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.