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“If we’re going to be dating, and if we’re going to be dating a lot, we’re going to run into someone who probably is a sexual assault survivor,” says Cynthia Stocker, a licensed clinical social worker with more than 30 years of experience.

“There is no wrong or right way for them to do that.…That experience of sharing their story is up to the survivor and not up to us.” As a partner, be prepared to hear these stories with empathy, understanding, respect, and confidentiality.

“I don’t give someone all the details at once,” says a survivor.

When a current partner is empathetic, educated, and understanding, however, that can make dating easier to manage for both parties.

With that in mind, here are seven tips for dating a survivor.

“The thing that makes me most comfortable as a survivor is having open communication with my partner at all times, but especially during bad days and during sex,” says survivor Kelley O’Brien.

“We both make it a habit to check in with each other often and talk about everything too.“Communication — good eye contact, asking questions, not telling me how to feel, and giving me a choice/knowledge of plans,” is the most important aspect of a relationship for one survivor.She adds: “Not telling me how I’m supposed to feel or how and when it will get better is the big thing.” Taking the time to communicate how both partners feel at any given moment can go a long way toward building comfort and trust in a relationship.According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted, including both male and female victims.This means at some point in your dating life, odds are you will encounter a survivor.We understand why you are blocking ads, but just know it compromises your site experience (features may break or not appear entirely) and prevents us from investing in the Future of Porn.