Howling Sea Lane, Inside Lane, Lancient History, Women Worth Knowing

Why WWK Is Supporting the Rape Crisis Center

I’ve made no secret about the fact that I was date raped when I was 21. That’s actually how I lost my virginity. You want to talk about awful first time experiences…sheesh.

To this day I have a lot of confusion about what happened and what to call the events that transpired. My own intellectual knowledge that “no means no,” and “NOOOOO means NOOOO,” gets muddied with the common response to the call of rape: What was she wearing? Had she been drinking? Where was she? What time of night was it? Did she struggle? Was she a tease?

I was wearing a black velvet catsuit and a gold smoking jacket with black velvet lapels and some really, super cute shoes. I’d had a glass of wine. I was in the boy’s bedroom. It was close to 2am. Once I realized it was going to happen no matter what I said, or how loudly I said it, I think I must have quit struggling–I don’t know. I’ve blacked that out. I do know Information Society was playing on the radio–maybe that’s why I blocked it out. I never liked that band.

Was I a tease? No. I’d been very frank about what I would and would not do. I was perfectly happy to do anything that could not result in pregnancy, and was precise about what acts that might include. The boy seemed quite pleased with the deal.

I didn’t tell my mother because I was afraid she would kill the boy, and then I’d have a mother in jail. I did not go to the police because of the above. I didn’t figure anyone would believe me. I am exactly the kind of girl This Cop was talking about. Maybe I wasn’t dressed like a “slut” but we can all be realistic about how I would be viewed based on dress, drinking, and willingness to do some if not “it”.

My Great-Aunt is a different story. And her story is much more to the point.

Aunt N was in her 80s when a man broke into her house to beat and rape her. He accomplished his goal.

I have no idea what she was wearing at the time, but I’m pretty sure it involved Granny Panties, not a visible thong. I highly doubt she’d been drinking. She was in her own home, in bed, in the middle of the night–right where she belonged. And she fought as much as an octogenarian can. Given her nature, I can assure you that she was not a tease.

Rape has nothing to do with what you wear, your state of mind, where you are, what time it is, whether you fight, or whether you’ve ever had sexual relations with your attacker.

Rape has nothing to do with YOU.

Rape has to do with the Rapist.

Rape isn’t something you bring on yourself.

Rape isn’t something that you do to yourself.

Anyone who has been raped will tell you how unpleasant it is–it isn’t something anyone would court.

Rape isn’t flattering.

Rape isn’t a compliment.

Rape isn’t a judgment.

Rape is an attack, a violation, and a crime–it is nothing positive, and it is nothing you can force anyone to do to you. You cannot MAKE someone RAPE.

Rape is not a reaction.

Rape is only an individually driven action. It is a purpose driven action.

I support, and have put the WWK project’s support behind the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center because I’ve been there and I know. And because women and men, girls and boys who are hurt need help. They need to know there is a safe place to go, where people will believe them, and help them. Help them understand that the problem isn’t THEM.

The problem is, and only ever will be the Rapist.

Raise your kids to respect themselves enough that they would think it beneath them to take something not freely given. Raise your kids to respect other people enough that they wouldn’t dream of taking what wasn’t clearly offered. That’s how you deal with rape.

5 thoughts on “Why WWK Is Supporting the Rape Crisis Center”

  1. My good friend was orally raped by her high school boyfriend–DAILY–for an extended time. It had nothing to do with her appearance: her very plain, very modest clothes and absence of makeup were dictated by the boy who “loved her”. No one knew, including this boy’s best friend.

    I have a tremendous amount of respect for this woman; more than 20 years later she sees him interacting on FB with our mutual friends (who are all unaware of his past) and the pity she feels is not for herself, but for this man’s current spouse and the friends he continues to deceive. She is the epitome of strength, in my opinion, and I love her beyond words!

  2. I’ve been sexually assaulted once, and nearly date raped another time. In both cases I recall wondering what *I* had done to provoke these attacks, even though if the same had happened with anyone else I would have screamed from the top of the highest building that it wasn’t their fault. I know that sexual assault is not based on sluttiness, or being drunk, or any of those stereotypes, but it took a very long time for me to understand those same rules apply to myself too.

    Sometimes the signals we receive from others get mixed. If I had been home when I was suppose to, the assault wouldn’t have occured. If I had not slept where I did the near date rape wouldn’t have happened. The truth was, regardless of the outside circumstances neither of these were my fault in the least. There isn’t a trigger that women press that makes them a more culpable victim. It isn’t clothing, attitude, timing, location. It is about power. It is about taking something that isn’t yours. Sadly, in many circumstances those who mean to comfort us send the wrong signals. Sometimes it’s out of fear, or ignorance, or anger. It’s fortunate that there are others out there who CAN scream from the highest places that we are Victims, and not Accomplices.

  3. Thank you for that. I never told anyone either and it took me years to believe that it wasn’t my fault. Thank you for having the courage to post this and for what you do for the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center.

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