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What is rape?

September 26, 2013 • Dating and Relationships

Undress My Dignity

Author: Christine McLean

He comes at any time catching you completely off guard. He tells you to take off your blouse, your pants, your bra, and your panties, and then he ravages you with such pain and loveless romance that you feel less than dignified when he’s done. You’re now his new conquest and from this day forward you will never be the same.
Young woman defending herself
                        © Photographer: Otnaydur | Agency: Dreamstime.com

According to the UK rape and crisis website, rape is “the penetration of a penis into a vagina, anus or mouth without consent.”[1] Consent is further defined as the person “agreeing by choice and having the physical and mental capacity to make such a choice.”[2] If you did not willingly make the choice to have sex then you have been raped. However, knowing what rape is really is not the main issue.

Pandora’s Project[3] has a helpful checklist that asks you these questions:

1. How old were the participants?

When someone is a minor or considered to be under the age of consent in the country where the incident took place then this falls under the remit of statutory rape.

2. Did both participants have the ability to give consent?

If one of the party is disabled or disabled by being intoxicated, disabled, suffering a mental disorder that affects their ability to consent, is unable to express consent or non-consent in any way, then this is considered rape.

3. Did both parties agree to the sexual act?

This is always the hardest to determine. But as a guide if a person says no at any point of the sexual act then if one party carries on they are committing rape. This could be through the use of physical force or coercion, or ignoring the refusal of the other party. This does not matter if they are in a relationship already, are married, or have had sex prior to that incident. No means no. And no means stop.

But if you’ve been raped, what do you do to deal with the emotional stress and depression you feel thereafter?

Find a Support Group
We are not meant to suffer in silence. There are women’s support groups that can help you deal with the emotions you feel after you’ve been raped. Use the Internet to find the right group for you.  Additionally, seek the support of your close friends and family. On those nights when you feel so alone and used and want to cry your heart out, look for a friend whose shoulder you can lean on. Don’t suffer alone.

Never Forget Your Worth

Being raped doesn’t make you any less of a person. You are still a beautiful creation and a woman filled with limitless potential. Don’t let this traumatic experience cause you to give up on life and the important role you play on this earth.

Forgive The Rapist
This may sound ludicrous, but the only way that you can truly move on is by truly letting go of the negative emotions that surround the experience and forgive him for his wrong. Forgiving can lead you on a pathway to healing and peace.

There are women who are daily victims of rape all over the world. One such woman is Honorata Kizende from the Congo who was a sex slave and was repeatedly gang raped. When she escaped she was raped again when men robbed the place where she had sought refuge. Despite all of her hardships, she is now an entrepreneur and advocate against sexual violence.[4]

We can all mimic the strength of Honorata and effectively deal with the emotions after being raped by following the tips I outlined. Don’t let your rapist have power over your life.

 

 


[1] Rape Crisis (n.d). Rape and sexual violence. Retrieved on September 21, 2013, from http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/rapeampsexualviolence2.php.

[2] Rape Crisis (n.d). Rape and sexual violence. Retrieved on September 21, 2013, from http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/rapeampsexualviolence2.php

[3] What is rape? Retrieved September 23, 2013 from http://www.pandys.org/whatisrape.html

[4] Stories from women: democratic republic of congo. (n.d.) Retrieved September 21, 2013 from http://www.womenforwomen.org/global-initiatives-helping-women/stories-women-congo.php.

Read My Lips - No Means No
© Photographer: Madartists | Agency: Dreamstime.com

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