Normalized…(Content Note – Rape)
The Guardian online this week (27.11.2013): "Sexual Coercion is becoming normalised, warns researcher..." http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/26/rise-women-coerced-into-sex-uk-survey-finds?CMP=twt_gu
I read, and re-read that sentence this afternoon - the thought that follows reading is always 'so does that mean there was a time when it *wasn't* normal'?
I forced to think about my first 'boyfriend' - I still use the term loosely. He was 15 years older than me, the son of friends of my parents. Maybe that is why I thought he would be safe. I wanted to be safe you see, I craved it, longed for it like a parched garden after too many hot days.
I had been abused as a child, by a group of people who lived locally. I had not even acknowledged that to anyone when I started going out with... well, let's call him Graham.
We had been going out for a couple of months. He had a car and he would take me to his house and we would sit with his Mum and younger sister watching the television. On Sundays we would go to some local football match. And that was it really.
But he was older, and could pick me up from work in his car, and he loved his Mum. It wasn't exciting, I didn't want exciting. I wanted to be safe.
It was a Thursday evening. I remember that. We had the house to ourselves, and he wanted.. well, he wanted.
I told him I wasn't sure. I told him, I'm not ready. He persisted. He told me not to be such a prude.
I wasn't ready.
Afterwards, as he was buttoning up his shirt, he said "There - that wasn't so bad, was it?"
I wasn't ready. But it was done. I couldn't undo it.
3 months later, he raped me for the first time. I know it was rape because I said no. But it didn't matter - not to him. The second time, he raped me with a wine bottle.
The last time, he put his hands over my nose and mouth and I couldn't breathe.
I suppose that Guardian headline is right - sexual coercion is becoming normalised.
But it was becoming normalised a long time ago.
(I would prefer for this to remain anonymous. Thank you for giving me the space to write this. You are doing work that is invaluable).
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