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for those who didn't call it rape

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#31 Guest_dream of water_*

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Posted 19 May 2003 - 03:16 PM

(((Steph))) I was not r*ped.  I got away.  Does that mean I don't belong here?  You made a comment to Laney ...

<i>IT is interesting the connection between validation and healing - does healing depend on who is around you at the time? Who knows.</i>

It <b>does</b> depend on who is around you.  My gf and several people here have helped me heal from things that have tormented me since I was a child.  A part of me was not in very good shape.

I'd never told anyone about my assault before.  I didn't want to call it ANYTHING.  I didn't want to acknowledge that it happened.  I didn't tell anyone about any of the things that happened in the year following.  Nobody ever heard about it.  I didn't tell anyone about my own fears that I didn't even know my own sexuality.

I fall between two worlds, one where being masculine means only being <b>Masculine</b>.  Do you think I could call this anything at all in that world?  That would mean acknowledging that a man was attracted to me.  Then I'd have to explain <i>why</i> a man would be attracted to me.  They would not have understood.  Now I could care less.

If I had called it sexual assault privately to a counsellor, I think it would have saved me years of useless worry, self-doubt, recrimination, risk taking ...  I would have had so much less to prove to myself.  There is one good thing, though.  It's allowed me to have the friendship of many gay men and women, to understand that gender or preference isn't what determines whether a person is a predator.

I had predatory people, men <i>and</i> women, hitting on me from a pretty young age.  What was with me?  Maybe I had a vulnerable quality.  Maybe I still do, because it still happens, but in different ways.  Maybe if I had been able to talk to a counsellor I could have understood better and saved a lot of grief.


(Edited by dream of water at 3:09 pm on May 20, 2003)

#32 Stephanie

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 12:09 PM


You really have hit the nail on the head with your post there.  In fact I Was wondering if I could quote you as part of my research - I am doing a theatre peice on rape and we are devising it - I Really want to get this point across - how important it is for ppl to be able to name their experiences - the paragraph starting 'Everything - every last detail' and then the little one about 'Had I known'would be all I would use and it would be anonomous of course.  I don't mind if you don't want me to do that tho.

I was similar to you in that I had no clue that a friend could be a perp of rape - it just wasn't a concept I had.

IT is still my break point too.

Steph x

#33 Stephanie

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Posted 10 May 2003 - 06:21 PM


I think the thing I have seen with this thread is that it all means different things to different ppl at different times.  You have to do certain things to protect your brain or something.

IT is interesting the connection between validation and healing - does healing depend on who is around you at the time? Who knows.  

I don't know the answers really - just that I am always amazed at how powerful one little word can be.


#34 Lyla

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 09:23 AM

I called it rape as it was happening... but afterwards I pretended nothing happened. I pretended I actually liked my rapist, or that we just fooled around. It crossed my mind to go to the police, but I pretended instead. I felt so guilty for that; I felt that doing that would not allow me to go to the police. For years I battled with calling it rape after that- even though initially I thought it was. I would often think that even though I hadn't enjoyed it, I thought people would view things differently anyways.

Then I would watch a movie, or a TV show with the topic being rape- and i would remember it as being abusive.

I often felt judged for everything that happened- if I flirted, or said anything to encourage it, or if I was virgin or not always seemed to be weighed more heavily into it.

I can remember being told "it's your body" like I should've had more control over the situation- when in reality my abuser was physically aggressive with me, and I had little control.


#35 Stephanie

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 09:27 AM

I think what you describe is pretty common. Often survivors will try to find ways to normalise what happened - I suppose because it feels easier than actually dealing with the fact that you have been raped. I am sorry that you have felt so judged by others - remember that those people were not the one who was hurt . You were there and they were not and they have no right to tell you what did or did not happen - only you can do that.

Take care


#36 ChristineMarie

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 09:37 AM

First time I saw this, wow, good question. If I would have known what happened to me was rape, I wouldn't have blamed and hated myself for so long. I wouldn't have wasted so many years before I started the healing process. It makes me sad how different just my life would be if I realized what happened was rape.

#37 Sadie

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 10:45 AM

It wasn't till I was raped when I was 21 that I was able to admit that the rapes that happened with my abusive ex were rape. Before I'd always just pretended that it was OK. That he was just rough with me. That he was sleepy that one time and didn't notice I was crying. I just didn't want to have to say that I'd been raped, I didn't want to be a rape victim. Unfortunately I was and I felt like one whether I called myself one or not.

#38 Lyla

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 08:49 PM


I guess I am here because I am at a stage where I am re-validating everything. I call it rape, then I stop and question it. He pushed me towards the room, he was aggressive with me before getting me to the room. He would grab my breasts, and held onto me so tightly I could not move. I said stop it, no, as he pushed me towards the bedroom.

Maybe I meant it playfully? I am confused between force and playfulness. Though I think with him being so much bigger, and stronger than me, when he pushed me, I just instinctually did not fight. He grabbed me so hard in the beginning, and he would not stop.

He pushed me into the room. when he got me in he just stared at me, but I did not say, "hey buddy look... I'm not interested." I just looked for a moment. Maybe I was flirtatious, or expressed interest. I said nothing though. I really did just nothing. All these things run through my head, why didn't you run, why didn't you yell. I felt transfixed to the spot.

He jumped on me. He pushed me down aggressively. He pushed his lips aggressively against mine. I responded to him. I kissed back I think because I felt forced- I just responded back- out of confusion? I touched the front of his jeans. This is expressing consent. I quickly changed my mind though I remember pulling away as he shoved his fingers into me, and immediately started trying for penetration. But just changing my mind is what I know, not what the rest of the world would perceive. This makes it hard to call it rape.

Then again I doubt I was changing my mind... I was instinctually on survival mode already. If it meant acquiescing slightly, or going quiet or still- this meant I would be hurt less. I froze. I did not want it. I did not want it before we got there- this should've counted too. I still said no.

He gave me little choice on what I wanted to do. And that is the bottom line. This is why this should be called rape.

He bit my lips as I stopped kissing him. He laughed at the look on my face. I felt practically raped as he ran to get his friends. He tried to force me to have oral sex with him, in front of his friends. He hit me when I said no.

I call it sexual assault because rape suggests intercourse when it never happened. Though this was a very traumatic sexual experience for me- my family's response afterwards was horribly abusive. I was beaten in the worst manor. Too triggery to talk about. I am trying so hard to manage anxiety these days- a constant battle for me. Their response was like rape again.

This incident coupled with my family assaulting me, has made it the hardest period of my life to recover from.

i never called it rape because of the idea that full penetration is required, even though penetration with a finger, or oral R*pe can be just as bad.

I am still confused, and especially hurt by responses to me afterwards. I hate myself for responding to him. it's a part of me I am not sure I have fully forgiven yet. Though his aggressiveness makes me believe it was rape, despite what anyone else wants to think.


Edited by Lyla, 10 June 2007 - 08:42 AM.

#39 RWH

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 05:54 AM

This is a good question that I have never thought about. I was so young (6-7) that putting a name to it wouldn't have mattered. I didn't know anything about sex so the word "rape" would have had no negative or positive conotation to me. At the time, I was doing what I was told to do by my uncle so I would have attention and love.

As I have started to deal with the resultant damage as an adult, I have struggled to call it rape for some reason. I am not sure why.

#40 blondie2002

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 06:51 AM

When I called my bff, the horrible night this past fall I asked her if it was r*** if it's done from behind ,
:unsure:she told me it was if I said NO! :angry:

Edited by blondie2002, 31 May 2009 - 12:16 AM.

#41 MatthewJ123

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 10:39 PM

i maybe didn't know "rape" but i knew what had happened to me was completely wrong. no one should do that to someone ever, i just didn't believe it or acknowledge it for so long. the rape two years ago was alot more "obvious" in society's eyes as i was unconscious due to drink spiking. everyone was telling me that was rape, the police, the counsellors, hospital, everyone, so, i dunno... i always have it in the back of my head because i can't remember maybe i did consent... i dunno. i wish i'd been awake sometimes, even though 99 percent of the other times i am glad i wasn't

#42 Lissa

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 08:04 PM

In January I read a research article for one of my Sociology classes about some men who had been convicted of rape, and despite being Found Guilty they didn't seem to understand why they were in prison. They had lots of excuses--the girl dressed a certain way/looked at him a certain way/women always say no for their reputation/she had an orgasm, etc. These were men who had all been rather violent, too. I was absolutely horrified after reading this, because I had thought that, when a person says they've never raped someone when they really have, they may just be lying to avoid prison. I never thought that they may actually really Believe that they didn't do anything wrong. I started thinking, how many people do I see around campus or elsewhere who have hurt someone terribly but absolutely don't think that they have, because of some weird sense of entitlement, or "that's how it is with sex"??

It also freaked me out because I thought, if sexual assault perps don't think they are doing anything wrong, do survivors think that nothing wrong has happened as well? So I went online and found lots of sites saying that perps and survivors will answer "yes" to specific questions of "did you/did someone...without saying yes?" but at the Same Time answer "no" to whether they had been assaulted/assaulted someone.

So that was how I found out that I had been assaulted by someone. He hadn't acted like he had done anything wrong at all, and so I had decided that he hadn't--I'd thought that someone who was assaulting you would, you know, openly say that they didn't care about what you wanted or something, and get by on thinking that you wouldn't be able to prove it to anyone--not that they weren't doing anything wrong at all. I thought I was feeling bad for some stupid neurotic reason, that I'd gone too far and was regretting it. I did this reading about 7 months after the first time and 4 months after the second time.

I'm still in denial about it a lot though--I mean, I know cognitively that what happened was assault, but I don't feel it very strongly. I think to myself that I have been, I say it on here, but I always feel some doubt. I feel that I must not have really made clear that I didn't want to, or that he thought it was okay because I was still there with him when he had made it clear that he had wanted to--but, he had always said he wanted to, but then didn't actually, at least for a while...

But it's very hard to label something as assault, there have been lots of times I wish that I hadn't found out about all this. Even after reading the basic clear-cut "if this happens, it is assault" for a while I was still like, "Yeah, but what happened with me is different. I feel more unsafe now knowing there are people out there who just don't know the definitions, although at the same time it is of course good to know, since not knowing about something doesn't make it go away. I think it's so hard because everyone knows that "assaut" and "rape" and other terms like that are very serious crimes, very taboo, so people, both perps and survivors, get very defensive and try to distance themselves from those labels as much as possible, even as they experience the actual events.

It's horrible that these are so "taboo" that people can't even get the right education about it so that they realize when it's happening!

#43 Shannon

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Posted 01 July 2007 - 09:44 PM

Thank you for that post, Lissa.

#44 Kwanfan

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 12:52 AM

Lissa, I was talking about this very issue to my internet friend just yesterday. I was asking him about all the boys/men who do not seem to realize they are doing anything wrong and how can we even begin to start educating them that they are not entitled to anything? This just confirmed my impression of how men think in our society today. It scares me.

#45 Lissa

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 09:31 PM

Hi Kwanfan, yeah, it freaked me out so much. But luckily it is not everybody, one of my guy friends is extremely careful about not going too far. I told him about these articles and he was like, Well, they're surveying prisoners, they don't represent all of society. Which is true enough. But he hadn't read the article himself so didn't see what it said about how they believed that what they'd found from interviewing the prisoners could extend to larger society. It argued that given the assault stats in the country, the problem just can't be pinned on a couple of "psychopaths" like lots of people try to do, since most rapists do not have a psychological disorder. They are socialized to have certain ideas about women. They didn't all have the same reason for thinking what they were doing was allowed, but that sort of makes it scarier, how many so-called "justifications" a person may have to choose from. Also kind of sad that, even when you've got people who behave completely appropriately, they won't necessarily buy that many other people do not, so the issue continues to go undiscussed/addressed.

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