How can I support my partner who is a rape victim?
Q: I am 22 years old student. I am in a relationship with a 23-year-old lady. Everything was going smoothly & we were deeply committed until she told me that she was gang raped when she was 16. She hasn't told anyone about this incident in her family. She even got pregnant after this and told her mother that this happened due to her fictitious boyfriend. Her family doesn't know what really happened, but her classmates knew everything. She was teased about this when she went to the university. I know she loves me a lot and she confided into me because she had faith in me. But this has shaken me up. I am not able to sleep properly, I cannot concentrate on my studies. I keep thinking about the torture she went through. Sometimes I weep, yet sometimes I hate her. We have broken up 5 times in the past 5 months, all because of me. Sometimes I think that I should stand by her, but negative thoughts keep coming to my mind. I want to be with her, but I am always afraid that someone from my family would come to know about it. I keep thinking that the criminals are always on a lookout for her and talking about her to others. She has learned to live with this, but I am very depressed. I love her, please advise.
A:One can understand your distress, but it is of paramount importance that you appreciate and empathise what she must be going through. Rape, is a very stressful horrifying experience, and the woman is absolutely at no fault, and there is no way she can be held responsible or punished for this, and it is must that you understand that her distress and trauma is very high, and she would need a total understanding and support from your side. I think you must take some counseling from an expert and handle your conflicts so that the relationship is not affected, and be supportive to her.