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A Survivor Not a Victim

Overcoming Rape

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LALAGRAC

“LALAGRAC is a clothing line that empowers men, woman, and children to embrace who they are and to always stand up for what they believe in. There is no grey area in abuse. Abuse is abuse. We have chosen to donate a portion of the proceeds to  RAINN, which is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. To show our support and belief in our cause, when a clothing item is purchased a portion of the cost will be donated to the organization. Each item in the LALAGRAC collection will be named after an abuse survivor.”

They have a selection of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing. Their message is that “THERE IS NO GREY” when it comes to sexual assault.

https://lalagracclothing.com

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Abby’s Story

“It started as such an innocuous hashtag, something I saw on social media and thought, “Wow, that’s cool.” But here I am, days, months, and now a year after I first dove down the rabbit hole, still sitting and thinking about my own “me too” moments. I’ve had many, but one that stands out above the rest…

I wanted to join the hashtag. I sat here from behind my computer screen and judged celebrities for coming forward but not naming names. I wasn’t such a coward.

And yet the cursor continued to flash on the screen in front of me, and I typed paragraphs and paragraphs but couldn’t bring myself to hit “post.”

My family, my parents, and my abuser are all on Facebook, my Facebook, and I could hear what they would say.

I couldn’t take my family’s pity. I couldn’t take my parents’ criticism. And I couldn’t take his indifference.

We talked after everything that happened. Of course we did. We parted amicably, actually. But while he admitted that what he did was wrong, he never fully acknowledged what he did, because back in high school we were afraid of labels, so we would never label what happened between us as something as severe as “sexual assault.” And now, he has a wife and a baby, and I can’t help but overanalyze every smiling photo they post together, wondering what’s going on behind closed doors, how I could help, or if I could even change anything at all.

How can I save a girl I’ve never met if I couldn’t even save myself?

It started when I was a sophomore in high school, a tomboy nerd who was perpetually body-conscious and bullied for almost all of my school experience. I had had a couple “boyfriends,” but none that were serious. I was looking for love wherever I could get it, even though I was surrounded by loving friends and a very supportive home life. I think that’s why I’m ashamed when I tell this story. I had no drug-addicted mother, no father who walked out on me, no money struggles or real issues other than my own self-esteem. No excuses, no reason other than my own lapse in judgment. I knew better. And yet, I ended up in the same situation millions of women have found themselves in before.

He was a friend first. Growing up, I always thought dumb girls who went to bars and left their drinks unattended or walked down dark alleys alone at night were the ones who got snatched up by these kinds of people. And even as I’m writing this, I don’t picture him as one of “those kinds of people.” It’s crazy.

We met in high school and started spending some more time together. We started going to each other’s houses, mostly his. He quickly became one of my closest friends. And I’ll never forget the night that it started. About 6 months after our friendship began, I was laying on his white, leather L-shaped couch in the living room while he laid across the other half, his head next to mine. South Park was playing absently on the TV. We were half-watching, half-talking. We started discussing past relationships, and I mentioned how I had never even had a “real” kiss. My previous boyfriend nearly 2 years prior and I had tried at homecoming, but it was a peck on the lips that was disastrous, and I broke up with him two days later.

I remember hearing his laugh next to my head, and he started talking about what a shame that was.

Before I knew what happened, he was on top of me. I literally don’t remember how he leapt on top of me so fast, but then there he was. He kissed me forcefully, but I interpreted it as passionately at the time. I remember he had full lips that felt like they swallowed mine, and he tasted like the Fuze he’d been drinking. It lasted maybe ten seconds, and then it was over just as quickly as it had begun. He was back on his side of the sofa in the blink of an eye.

“How was that?”

I swallowed. I wasn’t sure, but I knew I wanted more. I wanted to feel attractive, desired…loved. And that kiss did it for me.

The next 3 years was a personal hell of my own design. I thought you couldn’t get addicted to things other than drugs or alcohol or full-blown sex, but I became addicted to our after-school make-out sessions.

At first, we were just friends. There was such an exhilaration behind our kisses, always surprising and almost forbidden. We weren’t dating, so it seemed unexpected. Then, we got more desperate, happy when his father left to get our pizza so we could sprawl across the couch and tangle up in one another. He was companionship. He was body heat. But he certainly wasn’t love. I knew it even then.

Every now and then there was a moment or a kiss that made my heart skip a beat and put a genuine smile on my face. But so many times, I was focused on doing nothing more than pleasing him. It made me feel like I had a purpose, that I could be used. And I was willing to be used and thrown away like a napkin as long as it meant someone was getting some use out of me. My lack of self-esteem and our mutual desire to be loved, even if it was accompanied by occasional indifference, was a near-fatal combination. 

I started feeling like a prostitute, even though the most scandalous thing we had ever done was make out while I straddled him (clothes all on). I would show up in skimpy clothes to give myself the confidence boost I needed to even face him, we would creep closer to each other, tease, kiss. Then I would sneak out after dark, zipping up my hoodie over my deep V blouse, and I would drive back home and play it cool.

“How was it?”

“Fine.”

“What did you guys do?”

He was spooning me on the couch while we watched Comedy Central, he ran his hand down my thigh, and then-

“Nothing. Just watched TV.”

After Otto Frank read his daughter Anne’s diary, he made a heartbreaking declaration. “Most parents don’t really know their children.” Over the years, I’ve come to see the truth behind his sentiment.

We played it cool at school, too. Sure, some people knew that we were kissing on the weekends, but it was high school, and if there was no sex involved, it certainly wasn’t newsworthy.

I was raised in a conservative Christian household, so while I knew what sex was and had learned from the rest of my classmates the bases in between, I had no idea about what happened when the lines of consent were blurred. I was going to kiss before marriage, but nothing else. I would lose my virginity to my husband on our wedding night, and if anyone else wanted to take it beforehand, I would just say, “No.”

Simple. I would never put myself in one of those situations that D.A.R.E. or my parents had warned me about, and I would never have to worry about someone not taking no for an answer.

How wrong I was.

As the months threatened to turn into years, I began pushing for a formal title for what we were. We saw each other every weekend. We ate dinner together, even though it was always in the confines of the house. He showered me with affection, compliments, and, most importantly, self-esteem boosts. We were, by my definition, “dating.” But he would never hold hands with me at school. In fact, some days he seemed to pretend that he didn’t even know I existed. 

And I as continued to pressure him, that’s when his sweet personality began to…shift.

His compliments would be interspersed with comments about my appearance, my weight, and my popularity at school. He knew where I hurt, and he wasn’t afraid to hit me there. Just when I was feeling confident in my own skin (perhaps almost confident enough to search for a real significant other to love me), he would throw in one of his favorite zingers into casual conversation. “Maybe I’d date you if you were 10 pounds lighter.” “Why do you never straighten your hair…it would look so much better!” “It’s not easy being friends with you, because I get teased for it.” These were never even said in anger, because we never really fought. We did try to date once, but he ended that fast. We got together on a Monday, broke up on a Wednesday, and I was kissing him on that same leather sofa on Friday. We were both addicts that needed our fix, and nothing could keep us away. But conflict was still present. I would want more commitment, he would fire back to keep me quiet and content with what I had, and we continued to wallow in our current situation, spinning our wheels for close to two years.

It was during this time that I saw things taking a darker turn but didn’t recognize them for what they were. The first thing I really remember that struck me as odd was on one particularly late night I was over. I had fallen asleep on his shoulder and woke up to find him re-positioning my head on his crotch. I assumed I had just slipped down onto his lap, but the sound of his fly being unzipped and the feeling of his hand on the back of my head guiding me closer made me shoot straight up in my seat. He started laughing and said, “Aww, come on! I was going to wake you with a nice surprise!” I saw his fly was open and one hand was definitely gripping something inside his boxers. He removed his hand and zipped up his pants, but I apparently I still looked uncomfortable because he said, “Relax, it was just a joke. But hey, maybe you’ll find out you like it one day.” And he put his arm around me again, everything back to the way it was.

And yet everything was different somehow. Maybe I knew it deep down, but I was too naïve to understand it or too immature to admit it. I knew that was wrong. But hey, he’s a guy, and I’m denying him something he really wants, almost needs at this age. I can’t blame him, can I? And no harm, no foul, right?

He blew it off, I laughed it off, and that was the end.

My friends didn’t like him. They never did, and he came to one group gathering but left quickly after realizing that he wasn’t wanted. They had no idea what was going on behind closed doors, but they could see enough just from the way he treated me in front of them. But they were busy living their own lives, and I had arms that were always open for me every single weekend, so I kept coming back to him.

As time went on, our kissing sessions would quickly bore him, and he always wanted more. Me, eager to please, would do anything for him – except what he really wanted to do. He’d make a proposition each weekend I came over (“We can go upstairs.” “I’ve got some condoms.” “Trust me, you’ll like it.”), but I always declined, and he’d shrug and go back to kissing me. Like I was taught that it was supposed to work. I say “no,” he says, “okay.”

But one time in particular, we were home alone kissing on the couch. I was kneeling on the cushion next to where he was sitting, so we were face to face. He was shirtless, one hand in my hair, the other nowhere to be found. He was always trying to grab or move or touch something I didn’t want him to, so I didn’t care where his hand was as long as it wasn’t on me. That thought process right there should have told me something was wrong, but I’d heard so many stories of women enduring things for the men in their lives that it didn’t seem so wrong to me at the time. Suddenly, the kiss was interrupted by him moaning into my mouth, and something warm and wet stuck to my arm. I glance down to see what it was and discovered very quickly where his other hand had been.

My jaw dropped and I stared at him in shock. He had touched himself once or twice through his boxers before, but then would go to the bathroom and do what he “needed to do” since he knew how I felt. But there he was, dick in hand and cum shot all the way across his naked torso and onto my arm. I rapidly looked away from my arm to focus on his face, my look of horror begging for some kind of explanation, but he was in no hurry to end his pleasure due to my distress. When his eyes finally rolled back to the front of his head, he saw my face but shrugged.

“I’m sorry…I didn’t think I was going to cum. But damn, I needed to.”

I didn’t respond, just ran to the bathroom. Washing my arm off in the sink, I was literally shaking with emotion, but with what emotions I still have no idea. 

Wash it off. I was a tease. He’d said it himself many times.

Get the soap. I wasn’t hurt. He didn’t make me do anything I didn’t want to do.

Wipe it dry. It was just an accident, another awkward high school moment I’d laugh about years later.

Well, now it’s “years later,” but I’m not laughing.

Every weekend, it was the same. He’d ask for sex, I’d say, “No.” I’d ask for a boyfriend, he’d say, “We’ll see.” We were both left unsatisfied but still happy enough to continue playing our game.

Looking back on it, I realize that he was likely waiting for me to give in to having sex with him and was dangling the promise of a formal relationship like a carrot in front of a horse. To this day, I’m not sure if he is even capable of this kind of manipulation and calculation. I hate to think so, but I also can’t deny that it makes the most sense. (Even 7 years later, the blinders are still in the process of coming off.)

Strike 3 came on a cold day after school. I can’t remember the season, but I remember that it was cold because walking back to my car that night was one of the loneliest treks I have ever made. It was Friday, and we carpooled straight back to his house after the final bell rang. We got some chips and he got his Fuze (I HATE the taste of Fuze forever), and turned on Comedy Central in the living room. We were on a different sofa, a smaller one, so we laid down to spoon so we could both fit. No one was home, but that wasn’t an issue for us. There had been so many other chances, other opportunities if something were to go wrong, so why would it be today?

He started kissing my neck, and I began to relax. Then, he was on top of me just as suddenly as he had been two years prior, and he was kissing me just as forcefully. He was pressing me into the soft fabric of the couch, and I felt like it was swallowing me. He began to kiss his way down my body and tried to pull my tank top down to expose my bra. I laughed and playfully pushed him away. He went back to kissing my lips, and I relaxed again.

That’s when I felt his fingers playing with the button at the top of my jeans. I broke away from his kiss, but I couldn’t think of anything to say over the sound of his heavy breathing. His kisses against my neck became almost aggressive, and he unzipped my jeans.

“Hey, what are you doing?”

If he heard me, he didn’t respond. He grabbed the waist of my jeans and yanked them hard, pulling them all the way to my knees.

I yelled his name in shock and horror, but he pinned me down.

“What are you doing? Stop!”

“You’ll like it.”

“Like what? What are you talking about?”

In between kisses on my neck, he said, “I know how you feel about this stuff, but trust me, once we get going, you’ll get into it. I know you will.”

My stomach sank further than my body was pressed into the sofa.

“What are you saying? I already-”

He wrapped one hand around my neck, not too hard but hard enough to cut off my speech. His other hand worked my jeans even further down my kicking feet. “Just try to relax, trust me, it hurts less if you relax…It’ll be tight the first time, but that will change over time. Just trust me, okay?”

Trust me.

I remember the smell of his cologne. I remember the pinching pressure of his weight on my hips. And I remember the warmth of his body, the warmth I once longed for, as he crushed me beneath the weight of his desires.

Still, it wasn’t real to me how much danger I was in until I felt his fingers jab into my underwear to feel me, then around it to slip inside…

To this day, I’m not sure if he just touched the outer edge, or if he actually got a finger or two inside of me. I think I’ve honestly blocked it out. All I know was that that was the switch that I needed to realize that this wasn’t funny anymore. And it actually never was.

I freed one arm to slap his hand away, but he took the hand off my throat and used it to pin me to the couch. My other arm was wedged tightly between my body and the back of the sofa. I remember he was laughing while I was thrashing around beneath him, like he was still thinking that this was just some kind of foreplay. I used to like to think of myself as being too big and too strong to be taken advantage of like my smaller female companions, but I will tell you that in that moment, I felt nothing short of helpless.

One of his hands held mine while the other aggressively pulled one of my breasts out from beneath my tank top and bra. I kept pleading with him to stop while he undid his belt and fly. All the while, he was still kissing me and complimenting me and reassuring me that everything would be alright. I wasn’t crying, wasn’t screaming, but I was telling him, “No.”

Over.

And over.

And over again.

Finally, I got my hand free that had been pinned between my body and the sofa and grabbed him by the shoulders, bracing myself against him and rolling over, throwing him off of me and to the floor at the foot of the couch. Panting, I sat up and quickly readjusted my clothes back into their proper place. Not even looking back at him, I grabbed my purse of the table, threw my car keys inside, and started power-walking toward the door. Not running, because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

This was just another one of his honest mistakes.

I didn’t know the full story.

What else did I expect from a 17 year-old-boy who had been denied sex for two years?

“Where are you going?”

I turn around to see him buttoning his pants and running after me. At the time, I think he’s concerned and he wants to apologize. Now, I realize he was worried he had gone too far, and that I would refuse to be his plaything anymore.

“Home.” I whipped around to leave.

“No, you’re not! Get back here!”

A hand, his hand, caught me by the wrist. A hand that had once held mine, wiped away my tears, gently stroked a strand of my hair while I fell asleep. And the hand jerked me backwards, back towards him, with so much force that I nursed a hidden shoulder injury for nearly a month afterward. I fell to the ground with a sickening “thud,” my head glancing off the linoleum floor of the kitchen as I came crashing down.

And after the crash, there was silence. Five solid seconds of silence as I lay there, a lone tear streaming down my cheek, and he stands there, finally appearing to become aware of what he’s done.

He knelt down beside me and then continuously talked. For the next ten minutes, all he did was talk. There were tears. There were apologies. And he continued to ask if I was okay from the fall…but never from what happened before.

My friends know a much more heavily edited version of this story…and most versions end with me storming out the door and refusing to come back until I fell back into old habits a couple months later. I tell it that way because I like that ending better.

What really happened was that I silently nodded to every apology and promise he made. I shakily rose and set my purse back down on the table, and I sat back on the exact same sofa with him to finish our show. I ate dinner with him, chatted with him, and even kissed him goodnight on the way home. I walked alone to the car, shivering in my skimpy attire, and rode home in silence.

That’s not the kind of happy ending people are looking for, but it’s the truth.

Even after all of this happened, it took me another year to formally end our little rendezvous (we used to still meet up when I was home on break from college), and I could write a whole essay on just the mental and emotional abuse he put me through during that time. But I could also write an essay just as long on the good times, the happy memories, and the love and laughter we shared together.

The thing is, it’s never as cut and dry as people who have never been in the situation make it out to be.

I wish it was.

It sounds terrible, and I know it is, but I wish he had been a masked man in an alley that groped me before I escaped. That would have made it easier for me to cope with. And some days, I even wish I was raped. As horrible as that sounds. Because then I would feel justified somehow – I wouldn’t feel guilty for feeling as strongly as I do, for still being so emotionally affected by this. I always find someone whose story is worse and leaves me feeling guilty for drowning in the tide of emotions that overwhelm me sometimes.

It took me 3 years to begin to process everything that had happened, even after the last time we saw one another. It took me a few months after that to actually say out loud that I am a victim of sexual assault. And now, 7 years later, I can finally put into words and admit all that happened. Both what he did wrong and what I did. I think I’m able to say it now because I realize that although our relationship was toxic from both sides, it’s not an excuse for what he did to me.

We’re still Facebook friends…and I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s just a morbid curiosity to see how his life unfolds. Maybe deep down I want him to see I’m beautiful and successful despite of those nasty words he once hurled at me. But I doubt he even remembers them anymore…

And I think that’s what hurts so much. I will carry this with me for the rest of my life. Constantly debating telling my friends, my parents, my boyfriend about what “really” happened over the course of those 3 years…

And I don’t know if our “dates” ever even cross his mind these days.

Maybe one day I’ll reach out to him. A part of me wants to send this to him, but another part of me is ashamed of what I’ve confessed to here, what I’ve written, and that dark voice in the back of my mind still wonders if I’ve made something out of nothing and if all of this was just an unhappy accident.

As tears stream down my face while I spend hours writing this, I fear sending it to him because I don’t want to cause him any pain.

I hope I publish this someday, although probably not under my name. But to you, dear reader, if anyone is reading this, this is my real, unedited experience. Do with it what you will. If you are looking for comfort or a kindred spirit, I hope you found it. If you are looking for something that makes sense of what you’ve seen in the news lately, here’s the simple, true story of a nobody. And if you’re here to criticize, go right ahead. My story warrants criticism, and there’s nothing you can say that I haven’t whispered to myself as I cry myself to sleep.

Stand up. Speak out. Be heard.”

– Abby –

When Is The Justice System Going To Finally Stand Up For Rape Victims?

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When is the justice system going to start speaking up for survivors? !?!

Yes, there are a lot of great rape cases with strong evidence where the victim is too afraid / traumatized or any other of a million other reasons why they don’t want to persue a criminal case. BUT. ..what about the MAJORITY of rape victims,  which the District attorney office constantly refuses to press charges for, despite the victim’s dire want for justice?  Those  (I am am one of them )…those victims /survivors are unfortunately the majority of society.

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When are the district attorney offices going to stand against the beliefs of rape culture and society,  and attempt to gain justice for rape victims?

How are rape laws supposed to change if DA’S don’t persue the “tough cases”. The more “tough cases” they try, eventually,  the more they will win.  This will perpetuate more case law regarding rape,  thus leading to more and more “tough case ” convictions  (eventually. ..obviously it is going to be a struggle and a slow process,  but it MUST start somewhere )

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The way it stands currently,  no one is looking out for victims.  And victim advocates have EXTREMELY limated resources,  connections,  and are honestly not taken seriously.  In my personal opinion,  agencies only deal with them to  “look like they are concerned ” when in reality,  they are not.

It is high time for a change in the justice systems and in the sexual assault units. …when….when are rape victims going to be taken seriously?

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The Massachusetts DCF Has No Issues With Having Employees With 209A Restraining Orders

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Given the fact that the Department of Children and Family Services is supposed to work to protect children and families against domestic violence and abuse,  I find it extremely concerning that despite multiple attempts to inform them that a current employee, who has not even been employed 6 months yet, has received a 2 year extension on a 209A restraining order, I have not received any phone calls back concerning this issue.

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For those who are unaware,  there are very few reasons that one of these restraining orders can be granted in Massachusetts,  those consist of;

”Abuse”, the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:

(a) attempting to cause or causing physical harm;

(b) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;

(c) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress.

State employees are subject to CORI checks. DCF employees are subject to up to and including a stage two,  which includes any and all civil issues  (this includes restraining orders ).

I don’tknow the nature of his position,  but if it includes a CORI check to that extent,  the DCF needs to take this issue seriously.  He (to my probable knowledge ) has access to the personal information if the vulnerable population,  because to my knowledge,  his position concerns IT  (but I could be misinformed) either way,  the DCF needs to invistigate this matter.  If I had to deal with the DCF, I mostly certainly would not feel comfortable with this man having  (or potentially having ) access to my personal information.

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The Justice System Doesn’t Care About Rape Victims In The USA

I have been doing a lot of thinking. About what I have been going through.  I am completely and utterly disgusted with the justice systems in Massachusetts,  and then Suffolk County DA Office.

The ADA actually asked me if I really thought that he didn’t make a mistake  because “people sometimes change their minds “. I was so incredibly infuriated,  but I didn’t give him a piece of my mind like I would normally do in a situation like that. I was just too shocked,  because I could see in his eyes that he was serious.

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NO! I  have never EVER had feelings or curiosities about the rapist in a sexual way. …EVER!! That is why when earlier in the night,  I told him that I would NEVER SLEEP WITH HIM.  I never change my mind.  I have never felt that way towards him, and I can’t sleep with someone if I am not into them. …I have never been able to do that.

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I just really can’t believe that there was never an attempt to get a statement from him. Especially because he has changed his story under oath on record.  An initial statement from when I initially made the rep could have really helped my case.  In my opinion, this is gross neglect regarding rape  on the hands of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts .

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And,  if you read my blog,  to top it off,  he works for the Department of children and families. …disgusting, people are not safe.

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He needs to be changed for this.  He needs to be held responsible .

The justice system the majority of rape victims every day. There is almost no justice for victims of rape.

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RAPE: I Don’t Know How Much More Of This I Can Take

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I am feeling the end of my breaking point!  The DA won’t charge my rapist, he wasn’t even questioned,  nor was there even an an attempt made to get a statement from him.

 

During the restraining order extention hearings  (two of them ) his story changed,  mine has never changed .

I am not willing to give up yet,  but I don’t know how much more that I can take.  I have no doubt in my mind that he will rape again  (he probably has raped before ). I  don’t want to loose hope,  but he has already taken so much away from me,  I just don’t know know how much more of this I can bare.

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Yes Rape Culture Exists; And If You Really Can’t See It, You Are Part Of The PROBLEM

This article gives great insight and examples to rape culture today.  I have copied and pasted it for your convenience.  Source below :

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/womens-blog/2014/feb/14/rape-culture-damage-it-does-everyday-sexism

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This is rape culture – and look at the damage it does

We live in a world where sexual assault can be dismissed with jokes or excuses, even used in a chatup line or plastered across a T-shirt. The UK rape statistics are shocking, and so are these harrowing reports to the Everyday Sexism Project

Laura Bates

Friday 14 February 2014 07.42 EST

What do we mean when we say “rape culture”? You may have heard the term used recently. It describes a culture in which rape and sexual assault are common (in the UK over 85,000 women are raped and 400,000 sexually assaulted every single year). It describes a culture in which dominant social norms belittledismissjoke about or even seem to condone rape and sexual assault. It describes a culture in which the normalisation of rape and sexual assault are so great that often victims are blamed, either implicitly or explicitly, when these crimes are committed against them. A culture in which other factors such as media objectification make it easier to see women as dehumanised objects for male sexual purposes alone.

It’s part of rape culture when “I’m feeling rapey” T-shirts are put up for sale on eBay. Or when a member of a University sports team goes out in a “casual rape” shirt, or another team plays a game called: “It’s not rape if …”

It’s part of rape culture when a child victim of sexual abuse is accused of being complicit and somehow “egging” on her abuser in the court case against him. It’s rape culture that makes it so hard for male victims to speak out too, because hand-in-hand with the dismissal of rape as a hilarious joke goes the stigmatisation of male rape victims as effeminate, impotent or non-existent.

Sometimes it’s hard to recognise or understand rape culture without hearing real-life examples of how it impacts on everyday lives, starting from an incredibly young age:


 Jill Nicholls @JillNicholls01

@EverydaySexism #followed home from primary school by gang of boys saying they’d rape me – didn’t know what it meant but was scared – ran

9:23 AM – 2 Mar 2013


Tasha Berg @TashaHugs

@EverydaySexism Overheard young boy on bus saying – “I’ll rape your mum so bad she can’t walk”. Sickening!

12:34 PM – 11 Feb 2014


It means that the discussion and threat of rape becomes an acceptable part of public discourse:


Rini Sardesai @ProjectReinette

@EverydaySexism Can’t go out for walks around my house bc routinely harassed, called names, and told that I need to be raped. Lovely stuff.

6:12 AM – 8 Aug 2013


Anna @Lethal_Brows

@EverydaySexism My coworker was walking me to my car after my closing shift, I thanked him and he laughed & said he could rape me right now.

10:51 AM – 23 Oct 2013


And the idea of rape becomes fair game for public jokes:


Angela Barnes @AngelaBarnes

Genuine chat up scene unfolding on this train: Boy: do you have a rape alarm?
Girl: yes
Boy: shame
I despair for humanity. @EverydaySexism

6:14 PM – 1 Feb 2014

 


Rape culture suggests that men have a ‘right’ to women’s bodies, thus undermining the concept of consent:


EmINy @Despairbunny

@EverydaySexism Guy I used to go out with decides he wants to restart stuff between us. When I decline he threatens to rape me #ShoutingBack

2:36 PM – 8 Jan 2013


This leads to common misconceptions about women “asking for it” or “wanting it”, even if they explicitly say otherwise:


Chocoholic Girl @chazzyb31

@EverydaySexism At a party with bf, met his friend & pregnant gf. Friend follows me into toilets & says he’s going to rape me bcs I want it.


3:09 PM – 2 Sep 2013— ♀Tw¡nk Sl¡thersby♀ (@Twinklecrepe)October 23, 2013

@EverydaySexism I was raped by a coworker. I told my boss about it; she said it wasn’t rape and implied I actually wanted it


This leads to public speculation about whether victims’ dress or behaviour could be to blame for their own assaults:


— elin who (@therosetylah)F

ebruary 11, 2014

@EverydaySexism two girls in my class were talking about how you’d only have yourself to blame for getting raped if you wore a short skirt


— Catherine (@Scathach_81)February 2, 2014

@EverydaySexism A former magistrate blames short skirts for rape on #bbctbqWelcome to 21st century Britain. #VictimBlaming


— Wolf Mommy (@Wolf_Mommy)July 30, 2013

When a man told me breastfeeding my baby in public is going to get me raped.@EverydaySexism


This shifts all the focus onto victims, while perpetrators are not addressed at all:


— The Family Buisness (@Sarah_Watsons)June 16, 2013

@EverydaySexism ever since I was little my mum told me how to not get raped but I have never heard her once tell my 2 brothers not to rape.


Rape culture can permeate every area of a woman’s life, from the pavement:


— Katie McArthur (@grrumblecakes)March 6, 2013

And FURIOUS that there are people alive who think threatening to rape me on my way to work is a funny joke #everydaysexism


To the workplace:


— AM (@adorrissey)June 17, 2013

@EverydaySexism upon hearing I was 19 and a virgin, my coworker suggested I “needed to get raped.”


From the classroom:


— Ellen Steenkamp (@EllenSteenkamp)April 18, 2013

@EverydaySexism At age 11 classmate on schooltrip stated that ‘no-one would rape me anyway cuz I’m too ugly’. Others only laughed at that


To our own homes and families:


— honey-senpai (@kawaiifriend)June 15, 2013

@EverydaySexism bought an open back t shirt for a concert a month ago; my father told me the shirt screamed “rape me”


As the word starts to lose its meaning, it becomes harder and harder to object to rape culture:— Charlie Price (@charliecat82)March 27, 2013

@EverydaySexism #LadCulture being told by an ex-boyfriend that he’d like to rape me and then he didn’t get why I was angry.


Worst of all, the widespread and normalised nature of rape culture makes it increasingly hard for victims to speak out, as they learn to believe they won’t be taken seriously, or are dismissed when they do:


— Amanda Tall (@AmandaLDTall)June 15, 2013

On a nearly empty metro 4 men shouted they wanted to rape me. Scary but we’re not meant to make a fuss so didn’t tell anyone @EverydaySexism


— Lorg Mo Chearta (@BriMonroeCarter)December 13, 2012

@EverydaySexism I was 15 & my rape happened at a party. Never reported it because I knew I would get blamed&no would believe me. #RapeIsRape


— Chitra Nagarajan (@chitranagarajan)March 13, 2012

#ididnotreport because I thought I was overreacting – when being followed by groups of men and threatened with rape


— Vidyut (@Vidyut)June 18, 2013

the usual. RT @THELOUDERMOUTH@EverydaySexism When I told friends I was raped, they said I ‘should have been more careful.’ #shoutingback


The cycle is perpetuated as victims are silenced and blamed, the crime normalised, and perpetrators completely ignored.

This is rape culture.

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Rape

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rape1

noun

1.

unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.

This is the definition of RAPE

“with or without force”
“without consent of the victim”
So…then why is our justice system so unresponsive and unwilling to prosecute perpetrators of this heinous crime?!?!
Worldwide – THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM!
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Stop Saying that Nobody Supports Rape; There Are Lot’s of People Who Do

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I came across this great article by Angus Johnson, click here. For more about him, check out AngusJohnston.com.

His Post: https://studentactivism.net/2015/06/02/stop-saying-that-nobody-supports-rape-lots-of-people-support-rape/

I think this was a great read! I have spoken/debated with people who have come right out and said to me, “Well there is no one out there who actually supports rape”. With all the research that I have done, and continue to do, I know that there are lot’s of people who do support rape, and it makes me sick. It made me feel really good to come across this article and see what I have already read about, so see someone who has also done the research and knows that this is in fact true. And, I really hate to say it, but I love the fact that the author is a man, because I think it just speak volumes! (Since my conversations on this topic have been with men, and them saying that no one supports rape) 

Some great highlights from Angus’s post:

For starters, of course, there’s the fact that rapists exist in society, most of them unpunished. They’re not against rape.

 

Take Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex-advice icon. Just moments ago she tweetedthat she’s “100% against rape.” Why did she feel the need to say that? Because in an interview yesterday she criticized campuses for saying that after two people are in bed together naked, a woman can still say “I changed my mind.”

 

This wasn’t a slip of the tongue. That’s a direct quote, and she followed it by saying that “no such thing is possible … I don’t agree with that.” She even went back and said it again later in the show.

 

No means no. Period. It’s not complicated.

 

Please check out his blog and his entire post, the link is at the top of this post.

 

Oh yes, and for all of those who do not know, there are the “Return of the Kings” an international group that condones rape and wants to make it legal. It is headed by Roosh V, he has followers and paid subscribers in many countries, they even do protests.

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This 17-Year-Old Explains Why Rape Is Never A ‘Mistake.’ What’s Scary Is Who He’s Talking To.

This guy is great!!

And at seventeen,  he gets it!

Adrienne Truscott; Her Comedy Act Jokes About Rape – But Not In The Way You Might Think

A must see

It’s No Surprise That Rape Laws Are In The State They Are In When Law Makers & Police Think Like These Idiots!

Full Article

https://mic.com/articles/138587/full-frontal-with-samantha-bee-tackles-untested-rape-kits-and-local-politics?utm_source=policymicTBLR&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=social#.yt6iJ891n

I almost did not watch this video because anytime I read or watch something from a feminist point of view, there is a chance that it is from the “radical feminists” and in my opinion, they do more harm than good. To me a true feminist is not at “man hater” and looks out for “equality of all people as a whole”; I consider myself this type if feminist.

This was a shocking video (she even pokes fun of radical feminists)

I highly suggest watching the appalling issues that are being brought up to the public’s attention regarding rape, lawmakers and police.

 

At one point in the video, Idaho Sheriff Craig Rowland says that they find out that most cases are just 17yr old girls who get scared and that the police should be able to pick the rape cases that they investigate.

My favorite (one of the few, but this is my #1 of the video) is that Bee says,”

“Listen, you giant pink hamster-fetus of a man … you can believe women are lying whores all you want off the clock, but when you’re the sheriff, you have to listen to rape victims,” she said. “Otherwise, when the women in your county rise up and strangle you with your own stupid monogrammed shirt, it’s going to be assisted suicide, because you’re definitely asking for it.”

Because it it true, rape is serious, most rapists are not high school boys, and his prior comment (Rowland) he states, ” after interviewing alleged rape victims, police often find it wasn’t actually rape — rather, “things went too far, and someone got scared“”….as Bee said….“Things went too far, and someone got scared? That’s what rape is!”

Domestic Violence Starts At An Early Age

Full Article

https://m.mic.com/articles/145828/one-australian-ad-nails-when-domestic-abuse-starts-and-it-s-way-earlier-than-you-d-think?utm_source=policymicFB&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=social#.HUOaGdzjc

This is a great follow up to my recent post “Accidentally Teaching Our Children About Rape Culture “

It is an Australian advertisement about domestic violence against women,  but I think that it can be applied to domestic violence for all types of relationships.

 

Brock Turner The Rapist Will Only Serve Three Months In Jail

Full Article:

http://time.com/4363538/brock-turner-stanford-sexual-assault-swimmer/

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This is a freaking outrage!!! As if the slimy judge who already let this rapist off with a slap on the wrist with 6 months jail time…It has not been confirmed that Brock Turner the Rapist is due to be released from jail on September 2nd….yes, that is three months from the day he was sent there!!!!

When I first read this I could not even believe it! This whole entire situation is just disgusting!  And now it has got even worse!! What in the hell kind of society do we live it?!

Not to mention…talk about white privilege….So, if you are a white male with money you can pretty much get out of anything! This world just get’s sicker and sicker every day!

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If you are not familiar, his accuser recanted her claims, after Banks had already served 5 years in prison….I can only imaging how hard this case would have been to prove, especially compered to Brock Turner the Rapist’s case which was open and shit with witness and their involvement.

I hate the people who falsely accuse others of rape, because it is so hard for rape victims to get justice (look at the Brock Turner Rapist case, open and shut and still no justice). But the fact of the matter is that false reports of rape equal the exact same (percentage wise) as all other crime false reporting (murder, larson, robbery…). It really sucks when an innocent person accused of Rape goes to jail, because so many actual rapist don’t even make it to court, let alone are they convicted.

But in the case of Brock Turner the Rapist, I would be anything that if wasn’t white…he would have been put away for a long time.

Accidentally Teaching Our Children About Rape Culture

Full Article

http://www.babble.com/parenting/ways-we-accidentally-teach-our-kids-rape-culture/

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I came across this great article today by way of Facebook called  “6 WAYS WE (ACCIDENTALLY) TEACH OUR KIDS RAPE CULTURE” [full article link is at the top of this post). It talks about six ways parents unknowingly and unintentionally teach about and validate Rape Culture. The article defines the six ways, and offers suggestions on what a parent can do/say differently to not teach their children Rape Culture.

This is a great article, and it makes a lot of sense. It shows that we are forming the minds of children to accept rape culture, victim blaming, being afraid to say no, and slut shaming. Children are like sponges, and they are very smart. What the underlying meanings of what they are taught build the core of their own belief systems, way of thinking and actions that they take as they grow into teenagers and adults.

Number one is:

“Telling our kids that- “boys will be boys.””

Now, just like it is stated in the article,  when most people say “boys will
be boys” they do not mean any harm by it.

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“But every time they hear us excuse their

bad behavior as part of boy life,they learn

that they are not only above the rules, but

also that boys cannot control their impulses.”

 

If boys are constantly being told this from such a young age, how can anyone realistically expect that it will not have an effect on them as they grow into teens, young adults and full grown men?

“As parents, we cannot be shocked that boys feel entitled to sexually harass others (whether it’s standard rape, like in Steubenville, or as part of the all-too-common tradition of sexual “hazing”) when we’ve been telling them their whole lives that they are above the rules, by virtue of being boys.”

I grew upimages (10) with two younger brothers, do you know how many times I heard both of my parents say those
exact same words? Now my brothers do not contribute to rape culture (or at least I have never observed them doing so). Also as a child, a lot of my friends had brothers too. I heard their parents say the exact same thing…same goes for aunts and uncles. This message needs to stop being taught to boys and girls. Boys and men are perfectly capable of controlling their impulses. It is a parents job to teach children of both genders impulse control, gender has nothing to do with it, being a child is when you learn impulse control. This whole “boys will be boys” sounds very innocent, but not only does it do what has already been explained, it also creates the common “excuse” that rapists use…”It’s not my fault”

Number two is:

“Forcing kids to hug and kiss others.”

This on is so very dangerous on so many levels. It teaches children that it is ok to have their boundaries violated. That if they say no, it is ok for someone to force them to do it anyway – thus the word “No” is not meaning or taken as a “No”. That it is ok for someone to force someone else to do something that they do not want to do. It teaches that they are not in charge of their body, and what they say about their body does not go. Also, it forces them into doing something that they do not want to do and that their family is ok with it.images

“Lots  of well-meaning, loving parents tell their kids to give a friend or relative a hug without considering whether their kid really wants to. This sends the dangerous message that consent can be over-ridden, or doesn’t matter at all.”

 

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Take my  nephew for example. He is a sweet affectionate 5yr old. He loves to give Auntie (me) hugs. B
ut sometimes when I see him, I open my arms wide to receive a hug, and he shakes his head no. What do I do? Nothing. Some day’s I don’t feel like giving a person that I know a hug, I am just not feeling it. What makes it any different when a child says no to a hug from a family member? Children are living breathing humans with feelings. Sometimes…they just are not in the modownload (5)od, end of story. There is nothing wrong with that.So when a child does not want to give auntie hug, or grandma a kiss….so what. Children need to learn that it is ok to say no, that no actually means no, and that no one can just go forcing themselves to give them an unwanted hug or kiss. And people wonder why we live in a society filled with rape culture. When I say this, I am not by any means blaming parents for doing this. [I myself have been wondering how we as a society have gotten here, and after reading this article it really makes more sense to me] By making children do things like hug or kiss a relative, when they get older they may not see an issue with the following things such as:

  • Accepting that no means no
  • That it is ok to force people to do things they do not want to
  • That boundaries are overrated
  • That consent does not matter
  • That there is nothing wrong with any or all of the above

Number three is:

“Asking, “What did you do to make him hit you?””

This one, right here teaches everyone the concept of victim blaming. I don’t think that I have never heard a parent not say this to a child, especially one who has multiple children. Teachers….teachers also say this one a lot! Let’s say that the kids are at recess. Let’s say that Bobby punches Ricky in the face and gives him a black eye. Ricky runs up to the teacher and say’s “Bobby hit me”. (Now I actually remember hearing this on the playground as a child) Teachers first words, “Well Ricky, what did you do to make Bobby hit you?” BAM right there, victim blaming 101 with elementary school children. Of course if you have siblings, it can start much much younger than that.

“Asking, “What did you do to make him hit you?” teaches both the victim and the aggressor that a person can force someone else to make a bad choice. This message is all too common in our“What were you wearing the night you were raped?” society.”

On top of what the articles says, the teacher student scenario that I described (and just asking the question what did you do…”teaches bully and victim that victims are questioned, felt to be made that they are not believed, upon accusation made to have substantial proof (other than the black eye of course), and the bully is not recognized as the issue right now, it is the victim with the black eye who is “telling on the bully” Oh, that is another good point…usually children on the playground do not like tattle tales, no matter what the reason, thus translating into “keep your mouth shut” Teachers (understandably and parents too) get frustrated with children constantimages (14)ly coming up to them saying that (he did this, she did that, and they did this…) so often times teachers and parents will say no one likes a tattle tale. This of course is more geared to the every day minor things children do to each other that they all find dramatic. However, instilling that message in their head, I believe, plays part of the role in the silence of victims.

Number four:

“Teaching kids that boys hit girls because they like them.”

“It doesn’t matter whether your child is a girl or a boy, it’s important they learn early on that hitting or hurting someone to get their attention is never okay. And it is absolutely not a way to show somebody that you like them.”

This entire statement and concept reinforces domestic violence. Ir is never…EVER ok to do this to someone.

Number five is:

“Slut-shaming any girl or woman in front of kids.”

Children are like images (13)little sponges, and they see and hear everything! They listen when you are having an “adult conversation” with someone else, even when you think that they are not. And since they do not know what is going on, they make their own assumptions. Since authority figures to them are the ones who are in charge, they take what they hear as truth, whether or not what was said is indeed true or not.

“If our kids hear us excusing rape or sexual assault in any way, they will internalize that message. They will also hear you degrading women for their sexuality or clothing, and they will remember that.

They may start to believe that there are circumstances in which they deserve to be raped or assaulted, or believe that they are entitled to commit (or even just excuse) rape or sexual assault if the victim seemed to “deserve it.” Whether that’s because a woman made a “slutty” choice or because a male victim “seemed gay,” it is wrong. Every time.”

Number six is:

Reinforcing the idea that girls should be “pure.”

This one is equally damaging for both genders.

“A lot of girls today are taught that their value lies in their “purity” (meaning virginity or modesty) in a time when that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Girls are expected to remain virgins until marriage, despite the fact that 95 percent of Americans have sex before marriage. Even evangelical Christians have premarital sex at a rate of 80 percent, despite all the propaganda insisting women remain “pure” for marriage.”

Seriously, first of all, look at the day in age we live in…this is just not realistic. Meanwhimages (29)ile, boys/men are looked at as “experienced” when they have sex before marriage, and are seen by there peers as “the man” when the have sex in high school college. Talk about a double standard?! Not to mention, we are all humans, we all have desires. This whole “no sex before marriage thing started when people were marring at the age on 16 or younger….that is not how it works today!

There are other issues with this too;

“For other kids, teaching that sex is only okay in marriage, or even only when you’re in love, can cause them to make less-than-healthy choices. Marnie Goldenberg, a health consultant and sexual health educator, says that for teens, trying to connect sex with love can actually become a trap. Girls are taught that being in love will always keep you sexually safe, which simply isn’t always true.”

This right here in my opinion makes people “lie” about being “in love” just to get some “action” and it does not matter what the gender is, it works both ways.

“The idea that marriage, or even being in love, are prerequisites for ethical sex also casts girls who aren’t “pure” as not as deserving of society’s protec
tion against abuse and rape.”

This is images (28)a powerful statement that I think is true. We see every day women and men “slut shaming” women because they have sexual desires even though they are not in love. This
can lead to certain men not valuing a woman who has made the choice to have sex because she want’s to, thus feeling entitled to “do what he want’s to her”. I think in a way that it leads to victim blaming as well. One could gather that if the female was “pure” then she would never have brought something like this upon herself.

While researching rape, I see “slut shaming” all over the place. And it isn’t even just women who decide to have sex with a partner of their choosing, is has to do with what she is wearing, how she is acting, and if she is drinking. How this relates is that “A pure woman would not do that”. Being a “pure woman” has to do with your soul, not if you decide to have sex with someone before marriage.

The fact of the matter is, that what we teach our children when they are young, whether we mean to or not, has a huge impact on their morals, judgment, self awareness, and their view of others as they develop into adults. To be honest, after reading this article, I would be so afraid to be a parent, as I already unsure that I want kids. It is such a huge responsibility, and I think that sometimes we forget how big it really is, and how everything we say and do has a major impact in shaping the people they become.

 

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Let’s talkk about consent……

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People are taught that consent is a “yes”. But clearly there is a lot of confusion about this topic.  I was initially going to make this more of a facetious post geared towards the individuals who disregard boundaries ,  but number one, that is not who my audience is, and number two,  the intent of my blog is to be helpful. ..so I ditched that part of my idea.

Still, people act as if consent is grey when it is really black and white.  I  will use me for an example.  I  know that I didn’t give consent.  I verbally told him no and that it was never going to happen.  He raped me when I was passed out and I woke up to it. However,  that day and the next,  being raped really messes with your mind and makes you question everything.  Not only did I not want to believe that I was raped,  I never thought that it would happen to me. Knowing that I didn’t give consent wasn’t enough,  it was like I need proof of some sort for my mind.

So I came up with an idea to post what consent is not. So if sex occurs from any of the below,  there is no need to doubt or second guess, it is rape.

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