*Stupid Comments made to Survivors
Some time back I asked a group of women what some of the more insensitive comment were that were made to them by well intending people. Below is a list of some of the printable comments made and some possible responses:
Comment: Are you sure it was rape?
Possible:Duh, you're not supposed to know what it is or something?
Possible: Are you sure it wasnít?
Comment: What were you doing?
Possible: Minding my own business.
Comment: Have you forgiven yet?
Possible: Forgiven who? You for being rude?
Comment: Why were you out alone that night?
Possible: I have that right. He did not have the right to hurt me.
Possible: Same reason as you when you are out alone. I had things to do.
Comments: Did you try to fight or to get away?
Possible: I did what it took to survive. Why isnít that enough for you?
Possible: Because I wanted to live.
Comments: This was Godís will for you.
Possible: It was surely Godís will that has helped me survive.
Possible: Would you believe that if it had been you?
Comment: If you believe in God just accept what happened.
Possible: I believe in God. I accept His will that is helping me survive.
Possible: I donít think God wants one person to hurt another person the way I was hurt. What happened to ďlove your neighborĒ?
Possible: He is a Loving God, man perpertrates the violence, not God.
Comment: If you have faith, just go on with your life and let
God take care of it.
Possible: God also intends for others to help share burdens.
Possible: God is helping me by showing me the way through therapy when I need it.
Possible: You may not recognize how God is helping me but I do.
Comment: You can't rape the willing.
Possible: If Iíd been willing it wouldnít have been rape.
Comment: Why did you go out with him?
Possible: Why didnít you warn me that he was a jerk?
Possible: Because he forgot his ďIím a rapistĒ sign.
Possible: How could I tell that he was a monster?
Comment: If he was really that bad why did you stay married?
Possible: Because I loved him and hoped he would change.
Possible: If Iíd tried to leave him earlier he would have tried to kill me.
Thanks to all the survivors who participated in this survey and offered the possible responses to the comments made to them by others.
Date Rape is a major crime against women in this country. Its victims are 4 times more likely to know (and trust) the perpetrator involved. The major ages of victims are in the 15 to 25 year old range.
The effects are long term and can leave a victim's life literally ripped apart. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a common problem for rape survivors.
The crime effects not only the primary victim, but spreads to include significant others, friends and can even impact distant family members. The devastation for the victim can be far reaching and the conviction rate is poor.
There are many situations where guys don't feel thier behavior has broken the law, but according to her, he did. Sometimes it's plain old miscommunication fueled by common rape myths.
She really wanted it.
Girls say no when they really mean yes.
She wouldn't have gone out if she hadn't intended to have sex.
I deserved something for buying the dinner, flowers or movie.
She knew she wanted it but just didn't want to admit it.
These are all misconceptions about rape.
When a woman says no, the answer is no. By going out on a date a woman is not automatically agreeing to have sex no matter how much money was spent. Sex is not something owed in return for going on a date.
One of the most common questions people ask is, "If we've had sex before and I told him no and tried to fight him but he ended up getting his way is it really rape?" Those types of situations are difficult to sort out.
She feels violated. He feels like he did the right thing even though she may have said no and meant it.
This seems to be very common in date rape situations. Date rapes are the most common type of rape committed. It tends to be very devasting because the victim has been harmed by someone she previously trusted. Victims have to learn to trust people all over again. This is not an easily accomplished feat.
Date rape cases are also hard to win in court, very few cases are ever reported. Of the reported cases, even fewer wind up in an actual conviction.
Most people think of rapes as being done by someone jumping out from behind a bush and overpowering someone. That is not necessarily the case. Approximately 42% of the rapes that happen are date rapes.
Education may be the key to curbing this occurrence.
Men need to learn that when a woman says no. The answer is no. It's not, maybe. It's not, later. It's no.
Women need to know that it's all right to say no, to mean it, and that having agreed to have sex with this person in the past does not give that person an automatic right to thier body. If a woman says no. It should be taken and meant as a no because that's what it is.
Sources: http://www.jonesnet.org/~mike/PeerEd/home.html Summary: For a women, the chance of being raped by someone she knows is four times greater than the chance of being raped by a total stranger.
http://www.discribe.ca/fsacc/ar&dr.html Summary: Sexual assault affects women of all ages, however most rape, and specifically acquaintance rape happens between the ages of 15 and 25 (Parrot, 1988).
Healing News March 1997:Effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Department of Justice Statistics regarding rape.
Memories of The Soul Are Forbidden We are among a web, Of twisted confusion. Only a beginning, never ending, We are memories of the soul. We are only traced by the footsteps of our master be thankful, for We are memories of the soul Try if you will, Futility is all you can know You have no place here We are memories of the soul And if you could see in, What of you then? Are you prepared For the memories of the soul Taking the form of dreams, Distorting nothing for sanity's sake. Reliving all in pieces, We are memories of the soul. The Dreamweaver Come, beckons the night, Let us dance together, and chase the dreamweaver I am not laughing at you It is only the laughter of the past Rushing through your brain I am harmless, why do you resist me so? Pearls of wisdom are here within my walls And peace offerings as well Yet you quake at the sight of me My power has not alluded you Need I remind you? You cannot resist me forever! I am that necessary evil Which recreates evil past My nourishment lies in your screams So, foolish one, scream on! No one is listening, no one hears Wake them; tell them of your sad tales I will recapture them before your voice silences But they will not find your persecutor And will think you mad Reach for the sun, it is hours 'til its' dawn As I am your punisher, it is your reward However, for now I am your companion Let us dance together, and chase the dreamweaver Come, I beckon you Both of these are by: Rng Sonata of The Spirit...Poetry by Survivors
http://rapecrisis.txcyber.com Brazos County Rape Crisis Center offers an Anonymous, Confidential Internet Support Counseling Service for victim/survivors of sexual assault/abuse. Great pains have been taken to maintain the highlest level of confidentiality available on the internt. It is a free service.
http://www.aboutwomen.com/tranquilitybay/ Online CounselingOffers a Safe Harbour for Women, online counselling sessions from 12pm Pacific Standard Time; weekdays. There are arrangements for Appointments and email counselling as well. All counselling sessions are free and confidential. The ichat for the site needs to be downloaded..and then after that, the counselling is on it's way.
http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Lot/1506 Christian Counseling for not just rape but many other things as well. They promise to try to get back to all responses within 24 hours. Services are free and as confidential as possible.
Many thanks to those of you who noticed the absence and took the time to email (or in a few instances, kick my... ;-) Your well intended words were well recieved.
Counter April 20, 2000