A significant other is often the most important person in your life. If your partner is the victim of sexual assault, you might be overwhelmed with conflicting emotions and questions.

Questions about reporting should be directed to:

Was this my fault? Could I have prevented it? How do I make this go away? Will our community judge us if we seek outside help? Did my partner somehow cause it? Will we ever enjoy physical intimacy again? How can I get revenge? How can I take away their pain? This is too much for me to handle...

For you to know:

As the significant other of a victim of gender misconduct, nothing you're feeling or questioning is wrong or unnatural in the wake of this kind of crisis. Although difficult, acknowledging and addressing together your feelings, as well as your partner's feelings, can help prevent further distress in a traumatic situation.

If your partner is a victim of rape:

Rape is an act of violence that uses sex to dominate and humiliate the victim. Rape and sexual assault leaves the victim violated, humiliated and deeply distressed. Understanding the difference between rape and sexual assault versus consensual sex is a critical way you can support your partner.

Victims of rape and sexual assault may take months or years to recover.

These guidelines can help you:

  • Educate yourself about sexual assault and the healing process.
  • Face what happened. Don't try to smooth things over or make it all better.
  • Listen to your partner actively and without judgment.
  • Ask your partner what they want and need from you.
  • Let them decide how to proceed after an assault.
  • Validate your partner's feelings.
  • Recognize and express your own feelings about the assault to your partner.
  • Encourage your partner to identify and utilize available resources, many are available at The University of Akron.

If your partner is a victim of stalking:

Menacing By Stalking is a crime in Ohio and a violation of University Policies. Stalking is a serious offense and one that can even be dangerous for a victim's partner.

These guidelines can help you:.

  • It's important to keep the whereabouts of the victim private.
  • It's important to be on alert yourself, as you too can become a target.
  • It can be helpful to encourage your partner to report stalking to the police, so appropriate action can be taken.