It seems to me from what I hear about in the news when it comes to rape and sexual assault that the people who open up about rape or are unwillingly exposed to whole communities often experience a whole torrent of victim blaming.
Many people victim blamed me by saying that I couldn’t get half naked with a man and not expect him to want sex. The funny thing is, do men normally stay half clothed like you are and just walk towards you on the bed slowly and at the last minute penetrate you without saying anything ? When it happened it was a total surprise and I was in complete shock to begin with before I was just confused. Luckily, I pushed him away after a bit. Yes, I feel I consented to the rest of the sexual activity before that but just because I consented to everything else before the rape doesn’t mean the penetration wasn’t rape.
Someone also referred to stranger rape and said that if a stranger had forced themselves on me it would have been rape but because I was dating the guy and really liked him there was no way it could be rape.
Someone also said that they think I have a skewed idea about rape before I even told them what happened.
People also need to be aware that just because he stopped if you pushed him off you or something doesn’t mean it wasn’t rape if you didn’t consent at all to what was happening before you pushed him away.
I have been seriously sexually assaulted but not raped on many occasions whilst intoxicated before the rape. The response of many people is to tell me to cut down on my alcohol intake and stop drinking so much on nights out. Drinking doesn’t cause rape, people do! (Yes, women sometimes rape too) I completely disagree with them and think if anything what has made me more vulnerable than others to sexual violence is my naivety and tendency to trust people too easily.
This post just shows how rife victim blaming is from my experience at least. Victim blaming is sometimes considered by rape and sexual assault survivors as worse than the rape and I completely agree. I was thinking of writing a suicide note to someone I really needed help from to deal with the aftermath of the rape because she completely disbelieved me and blamed me for my actions.
In conclusion, I think societal attitudes really need to be changed as at least from my own experience it seems people still blame people for rape if they have some kind of sexual relationship with the person before or if the victim has been drinking. I also think it is really vital that everyone is taught about consent and the definitions of sexual assault so that we can work on preventing rape and sexual assault.