Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Devil You Know – Acquaintance Rape

Charliegrrl asked if she could use my rape experience story posted on her other blog within the thread of rape fantasies. I said yes. I think I was prompted to write about the experience after seeing the programme "30 Minutes" on Channel 4 (11 Aug) and presented by Nina Hobson (Nina also did an exposé on institutionalised sexism in the police force for "Dispatches" back in April – what a sister!). I think I've decided to share my story, not for sympathy (as I've never told anyone), nor for 'therapy', but possibly because it may help someone else avoid a similar or understand their own situation a bit more. I have certainly now forgotten his name, and even forgotten which former workplace I knew him from.

Specifically, the following story is about acquaintance rape – the most common type – as the victim knows her attacker in just over 80% of rapes reported/surveyed. (Truth About Rape, see sidebar). The following incident is typical, and has probably been repeated many times before and many times since.

Read more...
He was an ex-work colleague and had known him for quite a while. We went out (this was well after I left the old work), had a really great time, yep, a few drinks as well (but certainly not over-intoxicated). He insisted on seeing me home 'to be sure I was safe'. I trusted him, had no reason not to. Once I had the front door open (converted Victorian terrace into flats) he then made his 'move'. Despite a constant barrage of 'no no no, stop, stop, stop, don't, don't, don't' (etc), he got me on the floor. I was a size 10, 5'5" (and an office worker, who didn't 'do' gym). He was approximately 50% more bodyweight, and used it against me (despite constant physical struggling on my part). He completed his rape of me. As he left I think I said stuff to the effect of 'fuck off and never see me again' along those lines anyway. And certainly, the only thing complying with my wishes (consent) was the last part. (oh, goody)

If he thought it truly wasn't a rape, then he would have resumed contact, or tried to 'clear up any misunderstanding'. He didn't. At the time I knew it was rape. Afterward I knew it was rape. And I'm pretty damn fucking sure that HE knew it was rape. There blows the other great patriarchy rape myth, that HE doesn't KNOW, or MISUNDERSTOOD. Fucking utter bullshit. He knew.

I didn't report it mainly because of (and this was my view of the successfulness of legal redress at the time):
1) I knew him and had 'been out with him' that night even though it was only as friends, not a date
2) alcohol consumption (but not overly intoxicated, just 'merry')
3) no proof (except my word against his) that the 'sex' wasn't consensual

What I didn't know at the time was that over 80% of rapes ARE by someone the victim knows. I think that most victims won't report acquaintance rape because it doesn't fit the 'nasty stranger in dark alley scenario' because I am sure that featured in my thinking as well. Anyway, all the decisions were based on information that I had at the time - this (acquaintance-as-most-likely rapist) information wasn't readily available at the time, indeed in the spirit of all good conspiracy theories, possibly repressed by the mainstream media of Patriarchy.

Rapes are crimes of opportunity. Most rapes happen in private or secluded locations. That would certainly discount the rapists' usual (lame-arse) defence of "I lost control". Certainly true in the above example. The rapist in this instance did not 'lose control' at the pub/restaurant. The rapist did not 'lose control' escorting me 'safely' home. Ah, but as soon as we were off the street, bingo-bango-bongo, magically he 'loses control'. Cue the piggies flying.

I wasn't really 'traumatised' as such after this rape, but I did lose my sense of trust (of men) for a very long time, and gained a real sense of betrayal. I regarded him as a 'mate', one I had known for quite a while. I am fairly certain that male buddies don't do this to each other, and yet this risk exists in the female-male buddy relationship. The other things that concerned me at the time were that he didn't use a condom, so he obviously didn't care about getting me pregnant or giving me an STD, or in fact, him getting an STD from me. Nor did he care that a friendship no longer exists between us.

I've gotta ask - what makes me so fucking special? To be raped. The answer is nothing, nothing because I am a woman. A moment of opportunity that presents 'itself'. I am not (nor ever have been) meek and mild (just the opposite), not a 'sexually inviting bimbo', nor 'leading him on' or any other such crap from the patriarchy propaganda machine. There was also no 'flirting' from either party during the evening.

There is no 'vibe the victim gives off', it is a matter of motive and opportunity on the part of the rapist. Yes, that's right, it is the rapist's fault that the rape occurs, not the victim's. I certainly don't give off any 'victim vibe', as I carry myself with confidence (I even used to walk home at midnight after work from the City through Aldgate, not exactly a picture postcard district).

Besides, the 'victim vibe' accusation is irrelevant in this case, we were 'mates'. It is far more likely that a fantasy of "I want her, must have her" and "I know she wants me just as much" was playing in HIS head as the cause of this episode. My struggles and objections are the same as in the rehashed 'plot lines' as seen in porn, mainstream porn. Pornland enables the act of rape to be done in real life, because in Pornland, she may 'resist' at first, but after she has been successfully 'convinced' (forced), she 'enjoys' it, and either 'wanted it all along' or 'needed' a man to 'show her want she wanted'. BFL (big fat lies)

Nope, I didn't do ANYTHING to encourage (but always actively discouraged/protested) rape - in my account above, my (constant) verbal protests and physical struggling certainly couldn't be clearer. Yet it happened. I as a woman, an average women, am far less physically strong than the average man. Men's (self-defence) laws are against me (I cannot use a weapon against him to 'even the playing field'). Men's courtrooms are against me obtaining true and fair justice (any justice that women get in men's courtrooms is purely 'collateral'). And we have in the name of freedom of speech/expression/commerce, pornography that glorifies rape (or 'forced/coerced sex').

And if I'm truly honest, I'll admit I have some guilt. Not guilt (or shame) about what I did to 'cause' the rape (as there was nothing I could do to predict it nor prevent it), but guilt that, by my silence, I have been unwittingly complicit in enabling the rape culture to thrive and flourish.

0 Comments:

Links to this post:

<< Home