Victim Blaming Runs Too Deep
I don't really like the terms 'victim' or 'survivor'. One, for me anyway, implies utter weakness and the other suggests life will never be the same again. The latter maybe true but I'm not quite ready to come to terms that perhaps i can't return to the carefree existence I enjoyed prior to December 2010.
I reacted with sheer anger and rage on reading Nick Ross' daily mail article. Regardless of whether he's been misquoted or misportrayed. Focus is always on the victim. As an aside why in all the reporting does no one question what kind of person would want to have sex with someone who didn't want to have sex with them. And what possible pleasure could be derived from it. Why are we treating men like they aren't able to control themselves or have such low expectations of them that they couldn't possibly want to pursue a consensual sexual encounter. I know rape isn't necessarily that simple but fundamentally something changes at some point in some men where sex without consent becomes ok. Why aren't we examining that flaw rather than the outfit she was wearing or how much she'd had to drink.
I know I react more strongly to any rape article than perhaps some of my peers, its why i tend not to voice opinion because i don't want The pointing fingers wondering why I'm getting so irate. Implying that i am damaged or not able to voice a rational view on the very thing i have experienced. that thing was rape. i still find it a difficult word to say.
Recovery from rape has been a very hard process. The most difficult thing for me has been how people you hope would support you fall spectacularly by the way side. Not only does it undo your confidence, feeling of security it also severely undermines your trust in your support networks and close friendships. It's like you have to rebuild every aspect of your life piece by piece in a slow way.
Ive followed the various comments with interest and particularly that the viewpoint expressed was misognistic. In my experience its not just men, women have been just as unsupportive and judgmental which I believe comes from the whole stigma and blaming of the victim in the first place, it's hard to shake that feeling that in someway you deserved it or it was fate because you're essentially damaged goods in the first place.
My (female) partner at the time didn't want to have sex or share a bed with me in case she caught something from me. The relationship unsurprisingly imploded shortly afterwards. What i really needed was someone to make me feel safe. When I finally, two years later, left able to engage in sexual intimacy again I embarked on what turned out to be a one night stand with a senior manager at the local council. Just when I thought I was making giant strides towards something resembling a recovery she called it off. When I didn't handle it particularly well and tried to explain myself several months later by telling her what had happened. Her response was 'had I known I never would have got involved with you'. I've not seen or heard from her since. And astounded by the attitude, which if I am honest, coming from another women, who you would expect to be able to have some understanding of what that could mean or do to someone. All anyone had to do was out their arms around me and tell me it will all be ok.
So I feel back at square one, feeling dirty, damaged and deprived of human compassion and closeness I crave so much. Why was I so angry at Nick Ross, because perpetuating the myth that rape is in someway the victims fault not only makes legal processes harder, fools rapists and potential rapists into somehow justifying their actions but also it permeates my support network and undoes the trust I had in human beings. I'm certain had I been stabbed in a robbery I'd have had far more support and understanding from my so called nearest and dearest even if I'd been walking down an unlit street carefreely swinging my laptop by my side.Download this post as PDF? Click here