“So, you consented.”
(Massive trigger warning for this one)
In the last 8 years I have been raped twice. I didn't even realise this until a few months ago when I made friends with strong feminists and began to read about sexism and sexual assault. It was partly because I couldn't bear to think about the experiences and partly because they didn't involve physical violence (in both cases it was someone taking advantage of me when I was extremely upset or ill) so "rape" seemed an over-dramatic word.
It never fails - every time I say anything to do with sexism or assault or rape, some man will come and start explaining rape to me and belittles everything I say. There's no way I'm able to tell them something as personal as "actually, I do know what I'm talking about", especially since they wouldn't believe me. They seem to think that my having to learn to distinguish creepy/predatory behaviour from innocent behaviour at a young age is paranoia, not proper evidence-based thinking, damaging to REAL victims (and men, of course), etc etc etc.
Earlier this week I finally sought help from a counsellor. It was very hard to tell her what happened, but I did. Her conclusion: "So, you consented." When I had said no such thing. I was quite annoyed and snapped back that I did not consent, in fact I begged the second rapist to leave me alone. I don't think she believed me. She also regarded very public and very personal comments to me from an abusive ex as "a compliment, that he is that committed". He'd probably have locked me in the house 24/7 after a while and carried on stalking his actual crush, if you call that commitment. But I don't think she believed that, either.
I told the counselling office what had happened today. They sent me back a policy outlining how it's not your fault if you get raped, etc etc. But it'll be my word over the counsellor's. The rapes, the seeking help, the telling the help sources they need to improve - they are all utterly isolating processes.Download this post as PDF? Click here