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How sexual assault changes your dating and sex life

“The first time I got turned on in any way after the rape, I burst into floods of tears,” says Tanaka Mhishi.

Tanaka is just one of the seven people who feature in Life After Sexual Violence, a seven part series which throws a spotlight on the reality of life after a sex attack.

Navigating one’s closest relationships can be tricky in the aftermath of sexual violence. Tanaka describes how he suffered significant trauma in trying to navigate healthy sexual experiences after being raped, and how he burst into tears when having sex for the first time after the attack. “I hadn’t cried up until that point actually,” he says. “I’d just been in this fugue zombie shock state. So the coming back to myself could also be bizarrely more painful than just staying traumatized sometimes.”

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