TW – Celebrity comments.
I am normally a fairly placid person, I don't like anger and I avoid conflict wherever possible. But I'm angry today and I can't keep silent.
There has been a plethora of people in the media who collectively fall into a bracket called "rape apologists". Those people for whom "rape is not always rape". They have a variety of victim-blaming methods:
If you were drunk - not rape.
If you were wearing a short skirt - not rape.
If you went somewhere with the guy willingly - not rape.
If you changed your mind halfway through - not rape.
There are others.
Scarily some of these comments are made by women. The overwhelming majority of rapes are perpetrated against women. I am not discounting male rape - I am simply not qualified to comment on their perspective.
I am qualified to comment as a female rape survivor - of both stranger rape and by people known to me.
I didn't say no every time - my fault/not rape
I went somewhere I knew wasn't a safe place - my fault/not rape
I was born into a family where it was normal - my fault/not rape.
You see, I don't need help from celebrities to feel bad, I'm quite capable of doing that myself. I have trouble saying the word rape out loud in the context of my experiences. It was rape. But the guilt and shame makes me blame myself more than anyone could.
Women in short skirts get raped, women in pyjamas get raped, women in burkas get raped, drunk women get raped, sober women get raped, married women get raped, single women get raped. Rapists actually don't discriminate in the way rape apologists do - they rape because they can, in all circumstances.
And how much more would it be powerful if the message from celebrities was "Don't rape." Because rapists do have a choice, they can not rape. I didn't and don't have a choice to be a rape victim, it's who I am. It's who they made me.
And then the people who talk about "child porn". The name is actually indecent images of child abuse. I was forced to be in several such images, both stills and video. One of the most humiliating things about being a child abuse survivor is knowing those images are out there and still being viewed most likely. I did not choose to be a victim of that crime either. Pornography is not what it is. And the comments made about "people who are curious would click to see what the fuss is about" - lets tell you. You'd see images of things that no child should ever have to be put through for the "enjoyment" of adults. Adults who know it's wrong and do it anyway. And share these images. And the media calling it child porn - it softens the impact. If Nick Ross said - I am curious and would view pictures of child rape - well do you see the difference?
So please - when you read the celebrity comments about rape and abuse, remember the huge numbers of people who've experienced it and who are damaged all over again by these comments.
If you need support after reading this please contact @CRASAC or @RSVP_West_Mids