Well in my case, partner but...
We met online, on a forum, not a dating site just a discussion forum, and not abuse related.
He posted a bit (very little) about his abuse, I keyed on it and sent him a private message. Got ignored for two days, then a reply. "Yeah well you won't believe me so, just go away."
I fired back, nearly in tears and why I felt the connection with him so fast, from so far away I have no idea but, I knew I had to reach out to him.
A few messages later, he figured out I did believe him and sent me one message I will never forget. "This is me shutting down, nothing to see here, move along." with a smile and a tongue sticking out.
A week, and part of the flood form him later, he sent a hug with "You know not everyone gets hugs from me?" His way of saying I felt save to get close to
Since his abuse has come out in waves, with him shutting down to process in between, but it's all good, he trust me and, that's a big thing,knowing his past, a priceless, rare gift and, it feels really good to be the recipient of that gift.
That goes both ways for us. So worth the shutdowns, being triggered by some of what he tells me, the tears, all of it is more than worth it for what we are building.