Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Losing the man I love after revealing I was raped and blackmailed

At 17, I was sexually assaulted by a well known and respected doctor in our small southern city. Needless to say, I wasn't beleived and the police did nothing. Friends and family turned on me, and my own mother said to me "Are you suuure you were raped?" When I got with my current long term partner (over 10 years together) I didn't tell him about my rape for several years because of the fear of rejection, of being called a slut or just not being beleived.

In fact, I only told him after having a serious bout of depression brought on by memories of my rape emerging. During the begining of our relationship, when we were still dating, I was also blackmailed by my rapist for nude pictures.

I didn't go to the police. I mean, why bother right? All these years later, the sherriff plays golf with my rapist and goes to the same church with him on Sunday. My rapist threatened to have me kicked out of my college, fired from my job, all of which I knew was in his power to do. I gave in to him and put it behind me. I focused on finishing school and trying to have a successful career. This was almost a decade ago. I told this to only one other friend at the time, a best friend who is a victim of rape herself and I thought I could trust.

For some unearthly reason, she told my boyfriend about this a few months ago. Ever since, he's resented me and doubted me. He hasn't called me a slut or a whore, but I know the words are on his mind. He's been going through my online presence with a fine tooth comb, even going so far as using paid services so look through long-deleted accounts. Never in a million years did I beleive my closest friend, lover, and confidant would treat me this way. He has been a friend all my life, even before our relationship. We grew up together. He's been there for me at times when everyone else abandoned me. We are almost identical in personality and mannerisms. We've planned for marriage, kids, the works.

It hurts, but I'm going to have to leave him. I can't and won't let myself stay with a man who blames me for my own rape and blackmail. I can't let myself be with a person who sees me as a cheater instead of a victim.

My rape, and by extension, my victim blaming, has infected and wormed it's disgusting way into every aspect of my life. It has ruined so much for me. When will I be free of this? When will it end?

 

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2 thoughts on “Losing the man I love after revealing I was raped and blackmailed

  • J says:

    *hugs* I’m so sorry to read about this horrific experience. In my eyes, if he really changes his attitude that way just because you where victimized, well, then he is not worth your time and you deserve something better.

    *Sends some positive energy*

  • Pauline says:

    I can’t even imagine the disillusionment you must be feeling, both with your boy-friend and the friend who told him (though she inadvertently did you a favour by exposing his misogyny, I suppose). I’m so sorry our society is built in such a way that you couldn’t pursue justice knowing you would have been hurt and victimised even more. It is horribly unfair.

    An ex-colleague of mine told me some years ago that her boy-friend had warned her if she ever got raped while walking alone at night, wearing a mini-skirt or basically in any way “asking to be raped”, he would consider it adultery and would leave her. I couldn’t believe it. How can you feel you’re in a trusting and loving relationship when your loved one warns you in advance they will blame you for the worst crime a man can commit against you instead of standing by you when you most need it? I think many more women share their lives with men who feel this way than we (or they) like to believe. Many men deep down view their partners as property, not actual human beings.

    I hope you will be able to talk to someone you *can* trust – a professional maybe? – about what has happened to you. The rape and blackmail are still very much affecting you in the present, and you deserve to tell your story and be listened to, with empathy and respect. Thank you for sharing your story here.