Warning: This personal story contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.
It’s been 10 years since I was raped at the age of 15 a month shy of my 16th birthday, a lot has happened and this life event does not affect me the same way it used to. Maybe because I have grown as a person, maybe because I now understand the meaning of sex, maybe because I now enjoy sex, or maybe because so many other traumatic events have happened since that it has just become a matter of surviving instead of being the victim.
I no longer ask the questions of “why me” or “what did I do to cause it”, the question I ponder now is why do people rape, why do people sexually assault others?
What is rape/sexual assault?
Unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.
An act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation:
The rape of the countryside.
Archaic. The act of seizing and carrying off by force.
Verb (used with object), raped, raping.
To commit the crime of rape on (a person).
To plunder (a place); despoil:
The logging operation raped a wide tract of forest without regard for the environmental impact of their harvesting practices.
To seize, take, or carry off by force.
Victim services define sexual assault as:
“Sexual assault occurs when a person is forced, coerced or tricked into sexual acts against their will or without their consent, or if a child or young person under 18 is exposed to sexual activities.”
What is non-consensual sex?
Not agreed to by one or more of the people involved: not consensual, non-consensual sex, non-consensually.
“I pointed out that it’s always painful and infuriating when people are non-consensually manipulated into humiliating themselves to make someone else’s point” – Carol Queen
A Personal Story
Although after researching rape, sexual assault, and non-consensual sex I am still someone who does see a difference between rape and non-consensual sex, maybe because I am able to compartmentalise and separate my emotions or maybe because my own definition of rape was my experiences of my first time.
My first time was not normal as such, I have realised through my short 26 years that normal is not in my vocabulary. I walked my dog after school, at the same time I always did, the route I would always take daily. Maybe this was my first mistake, maybe I should have changed the times I went for walks or maybe I should have taken more notice of my surroundings, maybe I shouldn’t have worn short shorts, or maybe I did nothing wrong and I shouldn’t have to change myself because of someone else’s actions!
Why did I think maybe I was the issue?
Maybe because society tells us we shouldn’t wear skimpy clothing because it sexually arouses men, maybe women are over-sexualised, or maybe it’s because we constantly make excuses for other people’s behaviour instead of stopping it, maybe we are the ones who make it alright.
Maybe, maybe, maybe…
For someone to approach you is scary, for someone to come at you and tell you that they have been watching you for weeks is violating, for someone to basically corner you behind a building at a soccer oval is terrifying. For someone to keep following you is beyond wrong even after you politely reject their invitation to “engage in a conversation” and keep walking. Do you walk away fast, do you run, do you hide somewhere until they leave, do you go straight home or do you do another walk of the block so they don’t find out where you live?
But for someone to then grab you while your back has been turned, for someone to push you against a wall, kick your dog and push them behind a fence so they can’t protect you and then hold you down is brutal. You have to think, did I walk into their trap, did I subconsciously feel them following me, did they wait at the clubhouse because I always stop here to give my dog water, or was it just a coincidence that they happened to be here.
You blame everything on what YOU have done, not their actions. Having your period is confronting enough, especially being a new bodily function, but then having someone pull your shorts down and tell you, you are disgusting and vile because of what they see is shattering and indescribable. For someone to try to penetrate you vaginally but stop because you’re “gross” and then penetrate you anally instead with no remorse, no hesitation and no regard that you are a living breathing person is sadistic. For someone to then keep going until they tear you and leave you motionless and numb on the cold hard concrete not understanding what had just happened and then saying that you deserved this because “they” wanted this is inhuman and callous.
Sexual violence is so common because sex and violence are closely linked to our internal makeup. Both are passionate and both are often referred to as animalistic and explosive. The sex and violence connection is not the nemesis of the over-aroused man but instead an inherited ideology that has been written in history as the male-female dynamic. The male hormone and the act of dominance are both linked to the act of violence, which is a confronting realisation. Also, the act of dominance and violence are common and often acceptable ways in which males protect their mates in the primate world and human world. Its boundaries over the course of life have been set by society for what is acceptable and what is not, but it is also a society that chooses whether to encourage certain parts and draw the line on their definitions. Society says that women are more physically vulnerable by nature, the fact that men are stronger does not mean that it is OK to use that strength to overpower and dominate without consent. To deal effectively with sexual aggression we must understand and recognise that we are the issue. We are the ones in society that define what is right especially if it goes against human evolution and we need to stop victim blaming and address the issue at its core.
Author: Morgan is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres
Although relatively young Morgan has lived a life filled with experiences that have made her grow as a person. She has completed and is a product and interior designer who is a strong believer in equality between sexes and speaks out against violence. Working in the adult industry has allowed her to grow as a person and come out of her emotional and sexual shell.