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National Helpline for LGBT+ Victims and Survivors of Abuse and Violence0800 999 5428

Email help@galop.org.uk

Home Forums Looking for support? Recovery after abuse Coping several years on [CW: R**e]

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    I’m a trans woman in my mid 20s.
    Several years ago, I was in a relationship with my first boyfriend, and there was an incident. By the title it should be fairly obvious, but the short version is that we had gone to one of his friend’s places for the evening, had a few drinks and then went back to his for the night. I was quite tipsy and wanted to go to sleep, but a while later he starts. I told him to stop, but he didn’t. When he was done, he went back to sleep and that was that. He didn’t actively try to hurt me, he was just stronger than me and I couldn’t do anything.
    He never mentioned it, and a few months later we broke up. The relationship was at a time when I had not come out, and he didn’t want to be with me if I was going to come out. I don’t begrudge him for that, but it was always something that made me worried about seeking help because I felt like he could out me if he wanted to, and as I was living with my homophobic/transphobic father at the time I did not feel as if it would end well.
    And then that was that. It would mess me up from time to time, but I never really viewed it as r**e because it just kinda happened. He was my boyfriend, it wasn’t violent or anything, it was only one time, and after all I felt like I couldn’t seek professional help because I didn’t have the money to go private and regular women’s services wouldn’t admit me because I’m a trans woman.
    Yesterday, I read an article. It broke me, and I spent a good half an hour in tears because so much of it was familiar. My current boyfriend asked what was wrong, and I didn’t say anything, but after a while I gave him the article to read without any more context. We’re going to talk tonight after work.

    I think I’m going to tell him what happened, but not who did it since I fear consequences if he decides to take matters in to his own hands, or make me report it.

    How should I talk to him about it? And what can I do to seek professional help, since it’s obvious that I can’t get past this on my own.

    Thank you.


    Hello there,

    Thank you for reaching out to the forum and sharing your story with us. It sounds like a very tough and confusing situation and we hope the forum can help you.

    It sounds like you buried the pain of the incident because the possible danger you would face at home if you were outed was too great, it seems at the time you felt the safest option was to bury it, even though this could have been very painful to do so. Unfortunately many survivors of abuse find themselves in position where they have decide what the safest path is for them and this can sometimes lead survivors to having to bury abusive experiences until a later time in their life. It is not right at all, but what is key is all survivors should be in charge of their own experience and story.

    It sounds like the article (thank you for sharing it) has brought to the surface a lot of emotions about the assault and you recognise that professional help might support you to process this and start to recover. Good idea. We have some suggestions which you may want to consider:

    https://oneinfour.org.uk/ is a sexual violence support service which has a helpline and counselling services which are low cost.
    https://rapecrisis.org.uk/ is there for all survivors of sexual abuse and violence and your local services may have counselling.
    https://www.pinktherapy.com/ is a directory of private therapists who with gender and sexuality diverse people.
    https://www.survivorsuk.org/– support men and non binary people incase this helpful and they have a good LGBT+ understanding.
    Galop’s has produced a number of guides about LGBT+ people and sex which you may like to read https://galop.org.uk/types-of-abuse/sexual-violence/

    You asked about how to talk to your current partner about the article and what it brought up for you. You might find this guide about talking to partners and family members about sexual abuse useful to help you think through the best way for you to approach the conversation. The most important thing is you share what you want to and feel safe doing it. https://www.rainn.org/articles/telling-loved-ones-about-sexual-assault

    In case you want to offer your partner some insight about how to help you – this article could be passed on to him. https://www.safeline.org.uk/what-can-friends-and-family-members-do-to-support-survivors-of-sexual-abuse/

    Many thanks for reaching out to us,

    The Helpline Team

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