A daughter needs her dad to show her that not all men are like the ones who hurt her
I was raped whilst studying abroad. My dad showed no sympathy for me and always had a go at me. Finally it came to a head following the completion of my degree which I am very proud to say that, against all the odds, I managed to pass. He rang me up and began to call my lazy and pathetic and then blurted out that I had fucked up my opportunity abroad. I demanded he apologise, but he refused. I told him that it was wrong of him to blame me, but he ignored this. He then said ‘ok, ok, I’m sorry, I guess I shouldn’t judge without all the facts’. So he must be missing the important facts which make this not my fault? I told him that I was scared of him and I think he might be a rapist (which I do because he does not hide his hatred for women), teaching women lessons for drinking, flirting and wearing the wrong things wherever he can. He did not respond. He finally responded with, ‘if you want my help to find a job the offers open’ and then he tried to turn it around on me saying ‘this is so sad’.
I certainly feel like a heavily stigmatised victim and I will now lose out on my family purely for defending myself in the face of victim blaming. It’s really hard being the devil when you are violated by avid porn fans who view you as less than human, and it is even harder and more devastating when men who are meant to love and care about you see you as the perpetrator of the crime against you and you realise they never really loved you in the first place because they never saw you of deserving of human rights. I must say, not that he would have any clue or, for that matter even give a shit, but this is a devastating emotional setback for me.
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My dad = my abuser. Took me 24 years to report him. Because I felt bad at the thought if him potentially going to prison. He was my dad/is my dad. Should of protected not molested. So hard to come through parental betrayal.
I am a father, son, friend, husband and man. Whatever the circumstances, you were not to blame for being raped. And I say whatever the circumstances in the sense that people will sometimes analyse what happened and say “if only she’d done X or Y then it would never have happened”. Everyone with a functioning brain knows this is nonsense and victim blaming.
Wherever you were, whatever time it was, whatever you were wearing, however much you’d had to drink, whoever you were with, whatever had happened previously, etc. etc. …. none of those circumstances excuses the man who raped you. You know all that. But, after hearing from women friends who have been raped, they have told me it helps hearing lots and lots of people say this. I hope lots of people saying this helps you too.
If anyone was to try to be kind to your father – thinking perhaps he is in denial about what happened, feeling powerless because he couldn’t protect his daughter etc. – this disappears when you say that you feel you will lose your family because they simply will not accept that you were not to blame in the slightest and that he holds this view about women in general and cannot lift his head up and look his daughter in the eye and want to make things better by simply listening and holding her and doing what she says she needs.
I grew up with a violent father and a mother who made things a lot worse. After many years of trying to make things work on their terms, I realised it was not possible. He didn’t deserve me and neither did she. And they didnt deserve to know my wonderful wife and children when they came along. It was absolutely their loss. I miss having a father and a mother, but I don’t miss the ones I had.
It will be difficult, but embrace life’s journey and surround yourself with people who deserve you. Don’t close the door totally…but only invite your family back into your heart when you are sure they deserve it and make your terms clear and non-negotiable.
All men are not like your father. And all men are not like your rapist. Most men hold men like your father and your rapist in contempt. I sincerely hope you know some of the decent ones or that you get to know some soon. You deserve better than you’ve had. And there are many men out there – including fathers – who might get lots of things wrong, but would rather die themselves than not do whatever they could to make their children’s lives better and help them get over something as hideous as rape.
I wish you all the wonderful things this world has in it. Good luck on the journey.