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When asked:  Why didn't you fight harder

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#61 jfinnova

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 10:59 PM

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.

#62 DonaDiabla

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 10:25 PM

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

#63 dora

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 03:01 PM

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


#64 Guest_Lucretia_*

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 06:53 PM

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.

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

#65 survivor

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 11:21 PM

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


#66 slgctrs

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Posted 02 September 2004 - 08:29 PM

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.

#67 sparkyzzz2002

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 03:00 PM

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,


#68 Aharddaysnight

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 02:22 PM

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.

#69 Eye of the Tiger

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 04:16 PM

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.

#70 azul_sunshine

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 10:28 PM

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.

#71 guaiaciar

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 05:04 AM

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.

#72 survivor

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 09:34 AM

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


#73 kymberly9875

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 10:33 PM

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.

#74 bonniemarie

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 09:00 PM

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.

#75 marev

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:41 AM

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.

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