I’ve been thinking about yesterday’s post ever since I finished and scheduled it. I’m not sure why rape and sexual assault are my focus right now, but obviously I’m working through something in my head.
Thing is, often we in this society question our own feelings of violation, feelings of being victimized, feelings of being “to blame” for the choices of others. It’s a problem in both genders, but often is more easy to see in women.
So many times, when someone finds out someone else was sexually assaulted, the question inevitably comes out (if they didn’t report it) “why didn’t you tell the police/authorities?”
Too often we’ve internalized that idea that if we were only a “better person” then these things just won’t happen to us.
NEWS FLASH: Sometimes shitty things happen to good people.
So, when we think it was our own fault that we got raped, beaten, destroyed – it becomes that much harder to actually report such things at the time they happened, when things can actually be found to prove such crimes.
I’ve had quite a few times when I was assaulted, and didn’t report it because I felt it was my fault. In fact, it wasn’t until after a LOT of therapy and hormonal changes in my body, that I even actually understood that some of those things were actually crimes. And it took even MORE time for me to actually agree that they were assaults, because I was too busy blaming myself and excusing the perpetrators.
- There’s the “you were coming on to me in your sleep” story from yesterday’s post.
- There’s something that wasn’t an assault on me, but was an assault on someone in my home. I had a group of friends staying over at my home, that included a polyamorous couple. After we all went to bed, the guy slept with his girlfriend, then snuck into my room and had sex with me. Somewhere in the middle of the night – either before sex with me or after – he also had sex with a 13 yr old who was ALSO sleeping over. She had a crush on him, which is the only reason I can think that she didn’t scream at the time. And I didn’t know it happened until her family charged him with her assault. The guilt that a) it happened in my home; and b) that I could not protect the girl was something it took ages for me to get over.
- There was the guy who took my virginity, which while technically consensual had a whole fuckload of signs of abuse – including telling me we were “safe” from STDs because I was on the Pill, and telling me it was just my hymen breaking when I bled profusely, insteat of what it really was which was tearing the outer muscular ring of my vaginal opening in 3 places (NOT my hymen, as I was told by my doctor when he found the scarring).
- There’s the “see me naked” shit and the stalking when I was 13.
- There’s being fondled and almost raped by a much older man in the dark corner of a skating rink when I was 16
- There’s being threatened with a rape in a mall, only saved by a security guard who thought the situation looked “suspicious” and told me “oh, they were just trying to scare you” when I told him they threatened me with rape.
Hell, I could go on and on.
Did I make some bad choices? Yes, but that doesn’t mean I was to blame for any of the assaults.
Plus, there’s always the “just endure it, being raped is better than being killed” attitude.
But so many rapists (of both genders) get away with it because they tell the justice system that the victim “wanted it” or they would have fought harder.
Something has to change.