Rape. It's such a taboo topic and most people that have experienced it, feel ashamed. They feel embarrassed by it and they feel like there is something wrong with them. This of course is not the case. They are victims of a disgusting and malicious act that not one person on this planet deserves to go through. Sometimes the victims aren't even sure if it was rape because technically they never fought back or maybe it was someone they knew and loved. "It couldn't have been rape?" They think to themselves.
A United Nations statistical report, which covered 65 countries, was compiled by government sources. This report showed that there were over 250,000 cases of rape or attempted rape that were reported annually. What about the figures that haven't been reported? If over 250, 000 cases were reported to police, I would hate to imagine the number that have kept it in the dark.
What is classified as rape? There are some countries that do not criminalize marital rape. There are some jurisdictions where the statistics only include male-female rape. There are some cases where the victim was left feeling unsure as they felt that the offender intended no harm. Below are some scenarios of different types of sexual abuse.
She felt hopeless and unwanted, her parents kicked her out of home and she was only 14. If her parents didn't love her, who would? A group of kids that she had only saw a couple of times before approached her and asked, "Do you want to come to a party tonight?" She had nowhere else to go and a party definitely beat the idea of sleeping on a park bench. Maybe she could even crash on their couch afterwards. "Sure, why not?"
The night was a blur, she woke up the next morning in the city hospital. The doctors had tested her positive for Rohypnol, a date rape drug that had caused her heart to stop beating. Little did she know but the doctors had proclaimed her "dead" the night before. It was a miracle she was still alive. It was a miracle she wasn't even aware of.
5 years later, her boyfriend was tickling her in the bedroom. Without any warning, she burst into tears. She was delirious. She curled up on the bed, head in her hands and started sobbing uncontrollably. Memories of the night when she was 14 flashed into her mind. It was like she was watching an old movie as a third person. She saw herself in fetal position on the concrete floor screaming. She was in pain. She had been fighting the men off and even when one of them grabbed her by the neck and pinned her down, she kicked and punched with all her might.
The pain was excruciating yet somehow she felt numb. She didn't give up. She bit one of the men so hard that he started to bleed and he ran out of the room. The others jumped off as they thought she was 'too crazy'. One of the men stayed. He grabbed her by the hair and pushed her face into the wall. "Shut up you little bitch." She screamed to stop. He didn't listen. She tried to fight. He was too strong.
"What's wrong??" Her boyfriend grabbed her. She looked up at him, tears streaming down her face. She remembered everything. It was 5 years later, how could this be? "Nothing babe, it's nothing." She stopped crying and tried to pull herself together. "That didn't look like nothing," her boyfriend whispered, his face filled with concern. "I'm fine. Just a bad memory."
It was a Friday night and the kids from school decided to have a campfire and throw a gathering. They were all teenagers and had got their older friends to stock them up with alcohol. The drinks were flowing and the music was blaring. She was a messed up teenager that hid behind a tough girl exterior. The alcohol gave her a warm and fuzzy feeling. It made her feel good so she couldn't help but guzzle it down.
As the night when on, her vision started to blur and she found it difficult to even walk straight. She couldn't even remember her issues. She felt free. She felt like all her troubles had disappeared into thin air. Not long after, her stomach started to turn and she could taste the vomit in her mouth. She swallowed and tried to keep it down but this only made her start throwing up violently. Her friends took her to a room and put her to bed. The room was spinning and she felt ill. Finally, she passed out.
The door flung open and one of the guys from the party screamed out "What are you doing?" She quickly woke up and saw another guy she knew jump off her and start zipping up his pants. "Nothing, sorry," he mumbled to the guy at the door and ran out of the room. She looked down and saw she had no underwear. She was confused and she was not in a state to realise what had just happened.
"Was he just having sex with you while you were passed out?" The guy at the door asked. Her head was spinning, she had no idea what was going on. "I don't know, I woke up when you came in here." She didn't remember a thing but deep down she knew the answer. She felt ashamed. She felt embarrassed and she felt dirty.
They were lying in bed and her boyfriend was trying to touch her. She was exhausted from working 2 jobs that day. She had just done an 8 hour shift at the supermarket and a 7 hour shift at the restaurant. "Babe, not tonight, I'm knackered." She rolled over and her boyfriend pulled her towards him. "Please babe, I really want you." He begged.
"I'm seriously tired and just have no energy." She tried to roll over and he grabbed her again, "You don't have to do anything, just lay there." She tried to turn away but he grabbed her with a lot more force. As she tried to pull herself away again, he grabbed her by the wrists and pinned her down on the bed. "I need this. I want you." He looked her right into her eyes and she felt fear rush over her.
She didn't fight, she knew he had a short temper and she was scared he would lose it. He had lost it before and she didn't want to see it again. As she lay there in silence, tears fell down her face. She felt numbness. She tried not to make a sound as she cried to herself. She felt useless. She just lay there until he finished.
KNOWING YOUR WORTH
In all of these scenarios, there was one thing in common. The level of violence may have been different, the amount of alcohol may have varied but each situation was anything but right. These situations are wrong no matter which way you look at it. In all of these scenarios the girls had not been welcoming of any types of sexual act. At no point did they say they had wanted it. There was not one time any of these girls showed their willingness to perform in any kind of sexual way.
Sadly, these are all situations that I know a lot of people can relate to. Not just women either. There are a lot of men that have also had similar experiences. A lot of these people have stayed quiet about them. A lot of these people feel embarrassed, ashamed, worthless, uncertain, degraded and belittled. A lot of these people have never been able to live it down or fully move on from it. They just bury it in the back of their minds and try to forget it ever happened.
There are people that are still affected by this type of abuse and have never been able to feel right about sex. There are people that go the other way and become promiscuous, deep down they feel unworthy because they had been sexually abused. There are a lot of people that never speak up about their ordeal. Sometimes it is their family members, sometimes they are scared to report it because they fear the attacker would harm them if they did. At times, they just keep quiet because they feel embarrassed.
If you or anyone else you know has experienced or is experiencing any type of sexual abuse, please know you are not alone. Nobody deserves to experience abuse. You are not worth any less because of this and it sure as hell is not your fault. You may feel as if you even put yourself in the situation but I mean it when I say, NO means NO. There are no if, buts or maybes. If you didn't say yes, it is rape. It does not matter if you know the person or not. No means no.
I know it hurts, I know it's tough and I know you may never want to speak of it again. If you haven't reported it because you feel ashamed or maybe because you are frightened, think about it this way, if you do report it, you could be saving someone else from experiencing the same ordeal. Don't let anyone get away with this kind of behaviour because they could easily do it again. It may not be you, it could be someone else.
You aren't worth anything less, in fact, you're so much more than that. Look at you, you made it through and here you are reading this. You are tough and you are stronger than you know. I know it hurts but you are going to be okay. I promise you. How do I know this? Because all of those girls were me. Don't let the act of someone else affect your sense of worth. They are not worth that.
If you are anyone you know has experienced sexual abuse please seek help. You don't have to go through this alone. If you are located in Australia, click here and if you are outside of Australia, please click here.