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When asked:  Why didn't you fight harder

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#91 Buddhas_heart

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:57 AM

I wish I had your gusto Steve even one hit would've made me feel better about myself. I feel guilt every day as of hitting him and giving him what we call our all, that I wouldn't be in this situation. But I didn't. I need to face the fact that I didn't because I was too terrified to move Id always assumed that that never happened in real life but it does. Here's to healing and the strength of a strong support system!

#92 Roaring_Gryphon

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:45 AM

No one's ever asked me this.

However, I've constantly demanded this of myself for the longest and here are the answers I give myself:

1. If I had done so the first time, the suffering I endured from the perps would have been far more severe

2. The first time made me feel undeserving or incapable of resisting the other times.

Edited by Roaring_Gryphon, 18 November 2012 - 09:47 AM.

#93 TrishaTeo

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:14 AM

No one ever asked me this question too...
For me, I was totally drunk and I didn't even have any chance at all...
But if I wasn't, honestly, I really don't know how I would have reacted...
So I think my answer would be "What do you know? Have you been through it?"

Edited by TrishaTeo, 29 November 2012 - 01:18 AM.

#94 Growler

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:40 AM

i think this is a question i asked myself. but they would get so violent when i fought back.

my wife made me feel better when i told her this was how i felt. she said 'laurie you could either do it or do it with a broken jaw. you did nothing wrong'

i love her :wub:

#95 tinyrabbit

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 09:14 AM

If I thought the person asking would listen, my full answer would be: I have spent most of my life in a state of learned helplessness. As a child, I learned to accept and tolerate whatever happened without question. Why didn't I leave my ex despite what he did to me for years and years? Because he said he would harm himself and it would be my fault. Because my childhood taught me I was worthless and shouldn't defend myself.

But the short answer is: don't you think I would have stopped it if I could have, if I knew how?

#96 lucy

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:29 AM

But the short answer is: don't you think I would have stopped it if I could have, if I knew how?

I totally agree tinyrabbit, I think that this is what some people don't seem to understand and this ignorance is what can make healing more difficult

Lucy x

#97 Bamama

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 10:30 PM

My response to those who ask the stupid arse question Why didnt you fight harder....
Have you ever been raped? Do you know what it feels like to have your self respect, your dignity and yourself taken from you in a split second? Do you? Oh you dont, well shut the fuck up then ok.

I don't say 'fuck' that often, but I would say it to anyone who would say that. :unsure:

#98 Butterfly13

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 02:47 AM

I think it is also a question I would ask myself - lucky me no one else asked me that question until now.

But if one would say it I would say: "this is the wrong question. You should ask him why he violated me, you should ask him why he did it"

#99 wildnfree

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:18 PM

I hate this question...ugh haven't been asked it directly but was asked something similar to it. The thing that hurts is that I did fight back...but not hard enough. Sometimes I screamed, bit, scratch and crie to get away from my ex and it still didn't work. Other times I'd be frozen, scared and couldn't say a word. :bawling:

If I could've gotten away during the r*pes, I would've. There were so many times I wished one of his neighbors would knock on the door to distract him or someone would hear me crying and help me or call the police...I'm just glad it's over now.

#100 aleyn1975

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 10:20 PM

What a silly question to ask a survivor. Like rapists walk up to their intended victims, square up, and say I'm going to rape you and wait for you to get in the first punch. I'm the father of three beautiful girls who were all raped multiple times before getting through the 11th grade...in a private school.  They were sent to Krav maga classes and learned a bit of self defense. Two were raped after those classes. To be fair to their instructor they stopped going after a month but that doesn't really matter. Knowing how to hurt another person doesn't mean you can. To my shame I did ask them this horrible question in a way. I said, "Whatever that scumbag did was not your fault. Why were you unable to defend yourself?" Their replies ranged from "I still cared about him", "he was my best friends brother" to "I don't know, I just froze." 

             I taught Krav Maga for self defense as an assistant instructor for a while after what happened to my daughters. Learning to throw punches and kicks is far different from learning how to fight.  Learning how to fight in a controlled environment is far different from being attacked in the street, and being attacked in the street (as shocking as that is) is far less shocking than being attacked by someone you know and trust. You will never know until it happens. I will tell my students that not fighting is a perfectly natural documented self defense strategy. Guys don't seem to get this and some women even who have not had the full power and rage of a man turned on them. Best bear defense? Play dead. We always hear about fight verses flight but never the freeze effect. Sympathetic nervous system takes over in moments of great stress. "Tonic immobility" is a common and valid form of self defense. It's kind of like your hindbrain taking over and saying play dead and lets think of something else. To see some great examples of this just watch an episode of scared straight. You see these hard ass kids saying no i'll fight if they get in my face but when that inmate outweighs you with obvious muscle by 100 lbs you end up combing his chest hair in front of everyone.

            I'm of two minds about fighting back. I say yes you can learn ways to physically and violently defend yourselves. It will cost money and time though no more than a gym membership. But that doesn't mean it will prevent someone from attacking you or that you will be able to fight them off. I know for a fact that most women have enough strength to disable a strong man but what does that mean really?

             I live in TX where lethal force is authorized to "prevent rape or aggravated rape". Just cause one has the strength to use a weapon on another person does not mean they will be able to. My instructor had me tapping out and in a breathless panic when he had me on the ground for the first time. He just layed on me. Seriously that's all he did was keep me from pushing him off and I gave up in like 40 seconds. I outweighed him by 20 lbs. I was ready to give up on the whole class and remember I started cause my daughters were raped. To say I had rage issues and uber motivation is an understatement. Also I'm a man. I was encouraged to be physically violent with others (football and other sports not to mention fight or you're a sissy).

            To get to the point: how can people expect women to succeed in fighting off a man who typically has 40 percent more muscle mass and denser bones (read more able to dish out damage and more able to resist injury)? Throw in that the man will typically have had more violent encounters and what chance do they expect her to have? Don't ever blame yourselves for what happened and don't feel bad about second guessing yourselves. You're still human and this is how humans learn. When bad stuff happens we look back and seek what we could have done to change it. Perfectly natural and healthy...as long as blame is not attached. You can hold onto responsibility for your actions but you should never take responsibility for your attacker's actions. I personally believe, and I told my daughters so, that a woman should be able to walk naked down a dark ally in the dead of night without worrying about being accosted. No matter what potentially dangerous or risky situation they find themselves in they still deserve to be treated like they are cherished, not owned or obligated. Let me end by saying it is absolutely possible for women to learn effective self defense. For survivors I recommend programs specifically for survivors. The best ones will provide a number of options to choose from which physical altercation will be only one option.


#101 8888

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 11:58 AM

My answer would be:


It was a scary situation to be in and I did the best I could.  I'm only human and I was just a little girl.  

#102 Maggierose

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 07:47 PM

Good answer 8888.

It's such an accusatory question. I've been asked it in a backwards kind of way and it
feels really bad. Like I'm guilty.

I'll try to remember your answer whenever I think about it.

#103 BlueLizzie

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 02:03 AM

I've had similar questions. I did struggle and beg them to stop but didn't scream or hit, so obviously didn't try hard enough :(.
I've also had 'but why did you even go there in the first place'. That really hit a raw nerve and made me feel like the stupidest person in the world.
But I think one of the worst things I've been asked about one of my SA's when I said he overpowered me and I couldn't get him off was 'but you were wearing jeans! You must've had the chance to get away or kick him or something at some point before anything happened?' And then went on to say 'how did he even get your trousers off? Why did you let him?' Or words to that effect. Those questions still hurt me right to the core because I couldn't even give an acceptable answer. I ask myself those same questions all the time and it just makes me feel sick in my stomach because I still dont know how I let it happen :(

#104 Bitterblue

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 09:18 PM

I didn't ask this of E but I certainly thought it. He's a martil artist, a blackbelt taekwondo fighter, but still he was assaulted and beaten for 4 times. I couldn't understand how that was possible, but I had no idea how terrified he was... My God. It WAS his best friend, my brother, wasn't it? Why else would he not fight???

Edited by Bitterblue, 22 October 2015 - 09:19 PM.

#105 Meliora

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 09:40 PM

Why else would he not fight???


This is the question that all men who have been raped are asked, in one form or another. Sometimes it comes in an even more brutal form: "Why didn't you die?"


If you'll forgive me, it's the wrong question. Some of us did fight—and lost. Some of us froze up. Some of us panicked. Some were incapacitated by drugs or alcohol; or blackmailed; or threatened; or were opposed to the use of violence; or...


None of that is relevant.


The only question anyone is entitled to ask is this one, of the perpetrator: "Why did you rape that person"?

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