rape ?

Questions and discussion about sexual or other abuse or assault, and support and help for survivors.
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lz__
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rape ?

Unread post by lz__ »

last year, january-august, i had been dating this guy for a few months and we were sexually active, more than i felt comfortable with. he had previously sa'd me in may and i was manipulated into continuing the relationship. one night in july/august (im unsure about dates as the whole situation is a blur to me now) he had expressed interest in anal, and i immediately said no. he made many attempts to convince me and eventually i was coerced and gave in, and as soon as it happened i regretted giving in. we didnt continue because he no longer saw the appeal and im still left wondering months after that night and our breakup soon after, if it even counts as rape. i've struggled with boundaries in terms of sexual encounters because of being ignored by people close to me, and i am still wondering if my views on the experience are valid.
i no longer see him or speak to him, but it has bugged me due to a lack of realisation for what occured until months later. just hope i can get a second opinion maybe, or some advice on how to deal with the trauma on top of therapy that im already receiving for this relationship and other traumas.
Carly
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Re: rape ?

Unread post by Carly »

Hey lz -- thank you for trusting us enough to share this experience with us. It sounds like it's been weighing on you a lot. I'm hoping we can lead you to understanding what happened better. Something I want to emphasize though is that it - though I understand why you're looking for other people's thoughts about what happened - it doesn't matter what I, another volunteer, or any other person thinks about what happened. What matters most is how you feel about it.

Can you explain, if you're able, what the term "rape" means for you? What, specifically, makes you doubt that this was rape? You said that this guy sexually assaulted you previously as well - is that different than rape? I'm not trying to test you with these questions, it would just be helpful to understand your perspective as we talk through this.
lz__
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Re: rape ?

Unread post by lz__ »

i think i have doubts because he had pulled out before anything more happened, so im unsure if the lack of activity even counts for anything
the first assault was different as both him and i had clothes on, he had purely ignored my requests to remove myself while i was on top of him.
i think rape is viewed as violent and something that doesnt stop until the abuser does, but in this case of something so quick, i dont know if it counts
Sam W
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Re: rape ?

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi lz,

I think you're right that many people still believe sexual assault has to be extremely violent or prolonged in order to "count" as rape. But when we're thinking in terms of what actually defines rape, it's the lack of consent and the use of force, coercion, pressure, or threat to get someone to engage in a sexual activity they do not want. The incident you're describing definitely involves coercion, and like it was part of a bigger pattern of him choosing to violate or wear down your boundaries.

How does all that sit with you?
lz__
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Location: london

Re: rape ?

Unread post by lz__ »

it makes sense. he was a very controlling person and im glad to be able to know that what he did was totally wrong. its super hard not to see it as something that defines me though.
i just wish i couldve gotten away from him before all of that happened
Sam W
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Re: rape ?

Unread post by Sam W »

That's a completely understandable way to feel. And in hindsight, it can be easy to say "I should have done this" or "I should have left before he had a chance to do that." But as you likely know, when you're in the midst of a relationship like this it can be hard to end things. And it ultimately wasn't on you to get away from him before he had a chance to hurt you; it was on him to not hurt his partner. So, as much as you can, try to be gentle with yourself and not blame yourself for what happened.

Can I ask what kind of support, if any, you've gotten around the assaults? That could be from friends, a counselor, a survivors group, or something else entirely.
lz__
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2023 4:34 pm
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Awesomeness Quotient: i love harry styles
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Location: london

Re: rape ?

Unread post by lz__ »

i am currently in therapy, and my friends and family are my main support system. i didnt get a lot of support from my mum but we dont have a good relationship anyway because of that
i do find it hard to talk about the relationship but its always on my mind because of how much i suffered, which is really tough.
Nicole
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Re: rape ?

Unread post by Nicole »

Hi lz__,

First and foremost, I'm so sorry to hear about what you've gone through. I'm glad that we could help you define what happened and it's great to hear that you have people around you to support your healing. I can absolutely understand how difficult it is to move forward when something like this is always on your mind. Moreover, I recognize that being unable to talk about what happened while it constantly being on your mind can lead to feeling worse. Maybe we can brainstorm some ways to help you communicate your feelings regarding the relationship. That way you can have a better line of communication with your support systems, which then can aid in your healing. How does that sound? We are here as well if you want someone to talk to. Also, I know you mentioned how you didn't get much support from your mom, and your relationship with her is strained...we can certainly talk about that too if you'd like. Please let us know and take care!
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