With all the talk of “forcible rape” and “legitimate rape”, I can’t help but to reflect on my own sexual assault experience and conditioning around “legitimate” and “forcible.”
I grew up being force-fed the idea that I am always to be concerned
yourself”, “Carry mace, and take a self-defense class”, “Don’t leave
When my sexual assault happened, these safety concerns I was
previously warned about were not a factor. So I questioned, and even
doubted my actual rape. I couldn’t legitimize it, so I remained silent.
I remained silent because I wasn’t supposed to be at his apartment that night; I was supposed to be at the bookstore. I remained silent because he didn’t slap me around or threaten me with a weapon of sorts. He simply used his words and 6’4” stature against my own petite 5’2” frame.
I remained silent because, “What did you think was going to happen,” said to me by my attacker, became what everyone was going to say. It eclipsed any idea I had of my so-called securing my own personal safety
I was not where I am supposed to be, therefore I didn’t follow the rules and as a result, I LET THIS HAPPEN. THIS IS MY FAULT.
I think about this legitimate rape conversation and wonder if my
attacker had a thought process like the one that’s being debated over
right now. Did he think it wasn’t rape because he didn’t slap me
around? Did he think because I didn’t fight him to the death, and he
didn’t bruise me, that I somehow consented?
water, and I never said anything to him or anyone else regarding this
violation until years later that he didn’t rape me?
knowing that my believability will be questioned, sometimes brutally
and I can still not be believed, because I didn’t follow the rules that were there to ensure my safety?