Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Marital Rape (Content Note)

I have ptsd from this so I can't go into detail, but I endured 15 years of it.

The man was a professional, and would not class himself as a bad person. he felt entitled and I would freeze. He was a bully on every level.

But sometimes it was used as a form of domestic violence in that it was done
as an overt and deliberate attack, with him using the 'r' word for it.

He knew what he was doing.

Our kids didn't know, no-one knew. I'd sit huddled on the stairs, screaming inside. There was the external door at the bottom of the stairs, and because I had children, I couldn't go out of it.

What if I walked to the police station? Would I be able to talk about it? Would they believe me? Would they drive me straight back home? Would I be attacked again for it?

I was now mentally ill from it. I had no faith in myself being able to raise children without him. He was the normal one, the clever one, the capable one. His voice, his presence, his touch made my skin crawl. I was terrified of him.

The last time it happened I decided to kill myself. He said it was my fault for wearing a nightie. I realised then I had reached the point where I had to die to escape because I couldn't take it any more.

Instead I chose to live. Women's aid said my home situation as too dangerous for them to help me. CAB told me my daughter was most important and to give my marriage a chance for her sake and not to leave.

I had no money, no shoes, isolated in a rural cottage, no car. I put on my son's PE shoes and walked an hour along country lanes with my toddler.

I reached the council offices and collapsed. They were amazing. They took statements from me and rescued me and my children.

Not quite ten years later and I am trying to rebuild my life, but my mental health problems persist and I have ptsd.

I'm still single, still in council housing, still on benefits. I'm trying but I keep stumbling. but kids have thrived though for the new start in life.

Violence and arrogance are endemic in the UK. I tried dating a few times, but my ptsd makes it impossible. All the boyfriends were controlling bullies, who believed they were something better than me: cleverer, more capable, just for being male.

One raped me. I wasn't able to sleep with him, and after 3 months he just did it anyway, telling me off afterwards for being immoral for letting him. He'd pinned me down. I had an mental collapse, slowly, over the following year.

I hope one day to recover from all this. Its not happening yet though. maybe I'll find a good man who believes he is my equal. Maybe I'll be able to let him close to me, but I don't really expect that to happen.

I feel horrible after writing that but my ptsd was triggered yesterday anyway when I thought I'd have to meet my ex-husband. I have nightmares about him. So I don't think I can feel more triggered than I do right now.

Both the boyfriend and the ex-husband both held me close and gushed words of love after their attacks. I don't know why but I think that is important in trying to understand their flawed thinking. They knew they had raped me, yet gushed words of love. Did they think I'd believe it? Did they really feel it? Whatever it was, I DID NOT want their love.


We do NOT give permission for posts published as personal experiences to be reproduced, translated or otherwise published elsewhere. We will not contact people who submit their personal experiences on behalf of journalists, bloggers or other third sector organisations. These testimonies remain the intellectual copyright of their authors and must be treated with the ethical guidelines used by academics for research involving human subjects. Our full guidelines can be read here.

Comments are currently closed.

11 thoughts on “Marital Rape (Content Note)

  • Catherine says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I believe you and I hope you find peace in your strength and bravery.

  • Admin says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

    We believe you. We know the fault for the abuse lies with the perpetrator.

    If you would like us to recommend some supportive, non-judgemental organisations who can help you, please contact us by email: [email protected].

    Sending peaceful thoughts x

  • Zanna says:

    I believe you. Thank you for kindly sharing. I hope you feel better soon xxx

  • Jeanette says:

    I believe you it’s happened to me too 34 years it took me to leave the fallout never ends My adult children especially my son have suffered too I have ptsd and a condition called burning mouth syndrome I believe I have this because I had no voice Some days I want to die and it’s 10 years on No one should get away with inflicting this amount of pain on anyone buy they do May you find peace darlin x

  • You have been incredibly strong in sharing your experiences and in doing so will have given so many other women the strength they need to find an escape route. I am so pleased you took that hour long journey to the council offices and so happy to hear how good they were at offering you and your children the support you needed.

    I believe you. Thank you for being brave enough to share your experiences and I wish you only happiness in your future. x

  • anon says:

    Thank you for your replies.

    This is the most difficult and painful thing in my life, and I carry it every day. I have to not think about it, but I get agoraphobia, and often feel suicidal. I’m under the hospital and on strong meds. I still have nightmares.

    I pressed charges though, just because I couldn’t carry it any more. We’re in the middle of that so please give thoughts to my poor kids. I feel guilty for pressing charges but he was still bullying me, and I couldn’t function any more from the pain. Feel so guilty though, seeing your kids in pain is equal torture.

    Thank you for your replies. I have had a saying this past few years “I know my own truth”. No-one and nothing can take that truth away from you.

  • Tom says:

    Thank you for sharing this incredibly painful set of experiences. I’m glad you found the right help but sorry others turned you away. It may be hard to believe but as a fellow PTSD sufferer it can improve even if it doesn’t completely go away. I think you are very brave.

  • Frances says:

    You’re brave, even if you don’t feel it. You have nothing to feel guilty about, even if you can’t believe it.

    Take every support offered. You deserve it.

    I believe you.

    I hope so much you get justice. No matter what, you’ve done such a strong thing. Your children are lucky they have such an amazing mum.

  • anon says:

    Thank you. Its a hard thing, we just have to take it a day at a time. I’d like to be med free and able to work (I’m like a zombie, I’m only awake for 8 hrs a day) once this is dealt with. I do always feel ashamed for pressing charges, as a mother, and oddly feel worried about him. My health care team tell me not to, that its not my fault, I didn’t cause this and am doing the right thing etc but my head struggles with what they are saying, because its me who chose to go to the police. Its very hard to hurt someone you lived with for so many years, but i need this on a level I don’t quite understand yet.

    In my last nightmare, I was back with him (that is always the nightmare). he was in bed with his professional qualifications tattoed on his leg. I wrote under them ‘rapist’ but he woke up and washed it off, and I was very frightened. I hate the dreams where I am back with him, where somehow he is living in my house, or I have lost my house and moved back in with him. its never happy, its always so real and I really believe I lost my freedom.

    I always feel horrible after those dreams. Sorry, I’m rambling. I think at the end of this situation my mind will finally be free.

  • Elizabeth @LizJ73. says:

    You are a very brave lady OP I send you my good thoughts and best wishes and as a previous poster said take every support offred to you.

  • […] is just brief but my last post was very intense and I’d written it to help other women, but then it got bogged down in my […]