[Trigger warning: Rape]
I’m an Aussie living overseas and was raped by a friend whom I very much trusted.
Watching the You Tube video by the founder of “No Means No Worldwide” in the days following my rape was very helpful. I, too, didn’t scream and fight, though I repeatedly said “No John!” and grabbed his wrists in a vain attempt to keep his hands off my body. I was in a state of shock and denial and couldn’t believe it was happening to me. I kept thinking he would stop: he finally did when I was so tight that he couldn’t achieve full penetration and I pleaded with him to stop or I wouldn’t be able to walk the next day due to tearing and bleeding. At that stage he ejaculated all over me. He claims, and I think that I believe him, that he didn’t hear my 20-40 pleas for him to stop. Lust and hormones had taken over and deafened him. He later said that he thought I was caressing and responding to him! All I remember is snatching my hand away when he put it down to touch his penis. And when he asked me to “touch him all over” I responded with a loud “No!”.
I had previously turned down sex with him several times as he is married but not to me. I had written emails explaining exactly why I was refusing him. I wished to continue a platonic friendship based on shared passion for certain activities and ideals and had sent him and article about platonic friendship. I had thought he was in agreement until that fateful evening. He seems to think that what he did was just a rather forceful and over-enthusiastic seduction. I knew it was rape and told him so afterwards. He remembers that we “chatted” but not that I told him it was rape and that he looked horrified when I said that. Like Kirsten remembering all the little details, I remember exactly what I said at that time and I remember the reaction on his face. I remember what he was wearing as he squatted there “chatting”, half-naked, while I had covered myself with my tunic top. I remember being stunned to learn that he had switched his phone to silent, obviously having planned what he was going to do. I remember finding my torn trousers balled up with my underwear. He says I took them off and opened my legs. Wrong again! I had actually wrapped my legs around each other trying to resist. Prior to this night we had hugged, but never kissed, cuddled or snuggled. To me, rape came out of the blue. I still have trouble reconciling in my mind what happened that night with everything else I know and respect about “John”. Are there two Johns and not one?
I don’t fit the stereotype of a “pretty, young thing who was wearing revealing clothes and had had too much to drink”. I was raped by a friend. I am middle-aged, was wearing very modest clothes, and neither of us had been drinking. Kirstin Whalen’s comment, “Rapists lead to rape. By saying anything different we only affirm that it is okay to rape a woman if she isn’t doing as she is told” hit a chord. He wasn’t getting what he wanted and thought it was his right to take it anyway. He claims he didn’t hear me repeatedly saying “No!” or realize that my grabbing his wrists meant I was resisting. Apart from that I fell into the most common rape reaction- I froze. I watched, horrified, with wide eyes as he dropped his jeans, thinking “This cannot be happening!”, but did not fight or flee. I did not roll away and hide under furniture. I did not scream or even shout. The freeze response is documented to be a woman’s most common response to rape but doesn’t mean we are to blame. It is a physiologically programmed response and does not imply consent.
My local female friends confirm Kirsten’s statement too. They say that men rape babies, children, old grandmothers, even hens, and none of those can be accused of “asking for it” by their dress or behaviour. They say rapists rape because they believe they have the right to what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. Rape within marriage and boyfriend-rape are the norm.