I'm interested in people's experiences with and thoughts on writing about sexual abuse in a back-story/sub-plot and particularly with writing about child sexual abuse. One of my current characters was severely sexually abused as a child (from about age 4 till age 8). This is well before the time-frame of the current story, however, several aspects of what happened then are important to why she makes the decisions she does in the present. Specifically, the reason her abuser gave her for abusing her and the reason she ultimately ran away are important. Generally, I approach back-story through a combination of flashback chapters/dream sequences, deep conversations with other characters in which the back-story is shared, and more subtle hints in the character's conversations and behaviour. On the one hand, this feels like a topic that needs to be more than hinted at if I'm going to get the pertinent details across to the reader. On the other, I worry that directly recounting the events in question would introduce this massive theme which is not directly relevant to the main plot. Have any of y'all managed a similar situation? Anyone written something like this in your own writing or have a book they enjoy reading which deals with this issue?