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There is no easy answer for the long term psychologic impact of a prior sexual abuse. In many ways it is more difficult when the sexual abuse occurred as a child or adolescent, as there was never an opportunity for the normal social and sexual development that would normally happen at that stage of life. It is also true that there is no single answer, as it would depend both on the severity of the problem and what the individual feels most comfortable doing.
In cases with the greatest psychologic impact, it is generally better to be seeking professional counselling, particularly with a counsellor that specializes in helping victims come to terms with prior sexual abuse. This counselling can be provided either to you as an individual or with a partner as couples counselling, depending upon the current situation (or both, starting as individual counselling and moving to couples counselling at a later date).
It also may help to attend a support group for women that have been victims of abuse. Some people do not feel comfortable discussing and sharing in a group environment, but others find the supportive environment of others that have gone through similar circumstances to be quite helpful.
In some cases, particularly if the problem is not as severe, it may be able to be addressed by trying to discuss the situation with a new, understanding partner early in a relationship and allowing the relationship to progress gradually at whatever pace feels comfortable for you. Many women in this situation feel uncomfortable sharing their prior history early in a relationship, but with the correct partner, it may allow for you to overcome these issues.
Therefore, you should consider the options and what you feel most comfortable doing and follow that path. If uncertain, individual counselling would probably be the best initial approach, and part of the counselling can also include discussion of what other options may be helpful to pursue.
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