I think many have thought this but no one wanted to say it. Glad someone did. We’re so worried about falsely accusing someone of rape that victims are the ones that are hurt the most. Shamed into silence. I was for almost a decade. This picture was shared on Facebook and it is so true. When will society change? We need to educate the world about rape and abuse. It is not ok, never should be ok. Speak up speak the truth. Don’t be afraid. You are not alone.
What a great cause. Every school should have some kind of support group implemented to help students affected by rape and abuse. If you also support this cause, just follow the link and like the page. If you would like to start getting things started in your area, just message the page and start collaborating.
“I created this page to start working on getting more awareness and support into schools so that those who have been abused have someone to turn to. It’s a start to making changes in schools where students can find support. I’ve seen a group like this work. And I think we need to multiply what they have done and really help the children affected by rape and sexual abuse.”
Awareness is the biggest tool right now. Although it’s in the first few days of spreading awareness, it is a great start. Next step is a petition and then going into local areas in schools and crisis centers. Sounds very exciting.
The exact definition of “rape,” “sexual assault,” “sexual abuse” and similar terms differs by state. The wording can get confusing, since states often use different words to mean the same thing or use the same words to describe different things. So, for a precise legal definition, you need to check the law in your state. But here are some general guidelines based on the definitions used by the U.S. Justice Department. Please note that these definitions are a bit graphic, which is inevitable when describing crimes this violent.
Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object.
Rape victims may be forced through threats or physical means. In about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Anyone may be a victim of rape: women, men or children, straight or gay.
Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling. (But, be aware: Some states use this term interchangeably with rape.)
So, how can you figure if what happened was rape? There are a few questions to consider.
There are three main considerations in judging whether or not a sexual act is consensual (which means that both people are old enough to consent, have the capacity to consent, and agreed to the sexual contact) or is a crime.
Are the participants old enough to consent? Each state sets an “age of consent,” which is the minimum age someone must be to have sex. People below this age are considered children and cannot legally agree to have sex. In other words, even if the child or teenager says yes, the law says no.
In most states, the age of consent is 16 or 18. In some states, the age of consent varies according to the age difference between the participants. Generally, “I thought she was 18” is not considered a legal excuse — it’s up to you to make sure your partner is old enough to legally take part.
Because laws are different in every state, it is important to find out the law in your state. You can call your local crisis center or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE to find out more about the laws in your state.
Do both people have the capacity to consent? States also define who has the mental and legal capacity to consent. Those with diminished capacity — for example, some people with disabilities, some elderly people and people who have been drugged or are unconscious — may not have the legal ability to agree to have sex.
These categories and definitions vary widely by state, so it is important to check the law in your state. You can call your local crisis center or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE to find out more about the laws in your state.
Did both participants agree to take part? Did someone use physical force to make you have sexual contact with him/her? Has someone threatened you to make you have intercourse with them? If so, it is rape.
It doesn’t matter if you think your partner means yes, or if you’ve already started having sex — “No” also means “Stop.” If you proceed despite your partner’s expressed instruction to stop, you have not only violated basic codes of morality and decency, you may have also committed a crime under the laws of your state (check your state’s laws for specifics).
I didn’t resist physically – does that mean it isn’t rape?
People respond to an assault in different ways. Just because you didn’t resist physically doesn’t mean it wasn’t rape — in fact, many victims make the good judgment that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent. Lack of consent can be express (saying “no”) or it can be implied from the circumstances (for example, if you were under the statutory age of consent, or if you had a mental defect, or if you were afraid to object because the perpetrator threatened you with serious physical injury).
I used to date the person who assaulted me – does that mean it isn’t rape?
Rape can occur when the offender and the victim have a pre-existing relationship (sometimes called “date rape” or “acquaintance rape”), or even when the offender is the victim’s spouse. It does not matter whether the other person is an ex-boyfriend or a complete stranger, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve had sex in the past. If it is nonconsensual this time, it is rape. (But be aware that a few states still have limitations on when spousal rape is a crime.)
My message to him:
Do you remember me? Cause I sure remember you. We only dated for 6 weeks in high school. But for the last 8 years, I have been plagued by the memory of you. I have held so much blame and guilt for the night that I couldn’t comprehend. On March 5, 2004 (yes, I remember the day), you raped me. I told you over and over NO, I’M NOT READY and PLEASE STOP but you wouldn’t. I was so petrified of what my first experience would be like, and in no way, did I want my first time to be rape. I did NOT consent to have sex with you. It was like you couldn’t even hear me. You barely said two words to me and couldn’t even acknowledge my pleas for you to not pursue me. Not to mention how crappy you made me feel (all over again) the next morning when I found out you were trying to have sex with other girls. They begged me to break up with you after they found out I was your girlfriend and NOT your stalker, but you took something precious from me and I didn’t feel like I had any right to break up with you. I felt like a slut for “giving it up” at such an early age, but the FACT is, is that you took it. I guess in the three weeks we dated, I didn’t “put out” soon enough for you. You stole my virginity from me. I didn’t give it to you. I wanted to wait. I wanted to do it when I was ready, and I guess it was dumb of me to expect you to RESPECT my wishes! I wish I never met you! You were only after one thing the whole time we were together, weren’t you? Time after time, all I can ever remember is how you kept trying to get me to pleasure you. Why, when I said no those times, you stopped? Why couldn’t you stop the night you raped me? Did your friends think you were cool when you told them we had sex? Did it make you feel like a man when I laid there pleading with you to stop? You have kept me silent for too long. I have held this burden for 8 years, and I will no longer hold this in anymore. I am not to blame. I am not the guilty party here. What you did was a crime. You have no right pressuring someone when they tell you they are not ready. NO MEANS NO. Not once did I say yes or consent to anything that happened that night. Because of you, I now have to find a way to put back the pieces of my life. Because of you, I am in therapy trying to undo what you did. Because of you, I struggle to find that happiness that I so deserve! I want you to feel remorse for what you did to me and how you have made me feel for the last 8 years. I want you to know how violated you made me feel and how sick I get when I think of you. I never could understand how a boyfriend could rape his girlfriend. If so, I probably would have told someone. I wish I did. I trusted you. You came into my house and used all those vulnerabilities against me to get your way! I want you to admit what you did and sincerely be sorry for raping me. This is not my burden to bear anymore… it’s yours. This is all on you. Stand up to it. You can only run from it for so long. You might not have thought that much of me, but that doesn’t mean I am worthless. How do you live with what you did? Oh I sure hope you didn’t hurt anyone else too!
Your victim no more
Im sorry you feel like this after 8 years but I was a virgin too. In no way did you act as if that time wasn’t consensual. We then repeated the act. We also went and ate years after and you said nothing. I do not know what this is exactly about. It was high school, relationships don’t last that long. Im sorry you feel this way.
Wow. This isn’t surprising at all. EXCEPT for the fact that you told me that you told me that you had been with someone before. For the fact that I told you I wasn’t ready. You know know what, I wasn’t even mentally there the that night because I couldn’t believe what was happening. It’s called shock. I was hoping someone would walk in because that’s how petrified I was. Oh boy i wish i reported you. You don’t know what this is about? It’s about rape jackass. The FACT that I said no and you couldn’t respect my wishes. After that night it didn’t matter what anyone did to me because I was a slut for “giving it up” to you. I was damaged goods. You did that to me. And NO we didn’t go out to eat years after. You told me through MySpace that I was the best girlfriend you ever had at the time. I’m not stupid. I know high school relationships don’t last. But really why could I say no the other times and you not listen that time. I told Krystal back then but she told me she didn’t wanna think it was a possibility that you raped me so I suppressed it for a long time. THAT’S what this is about. Because every time people mention old boyfriends or something is said about virginities I breakdown and cry. Do you even remember what happened that night? I told you my mom was going on a date and told me I could go to the movies with you. You were helping your sister move and said you could come over real quick and tell them you were doing to the store to get drinks. Why would you think I would wanna lose my virginity by a quickie. You think that it was fun for me to watch you run to the bathroom (doing who the heck knows) and then grabbing your clothes and leaving? Then to wake up the next morning and find out that you were trying to hook up with priscilla. Yeah. If you hadn’t raped me the night before, I so would have broken up with you. The only reason I stayed with you was because you stole something from me. Something precious to me. I couldn’t believe that a boyfriend could rape a girlfriend. I looked it up and looked it up and couldn’t comprehend what you did to me. I felt so much blame and guilt and shame because of that. It might have taken me a while to come to grips with your actions, but I refuse to stay silent because you think I’m a slut or whatever you think of me. Do you remember me consenting? Saying yes? From what your response was, doesn’t seem like you remember anything. Maybe you should look up stuff about rape victims because you’d see how you’ve made me feel. Stay in denial if that’s what makes you sleep better at night. Just hope nobody you know is ever raped. Denial might save you for a bit. But I know the truth and God knows the truth. Own up to it.
“The consequences of acquaintance rape are often far-reaching. Once the actual rape has occurred and has been identified as rape by the survivor, she is faced with the decision of whether to disclose to anyone what has happened… The percentage of survivors reporting the rape is so low for several reasons. Self-blame is a recurring response which prevents disclosure. Even if the act has been conceived as rape by the survivor, there is often an accompanying guilt about not seeing the sexual assault coming before it was too late. This is often directly or indirectly reinforced by the reactions of family or friends in the form of questioning the survivor’s decisions… People normally relied upon for support by the survivor are not immune to subtly blaming the victim. Another factor which inhibits reporting is the anticipated response of the authorities. Fear that the victim will again be blamed adds to apprehension about interrogation. The duress of reexperiencing the attack and testifying at a trial, and a low conviction rate for acquaintance rapists, are considerations as well.”
”Because so many people, both victims AND perpetrators, believe that rape must include elements of violence, incidents that are not consentual, yet occur without violence, are often overlooked as NOT being rape. It’s important to remember however, that rape isn’t a crime because of some extreme physical action, but is instead a crime based on the non-consent of one party, regardless of whether they are yelling “no” and physically fighting for their lives or just trying to get past the incident as quickly as possible because they are unable to stop it or fear making the situation worse or destroying the friendship by resisting. The key is CONSENT. “Mixed signals”? That is NOT consent. Note that a lack of “fighting back” is NOT an element to the crime occurring.”
This weekend, at my family’s Christmas / Birthday party, I told my mom about being raped. I didn’t know what she would say or react to it, but I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to hold it in much longer. I had already told my father, an aunt, my cousin, and my brother’s girlfriend, but the rest of my family, including my mother, hadn’t known about it. The last time I tried to let them know I was dealing with things was last year, but without me sharing the R word (as I still wasn’t at a point of calling it that) they were quite confused and I suppressed it for another 6 months. It has been seven years of pure silence… from the world and from my own self. I’ve noticed that the more I open up to my past, the easier it is to cope with. Granted, I have those people who cannot handle talking or thinking about the subject at hand, but for those who can, it definitely helps me break the silence a little more each time.
When talking to a friend, I mentioned how the silence kills. And it truly does. For the last seven years, I have blamed myself for that night. I couldn’t tell my mom, as I let him in my house. I couldn’t tell my friend, as she wished me luck before he came over and I couldn’t understand how she could ever understand the magnitude of rape (I know I couldn’t). I couldn’t tell a school counselor, as my school didn’t have programs like the WAR Program in a Florida school does. And the morning after, I couldn’t even break up with him. If he would have just raped me and that be the end of it, things might have turned out differently. But the morning after he raped me, I was being told by a girl I barely knew that I was called his stalker. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he confirmed it with long conversations of me begging him to stay with me. My virginity was always a special thing to me, so when he took it, it truly destroyed me. I felt broken and used and no matter what I did, I could not get my virginity back. That’s a very touchy subject I stay away because I cannot always handle the emotions that come with that right now. One thing at a time, I guess.
Anyways, after being silenced for 7+ years, I have come to a point in my life, in my recovery, that I have to speak out. I have to release this blame that I have allowed him to hold over my head for too darn long. In my head, this is not my problem anymore. I did nothing wrong and I deserve to have people know the real me, and I shouldn’t have to pretend to make others feel better. Granted, I probably will still, but at least they know and they can either decide to support me or go on their merry way. Sorry, I’ve just come to the realization that I cannot please everyone and this is my time to heal. It’s almost like I’ve been conditioned to not have my own voice or feel like I am allowed to have an opinion. I have always been a kind-hearted person. I like that about me, but I can no longer be someone’s door mat. I struggle. I won’t hide that. I have a lot to deal with and I hope as each therapy session closes and more steps have been taken in my recovery, that I can have the life I deserve… one that is happy. I am determined to not be his victim anymore. I will be nobody’s victim, if I have my say.