Elizabeth Smart’s 5 Valuable Tips For Building a Healthy Relationship After Sexual Assault

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and who better to team up with than the incredible Elizabeth Smart? Keep reading for her inspiring advice on how to create happy, healthy, and intimate relationships after experiencing sexual violence. 

For a little background – at the tender age of 14, Elizabeth was kidnapped and held hostage for over 9 months. She is known for her miraculous rescue and her resilience to overcome the trauma from her captors.

Since then, Elizabeth has dedicated herself to supporting and educating sex crime victims and raising awareness of this growing issue. During the week of April 29th through May 3rd, on Elizabeth’s and our Mentionables’ social media pages, we are joining forces to help educate survivors with tips for building a healthy relationship after sexual assault.


After enduring such sexual trauma, you may be wondering: Why would Elizabeth want to work with a lingerie company? An important piece of healing for sexual assault victims is accepting their sexuality and seeing it as something good – not bad or scary. Lingerie is a wonderful way to reclaim your body for yourself and to feel confident, desirable, and excited for intimacy.

In partnering with Elizabeth, we are excited to debut our beautiful teal-colored lingerie collection – the official color of SAAM. Shop the new styles here.

To show our support here at Mentionables, with every purchase of our teal-colored pieces from our exclusive collaboration, 20% of sales will be donated to the Elizabeth Smart Foundation


Trust us – when your relationship is in a good place, it makes the world go round. 

Ask any happy couple: The secret to their success is developing healthy habits and attitudes over a lifetime because life is brighter when you have mutual trust and respect with your partner. 

With trust, couples say they feel a strong sense of safety, partnership, and overall contentment. And where there’s safety, there’s also the freedom to explore and be adventurous. Plus, expressing love comes easy when you’re in a safe place where passion and joy can thrive. 

Now who would know more about creating healthy intimacy after sexual trauma than a survivor herself?

 Let’s dive into Elizabeth’s five tips for building a healthy relationship.


“If your partner respects a small boundary, they’re more likely to respect a larger one”.

One of the biggest, most important tips for building a healthy relationship is having sexual boundaries that are both honored and consented to. Elizabeth tells us that those two things create a fine line between a healthy and unhealthy intimate relationship with your partner. 

Not sure what your boundaries are? Elizabeth invites you to ask yourself:

  • Looking at my life, where am I okay? What feels good and comfortable?
  • Where am I not okay? What is a total “no”? 
  • Where am I curious and open to new experiences? 
  • What things feel aligned with my values?

Once you know your boundaries, share them with your partner – outside the bedroom. 

PROTIP: Remember that boundaries can change. What was once a “no,” might turn into a “yes” as you become more comfortable. On the other hand, something that’s a green light before sex can become a full stop during sex – and that’s okay too. Listen to your body and its cues. 


“I want survivors to know the difference between healthy intimacy and assault.”

If sexual trauma is a part of your story, physical intimacy may be even more challenging.

But it’s not impossible. 

According to the second tips for building a healthy relationship, boundaries, respect, and good communication are key. But how do you know if your partner is safe? 

Speaking from her own experience in overcoming sexual violence, Elizabeth recommends studying your relationship and then considering these important questions:

  1. Do you feel safe?
  2. Does your partner trust and respect all of your boundaries?
  3. Are you able to share your feelings/experiences? Are they received with understanding and compassion?
  4. Do you ever feel pressure from your partner to do something you aren’t ready for? Is your partner okay with taking things slow if needed?

PROTIP: Know that healing is on your timeframe, no one else’s; it’s a journey with no clear end, but over time, you CAN arrive at a place of happiness and peace. We believe in you!


“Bodies are beautiful and should be celebrated.” 

While likely not a tip you expected on a list of tips for building a healthy relationship – it applies

As Elizabeth points out, it’s no mystery why museums are filled with artistic masterpieces of female bodies; it’s because a woman’s body IS a piece of art that’s designed to be celebrated. 

When someone takes advantage of your beautiful body, though, mistrust, hate, and resentment may build towards it. This type of pain and distrust runs deep and can be difficult to overcome. 

It’s also worth noting that, throughout time, women have received staggering amounts of pressure from society to be a certain size, causing anxiety, depression, and more

So how can you learn to love your body? Here are a few tips from Elizabeth:

    • Be grateful for all your body does for you. While you can appreciate your body for its looks, carve out time to recognize what it allows you to accomplish. Grab your journal and make a list of things you’re thankful for about your body. Don’t stop adding to it. 
    • Remember your worth is not tied to your body. Your value comes from who you are on the inside, not the outside; you’re more than just your body – we promise.
    • Stop the negative self-talk. Change your thoughts to loving, empowering ones whenever you’re in a discouraging mindset. Daily affirmations are great for this.
    • Do things that make your body feel good, like exercise, spending time outdoors, or taking a warm bath. This trains your brain to associate positivity with your body.


“Lingerie is one of those steps that make me feel beautiful and build anticipation.”

A great tool Elizabeth uses to enhance self-love and confidence is lingerie. For example, when good-fitting lingerie accentuates your best features, it can bring out a sultry, sensual side.

Lingerie is designed to help women feel beautiful and desirable. Next time you try on a piece, use those good, confident feelings to create excitement for physical intimacy. After all, it’s not just about how you look in lingerie, but more importantly, how it makes you feel. 

A tasteful piece of lingerie has the power to change your thinking in many ways, such as:

  • Instead of seeing lingerie as a treat for your partner, view it as a goody for yourself.
  • Lingerie is a way to explore your sexuality with likes and dislikes.
  • Wearing lingerie is a chance to get comfortable with your body privately (then you can decide if you want to share it with your partner).

Few things can boost your sense of self quicker than putting on delicate, well-crafted lingerie that makes you do a double take at your reflection in the mirror. 


“Fun keeps intimacy exciting and something to look forward to.”

The last of Elizabeth’s tips for building a healthy relationship is about making intimacy playful and enjoyable for both parties. Romance and passion are musts for intimacy, but so is fun

Think of it this way: Physical intimacy is recess for adults – this is your time to be curious, be adventurous, get creative, and uniquely express yourself. 

Some ideas for adding more fun to your marriage could include:

  • Changing up your patterns of initiating – take turns and explore different ways you each can approach it (like lingerie, a special pillow, a sexy text, or a note)
  • Letting the tension build – stretch out that anticipation with extended foreplay, slowing things down, sharing fantasies, or changing locations. You can be adventurous!
  • Experimenting with different kinds of sex – switch up love-making techniques with gentle, loving touches or more sensual and erotic ones.


A happy, healthy intimate relationship makes all the difference in your quality of life. By loving your body, having boundaries, using lingerie to empower yourself, and making intimacy fun, you’re setting yourself (and your relationship) up for deep satisfaction and safety, long-term.

If you loved our tips for building a healthy relationship and want to learn even more from Elizabeth and support her mission, check out these helpful resources:

And don’t forget to grab a piece or two from her exclusive teal-colored Mentionables collection

“You deserve to be loved, feel sexy, and enjoy pleasure.”– Elizabeth 


1 comment

  • Michelle

    I see you have a blog but I’m not sure how to look at past posts. Do you have any on shaving pubic hair tips?

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