I have never been raped.
In a world where victims of sexual assault are blamed, disbelieved, and shamed, I am fortunate to be free of that.
Canada is currently going through Ghomeshi-gate, in which an always-creepy Canadian celebrity has actually lost his job amid a wave of accusations from multiple women who all say that he has beaten them and sexual assaulted them.
Canada seems firmly divided on who to believe – the powerful celebrity who hired a PR firm to help craft his “poor me” facebook post defending himself, or the multiple unconnected women who have only their reputations to lose by coming forward.
One man on Perfect Husband’s facebook feed actually had the gall to say that since some of these women went on one or two subsequent dates with him after the initial violent incident, and since none of these women went to the police about it, they were therefore “consenting and complicit” to the abuse which followed.
*cue steam coming out of Perfect Husband’s ears*
Furthermore, while some people ripped this guy a new one, others, including women, agreed with him.
And I can’t understand it. Because even if you’ve never been assaulted, does that really imagine that you can’t imagine what it would be like? Why do people need to believe that assault victims are lying, or to blame?
I know people who were molested as children. By a family member, by a babysitter, by a parent’s boyfriend.
I have friends who were raped. No, they didn’t call the police. They somehow allowed the rapist to convince them that it was their own fault. They didn’t think they would be believed. They didn’t want to be called a “slut” by some victim blamer on Facebook.
I can’t blame them. Not for the rape, not for keeping silent.
I firmly believe that sexual assault victims did not bring their assault on themselves. I firmly believe that rape can happen to any woman. When people blame a victim of sexual assault, or refuse to believe her because she didn’t tell anyone for years, I am filled with fury on their behalf.
Because there but for the grace of… what? God? Who is he to pick who is and is not raped? No. There but for the grace of good fortune go I.
Do certain situations increase the likelihood of rape (such as, for instance, drinking at a big frat party)? Sure. But getting into my car increases my likelihood of being in a car accident. If someone ELSE runs a red light and hits me, THEY are the ones who broke the law, and they are the ones the insurance company would find to be at fault. The insurance company wouldn’t say, “Well, you chose to take that particular route, even though there is a high crash frequency at that intersection, so what did you expect?”
I have been through a few high-risk intersections, when it comes to sexual violence.