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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » A maybe rape

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Author Topic: A maybe rape
vixenchic42
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Member # 5972

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Have you ever been asleep, woken up, experienced something and they went back to sleep and not remembered it? Like maybe you said something to someone, and they tell you about it later, but you don't remember a thing... Well...

I was sleeping with this guy, not "sleeping with" like sex, "sleeping with" like being asleep in a bed with him. We were cuddling, just like we had done many times before, and fell asleep to a movie.

And I think I had one of those moments. I can't clearly remember anything, because it was just a brief wake-up and then fell back asleep type of thing. But something in my head keeps nagging me with a fuzzy memory of his hand where it shouldn't be, and me moving it and going back to sleep. I don't recall being angry or feeling violated at the time, just more like being uncomfortable, so rolling over to go back to sleep.

When I woke up, I very fuzzily recalled this, and it disturbed me alot, but it didn't really seem like the kind of thing that he would do, and I couldn't remember anything clearly. I'm not even 100% sure that it's a real memory.

At the time, I was pretty happy with our relationship, and did my best to put the whole thing out of my head. But as the relationship wore on, he started to become emotionally abusive. I tried to leave him several times, but he always managed to convince me to come back. I realize now that I had stopped contact with all of my good friends for him, and that those were the people who could have helped me the most at that time. Eventually, I left him, and he threatened to kill himself if I left. I called the police, and they found him sitting in his living room watching TV. He called later that night laughing about it, about how he had tricked me.

I finally got out. That incident finally made me strong enough to leave for good, to ask him never to contact me again, to deny his entrance when he came pounding at my door, and to ignore his pleas to come back.

So now he's gone, out of my life, and I am infinately better off for it. The only thing is that this maybe-memory keeps coming back, and I just don't know what to think. It naggs quietly at the back of my mind, and though it doesn't really interfere with my life, I would really like to know. Is there any way to know if this momory is for real? I know that traumatic memories can be repressed, and I know that I am capable of this, as I can't remember most of a pretty traumatic car crash a couple of years ago.

I just want to know if this really happened. I feel like it would be easier to heal and easier to give closure to my ordeal with him if I knew the truth. He would never admit to it, so the only evidence of what might have happened is in my head.

Is there any way to be sure??

Thanks.

[ 02-03-2007, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: vixenchic42 ]

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Ecofem
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vixenchic, I'm really sorry you had to go through this. I'm really glad you were able to get out of the relationship-- that was a very strong and brave thing to do. I would definitely avoid any future contact with him ever again. Have you gone to a counselor to talk about the entire relationship yet? This would be something to bring bring up with her/him.

Memory is a tricky thing: As light mentioned, we don't remember everything and trying to remember things can hurt and be inaccurate. I can't say what happened while you were sleeping, but it's definitely important to talk about since it's bothering you so much. Processing abusive relationships can take years; it sounds like this guy's behavior was really scary and sneaky, and I know it can have a lasting effect. How are you feeling in general?

[ 02-04-2007, 07:44 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather
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I feel like it's also important to make clear that it's pretty normal in healthy, non-abusive realtionships, for a partner to put a hand on a partner's body when sleeping or half-asleep, be it sexual or otherwise. It can be meant affectionately, or it can be sexual, but uncertain as to whether or not there is a boundary.

Since it seems to me you're asking, I don't see rape in a hand going "where it shouldn't," being moved so as to decline the "offer," and nothing else happening. Rape is generally very intentional bodily and sexual trespass, after a partner makes clear in some way they don't consent. I don't see that here, per what you've posted, unless there is some other context you haven't mentioned,.

Obviously, I am considering this as separate from the emotional abuse at hand, but as an isolated incident, I don't see rape here, if this memory is what it appears, which is a partner feeling for something, you saying no by moving the hand away, and that no being respected by the action not continuing.

[ 02-04-2007, 08:44 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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wamu
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rape is rape when you did not consent. If you never said anything then it is rape. If you consented and then said NO it is rape. If you were in middle of having sex and then said stop it is rape. If you worked as an "escort" it is rape. Many people, such as Heather, have misconceptions about rape - claiming it is only rape when "a partner makes clear in some way they don't consent". This is utterly untrue.

QUOTE:
It is a widely held belief that you get ‘real rapes’ and then those that fall into the ‘grey area’. The idea of grey area rape is bourn out of the way that society has constructed rape – as a violent act carried out by a stranger. This understanding of rape has been built around rape supportive myths and does not reflect the experiences of survivors.

If there can be a half-rape or a grey-rape then it follows that it must be possible to give half-consent. The idea that there is grey area consent however clearly makes no sense. Either someone has consented – willingly and actively without coercion– or they have not. If a person freely and willingly wants to have sex with someone then it is clear. If it is not clear, then that person does not have consent - there is no grey area.

There are many factors that people use to define a grey-area rape such as being drunk, flirting, being in a relationship with the perpetrator, not fighting enough or not fighting at all. However there is no such things as a 'rapeable offence' - being drunk/dressed in a certain way/doing a certain job/being intimate with a person/alone with a person/having slept with them before does not make rape inevitable or acceptable. Rape is not defined by the behaviour of the victim but by the actions of the perpetrator. A person either consented to sexual activity or they did not and if they did not then this is rape – there is no ‘grey’ about it.

...
http://pandys.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=49963

[ 04-23-2007, 09:45 PM: Message edited by: wamu ]

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dailicious
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Wamu - Heather has never, as you say, claimed that rape only exists when a partner makes it clear that they do not consent. The truth is very much the oposite, and we do make it very clear here that consent is NOT passive, that consent is NOT implied, but instead a very enthusiastic, "Yes!"

Please browse the other topics in this forum and the rest of the website, and you'll see that no one who volunteers here has ever said consent is anything different, and that because we do work with this on a regular basis, and because many users here ARE survivors of rape and abuse, that we very much do NOT have misconceptions about what rape is:

http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=37;t=000101

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Jean
aka dailicious
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wamu
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I was quoteing what she said above - if I misundertood please forgive me.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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My words in this thread were pertaining to the specific situation described, by the specific user, who stated that she recalled someone's hand, in her sleep and possibly THEIR sleep, drifting to "where it shouldn't be," and nothing to state that after she moved it from wherever it was, her partner at the time continued.

When myself or a volunteer (or any user) responds to a specific post, about a specific incident, and makes clear that's what we're responding to, it's not sensible to presume you can apply that response to our ideas in general or en large.

And I don't make the claims you say I do for every situation -- I stated a generality, and by "make clear," however imperfect my language may have been, given I answer a lot of questions in a day, I by no means would ever say that any of the scenarios you highlights would mean something wasn't rape, and we discuss exactly this a LOT on the boards and on site.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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wamu
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I apologize...I am just very sensitive on this subject.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Hey: I'm a survivor of multiple assaults and abuses myself,and to boot, we're all very sensitive about these issues, which is why we provide avenues like this for victims, survivors and allies.

So, I get being sensitive, but -- especially in someone else's thread about a personal issue -- we also ask that people really take the time to read and contextualize things, and also lodge any compliantes or the like about staff or volunteers either in email or in the staff forum area, because lord knows, this sort of discussion isn't going to be of any use to the OP, okay? Thanks.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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