© 2005 Evelyn Shakespeare.
BE CAREFUL OF THE MEN YOU CHOOSE
It is kind of strange to have to go back to the beginning of my painful journey following being raped. Truth be told I would rather not go there, but I know it will be helpful and therapeutic to myself and hopefully many other women who have had to endure the horror of rape. My very first diary entry describes my very first thoughts on my loss of my age of innocence
"God how I wish I never had to experience what I am going to tell you, let alone deal with the experience, get help, tell my friends and tell you"
(diary entry 9/7/04).
I had received an invitation from my girlfriend, Carol, to attend her 40th birthday party that was to be held a week before my innocence was shattered into tiny little pieces and forcefully taken from me (What I am referring to here is not the loss of my virginity, but the loss of my feelings of being safe and protected from harm in this world). It was a joint party that Gemma, Carol's friend, was giving to celebrate Carol's birthday and the change of season. Anyway, when I arrived, this man (the one who raped me) was showing an interest in Carol's party of friends and later he began flirting with me. He talked about his job, which he appeared to be very unhappy about, having a daughter and his house. In hindsight, I realise that
"It's a pity that something wasn't tattooed on his head to tell me "Steer clear, danger, danger, approach with extreme caution, better still do not come near, do not ever be left alone with this man"
(diary entry, 9/7/04) And
"God imagine this man having a daughter, god I hope he has never hurt her, although I do wonder, because he never talked about the mother of the child or if he even had contact with the child"
(diary entry, 9/7/04)
He had been busily flirting with me, keeping any other men away from me, being charming and humorous. At the end of the evening suggested that we catch up for a coffee and exchange phone numbers. He suggested that I ring him because I am a shift worker and I should ring him when I was free. My friend Carol said that she was not sure about him, but she would ask Gemma about him (If only I had trusted Carol's first impressions of this man).
On the Tuesday evening following the party, he rang me despite saying he would leave it to me to ring. But I guess I was potentially easy pray that was a temptation to difficult to resist on his behalf. We spoke for 2 hours, interestingly enough, mainly talking about him being frustrated with his bathroom renovations, needing a plumber, describing features of his house, colours he painted individual rooms and he briefly talked about his work. He also engaged in some sexually suggestive conversation to which I replied that I would not be having sex with him because I needed to get to know him first. He suggested that I come to his place and that we go out to dinner from there in a nearby suburb with many places to chose to eat. He wanted to catch up that Friday night, the night that my innocence was shattered and forcefully taken away from me.
I managed to find his place in the dark to find that he had only recently arrived home himself and to find him lighting the fire. This now strikes me as strange now, because even though it was winter, we were planning to go out to dinner, or so I was lead to believe. I get given the guided tour of the place, so far everything seems normal, but it quickly changes. He pours us each a glass of red wine. Halfway through the glass of wine I felt drunk very quickly which was strange because I had eaten toasted wholemeal bread with tomato and cheese only an hour or so earlier. I did not think that I could drive, so he suggested that we get a takeaway pizza (except that never happened). He told me that since I could not drive that I would be staying the night sleeping on the couch in the lounge room. I reminded him as I had done during the telephone conversation, that I would not be sleeping with him. It is very interesting in hindsight that I felt that it would not be safe for me to drive after half a glass of wine, which strongly suggests that he had drugged my drink. Then I was in trouble for not having brought a bottle of wine, but I was lead to believe that we were going out to dinner.
HIS FAVORITE WEAPONS
Anyway, while we were in the kitchen, he decided to show me the things he had brought himself on his shopping spree that day. He had brought himself a couple of tee shirts, a jacket and a Swiss army knife. When he showed me the Swiss army knife, he said, "look at what I brought myself today, a Swiss army knife, I've always wanted one". He then approached me with the Knife aimed at my nipples using either the pliers or scissors of the knife while coming at me as if it was some sort of joke. From that moment that he came at my nipples with the Swiss army knife, I was unable to breathe and my mind and body were frozen with fear. I felt that he was threatening to cause physically harm towards me if I didn't do what he wanted. I was so frightened, scared, confused, frozen, I was unable to think clearly and I didn't know what to do.
I felt that I was being forced into what he wanted and if I didn't do as he wished then he had shown me a weapon that he would be prepared to use if I didn't do, as he wanted. I was in a state of numbness, shock and disbelief that this was actually happening to me. I wanted to leave, but couldn't leave because my mind and body were frozen with fear. I didn't know what to do or when to time an escape or if I would survive an escape uninjured or not. I realised that I did not want to die or be grossly physically injured. I wanted to live. I felt that he had used the knife as a weapon against me to intimidate me making sure I knew that he had a knife that he could use to subdue me further if necessary. I felt that the presence of the knife and then coming at my nipples with it was a deliberate strategy, by him to reduce my options. Believe me when I say that I felt that my options were severely reduced.
I felt the options he was giving me were "do as I want, submit to what I want or I'll use this knife and harm or kill you if you don't and don't even think of fighting, struggling or escaping because I can use the knife". I was aware that I had felt very drunk pretty quickly and I was certain that I was over the legal limit to be able to drive safely to try to even escape. I felt well and truly cornered and boxed into what he wanted. I felt like a caged animal with absolutely no means of safe escape because the man who held me captive had ensured that I could not escape safely or leave of me own free will. I felt that my control and choices were being taken away and the only option I had were the choices of what he wanted. He had drugged me, threatened me with a knife and he was using force and coercion to limit my choices.
As the night went on he would go from being funny, sensible to being right off! He would be crazy and strange. For example, he did an Adolph Hitler impersonation with the walk and the full salute. When I made comment about his behaviour he quite categorically stated, "It's my home! I am allowed to relax!"
He initiated the hand holding, touching and kissing early in the evening. He insisted on thrusting his tongue down my mouth. I was revolted by his kissing technique and I had asked him to slow down and go gently. However, he did not listen or respond to my request. He started sucking on my neck and I asked him not to leave any love bites and he said that he wouldn't. He then started an oral assault on my breasts, which I later discovered, were bruised all over with teeth marks evident. My breasts were still bruised two weeks later. He made the comment "you're not exploring!". How or why would I want to explore him when I felt revolted by him and what he was doing to me, when he refused to listen or respect me as a human being or woman?
His behaviour changed to him showing me that he was physically stronger than me and that he had power and control over me. He pinned me up against the kitchen wall in a physically dominating manner and he also pushed me up against and over the kitchen bench. When I said, "that's hurting my back", he said "well, don't lean back then!" I tired to talk about power issues, how I work with power with rather than power over people and he said to me "You have the power issues!". I wonder who really has the power and control issues here!!!! I felt scared and frightened for my life being shown a weapon, being threatened with assault with the same weapon, being pushed around, hurt and controlled.
BEING PUSHED AROUND
I did start to wonder if he had a mental illness, it was like being with Dr Jeckyll/Mr Hyde. However, the fact remains that I had absolutely no idea on how to time an escape, deal with him or his behaviour. I decided to stop saying "no" because it obviously was not working, but I was totally confused about what to do to deal with his aggressive and abusive behaviour. At one stage I was feeling so angry and frustrated with his behaviour of using coercion, lying, bullying tactics, using physical force and strength, pushing me around, hurting and dominating me and trying to force me into submission. I took the opportunity to get him into a headlock and I said "no one treats me like this" which he just ignored. However, I got a second opportunity to get him into a headlock, he just swung me up into his arms and laughed.
DR JECKYLL/MR HYDE
He started to tell some sick jokes like "Have you got any Irish in you?" I responded, "Yes" and he said, "want some more?" He then decided to inform me that "I'm not hungry, you're ok, so we won't worry about ordering the pizza" at about 10.30pm. He then started to take me by the hand to his bedroom, warning me that he had "Roman hands". Once in the bedroom, he said that he'd leave his shirt on, but he lied once again and stripped down to his underwear. I got on the bed with my clothes on, which he appeared to be extremely annoyed about. He took my clothes off me and he kept on touching and mauling me. I was hoping and praying that if I gave him what he wanted and demanded that he would stop using all the force, coercion, bullying, domination, manipulation, lying, hurting, physical and verbal intimidation against me.
He started to finger my vagina, saying, "You're dry!" in a rather annoyed manner. Gee I wonder why? Could it have something to do with the fact that I felt pressured, scared, forced, frightened, coerced, concerned about my safety, while trying not to get hurt too badly and hoping he would not continue to be as rough as he had been during the evening. I really felt that I had no reason to be turned on sexually or lubricated under these circumstances. He attempted to perform oral intercourse on me attempting to provide lubrication, but I clamped my legs shut so that he could not physically do it. This should have been an obvious indication to him that I was being forced into submission and not freely giving consent to sexual intercourse. However, once again, he chose to continue disregard and disrespect my needs, wants or seeks my consent.
He decided to do clitoral stimulation and when he felt ready he decided to try for unprotected intercourse. I told him "condoms are the only form of contraception I use" and he stated, "I don't like the things!" I was concerned about the issue of unprotected intercourse, sexually transmitted disease, pregnancy and I wanted to minimise further harm to myself, so I informed him that I work with people's body fluids and I was thinking of protecting both of us. All I can say is
'Yeah, right like a give a shit about his safety! Self-preservation, that's all I cared about. After all, at least I don't have to deal with the issues of pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease which would make this situation 100 times worse than it already is"
(diary entry, 9/7/04)
He just said "put that thing on" motioning me to put the condom on him. He never bothered to seek my consent about sexual activity, contraception or protection against sexually transmitted disease. I was trying the best ways I knew possible to keep myself safe and protect myself from further harm while being forced and coerced by him to stay there and do, as he wanted.
At this point he commenced the sexual assault. I had disassociated from my body in an attempt to deal and cope with this horrific experience. The sexual intercourse was over quickly and he made a comment about his performance and "getting older". I angrily made the comment that "that's all you get with some men!" But in reality, I felt relieved that it was over quickly. Anyway, I felt I was out of my body the whole time, floating on the ceiling, hiding under the bed and in the cupboard. He went to sleep and I slept on and off knowing that I had not been given permission to leave. He never checked to see how I felt about his actions and behaviours. He treated me like I was a blow up doll and I was treated with absolutely no respect or regard as a human being or a woman. I was nothing, but a means for him to get what he wanted to release his anger, aggression, hostility and control by using verbal, physical and sexual abuse against me.
In the morning he got up out of bed to urinate and make a cup of coffee. Once he finished his coffee in bed, he started touching my breasts and he insisted that I make him erect with my hand. Again, he told me "put that thing on!", and once again, he sexually assaulted me. However, at one stage, I glared up at him, directly looking into his eyes, giving him that laser beams of hate look that virtually said "you fucking bastard" with my eyes. I deliberately had a blank but angry expression on my face, but he just put his head down and kept on going until he had finished. Once again, it was over quickly.
He got up out of bed, got dressed and made another cup of coffee. I took the opportunity to get dressed. He continued to talk and offer me advice!!!!!! I'm certain that I've got a lot of advice that I could give him. At about 10.30 am, I had had enough of waiting to be granted permission to leave, so I went to the lounge room to attempt leaving by I putting on my scarf, jacket and gloves. He said "you going now?" I said, "Yes, we both have things that we have to do today". He then responded "that's ok you can leave now!" He gave me a cuddle and he said, "see you". I was so revolted by what he had done to me and how he had treated me. He wanted to cuddle me as if this had been a normal and healthy first date experience. I just wanted to physically push him away and get away as quickly as possible now that I could finally leave.
I got into my car and left as quickly as I could. I drove myself home in total shock, numb and in disbelief that he could do that to me. I have never felt like this following any other sexual experience. Once home I had something to eat. Georgia rang me to see how the date went and I just said that I would not be planning on ever seeing him again. I went to bed, curled up in the foetal position, crying and trying to sleep away the shock and trauma of this nightmare.
I have never been so frightened or scared in all my life that night that I was forced, coerced, bullied, abused, manipulated, hurt, pushed around, lied to, dominated, forced into submission, ignored, disregarded, disrespected, violated and verbally, physically and sexually assaulted by this man. I did the best I could to survive the night unharmed and alive. However, I never realised what the consequences and impact of living and surviving with having my choices and control being taken away and having been verbally, physically and sexually abused would be like. I wish I had of known what I now know, so that I could have timed an escape, so that I never had to endure and face the impact of being verbally, physically and sexually assaulted.
It is during my Internet searching that I discover some extremely disturbing and distressing information about these men. In my diary I write
"Getting inside their head makes me feel really sick, comments these men make like "make sure she's got a boyfriend, then she won't report you" and "The bitch won't report you if you strangle her". God almighty, how sick are some of these men!"
I remember reading one of another rapist's comments about how he behaved
"He pushed on sexually assaulting the woman even though her legs were locked and she was grinding her teeth. He also made her stay overnight while she continued to grind her teeth all night. How could he not face the reality of what he had done? How could he choose to ignore the signs that she was not a willing participant? How!!!!!!!"
(Diary entry, 11/4/05).
In late June 2005 I manage to find a book on the Internet called "Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists and other sex offenders" by Anna Salter. This book has given me great insight into how these men operate, for example, according to the author, we rely on people's public behaviour of being nice and likeable to predict their private behaviour and that is even when they have a track record of previous conviction of sexual assault or child molestation! Apparently, we are real easy to fool!
According to Salter, these sexual offenders lead a double life; they portray themselves to the outside world as non-violent, yet they demonstrate abusive and violent behaviours within their own homes. These sexual offender lie because it is in his best interest to lie and they will only show the face they want you to see and when they want you to see it. It all sounds pretty familiar to me and it helps me make sense of what happened to me.
Apparently, our society's belief that strangers perform most rapes is a dangerous assumption, as a stranger commits only one third of rapes. The frightening and realistic statistic is that other two thirds (62%) of rapes are committed against a woman by a known person.
The author describes the types of rapist:
Opportunistic Rapist - men who rape when the opportunity might arise, usually while committing another crime, like home invasion. This rapist wants a sense of power, he sexually assaults for the thrill and the excitement. It is irrelevant to this rapist who the victim is or even what the victim looks like.
Compulsive Rapist - these men rape to vent their anger, in their opinion women are all deceitful bitches that deserve what they get.
Erotically Motivated Rapist - These men are drawn specifically to violent sex. These men are simply able to rationalise their crimes, they demonstrate hostile attitudes toward women and they have a sense of entitlement.
Sadists - These men find their thrill by not just of hurting someone physically, but more importantly, hurting them emotionally and sexually. These men do not feel a sense of empathy toward their victims as they treat their victim as an object.
"Other people's helplessness makes them feel powerful. Other people's vulnerability makes them feel invincible. Other people's dying makes them feel alive. Other people's submission makes them feel dominant"
(Salter, 108). And
"Rapists certainly intend to inflict pain"
Psychopaths - these men feel a sense of joy and child-like delight at duping and hurting other people.
I discover that as Salter states "Rapists are professionals operating among kind hearted amateurs" (205). Oh, how true, we are so gullible.
The risk of rape is far higher when you have met someone whom you are just beginning to date. This is because for most serial rapists it is far easier to lure a woman into their home to commit the rape than take the chance of trying to attack a woman on the street (Salter, 231). Party's, singles bars, dating agencies, personal advertisements can be hunting grounds for the sexual offender who will appear to be charismatic, outgoing, warm and justifiably seeking a relationship just exactly like the men who really are genuine. However, a man who appears to be charismatic, outgoing and seemingly warm can be a very violent and aggressive rapist too.
Salter suggests that women take safety measures for dating such as:
Salter reminds women to remember that he is a stranger if you don't know his friends, place of work and his life. You only know what he tells you about himself. However, remember, you can make an effort to find out more about him to verify details he has told you about himself with his friends, family and work place.
I discover that 8% of rapists use a weapon and I unfortunately had to meet one of the 8%! It has taken me a long time to understand the significance of the man who raped me using Swiss army knife. I now know that the Swiss army knife has many potential weapons within it that can used, a knife gets your attention, a knife can be used to cut, maim, slash, stab and kill and a knife is silent. The problem occurs for women when a weapon like a knife is produced because it creates problems with your thinking, therefore, reducing your options as the knife becomes a tool of trade for the rapist, as the woman is forced to hand over her body. In my diary I write
"I realise that showing me the Swiss army knife combined with his behaviour strongly suggests that he was using it to show me he had a weapon that he could use if need be, to intimidate me, limit my choices, keep me there and stop me from escaping by saying 'give me what I want, and I won't use this!'"
To prepare for the date I had had my hair cut and coloured and he goes and gets a knife!!!! Don't figure does it!!!!!!! Oh, well, they do say actions speak louder than words, and his producing the knife said volumes about the unspeakable evil he wanted to do to me. In my diary I write
"It's hard to describe how awful it is when someone takes your basic human rights away from you - your choices are irrelevant, your voice isn't listened to, you are forced into something you don't want to do, you are subdued with alcohol and drugs, physical strength, bizarre behaviour, frightened with a weapon and you are controlled, dominated, intimidated into what this person wants from you or wants you to do!!! It makes me wonder why was I chosen by him to do this to me? But I guess he was right to choose me - I was too trusting, too nice, too polite, too stupid, too easy, too likely to play it as safely as possible. But what does this say about him - he doesn't care about anyone but himself, he's unable to form healthy relationships, he thinks that stupefying, controlling, dominating, pushing around, bullying and hurting women is OK to get what you want!!!!!!
(Diary entry, 22/8/04).
Another book called "Men who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender" by Nicholas Groth (2001) states
"The fact is that rape occurs through intimidation with a weapon, threat of harm or injury and/or brute force"
Groth describes how rape is primarily serving non-sexual needs for the rapist, in fact, rapes serves as a means of expressing power and anger through sexual expression. The author describes how a person obtains sexual access to another person body through consent and cooperation, pressure and exploitation or through force and intimidation. The issue of forced sexual assault can be determined by the victim expressing a fear of risk of injury and if the victim feels their safety is in danger if the victim were to refuse to consent to sexual activity. Groth describes
"Rape is always a symptom of some psychological dysfunction, either temporary and transient or chronic and repetitive. It is usually a desperate act which results from an emotionally weak and insecure individual's inability to handle the stresses and demands of his life"
(page 5) And
"He shows little capacity for warmth, trust, compassion, or empathy, and his relationships with others are devoid of mutuality, reciprocity, and a genuine sense of sharing"
Groth describes how the offender is able to shift responsibility from himself to blame his behaviour onto anything else other than where the responsibility really belongs eg the victim's behaviour or dress, alcohol or drugs (page 9).
Groth describes how clinical experience has indicated 3 components involved in forcible rape, which include, power, anger and sexuality. Groth describes rape as an aggressive act, for some offenders it include a mechanism for discharging anger, which
"Becomes evident that the rape is the way the offender expresses and discharges a mood state of intense anger, frustration, resentment, and rage."
In other cases, the offender may become reactive with aggression only expressed if the victim resists and other offenders may react with aggression in a state of panic (pages 12 & 13). Groth describes how other offenders express more domination and control rather than anger (page 13). Finally, Groth describes, another group of offenders who seek pleasure from hurting and controlling their victim (page 13).
Both aggression and sexuality are involved in every act of rape; however, the sexuality is a means of the offender expressing aggressive feelings (page 13). Groth describes 3 examples of rape:
1. The Anger Rape - sexuality becomes a hostile act, it is a mechanism for releasing pent-up feelings of rage and anger, and more force is used than necessary and he attacks his victim to overpower the victim eg. "I wanted to knock the woman off her pedestal, and I felt rape was the worst thing I could do to her" (page 14).
2. The Power Rape - sexuality becomes an expression of conquest, the offender wants to possess the woman sexually, and he uses necessary force to control his victim. The offender may use verbal threat, use a weapon to intimidate the victim and use physical force to overpower and subdue the victim to achieve sexual submission (page 27).
Jesus, this definitely gives me chills up and down my spine and I suspect that it is the power rapist that I had to deal with, but I discover that he also has sadistic qualities eg bruises and bite marks on my breasts.
3. The Sadistic Rape - power and anger become eroticised (page 13). The offender finds that intentionally harming his victim, seeing the victim tormented, helpless, distressed and suffering is both intensely gratifying and pleasurable The assaults may include bondage, torture, rituals, bizarre acts and the offender may target sexual areas of the victims body to inflict injury and abusive acts such as biting and burning or instruments or foreign objects may be used to sexually penetrate his victim (page 45).
MY BREAST'S CELLULAR MEMORIES
Groth describes that rape is a sexual behaviour for offenders that primarily meets non-sexual needs. Rape, can be defined, as
"A pseudosexual act, a pattern of sexual behaviour that is concerned much more with status, hostility, control and dominance than with sexual pleasure or sexual satisfaction"
In our society, it is considered normal to seek to engage in conventional sexual activities with another person through consensual agreement, it can even be normal to seek unconventional sexual activities providing consent is mutual, however, it is not normal to seek to engage in sexual activities with another person through coercion. (page 104).
Groth describes that legally rape is defined as a
"Crime of sexual penetration without consent", but clinically, rape serves "to express an unresolved conflict, defend against anxiety, and gratify an impulse. that jeopardize, the physical and psychological safety of another individual. Rape is the sexual expression of hostility and aggression"
It is not a symptom of a psychiatric illness, rather it has been found that 56% of sexual offenders were diagnosed with various types of personality disorders, for example, antisocial, borderline, inadequate, passive-aggressive etc. (Groth, 109). The sexual offender does not value himself, therefore, he does not value other people, and he is
"Socially insensitive, unaware, or indifferent to the feelings and needs of others and tends to see only himself and his own needs as important. Other people tend to be regarded as obstacles to be overcome or objects to be used or manipulated for his own need gratification. Qualities such as mutuality, reciprocity, and sharing are not prominent characteristics of his relating, and, consequently, he does not achieve close, stable, and enduring relationships. He tends to remain psychologically distant from others, a loner who has few real friends. Manipulation and exploitation are more characteristic of the way he negotiates his interpersonal relationships than reciprocity and sharing"
(Groth, pages 107 & 108)
Groth describes the offender's need to treat other people as objects or obstacles rather than people; it is the offenders chosen manner of avoiding feeling genuine remorse about his actions (page 109).
IF I'M AN OBJECT THEN WHY DON'T YOU GO FUCK THE NEAREST FIRE HYDRANT?
The offender choses to deny any personal responsibility for his actions; he considers himself as the victim of a hostile, unjust and heartless world (Groth, page 109). The offender's apply...
"Projection, rationalization, and minimization are prominent defense mechanisms, and he tends to overemphasize what he perceives to be wrongs done him and to be relatively insensitive to the impact his behaviour on others"
(Groth, page 109).
The most difficult thing that survivor's of rape, their family, friends and society may be related to why she didn't escape, call for help, resist, fight or even why she stayed longer once the sexual assault had finished. If the woman is dealing with the power rapist, the woman will more than likely feel powerless and the woman hopes that by co-operating the offender will eventually release her (Groth, page 43). The woman does not want to do anything that will create further anger and hostility from the offender and the woman is frightened that the offender will hurt her, if she attempts to escape (Groth, page 43). The victim is forced into submission and co-operation in hope of not aggravating him further and hopefully reducing the risk of further harm or minimising harm (Groth, page 43). I can most definitely relate to this, I felt that I had to do what he was forcing me to do to minimise further harm to myself and I knew I needed to seek his permission to leave.
Another question most people raise is, "what should a chosen potential victim do to deter an offender?" According to Groth, some chosen victims may be able to successfully perform a defence strategy or manoeuvre to deter an assault occurring, however, some women with be attacked without warning, they may be in bed asleep, or may even be knocked unconscious (page 59). As Groth states
"Although many offenders do report having been deterred from some of their intended assaults, there is a wide variety of individual differences among men who rape, and what serves to deter one assailant may only encourage another. For example, one offender said, 'When my victim screamed I ran like hell'. But anther stated, 'When my victim screamed I cut her throat'."
However, Groth describes the 3 qualities emerged from the offenders about how chosen victims were able to confront the offender and resist the assault (page 59).
These qualities are:
1. The woman managed self-control and refused to be intimidated.
2. The woman was assertive, without being aggressive.
3. The woman was able to register with the offender by something she said or did that conveyed to him that she was not an object, she was, in fact, a real person.
Groth's clinical research on rapists found the offenders suggesting that the chosen victim say something like "You know what you are doing is wrong, and it's not too late to stop" thereby, taking advantage of the offender's basic feeling of ambivalence about the attempted assault (page 59). Another strategy suggested by offenders in Groth's clinical research of rapists is to confront the offender with the size and the terrible nature of what he is doing and ask him how would he feel if someone where to rape his wife, girlfriend, mother or sister. Remind him that rape will not be a satisfying sexual experience for him, it will not solve his problems and try to encourage him to verbalise his feelings in an attempt to minimise the offender's urge to assault. (Groth, page 60).
Offenders in Groth's clinical research recommend that women do not carry a weapon for self-protection, unless the woman knows how to use it, is capable of using it and fully intends to use it. As one offender says
"The minute you show it, use it. Don't just point it at the guy, because he'll take it away from you. He's desperate, and he's not afraid of being hurt. And he might use it against you"
Groth explains that not all offenders can be talked out of a planned sexual assault, while some women may be able to execute a successful escape, however, some women, may be unable to escape or talk their way out of a sexual assault, the best and only available coping strategy may be submission (page 60). Please remember, that she did the best she could in this abnormal, scary, frightening and potentially harmful and life threatening situation. Remember, what may have worked as a survival and escape strategy for one woman against one type of offender may be disastrous to another woman dealing with another type of offender (Groth, page 60). It is not the woman's fault; he is 100% responsible for his actions and behaviour.
Remember rape on the part of the offender is
"An effort to discharge his anger, contempt, and hostility toward women - to hurt, degrade, and humiliate. It is an effort to counteract feelings of vulnerability and inadequacy in himself and to assert his strength and power- and to control and exploit [and] rape is always a combination of anger, power and sexuality"
(Groth, page 60).
In hindsight I had hoped for something distinctly different to what I received. A first date holds the promise of many possibilities, however, my first date with this man shattered all my illusions about how safe this world really is, how cruel some people can be and at times it came very close to nearly destroying me. You see
"I was badly hurt, lied too, betrayed, taken advantage of and not even considered a person with needs, feelings, wants or desires. I was considered a nothing, not considered important and literally considered of no value except to use and abuse to get what he wanted!!! Well, fuck you mate. I am someone who is important, of great value and very important to myself."
(Diary entry, 16/8/04)
It is very apparent from the research that I have read that rapists do intend to inflict harm, the rapists utilise sexual behaviours to express and release the rapist's pent up anger, aggression and power. Women never deserve to be raped. Women are not responsible for men's actions of anger, aggression, hostility, violence, control, domination and sexual control. Men are 100% responsible for their verbal, physical and sexual abuse and behaviours toward their chosen victim. Every woman will have done the best they could to either escape or endure the horror of the actual rape and her healing and recovery that lasts many years after the actual assault. Please remember, don't judge her or blame her, she was chosen to be a victim, but you can help her become a survivor with comfort, love and support.
One day I had asked an elderly woman I had meet, "What lessons have you learned in your life?" and she responded by saying to me "Be careful of the men you choose!" A lesson that every woman who has been raped will fully understand, yet every woman who has been raped will wish she had never had to learn the extremely painful, destructive and cruel lesson that follows as a consequence of rape. The pain can only be described as indescribable, beyond comprehension, beyond what is bearable, it is dark and murky and intensely painful.
I have titled my story "To be scarr'd or not to be scarred" because we have choices about whether rape will scar us or not. I chose not to be scarred and I chose to help other survivor's of rape, their family, friends and our community. I hope this chapter will help other people understand the profile of the rapist and help women to
understand the truth
- it was not your fault,
HE IS 100% RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS ACTIONS
OF VERBAL, PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE.
Chapter 1 'Love, not Time, Heals all Wounds'
Chapter 3 The Loss of the Age of Innocence
Chapter 4 'Frozen with Fear'
Chapter 5 'Counselling'
Chapter 6 'Bodywork'
Chapter 7 'Simple Things'
Chapter 8 'Making Sense of Secondary Wounding'
Appendix 1 - Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Appendix 2 How survivors of sexual assault can have a positive Pap Smear Experience
The journey of survival and healing - an outline
© 2005 Evelyn Shakespeare