The thing that was hardest for me was that I’d be okay for a while. I’d have a nice consensual sex life going on with someone, and then out of the blue, I’d have a panic attack - often *during *sex. It’s pretty horrid to have the feeling that this guy you love is attacking you, and yet you know it’s not so. I bet it’s no picnic for him, either.
There’s trauma involved in deciding whether or not to tell your friends and family, and some of that is relived every time you get serious with a new lover. Do I tell him? Does he have a right to know? It was a pretty big thing in my life, so I don’t want to hide it, but I also don’t want him thinking I’m damaged goods…
There’s trauma in the reactions of family and friends. Lots of them act as if they don’t want to hear it, or they want every detail, or they’re ambivalent. Trying to talk down an angry boyfriend/father/brother from “kicking that fucker’s face in!” while you’re already emotional isn’t fun. Some believe you, some don’t, and some blame you.
There’s the potential for trauma in even the therapy/support system, both professional and in your family/friends. I had actually come to terms with what happened in my past before my family found out, and then had to endure months of them telling me how devastated and broken I must be. How they’d “understand” if I acted out sexually, or became frigid, or acted out. Eventually, I believed them, and I began acting in ways to validate their assumptions.
And, I’m not sure if this is pertinent to your character, but many of us also struggle with “was it really rape?” in our own hearts. Maybe we didn’t struggle enough, or yell, or maybe we “led him on” or some shit. There’s this sense that rape as a term should be reserved for violent stranger rape, and anything that doesn’t result in two black eyes and a broken arm isn’t “really” rape, and you’re an impostor and an asshole for using the term to describe what happened to you. I’ve even worked with actual victims of violent stranger rape who still struggle with calling what happened to them “rape.” ETA: It’s even worse for victims of molestation and child rape, as their attackers are generally someone they love, and the body may very well react with pleasure during their attacks; that’ll screw with your head for YEARS.