyone would like to contribute feelings, poems, or comments to the #partners page then email
info@survivors.org.uk and mark the email for the attention of Simon.

mborth@vvm.com Marty (Feathers)


info@survivors.org.uk Simon Miles

As a female survivor it would be wrong for me to presume that I know how to answer your questions and you would probably feel that I may have answered them in a biased manner. For that reason I am going to copy some information for partners from the book The Courage To Heal, by Ellen Bass and Lauren Davis.

This information pertains to all couples - married and unmarried, heterosexual and lesbian. Although there are significant differences in cultural conditioning, power dynamics and role expectations, these differences are far outweighed by the common problems all couples face when one or both partners are survivors.

Being the partner of someone actively healing from child sexual abuse has both problems and rewards, although the problems are more often obvious than the rewards. Survivors commonly have difficulties with trust, intimacy and sex, all of which have a direct impact on your relationship. Often, at least for a time, the survivors problems and healing dominate your time together. Depending on the stage of the healing process the survivor is in, he/she may be angry, depressed or totally preoccupied. He/she may be self-destructive or even suicidal. He/she may have a great need for maintaining control in their life. Sometimes the abusive patterns from her original family are acted out with you or your children.

As a partner you may not understand what is going on. You may feel inadequate because you cannot fix things, guilty because you are not 100 percent supportive.You may be isolated, with no one to talk to. Partners often feel frustrated at the amount of time healing takes. You may still have to deal with the survivors abusive family members. Other times, your own family history will be reawakened, accompanied by painful emotions. All the while your own needs may not be getting met.

Survivors always tell their partners "Don't take it personally". This is extremely difficult because so much of it is personal. If the survivor withdraws, is angry, is sad, needs time alone, does not want to make love, this affects you personally. And yet it is true that her/his behaviors does not necessarily reflect her/his feelings for you or for your relationship. In reality, your partner is either repeating coping behaviors from years before you even met her him/her, or he/she is doing what she needs to do to heal. It often has very little to do with you.

Maintaining a balance between sharing wholeheartedly in the process and keeping an appropriate sense of independence and separateness is one of the challenges of supporting a woman/man who is actively healing from child sexual abuse. Throughout you will be trying to encourage her/him, nature yourself, and create healthy patterns for a relationship that will serve you not only during the
crisis, but throughout your life.

Partners find obstacles as well as survivors, that keep them from reaching out for support - or even from just being honest about where they are going. Shame is a major one, but, you have nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing shameful about loving a woman/man who is working to heal from trauma. There is nothing shameful about experiencing the problems that result from such abuse. There is nothing shameful about your own pain, and or fear.


Please don't be alone, for information on how to access the channel please see the instructions on how to get to #survivors, this should help, all else failing the please email the above or myself info@survivors.org.uk and mark the email connecting to partners.

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