Tag Archives: rape

med student

Things healthcare professionals asked me after I was raped at age 16: – If I had been drinking – If he “jumped from the bushes” (direct quote) – What I was wearing – If I said no – If I physically fought back Not that any of this matters, because victim-blaming is never okay, my story doesn’t include most of the usual stereotypes. I was stone-cold sober, in a jumper and jeans, and he was someone I knew very well. It happened at a private space behind closed doors, so I wasn’t “out too late”. But the real problem is when professionals in our healthcare system, the very people who are supposed to take care of you, perpetuate these stereotypes. 90% of people are raped by someone they know, often a family member or a friend. Healthcare professionals meet vulnerable people as a part of their job. Communicating with someone in the right way about such a difficult topic is important, as the way you are made feel by someone you trust can shape your perception of what happened, your responsibility and worth. In my case, a doctor made a teenager feel ashamed and responsible for what happened.

Jasmine

I live in the city Brisbane, Australia and I’m 32 now. Like many of you, I have struggled since my teens with societies expectations of me. My greatest struggle has been accepting myself as a woman who in todays society will never really be safe, for society tells us a woman’s body is open to all. Why do we as a collective accept this to be true? Why do people say that a woman is less than an equal in rights and security? Why when a woman falls prey do we say she deserved it? I mean really when you think about it, what kind of a horrible human being does one need to be to ‘deserve’ being violated emotionally, physically or spiritually? At 15, my best friend was involved in a very public court case after being sexually assaulted by her coach. Kids and adults alike would say things like ‘ she deserved it, I bet she asked for it, dirty little slut, I bet she was sleeping with him willingly until her mum found out.’ I never heard one statement of concern for her wellbeing from another person. When I, at 16 went to a sleepover and woke up to being raped by my friends 19 year old brother, I was scared I would endure the same fate. My raper lived in the next street and when my raper later told his mum we had sex ( leaving out the vital details on consent) she would come to my school and scream at me calling me names like slut, whore, and skank in front of other students. By the end of the year I had no friends and I was afraid to leave my house in case I ran into one of them. At 19 a co worker one day decided I was going to give him sex and I didn’t have a say. For 2 months he harassed me at work, trapping me in hallways, elevators, and the carpark making demands of me. My partner and his father, a hr big wig told me not to report it, that when a woman reports sexual harassment the guy gets off scot free and it would ruin my career. I said nothing, instead I withdrew into myself further, I varied my arrival and departure times from work. I always left with other people until he was finally fired for other reasons. Here is the thing, I’m an average looking woman, I have no sexy feminine features, I don’t openly flirt or make sexual banter and I wear cargo pants and steel caps where I can. No sane person could ever claim that I brought these things on myself, yet society would tell us I had it coming. I’m a female project manager who has mostly worked in all male offices. The language used by professional men that carries undertones of sexual assult and womanising are unreal, from senior associates in business meetings saying things like ,’someones got her period, you need to get laid, someone needs to bend you over and put you in your place.’ To a written warning with feedback of ‘ your not a team player because you crossed your legs [ because I didn’t want to flash anyone] in the meeting and there is something wrong with your face.’ The only kind of feedback I have received in my career is the super unhelpful kind like , just don’t be you, don’t be a girl, don’t be motherly, act like a lady, don’t act like a lady, don’t be so friendly, don’t be so aggressive, things my male co workers would never be told. My ultimate issue is the alarming amount of men who have told me that as a woman in engineering sexual harassment, both verbal and physical, and verbal threats on my body are apart of the job, so I should get over it. At 32, only my abuser, my best friend and my partner know that I was raped. All these years I have felt ashamed that I couldn’t protect myself. I’m still embarrassed that my scares haven’t healed, that they still affect me, because I’m strong and one little event shouldn’t impact me for so long. I don’t sleep at other peoples houses, I have a panic attack when I come home to an empty house; feeling like someone is hiding in a room to get me I gingerly work my way through the house checking each room. If I stay in a strange bed, like a hotel room or unfamiliar place alone I wake up in terror screaming ‘get off me, help me.’ When I see the news and they describe in detail an event of assault my stomach twists in a knot and I end up throwing up in the bathroom. As a project manager, I have never heard a man use the following terms to describe me: assertive, organised, got it under control, or a good leader who achieves results. No I get labelled bossy, bitchy, aggressive, motherly and many more. Sexual violence impact our friends and our family. These things impacted my relationships, one ex started telling people I had been cheating on him, because I was so afraid to come home to the empty house so I would sit at the station after work talking to people so that I could arrive home at the same time as him, so I wouldn’t have to go in the house alone. I recently took an interest in studying gender linguistics and the differences between men and woman and how we communicate. I cant’ tell anyone about it because those I did tell labelled as a man hating trouble maker. I find it disturbing and fascinating the amount of self help books and articles that say men are set as they are and a woman needs to accept that and adapt to suit how man see up and act accordingly. I hope society can change before I have to bring kids into this world.

Izzy

Hi, I’m izzy. I’m 16, and for a while I’ve been in a bad mental place surrounding the multiple sexual assualts and rape I’ve undergone since the age of 13. Whoever’s reading this must be thinking “Oh gross she must live in some poor council estate with no parents”, or you may have been tempted to stop reading at the mention of the word rape. Rape. It’s not a word that I’m supposed to be using, is it? I’m a 16 year old girl, and it’s not ladylike. Well for whoever’s wondering, I live in Switzerland, I have a wonderful family, and great friends. But none of this changes the problems that all girls and women go through today. Despite all of this I was still a victim of rape multiple times, and despite what my brain has been telling me ever since my first encounter, it is not my fault. It’s not. I’ll even shout it from the rooftops! It’s not my fault!! Sexual assulay happens due to the social grooming that happens from a young age. School dress codes for example. Girls are literally blamed for actions they take due to what clothing they are wearing, and boys conform to this idealism. In my most recent sexual assualt case, two classmates raped me, after I had been prescribed anxiety medication not knowing that when mixed with alchohol, I would pass out. They proceeded to carry me to a bathroom and do what they wanted to me for about an hour before I started vomiting while unconscious and they decided they’d had enough, so they ran and left me. Eventually a bar tender found me and called the police and the ambulance. I was rushed to the hospital, and I kid you not when I say this was the worst I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Well aware of this, a gynocologist was brought in to perform rape tests, despite the fact that I did not consent to this. My body was covered in injuries as well as on my neck and after sticking a number of things up me (which was extremely painful due to sexual trauma injuries) they then proceeded to photograph my entire body, including my genitals (which was for court evidence). As a 15 year old at the time, this was the most humiliating and degrading experience of my life. I had no recollection of the rape due to the fact that I had been unconscious, the only reason they had was that I had been found next to two used condoms. I was forced to stay in hospital for a night, wasn’t allowed to shower, all my clothes were taken away, and I was all alone. My mum had dropped by and was in tears but had left me for the night, covered in vomit, bruised and bleeding, with no one to talk to. The next day my head was still spinning and it felt like there was a fire in my gut. I had to do a filmed interview for the police that went on longer than two hours, where they grilled me and grilled me as to whether I had consented to anything. At this point part of me believed that the boys hadn’t done anything to me. I mean, they were my friends… right? In the interviews I did everything I could to protect my friends, and had the belief in my mind that I hadn’t actually had sex. They carried on questioning despite the fact that I told them I couldn’t remember anything. I was finally told a day later that yes I had had sex, and I remember completely breaking down, that something like this had been taken from me. In further police interviews, it was then that I really began to despise the entire justice system. After being put through hell already with the authorities, as well as the fact that I didn’t even want to pursue the case, but by law I had to, I was asked questions such as “what was I wearing”, “do my friends consider me promiscuous”, “had I had sex before”, “do I have a boyfriend”, “how many times have I had sex” and was asked more and more. It was honestly humiliating. And I had to do everything to hold back the tears. The justice system needs to change, as does victim blaming, because I’ve had enough. It’s not like they slipped and fell into my vagina??? There was literally physical proof that I was unconscious considering they ran blood tests, and there was no way I could have been conscious. Anyway the case got annulled due to “question of consent” because I said I didn’t remember anything. I want to share this and talk about it, but I can’t. In our society it’s looked down on to talk about such things, let alone relate to them. Even my own mother told me never to tell any boy that I’m involved with, because “no one will want me if they hear that”. Well I can tell you that my boyfriend at the time broke up with me because he didn’t want an emotionally complicated girl who got raped, but I can happily tell you that my current boyfriend is a feminists himself and knows about everything I’ve been through and is always there to support me. All in all, I don’t think just the rapists are at fault here, it’s our society and the way we view women, as well as victim blaming and fault in the justice system.

Anonymous

I’m a woman. Some call me a “little girl” still because I’m only 17. Other times, I’m referred to as a “little lady.” Why am I pictured to be seen as a girl even though I’m almost an adult? Why do some call me a little lady when in 11 months I will be on my own? Why do people refer to me as little when I (at the time) felt so big and tall from accomplishments I’ve made previously. I am a woman. On February 28th at 2:49 A.M., I didn’t feel like a woman or a girl or a little lady, I felt robbed of my identity. I started to feel what being little meant, but not in the way people intended it to be. I didn’t know who I was, or what I did to be put in the situation I was put in. Men sexualize females. They see them as sexual objects that they can just touch and do whatever the hell they want with at whatever time they wanted to. February 28th at 2:49 A.M. would forever change the course of my life. I was with friends at a college about an hour south of where I lived, I didn’t tell my family because they would not have agreed to let me drive in the snow down a construction filled highway with the chance I could crash and kill myself. I did it anyway. I was at a house party with my friends, and it started to snow so my friend, R, called her “boyfriend” to come pick us up. He took us back to his friend’s house for a place to sleep. I didn’t know anyone, I was nervous but of course, I wouldn’t show that. An hour after we got settled in, one of R’s boyfriend’s friends invited me to sleep with him since I was on the ground. The innocence in me at the time though we really would go to sleep, little did I know I would lose my innocence that night. I don’t want to call it rape because I never wanted to be that person who calls rape but with it on my mind 24/7, the way he touched me, the way I should have said no, how I felt like a beat up rag doll. It felt like he was inside me for hours on end. I didn’t want this. I felt so disgusted to this day on how I let a stranger do something to me that I didn’t feel comfortable with at all. I try to push my memories of his horrific night away into my subconscious but I cannot. I cannot do so. I don’t want to say I was raped, but I was raped. No one knows of this incident besides me, and now you readers. My tip for anyone who has experienced something similar, you are so much greater than what was made of you that night. It’s not your fault. Stand up for one another so we can stop this abuse. Teach our children it’s NOT okay to sexualize females. February 28th at 2:49 A.M., taught me a lesson I will never forget for the rest of my lifetime. It taught me I’m not a little girl or a little lady, but a strong woman. And no one, not even my rapist, can take that from me.

Lily

There have been multiple instances on nights out with my friends where what I say to men who hit on me isn’t respected. Almost every time I’ve been hit on and I’ve told them I’m gay, they haven’t respected that – they’ve straight up ignored me sometimes. One time, immediately after I told a guy I was gay, he invited me back to his house to have sex with him. With my most recent incident of this him and all of his friends didn’t take me seriously, and I ended up being raped by the guy who had hit on me. It’s gotten to the point where saying I’m gay just doesn’t feel like a no, it doesn’t feel like enough. It doesn’t feel like I’m really saying anything. But the actual fact of the matter is that lesbians are so highly sexualised that we’re just presented as a challenge, that we secretly do want it. It makes me feel so sick and angry.

Laura

I went on a date with someone from work. He asked me what my biggest sexual fantasy was. I said “I don’t know”as I was really uncomfortable with the situation and didn’t want to tell him, even if I did have one. He kept talking about anal sex and about how desperately he wanted to do it. He asked me if I wanted to do it. I said no. He did it anyway. He raped me.

Big Four

I worked at a Big Four accounting and audit firm, and a partner invited my whole team out for drinks after work one evening. At the end of the evening, he cornered me and attacked me. He very forcefully tried to rape me, but I managed to escape before he could. I reported it to the company and the police. The police are investigating. There were no witnesses – he’s not stupid enough to attack a woman in front of other people. There’s no physical evidence of his attack because I stopped him before he could rape me. Ironic, isn’t it, that protecting myself from rape means the rapist can go free. The Big Four firm did a half-assed investigation and said it’s “he said, she said”, so they can’t take any disciplinary action against the partner. Then they let me go from my job. This is what happens in a male dominated industry, where partners are masters of their own domain and basically impossible to fire as they’re not technically employees. So who gets fired? The victim. Nice. Don’t believe a word when you read these Big Four companies talk about how female-friendly they are. It’s just good marketing.

Big Four

I worked at a Big Four accounting and audit firm, and a partner invited my whole team out for drinks after work one evening. At the end of the evening, he cornered me and attacked me. He very forcefully tried to rape me, but I managed to escape before he could. I reported it to the company and the police. The police are investigating. There were no witnesses – he’s not stupid enough to attack a woman in front of other people. There’s no physical evidence of his attack because I stopped him before he could rape me. Ironic, isn’t it, that protecting myself from rape means the rapist can go free. The Big Four firm did a half-assed investigation and said it’s “he said, she said”, so they can’t take any disciplinary action against the partner. Then they let me go from my job. This is what happens in a male dominated industry, where partners are masters of their own domain and basically impossible to fire as they’re not technically employees. So who gets fired? The victim. Nice. Don’t believe a word when you read these Big Four companies talk about how female-friendly they are. It’s just good marketing.

Lex

When I told my friends and family about being raped (I’m 14) I was told, “you’re a girl. It was probably consensual and you just regret it now.” “You’re a whore. You probably liked it” “You probably deserved it” and “shut up. You’re a girl which means you’re just looking for attention.” I personally didn’t know being a girl meant you wanted to be raped, that you deserve to be raped, or that everything you do is you being dramatic

jess

At the age of 16 I went to a friend’s birthday party, there was alcohol around and a friend of my friends was making us drinks. After a while I start feeling unwell and I say I’m going to walk home. The same guy (who was 18+ at the time and had a serious girlfriend) offered to accompany me because he was going to sleep at his girlfriends near my house. I accepted it because I was feeling really dizzy and I would probably need help getting home. It was my first time drinking. I remember walking some parts of the way and some flashes after that I was behind a building sitting on the floor without the strenght to move and he was forcing his penis inside my mouth. I don’t remember many things of what happened that night. It’s just blank. I ended up getting found by a neighbor a few houses before mine passed out on the pavement. He then shouted for help and someone called my parents. I remember hearing their voices. I was taken to the hospital and they treated it as just an alcohol overdose and I went home the next morning. I told everyone I just got drunk and decided to walk home on my own and couldn’t quite make it and I have suppressed this story inside myself for a long time and have never been able to share it because of the guilt I felt. I shouldn’t drink, I shouldn’t be out alone, what would people think of my parents for allowing me? What will everyone say when I accuse the nice boy with a long term girlfriend of raping me? That I will ruin his life with that serious accusation? That happened 10 years ago and I still think about it. About the parts that I don’t know. How I ended up there? Did he do anything else? Did he just carry me from the back of that building, throw me there and left? I have been assaulted after that but this event is something that has scared me so deeply in a way that I’m still too ashamed to talk about it with the people I know.