Guest choirgirl

for those who didn't call it rape

93 posts in this topic

So my question is this: is it easier to say it was rape if it was some stranger attacking you versus someone you knew and possibly loved? I wonder about this. What would I say if it had been a stranger instead of a man who asked me to marry him or the other boyfriend?

I read that, yes, people who are attacked by strangers are more likely to call it rape. And yeah, professional theories to explain this are that they feel confident to report it because people they are more likely to be believed, since their incident matches the images most often presented.

Also, it tends to be the case that people who are attacked by a stranger before being threatened by attack by an aquaintance are more likely to get out of the situation with the person they know more quickly, because they recognize the signs and feelings. People who are attacked first by people they know do not recognize or legitimize their anxiety.

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I truly don't think it would've changed anything. I know it would've been turned back on me, everything.

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I didn't call it rape straight away. In fact I have only been able to actually say the word rape for about a month. I wasn't sure if I had been raped. To put it bluntly I woke up naked and sore next to my friends flat mate with no memory of what had actually happened (I now suspect he spiked my drink). Physically I knew what had happened but mentally I didn't, my mind kept telling me that nothing had happened, that I didn't consent to it or want it or remember it so how could it have happened?

When I told my GP what had happened she asked me if I thought I had been raped and I was really shocked that she said it... I don't know why, as when I look back on it now I realise that that was what it was. I told her that I couldn't remember what had happened and so it was possible that I gave consent. She didn't refer me for counselling, for sexual health screening, anything.... she looked at me like I was crazy and suggested that I perhaps talk to someone at uni about it!

I referred myself to the uni counselling service thinking that they too would think I was crazy but that they could perhaps do something about it. They were really good about everything. My counsellor gave me information about drink spiking and he told me that there was no doubt in his mind that that was what had happened. In the end I was referred to my local rape crisis centre and for the screening after finally accepting that I probably had been raped.

So to answer your question, I think I would have recieved help alot quicker if I had just called it rape from the start, if I had just accepted it from the start instead of being in denial... But it is so difficult to accept sometimes and even now I doubt myself :confused: . I'm confusing myself now, I'm not even sure if that makes any sense? Sorry if it doesn't

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I didn't consider either of my rapes "Rapes" until much later. And even after I did call the first one rape, I thought that since it had been 3 years and I had been "ok" to that point that just naming it would be enough. I think if I could have named it right away, things would have been much better. However, I still think I was afraid to tell anyone because they would say "that wasn't rape".

My second rape I didn't actually think of rape until after I joined Pandy's last year. It was a sexual experience that I always knew was not right somehow, particularly since I don't remember it at all. And it is a very confusing experience, since I said no repeatedly, but he continued and then (here is where it's confusing to me) due to being afraid of his roommates walking in on us (as he would be raping me), I willingly walked into his room with him (this is where my memory fails--I don't even know when I left or how I got home). But recently, I was on a different (non survivor) forum dealing with marital issues, and due to the relative anonymity of the forum, I shared about this rape (long story why), and a man replied to me "That would be rape, you said no. You don't have to keep repeating it." And that was very affirming to me, and helped in a way that I didn't expect in a place I didn't expect. I think with this one, I have a good chance of healing from it despite not working on it for so long. It was less traumatic, I think, somehow.

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I definitely did not call what happened rape until about 3-4 years after it happened (and I still cannot verbally call it that). I think I just kind of blocked it out or whenever someone asked that knew I called it sexual harassment. I figured I was to blame, hence it could not be rape. When I started to realize that something bad did really happen that i couldn't control, I didn't want to label it because then it had to be true, and I couldn't deal with it if it were true. What happened to me, while it was stranger rape, didn't seem to fit into society's idea of what rape was (no one I meet seems to think rape is anything more than just sex and if you were raped by a stranger you must have dressed provocatively, been somewhere you shouldn't been, been drunk, not paying attention, or done something to have deserved it) and so I felt (and still feel) isolated... I can never seem to find any information/books on stranger rape either - most books out there deal with CSA and date/acquiantance/spouse rape/intimate partner violence. It is hard to see it as rape when it is hard to find others who have the same situation. Plus being stalked and raped again by the original stranger throughout school makes it seem like it was my fault, and if it was my fault it wasn't rape - why didn't I do anything?

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I don't seem to be able to call what happened to me rape. If I heard my story from someone else, no problem, but because it was me... I dunno... I can't use that word. I can dance around the fringes, "abuse, assault, hurt" though even that's difficult.

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If I hadn't have immediately gone from shock to denial and self blame and then blocked in out completely, I would have called it rape and asked my friends to call the police or take me to the ER. I was simply out with my friends celebrating my 21st birthday. HE followed me into the restroom and HE attacked me. Why on EARTH didn't I call the police??! I took a shower and washed away all that evidence. I'm still so angry with myself. Seriously, its taken me 13 years to finally call it what it was. I'm so angry with myself its ridiculous. And WHY didn't my stupid "friends" put 2 and 2 together and call the cops FOR me??

Rape is such a horrible and harsh word. I always feel a numbing shockwave jolt through my body when I hear the word out loud. I sometimes think that SA is much easier to say out loud..... Rape implies the ultimate loss of control and I am too stubborn to give anyone that satisfaction. I just have a hard time admitting that type of vulnerability.

Edited by debut520

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When I was 20, a priest raped me at a retreat. I had been told by another priest this was the safe place to do my fifths step, which is to confess to God, yourself and another human being the exact nature of your wrongs. I carefully made my list. I was honest, and it was hard. I confessed to having had premarital sex. The priest was nice at first, then asked me increasingly graphic questions. He began calling me nasty names; I was so shocked and shamed and just wantet to get it back to what it was supposed to be- a healing experience. He told me to take off my pants and I did- I ddint' want to, but he had so much authority and I had already been sexually abused by my dad. He touched me, said awful things, got on top of me and had sex with me.

I couldn't believe it was happening. I had embraced my faith, and we were taught priests were celibate, and that we needed them to receive God's grace, that they were, essentially, our road to God.

So I initially framed this as me being so bad that I had caused a holy man to sin.

I literally could not speak during or after the attack.

It has only been within the last year or so that I have realized this was rape.

Had I known earlier, I would not have taken to heart the horrible things he said to me: that I was a contaminent and a trap, among others. I would not have constantly felt the need to prove that I was good. I would have enjoyed more ease in my relationships. I would have had more success in my work.

I knew I didn't want to do anything like that with him, a revolting 67-year-old priest. But I didn't know it was rape.

Now I know and I'm not shutting up ever again.

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I can relate to this at the age of ten my cousin penetrated me.i denied him raping me since it only last for a few seconds.I was sexually molested for years by my neighbour and i denied it happening more than once too.I told everyone and still do he attempted to rape.I never tell anyone his big penis went in me.A few weeks ago when i join thisa hotline i realized it was rape but i am still ashamed to tell he raped me.[i feel so stupid and cheat

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I think if I had called it rape right after it happened things would have been different. Instead I pushed it away, and denied it was anything at all. The fact it was a girl and a penis wasn't what penetrated me also made me feel it wasn't REALLY rape, sexual assault, or anything. Denying it made me stay with her for 4 months afterwards. I think if I had acknowledged what happened I would've ended the relationship, I would've told my T not long after it happened, and started to heal sooner. But I can't change the past, and I am healing now. I still can't say it sometimes, I said it outloud in T for the first time three weeks ago.

I think also in regard to my childhood abuse, again if I had understood and known what happened to me was sexual abuse, I might have gotten help a looong time ago. But again I cannot change the past and I am getting help now.

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I was raped 12 years ago, but it has taken up to these last few weeks to call it that and even then I can type it but not say it.

I find admitting that that's what it was opened a lot of old wounds and makes it seem all to real. Covering it up with 'I was attacked or something bad happened' hurt far less some how.

I struggled for years with the fact that I felt I had got myself into that situation by staying over at my b/f house that night. That topped with the fact I didn't leave before it got too far.

In hindsight and after several years of counselling I know that I couldn't have known what was going to happen and I was drunk so not as able to think clearly as I may otherwise have done. But these are the things that haunt me to this day.

Looking back maybe I would have been further down the road to healing if I had been able to name it for what it was sooner rather than hiding behind something else. Equally I don't think I was ready to do that until fairly recently.

Regardless of these things whatever I call it I can't go back and change it, and either way I live with the person that I am because of it rather than the person I was before it. Whatever it is called for anyone of of us, and each of our situations are different. We all live with the fallout from it.

kitty

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What if someone was stalking you/seemed to have some pretty creepy sick malicious intentions toward you/harassed you for a long while and you have reasonable suspicion that rape may have been attempted/the goal of the person's advances, but you don't know?

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I don't know if anything would've changed. No one would've believed me in the end.

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Hey abby,

I am sorry that others have not given you the support that you deserved - you are believed here hon.

take care

Steph

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I spent years directing a sesnse of disgust at myself for the "grey area" acts that occured before what I actually considered to be rape. I don't know that it woulf have changed anything, but I can't help but wonder if I would have gotten out sooner if I had called it what it was. And even if I still stayed, maybe I wouldn't hve spent all that time thinking I was the bad one for going along wth what he wanted.

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Thanks for this post..because I never really thought about it at first.

My mum used the word rape but I just denied it to myself. Although I knew it had happened and I never gave consent, I was just restrained

I'm glad i joined this site because I can now take the first step and admit it.

Shen.

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I can call it what it was in writing and through art, but can't bring myself to put the words "I was" in front of it. I choke on it every time and it becomes "I was hurt" or "when that happened". The fact is, it happened a lot over several years when I was a child. It's an ugly word describing an ugly act, but it is what it is.

Saying it out loud doesn't sound good, but I think if I can learn to use it as a more normal word, it may lessen the power that it has over me. It's definitely on my goal list...to be able to say it and know that it doesn't own me anymore.

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If he had my consent, then what was it? It doesn't count as sexual assault, rape or sexual abuse, isn't it?

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In my case I went to him, to have sex with him and even willingly allowed him to enter my body. Then for some personal reasons decided that I wanted him to stop, but be didn't. I have a girlfriend that told me she didn't consider it to be rape because I allowed him to enter my body.

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In my case I went to him, to have sex with him and even willingly allowed him to enter my body. Then for some personal reasons decided that I wanted him to stop, but be didn't. I have a girlfriend that told me she didn't consider it to be rape because I allowed him to enter my body.

I'm so sorry for posting it twice. The first time it said that an error occurred while I was posting it and I didn't think it posted, so I posted it again. Now I can't get it back off. :confused:

Edited by Samantha_T

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I guess i don't use the term r*pe for two reasons

1) My attacker didn't get a chance to do what he wanted. He was interupted and as much as i was saved from that additional experience, i don't know if it makes it any better.

2) I don't want to make myself seem like a victim. I don't know i guess its stupid because i still need help, and I'm not saying that those who do call it that are calling themselves victims, i just don't like the label.

Kristin

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for years i was in denial. my ex husband was physically and mentally abusing me. he used rape as a punishment. i didnt think it was rape because we where married now i realise i was wrong and that it was definately out and out rape.

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Oh wow. So much would have been different...and I only denied it for like a year and a half!

But during that year and a half, I would have taken a lot better care of myself.

I would have been able to get therapy for a while at least, because I still had insurance for the first 9 months after the rape.

I probably wouldn't have ever spoken to my rapist again. That would have saved me a lot of grief. I definitely wouldn't have had sex with him again. That would have saved me even more grief.

I wouldn't have had sex with everyone who asked during that year and a half...and on a related note, I wouldn't have accepted a date with a certain guy I wasn't attracted to, and then HE wouldn't have had the chance to assault me. But then again, as the events really happened, that second assault was the emotional prompt I needed to fully admit that the first one was rape. So I guess we're full circle.

Oh, and another thing, although I can't say this with certainty...I recently had to "break up with" (so to speak) my male best friend because of his total refusal to take "no" for an answer on the sex issue (in fact, he was about the only person I COULD say "no" to, because I loved him as a friend)...but if I had called what happened "rape" when I was friends with him, maybe he wouldn't have done that. Maybe we'd still be friends. Maybe we would have had a healthy friendship. But that's tough to call.

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I didn't even know what my mother was doing was wrong until I started dating. Rape and abuse sounds so harsh--I think a big part of it is because of TV/media present it. Subcounciously, I equated rape with forced intrusion and abuse with violence. I didn't even know what to call it, so I tried to shrug it off--did my bout of crying and tried to go on with my life... until now, when everything is kind of falling apart.

For me, the best label I have right now for what happened is molestation. But even if I had allowed myself to call it molestation six years ago, I may have been able to avoid a so many things... including sticking with my ex when he really was a self-indulging jerk-- I'm still finding out how much of my behavior has been influenced by my experience. Most of all, I think I would have started on the healing path a lot earlier, and spared myself feeling bad for wanting to keep a physical boundary between my mother and I during family gatherings.

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Thanks so much for this thread it is so useful and i can now see how some people who have been abused and raped might not yet be ready to label it for what it is.

my confusion of was it or wasn't it and self blame stops me from moving forward.

I was surrounded by people on a youth group camp when he first touched me and i started to talk to the youth group members as though i didn't like it and the response was to tell me off and explain to me that if i never wanted it i would have dumped him. My constant attempts to dump him ended up with me stealing him from his girlfriend and sinning cause he kept touching me and they kept telling me off for it. i get confused between how i felt and how the youth group members assumed i felt, there is no way i could be the only right person there and everyone else be wrong. also i ended up obedient to everything he asked me to do including consent. So it is really hard for me to label it without denial and self blame.

It is useful for me to see others who can label it for what it is.

Edited by guest567

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