I married my rapist and everyone was happy about it, because that is how blind culture can be.
- I believed that his claim of loving me meant he couldn’t possibly rape me; I was supposed to love him no matter what.
- I had been taught that men can’t help “it” and that it was my responsibility to stop him.
- I had been taught that my attraction to him meant I must have agreed subconsciously even before he finally broke down my resistance.
- I thought it was my fault for not coming up with a “NO” effective enough to stop him, though I tried everything I could think of …
- I felt like I couldn’t leave him, because I was already compromised by the time I started feeling that deeply afraid.
- I knew I’d be the one blamed for our relationship reaching that point before marriage.
- I believed nobody else could ever love me since I was now “damaged goods.”
- The only way to fix the cultural shame of having sex with him was to get married.
I had no idea that I had been raped at age 18 until after we divorced 17 years after we started dating. It was then I finally realized what I had never allowed myself to admit due to the pressure to remain together even though he routinely raped me throughout our relationship.
I hadn’t wanted to have sex with him (even though I was a little curious.)
I didn’t want to marry him, but I was too afraid to say “no.”
That is just messed up!
Today I spent the afternoon gathering a few interesting articles and some statistics that I would have benefited from reading back then,… perhaps just to help myself realize how different I am today. I’m glad I know better. I’m glad I learned not to think that way.
And I hope to help ensure that others will not be as uneducated about their freedom and rights as I was.
Schrödinger’s Rapist – Phaedra Starling
“Consider: if every rapist commits an average of ten rapes (a horrifying number, isn’t it?) then the concentration of rapists in the population is still a little over one in sixty. That means four in my graduating class in high school. One among my coworkers. One in the subway car at rush hour. Eleven who work out at my gym. How do I know that you, the nice guy who wants nothing more than companionship and True Love, are not this rapist? … I don’t.”
A Gentlemen’s Guide to Rape Culture – Zaron Burnett III
Rape prevention is about the fact that a man must understand that saying “no” doesn’t mean “yes,” that when a woman is too drunk/drugged to respond that doesn’t mean “yes,” that being in a relationship doesn’t mean “yes.” Rather than focus on how women can avoid rape, or how rape culture makes an innocent man feel suspect, our focus should be: how do we, as men, stop rapes from occurring, and how do we dismantle the structures that dismiss it and change the attitudes that tolerate it?
Why men don’t see the harassment women experience. – Amanda Hess
Among men, misogyny hides in plain sight, and not just because most men are oblivious to the problem or callous toward its impact. Men who objectify and threaten women often strategically obscure their actions from other men, taking care to harass women when other men aren’t around.
Rape is called the most underreported violent crime in America. – Rape Trauma Services
Only 16% of rapes are ever reported to the police. In a survey of victims who did not report rape or attempted rape to the police, the following was found as to why no report was made: 43% thought nothing could be done, 27% felt it was a private matter, 12% were afraid of police response, and 12% felt it was not important enough.
Kilpatrick et al., 1992.
Undetected Rapists | a Rape Fact Sheet (pdf) – David Lisak, Ph.D
Sexually aggressive behavior is typically part of a belief system that views women as sexual objects to be conquered, coerced and used for self-gratification. Undetected rapists are much more likely to hold stereotyped beliefs about the “proper”roles for women and men in society, and to rigidly adhere to those beliefs. They adhere to “rape myths” that both justify their aggressive acts and foster them. Their adherence to rape myths and rigid stereotypes frequently allows them to distort their perceptions of their victims’ behavior. For example, because they tell themselves that “women say no to sex even when they really want it,” they can disregard their victims’ obvious signs of terror and resistance.