How do even get raped twice? You’d have thought she learnt her lesson the first time.
If that didn’t kick you in the gut as you read it then you probably shouldn’t read any further and I’m afraid we can’t be friends.
YES; you can learn a lesson from being raped.
NO; being raped does not stop you being raped again.
It’s not like rapists all keep in contact so everyone knows who’s already been raped. I mean, we know there are ‘dark web’ groups where they’ll share information and tell stories, but even those heinous groups don’t include every rapist ever.
One of the first things I remember after being raped was being told I was ‘lucky to be alive’. At that moment in time it didn’t feel like it, and it still doesn’t some times. Living with the shame and self blame everyday, even when it’s whispering rather than shouting in the back of your mind never goes away. I still have moments where I think it was entirely my fault, especially the second assault.
Not many people know I was raped twice. After going through the first ordeal and feeling like everyone was judging me and blaming me, even though I was just 14 at the time, made me keep the second one secret. It’s not something you want people to know. The few people who had been told before this were told for good reason.
The thing is, and this is how I know that surviving one rapists doesn’t mean a second rape won’t happen, both my experiences were completely different. Neither one has tarnished mankind for me though.
Feel free to stop reading now, before I talk about those experiences.
The first assault.
When your best friend asks you to go with her on a date because he’s bringing a friend, you go. You’d do anything for your best friends, and you’d never expect to be stabbed in the back by them.
Away we went, to meet the boy she had a crush on… except he wasn’t a boy. This was a 20 something year old man and his friend. I wanted to leave, every inch of my being told me we should go but she wanted to stay, and I didn’t feel right leaving her there. After all, what kind of friend would I be if something happened to her? How was I to know that by staying, and looking out for her, I would be the one to have something happen to them?
How could I know that I would be pinned down and have my virginity forcibly taken from me. How could I know that 14 wasn’t a problem for some men.
After that came police, video interviews, rape kits, a trial I couldn’t attend, and a long wait for closure.Then came the accusations of lies, my best friend turned against me, rumours swirled and ‘slut’ became the slur of choice for months.
A long time passed before I had any news from the trial. 18 months had passed and I only found out because I was doing work experience with the Crown Prosecution Service and was required to help organise the archives; the archives where the video interviews of minors involved in serious cases were stored. I found my tape, my interview, my account of the events. It was like something from a drama, I dropped the tape and fell to my knees after reading my name on the side of a video cassette. At that moment, the prosecutor I was helping that week, found me a the filing cabinet in tears. It was that moment she recognised the name on the side of the tape. It was that moment I found out what happened at the trial. He showed no remorse, but a slither of closure came when I found out he had been deported. He was deported back to the war zone he came from; and I can’t say that upsets me.
The second assault.
Now, I didn’t say that first line, someone else did. A WOMAN did. A woman questioned how another woman could be raped twice. Nothing short of victim blaming. It happens more often than you know. Some men are able to hone in on women who have already suffered sexual assault, and they get off on that.
Boyfriends are someone else you’re supposed to be able to trust, are they not? Well, apparently not all the time. Sometimes they take advantage, sometimes they batter your self esteem till there’s nothing left and sometimes they force you in to situations you are completely not OK with. The only thing is, they’re your boyfriend, they somehow have a toxic hold over you and even though you don’t want to, you daren’t say no. You don’t give consent, but you also don’t say no.
Sometimes they get you so drunk and so stoned that when they push you down, when they hold you down, you can’t fight back and you can’t say stop. There are things no one should do to the ones they claim to love.
No matter how you try, you can’t leave. Every time you try to call quits, they reel you back in with tears, with apologies and with promises of change, but what they actually give you is more abuse; physically, sexually and emotionally. Karma got him for me though, he eventually got bored and moved on to someone else; someone who ended up cheating on him and giving him chlamydia.
But the point I’m making is you should never judge someone. You don’t know how they ended up the situations they got stuck in.
By questioning how someone could be sexually assaulted more than once, you are diminishing their experiences, their grief and their ability to pull through the events they have lived through; their survival. Children after suffering the worst repetitive sexual assault, being repeatedly raped and forced to perform sexual favours for men old enough to be their Grandfather; will you question that too? You are the one who should feel shame when you accuse anyone of lying over sexual assault. Yes, there are those who would lie but they are so much fewer than you would ever think. I don’t tar all men with the rapist brush, so don’t tar all survivors with the liar brush.
Do not be the one who victim blames.