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Was it rape or am I overreacting?

Open Discussions About Rape and Sexual Assault.

Was it rape or am I overreacting?

Postby ThePoosification » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:35 pm

I'm in my second semester of college, I party most weekends and i've had a few alcohol induced one night stands, recently i've made a pact with myself that i would start being more healthy about my sexual relationships and I've stopped being so promiscuous. Last night I got drunk and I was with my friend, we went up to another friends (who was not drunk) room and we were all chatting, eventually she left and He and I continued talking about a lot of stuff. We laid down to watch a movie and he put his arm around me, it was all fine and friendly. He asked me straight out if I wanted to have sex and I told him no (even drunk I knew I did not want to break the promise i made to myself). A few minutes later he started rubbing my back, then he told me to take my clothes off, I told him no, he continued. He took off my pants, I didn't physically or verbally stop him, i just watched him do it. When he reached down to touch me I moved his hand away, but he went right back to it, i pushed his arm away again - and then he climbed on top of me and we had sex, I didn't stop him. Still drunk, I just laid there silent until he stopped thrusting. Then he kicked me out of his room and texted me asking me to not tell anyone about it.
I feel disgusting and shameful. But I am hesitant to believe it was rape because I didn't stop him when we were having sex, i wasn't afraid to stop him, I didn't think he would be violent if I did stop him, but still I didn't. Is this rape?
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Re: Was it rape or am I overreacting?

Postby Chucky » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:59 pm

Hello,

A previous user posted a similar account recently. My feelings are that if you felt that your safety was compromised by putting up a fight with him (i.e. to prevent him from having sex with you), then it was rape. When you pushed his hand away for the second time, what were your thoughts? If you felt that fighting was futile and that you couldn't overpower him, then it was rape, in my opinion. I'm not a lawyer though, and different people will take different views on this. Fundamentally, if you didn't want to have sex but felt pressured into it, then one could argue that it was rape.

If you were going to tell someone, who would it be? There should be a center that you can telephone for more advice on this. Help for rape victims has been made more available in recent years, simply because a shockingly-high percentage of women anonymously-surveyed revealed that they had been raped. I'm male, and two of my female friends have confided in me that they were raped but never reported it.

Kevin
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Re: Was it rape or am I overreacting?

Postby ThePoosification » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:03 am

Honestly it all happened so quickly I'm not sure what I was thinking. I remember being annoyed that he wouldn't stop the first time, then saying it again and him not stopping made me freeze up. Honestly from that point on my memory is like a film of the event, I remember telling him I wasn't going to take my clothes off and then him ignoring me and taking my jeans off of me, but as soon as it got to that point i just lay there frozen. I feel like I was just watching it waiting for it to be over because the thought of fighting to get him off of me was the last thing in my mind. I felt like there was nothing I could do. I'm small, he's not, clearly he had his mind made up that he was going to have sex with me, even despite me saying no. It all happened so so quickly i didn't know what to do besides what i did.
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Re: Was it rape or am I overreacting?

Postby myopicdreams » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:54 am

I would say that this sounds like rape to me, whether or not you fought past saying no or moving his hand. I also don't think it matters much what reasons you had for not fighting more-- it sounds like you were a bit dissociated/detached from the experience while it was happening and that could reasonably prevent you from being more assertive. This sort of detachment is not that uncommon, especially when a person in intoxicated-- it's certainly not your fault and does not mean you "allowed" this to happen to you.

Please seek out a professional who has experience with trauma as soon as you can. If you get some brief treatment to help you process what happened then you are much less likely to develop PTSD or other serious problems from this. I believe that any therapist who you see will absolutely believe that this was a rape, that it is a terrible and traumatic thing that happened to you, that you did not consent or ask for it by not being more assertive or fighting more, and especially that it is not your fault that this happened to you.

This really depends a lot on the state you live in, but it is unfortunately true that rapes of this kind are not always taken seriously by the courts and are often not prosecuted even when women do report them. I would never advise you not to press charges for what happened to you, you definitely deserve justice for this, but I think it is important for you to talk to a therapist about the potential outcomes and issues that might result from taking legal action. Sadly, our justice system is often not very considerate of victims and is often even less so about women who experience sexual assault when intoxicated or by someone they know.

I truly hope that you are able to find help and process this event in the way that will best protect your wellbeing.
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Re: Was it rape or am I overreacting?

Postby ThePoosification » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:01 pm

Thank you both very much for the replies.
I am a mess right now. I'm not planning on pursuing legal action or anything like that, i honestly just want it to be over with. I have been a mess of anxiety since it happened, literally shaking so hard. Everytime i hear boots on the staircase outside my door i freeze and my heart races, he lives on the floor above me and i'm so terrifyed its him. His room is directly across from the laundry room and i desperately needed to do some laundry yesterday, i almost had a panic attack walking up those stairs, i held my breath the entire time.
I have been in this haze of confusion, denial and anxiety. I feel so disgusting and awful. It keeps coming back to me, i keep seeing myself laying there, and my chest feels like its squeezing in on itself every time. I'm just so ashamed and afraid.
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Re: Was it rape or am I overreacting?

Postby jasmin » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:03 pm

He raped you, you told him no and he knew you wanted him to stop. Now he's destroying you just by being there. Even if it's just talking to someone at a rape crisis center and having a little therapy, you have to do something for yourself.
Please keep talking here, it's good to have someone to talk to.
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Re: Was it rape or am I overreacting?

Postby Chucky » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:10 pm

Like Jasmin, I believe that talking here would be beneficial. I mean, if you aren't going to report the incident to the authorities (if even those at your college), then talking would be the best way to deal with this. However, there has to also be an agency that you could call. Like I had implied, the issue of rape and it's victims has been made more aware in Western society in recent years.

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Re: Was it rape or am I overreacting?

Postby ThePoosification » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:43 pm

I think i will keep posting here, thank you very much. it helps to have people knowing what i'm going through right now.
He texted me today while I was at dinner with my friends, my roommate knows what happened and luckily she was with me because i wad very scared to even open it. He had texted me after the rape (its so hard to write that) telling me not to tell anyone, he texted me today asking if i had told anyone. I didn't respond but it freaked me out, it makes me feel like i've done something wrong rather than the other way around, like i'm shameful.
I feel very distanced today, thinking about it constantly but in terms of fact and not really feeling anything. I think i just want to make it feel like it wasnt a big deal, so maybe then it won't end up being one to me.
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Re: Was it rape or am I overreacting?

Postby myopicdreams » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:20 am

Hi :) I'm glad that you are using this forum as a way to talk about what is going on for you and definitely encourage you to continue doing so. I again want to advise you to seek professional assistance, though. If you receive what we call debriefing soon enough after a trauma, or get brief therapy to assist with processing, your chances of permanent psychological damage from this trauma are significantly reduced. Unfortunately, no amount of support from your friends or a message board can accomplish the same protection as the structured interview and debriefing process. If you are at a college campus you can get this treatment from your health center or they will send you to the appropriate person. I believe that all colleges in the USA have staff who are trained in trauma debriefing.

If you are on a college campus you have the right to make a report with the college. Colleges are much more friendly to women and rape victims than the court system and you are much more likely to get justice without being retraumatized. Your report could also prevent the rapist from doing this to anyone else on your campus (and maybe anywhere). Only you can decide what action is right for the situation but it's important to know that you available options are greatly expanded if you live on a college campus.
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Re: Was it rape or am I overreacting?

Postby Clay » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:20 am

Just in response to your whole freezing up comment I found this. I know that when I froze I felt like I had done something wrong or was being complacent this helped convince me otherwise and I hope it helps you. I found it on one of those science web pages

The freeze response is an automatic, non-conscious reaction that occurs when mammals face an overwhelming threat. This response is a last ditch effort to save itself. In some instances it is the optimal survival tactic

Many who seek counseling for relief from the symptoms of trauma are puzzled when they recall how they froze in the face of inescapable danger. Indeed, they are frequently filled with shame about their reaction to what happened.

Our survival instinct is extremely strong. It is not easily overridden by the neocortex (i.e. our intentional self). In the same way that you cannot tell yourself to have a good night sleep, you cannot tell yourself not to freeze. The body chooses. It's the optimal response at the time.
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