Friday, 9 September 2016

(TW; Rape/Sexual Assault) I'm Not Scared Of Strangers Or Dark Alleys

(TW; Rape/Sexual Assault)

Growing up - I always thought that the dark was something to fear. Everything bad seemed to happen in the dark, if you listened to your teachers - dark alleys were to be avoided, strangers were to be avoided, being out on your own in the dark was to be avoided. It makes sense, don't get me wrong - I'm not saying we should all be out there pounding the streets and walking down alleyways to meet strangers every night just to make a point; but, I am saying that I felt like my fears were grossly misplaced. In school people tell you rape happens at the hands of strangers, outside at night - and truthfully only 10% of rapes recorded tend to happen in these circumstances, or by a stranger at all. That means, 90% of rapes recorded aren't actually carried out by a strangers.

That's my experience. When somebody had non-consensual sex with me (which is rape, no matter how reluctant I am to use that term) - it wasn't a stranger in the dark late at night, it was an ex boyfriend, in a house I had been in a million times over, whilst the sun was still out. It was a boy I knew well, we have mutual friends, a history together, I knew and still know his girlfriend - and I know that I'm not the only one, in fact I'm not even in the minority. Many people will be raped by people they know or trust if they're going to be raped at all.

I find it worrying how little we teach girls about situations like this. I had sex with someone after saying no multiple times, and I didn't see it as rape until someone used the word towards me. This wasn't a man with a knife in the park when I was taking a shortcut home - this was an ex boyfriend that I trusted - it wasn't rape surely; that's me being dramatic. Maybe I wanted it? He reminded me that we had had consensual sex in the past, he reminded me that I didn't cry or scream, that I did everything that he asked, I didn't claw at him or fight him off, I wanted it.

Only the amount of times I said no proved that I didn't want it - and I wasn't being dramatic, it's just that out education on these matters are so shit. We teach girls that rape is going to happen in a certain way, under a certain set of circumstances, and when it doesn't happen like that - I don't think I'm the only one that finds it hard to identify it as what it really is. If you are raped by someone you know? It's still rape. It's still rape if you say yes because you're being bullied or coerced. It's still rape if you've had consensual sex in the past. If you had sex that wasn't consensual - it's rape. End of. No question.

So here's me saying - I'm not scared of strangers or dark alleys these days, I'm scared of being alone with my ex boyfriend, I'm scared of the fact that I'm nine times more likely to be raped by somebody that I know, I'm scared that we aren't educating girls to see rape for what it is. I'm scared of the culture that we've created, and how little change it's seen since i was in school. I'm scared to post this, but I'm scared that if I don't - I might never contribute to that much needed change.

Sammy xo.

If you need advice or help on any of the topics mentioned please visit Rape Crisis

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