Lifestyle

Rape Isn’t Always Violent

When people think of rape, they often picture a dark alley in which a woman is screaming while she’s forced to the ground by a man. But the truth is, there are far more rapes that occur every day that happens silently, where the woman doesn’t scream nor does the man force her to the ground. In fact, most of these women don’t even realize they’ve been raped even though they were conscious the whole time. They may have even enjoyed it to a degree.

I lost my virginity to a guy I had only known for three weeks. Our relationship started too quickly and moved way too fast. After having hurt his feelings (and then apologizing profusely for it because I hadn’t even realized what I had done and felt horrible about it), he decided to hurt me, so as we kissed on the couch and things got more heated, he didn’t stop until we had sex.

He knew I didn’t want to have sex until marriage. It was something we had discussed already. And even though I was aware of what was happening as it was going on, I stupidly trusted him, thinking that he would respect me and stop at some point. And because of that, I said nothing and only let it happen. And so it did.

I cried after he left. I had never felt dirtier in my life. And I wish I could tell you that was an isolated incident, but a few years later with someone else, I faced a similar situation. This time, I spoke up. I said no. I can’t tell you how many times I said no, but he kept gently pushing and playfully going forward until I caved and let it happen. And once again, I felt dirty and used.

It’s still hard for me to admit that I was raped. Sure, it wasn’t violent and sure, I could have done more to stop it, but at the moment, I felt helpless, trapped by a desperate desire to please my boyfriend and an intense fear of what would happen if I said no. Would he be mad? Would he break up with me? Would he no longer love me?

Despite this past, I consider myself lucky. I got out of both of those relationships with only a few scars. But some women find themselves trapped for years in this type of abusive relationship where they don’t know how to get out, and they don’t know that they can say no, and even if they do, they know that their “no” has no power. Some women also marry these men and have children with them.

But nobody says anything because inevitably if these women are being raped, they would come forward, they would speak up, they would get themselves out of these abusive relationships. But when the women themselves aren’t willing to put the label of “rape” on what’s happening, how can they say anything or escape?

Rape is non-consensual sex in any number of contexts. If a woman says nothing, that’s a “no.” If a woman has previously stated she doesn’t want to have sex, that’s a “no.” If a woman said “yes” once before but is saying nothing now, that’s a “no.” If a woman says “no” in a playful or teasing manner, it’s still a “no.” Unless a woman says “yes,” it’s a “no.”

Just because the woman isn’t screaming doesn’t mean she hasn’t been violated, because rape isn’t always violent. Sometimes, maybe even frighteningly often, it happens in the context of a relationship between a manipulative man and a trusting woman. Consent is something that should never be assumed.

Note: You can send your submissions to submissions@peacequarters.com

About the Author: Originally from Michigan, Melody now enjoys working as a freelance writer from her home in Nicaragua, which she shares with her amazing husband and their crazy cat that was raised on goat’s milk from the time her mother abandoned her at just ten days old. They’re excited to be expecting their first baby, who they thought was a girl, were told was a boy, and then was told was a girl. She also recently finished her first novel and is working on making a cat coloring book.

Melody Cary

Originally from Michigan, Melody now enjoys working as a freelance writer from her home in Nicaragua, which she shares with her amazing husband and their crazy cat that was raised on goat’s milk from the time her mother abandoned her at just ten days old. They’re excited to be expecting their first baby, who they thought was a girl, were told was a boy, and then was told was a girl. She also recently finished her first novel and is working on making a cat coloring book.

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