Guest

When asked:  Why didn't you fight harder

107 posts in this topic

The only true response I could give anyone who would dare to ask me something like this now is:  F*CK OFF!!!!!

(Edited by natasha at 6:50 pm on June 30, 2003)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why didn't I fight at all? I mean I never even tried to fight. I just let it happen. They came they saw and they raped me and all I did/do was/is obey and let it happen. Two times by dates, two times by my husband.......why didn't I fight at all? Because I don't know how to stand up for myself.....I just don't know how to do that.

Charly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow.  I wish I had read through all of these messages before I screwed up a few days ago and told my girlfriend that I wished she had been able to fight harder.  I was just trying to say that I wished it hadn't happened, that I wished she had been able to get away... I didn't mean to blame her AT ALL and had NO IDEA she would hear it that way.  

I just wanted to say that maybe SOME of the people who say things like that really aren't just being jerks, they are just like me and didn't understand how it would be heard.

G.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think trying2help is right, that sometimes people say this and they don't realize how terrible it sounds in ears of someone that has been attacked. i have many friends that responded in negative ways, but i am still friends with them because i know that they tried the best they could with a difficult situation.

as for me when i first was asked that i didn't know how to respond because i was wondering why i didn't fight harder as well.

but now that some time has past since it happened i now know that i faught so hard, i faught incredibly hard. i was up against a man with a motive and plan, a man that was 100 lbs heavier then i, a man that would stop at nothing. saying "no" did not matter (i was actually singing no). i could have punched or tried to bite, but i really don't know where that would have taken me.

i faught hard that night. and i fight hard every day since the attack. i fight for myself. its a constant battle of trying to stay positive and find comfort from inside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i've never been asked this, touch wood, but i think i might say something like:

"because i was drugged up to the eyeballs, and i could hardly think, let alone control my arms and legs!"

but i don't think NE1, has the right to ask this question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that whatever you did, whether you fought, whether you said no, whether you did nothing at all, does not matter.  Because in that moment, at that point, whatever you did was whatever you could do at that moment.  You did what you could, and thats the hardest one can fight.  And its a fight you have won, because you are alive now, and you are surviving.  

But yeah, I agree, asking why a person didn't fight, or why a person didn't fight harder is not right.  Does a person ask a parent why they didn't swim faster to save a drowning child?  Or why a athelete doesn't run faster to win the race?  Whatever happens, and whatever they did, it was what they could do.

Take care,

*hugs*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am new to this forum and saw that this is an old topic...but a good one.  I have an answer that I believe may help some of you or that you will relate to.

I was a victim of rape...a few times....none of which I believe I fought with all that I had...even though always told myself I would.

Ask most women who have experienced something similar and most will tell you that they believe that they could have fought harder or screamed louder.

I believe that in all of us there is a natural survival instinct.  This instinct is what I believe kicks in we when we feel defeated, when we feel that if we try to fight, it could be a mistake.  When we know we are not in control.  A feeling that if someone can presue such inhuman acts of violence upon us, what is there to reassure us that they will not harm us furthur?  Subconsiously; What will make this the quickest and least painless experience that this moment allows?

Because we are unaware of this instinct ...maybe this is what leaves us to feel and believe we are at fault.

Even if this theory is not true...sure  as hell makes sense to me.  Hope it does for some of you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't fight because I was scared, and because I was in shock.  I loved this man...why was he doing this?  I don't think I could have fought even if I had thought of it, which I don't remember doing.

Also, my rape was very non-attack-like.  It's hard to explain but the whole thing was very quiet and not physically harmful at all.  So my whole "fight or flight" instinct never really kicked in.

I was just paralyzed.

However I also agree with everyone else who replied (the ones I read, there've been a lot of replies) that you have no responsibility to respond to this type of criticism.  You did what you did and why you did it doesn't matter, because as someone else said, you're alive and physically healthy today as far as I know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'll tell you why. he was 35 and i was 13 and he was twice my freaken size and strength and PINNED ME DOWN!!!! for a start. oh and there was the whole being tied up thing for the 3rd one  and being in enormous physical pain almost in fact,definetly not being able to move... grrrrrrrr f*ck people who are so stupid and insensitive as to need to ask thes e things of us. it's like  retraumatizing us almost all over again.  

the world is full of morons and we dont need to encounter anymore of them.

melissa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Because I was asleep when it started.  I woke up in the middle.  What do you do in a situation like that?  I didn't know.....No one's ever asked me that question, thankfully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm fighter naturally and I tried to fight off my attacker,my ex, whom I loved dearly, but he overpowered me as a person and raped me anyways

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

why didnt i?

because i was scared

because he was drunker than i've ever seen anyone

because i knew he could hurt me in an instant without even realising it

because i was in shock

becuase he was supposed to love me so how could this be happening and surely he would stop any minute

because my boundaries were already screwed from previous abuse

because i felt i wasnt worth it

because saying no and crying should have been enough

dora

x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That question exists because our society sweeps rape and abuse as far under the rug as it possibly can.  So instead it blames the victims.  In theory, the onus is not on the victim to fight, the onus is on the rapist to prove that the victim consented.  In practice, we all know what the law and the police are like.  (In their defence, it's a near-impossible crime to prosecute.)

The question should not be "Why didn't you fight?"  The question should be "Why did this person attack you?"

But since people who are frequently well-meaning do ask this now and again, and since survivors are almost all plagued by an internal voice asking it, here are some possible answers.  Some of them don't apply to attacks by strangers, but I've noticed that this question tends to be more problematic when it was a lover, friend or family member.

Fear.

Love - it's not easy to fight a beloved relative or partner.

Trust.

Shock.

Disbelief.

Shame - the neat little paradox where the victim gets to feel it instead of the perpetrator begins right at the start.

Being physically smaller or not as strong as the attacker.

Gentleness - many people are not accustomed to thinking of violence as an appropriate way to behave so it doesn't necessarily occur to them.

Switching off - common defence mechanism.

I didn't put up a fight.  I do know why.  I still feel bad about it.  I'm slowly learning to live with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because there was nothing I could do.  Any attempt I would make would result in my immediate execution.

survivor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why didn't I fight harder?  Mostly because I was just too scared and also because I already had a couple of bruises but they were in places that could be covered by long sleeves and I didn't want any more, especially in places that I could not cover so I didn't fight any more.  That was the first time, the others I think I was just too scared.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amen to that Kelly!   :yay:   I doubted myself for years and still do once in a while.  I should've screamed louder, I should've kicked them in the b*alls, but you know what, I think I did scream loud enough.  No one wanted to hear me, thought it was a joke like I did.  I can't remember all of what happened to me, but I think someone may have threatened me at the time.  I think that's probably what happened and why I didn't fight harder.

Gentle hugs,

Di

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remind them that's as much as I fought back,this boy was two years older than me. That he had a jump rope around my neck. It's hard to fight when your brain is craving oxygen.

I did go home with skin under my nails. I never  did figure out when or where I scratched him. I hope it got infected though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That has got to be the most retarded question of all time...

Females are not designed to be able to fend of a male attacker. In general, we're significantly weaker in the physical department.

If females were capable of competing with males in physical situations, why don't they compete AGAINST each other in sports? Why are jobs requiring manual labor usually dominated by men? Why didn't females work in times past, when ALL jobs were of this nature? Why is it only MEN that have been drafted?

But yet, when we're being raped - terrified and our entire being violated - somehow we're supposed to find strength that is not only EQUAL to that of a male, but SURPASSES it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate that question, mainly because I have asked myself so many times. However there are three human responses to danger: fight, flee or freeze. Most freeze, especially if there is a weapon or extreme force being used because death is a lot scarier then anything that this person is going to do to you... maybe. I tell people that I thought my attacker would kill me. Even though I certainly felt like I wanted to die for many days, months, years afterwards, if I was meant to die from this rape then it would have happened that night.

Many hugs and think safe thoughts all.

Amanda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had anyone this far ask me why I didn't fight harder except myself. I asked myself a lot of things about that rape. I mean I had taken self-classes twice before the rape and barely did anything to physically defend myself. Someone pointed out to me that often even karate black-belts do not physically defend themselves in these types of situations. They freeze and can't do anything. Ultimately it comes down to this, I froze. But I didn't not defend myself at all. I defended myself verbally, which prevented several additional rape activities from happening and possibly saved myself. I don't have to justify it to myself anymore.

This question, why didn't you fight harder?, was one of the main reasons I didn't go to the police. Why did you do this? Why didn't you do that? And no one really understands what a situation is like unless they experience. And even then, it is only that one particular person's experience.

These kinds are not limited to survivors of sexual violence. When I was twelve, a good friend was bound and gagged at knifepoint, while she watched her friend being kidnapped. After the news media had used up all the main points, they started harassing her and twelve-year-old witness. They asked them questions like, "Why didn't you scream?" and "Why didn't you fight harder?" Completely inappropriate questions. Even at twelve, I was furious at the news media for asking my friend those questions, thinking they were presumptutious enough to assume they would have never been bound and gagged by the man with the knife. These kinds of questions are asked by people who have to justify the situation to themselves, so they can think it will never happen to them or their family/friends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

guaiaciar, I totally agree with what you said. Isn't it nice that they can live is such a "perfect" world of denial.

survivor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's almost my two year anniversary of the night I was raped. When I told my boyfriend what had happened I felt like he tried to put the blame on me, he began interrogating me about how hard I had fought back. It seems like no one understands that for me, the mental abuse had been going on so long I was already cracked. The physical violation was the final blow that shattered me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to tell my kids kick them where it hurts and run like hell,als scream fire as be behave different if there is a fire than a rape.SO WHY then did i freeze,I have learnt so far that your body decides what to do not your head,the big three F WORDS, FLIGHT(RUN) FIGHT(KICK AND SCREAM) OR Freeze (me), I took myself out of my body and let it happen as if I was not there at all,but the thing with this I have to go back to that body to learn how to SURVIVE and survive I will with time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fear..i freeze.. i can't do anything..<p>Even counselor blamed me for not doing anything..'Why weren't u fighting' that stupid b*tch asked..i stood up and walked out of that room..never seen her again..

And felt even more disgusting for weeks..

I blame only myself often, and then i try not to, but when others ask i freak out..

They should shut up..<p>Take care..

Love Maaike

I have the same reaction. I panic and freeze. I zone out and go somewhere else. I can't do anything. I hate it when people don't get it. It is hard to get over this as I often feel guilty and ashamed when people say this to me. I wonder why I couldn't respond differently, It just is the way my body responded/reacted to the fear and stress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now