Fear of relationships Pt.2

It’s been 3 years since then, I thought that by now I would have healed and I would be able to get in a relationship no problem. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. Today, I am 25, single, living on my own and still no relationship.

When I came back to Vancouver, my ex was the last one to know. My best friend and I would take pictures together, hang out and post it on social media but without the location. For a few weeks he didn’t catch on I was back. He asked me a couple times if they were old picture or if I was back and I would just ignore his messages. Eventually, I figured me and my ex needed to talk so I told him I’ve been back for weeks and he got really mad at me. I didn’t feel bad about it and I felt like I didn’t owe him anything. I didn’t have to tell him anything but I did it because I wanted to move on with my life by talking to him face to face.

When my best friend and I went to go talk to him, it made me realize that I really did make the right decision by leaving him. He was still acting like a little boy and being selfish. He didn’t see the mistakes he made and the hurtful things he has said. He believed that I was at fault. I knew at that moment I didn’t need him in my life.

A year past when I saw him next. We are working on being friends and I get to see my Nephew more often. Him giving me my space was the best thing he could do. I had to think about where I was going in my life and who was I going to be as a person- was I going to hold grudges for the rest of my life or was I going to live my life in happiness? I admit, I feel better now that I’m not holding a grudges. It doesn’t mean though that I have forgotten or forgiven what happened, it just means that I’m not going to hate him for the rest of my life.

Hating on my Ex-Fiancé and holding on to my other Ex was killing me inside. I was holding on to things that are never going to come back or be like it used to be. I had to learn to let go of someone I loved and someone I resented. I had to learn that everything happens for a reason and not everything will go my way. What happened in my past has made me stronger and wiser.

Honestly, I’m not sure how I will react if I ever see ex again. I know there’s still a part of me that breaks when I hear his name, when I hear about his family. I still wonder if he thinks of me, wonders what I’m doing with my life or even if I’m happy.

I still wonder “what if”. I still carry a picture of him with me. Sometimes I think I torture myself by doing so. I do wish him happiness. I wish him the best of luck and I hope his wife gives him everything he needs and wants. I hope he lives in a beautiful house and has a job he loves. However at the end of day, I miss him.

Another reason why I fear relationships… Many men and women have sexually abused me. All these people would blame me and makes me feel so tiny, like I was nothing! They would say that I’m fat, ugly and that I pretty much deserved it. How does someone trust anyone if everyone they trusted betrayed them? I cannot say that I trust people because I don’t entirely. However, one day i hope that i will be able to do so.

Marie Talks: Note to My Assailant

Trigger warning: talks about sexual assault/rape, with some (as little as possible) detail.

Something I think a lot of us would like a chance to do is say what we want to the person that hurt us. What we’d probably want more, to feel safe while we say what we want. At least for me, I know that’s what I would like. With no way to actually contact him, I am writing a blog post. 

This is part of my journey to letting it go so here’s what I would love to tell my rapist. Feel free to comment what you would say to yours below.

Dear Rapist,

It’s been years since that night you took something from me that you had no right in taking. I’d like to say that I am over it and the thought of you doesn’t disgust me or make my blood run cold; however that is false the mere thought makes me sick, angry, devastated, and scared. Not that I really want to tell you that, but it is the truth.

I can still see your face when I close my eyes, remember the smell of your putrid breath, the sickening feeling of your hands, and how you spoke those words to me. I can still remember what you did and the emotions and fears that went through me. These same fears still run through me at the thought of intimacy sometimes. You ruined that for me, at least for now. Hopefully one day I can forget your face and not have your actions at the forefront of my mind when I am with another person.

The moment of dread, fear and knowing of what was going to happen to me is still vivid in my mind. How I feared much worse would happen if I kept fighting, and the way I went numb and stopped fighting; how I felt like I was allowing it to happen. I can pinpoint exactly when it washed over me and I knew I was not going to win this battle. The knowing of no matter what I did it was going to happen and all I can do is minimize the pain and violence that I endure. That moment is what haunts me the most, worse than everything else that happened that night. It’s what keeps me up at night, wondering if that with that action I allowed what happened. Wondering if that would be considered consent, if it made it not rape. Makes me question if I am a victim or if I am to blame. Makes me wonder if I could have stopped you, could I have? If I screamed a little louder/longer, or fought even a little harder.

Is that what you wanted? To emotionally scar someone, to make their life a little harder? To have some fun in the moment and make my life after do a 180°? Because that’s what you did. You visited me nightly, sometimes more than nightly, whenever I closed my eyes. You made me fear sleeping, made it near impossible too. What you did didn’t just happen to me that night, it happened in my dreams nightly for the years to follow. Even though for you it was just that night, with me at least. Almost a decade later now and it’s no longer nightly, only once in a while and for now I’m okay with that. Maybe one day I will be able to never see your face again when I close my eyes.

There is not a mean and nasty word I would not love to call you, or haven’t called you. It’s the least I can do for what you put me through, because what you did to me was more than just rape, it left psychological scars. Your actions tainted my very being and I want it to stop. That is why I am writing this, why I am writing this for you. I want you to know what you did, feel the impact of what you did, and be able to get it off my chest to the person responsible for causing this burden.

I do still question why me, what made you turn around and choose to rape me? We’d known each other for years, since we were little. We were close, and I trusted you. I would’ve thought if I was raped I would have ran to you to make me feel safe, not run from you to feel safer. We were close, we were friends; I guess being close to you made me an easy target, I had put my guard down. That’s why isn’t it? I trusted you enough to let you close to me, to never hurt me, and that made it easier for you.

What you forced upon me left me feeling worthless, dirty, ruined, devastated, and like a toy for others. It took years for me to even begin shaking those beliefs about myself. I hated it, you left me more disgusted with myself then with you. I thought everything valuable about myself hinged on my ‘purity’, and therefore due to you forcibly taking that away from me I was stripped of my value. I have come to terms with what I felt and I now know otherwise. I am just as valuable as I was prior to that night, if not more so because I am stronger than I was that night. I am not dirty nor am I ruined, you took something from me that other than in societies outdated eyes means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of life. I am no longer devastated, yes it still pains me to think about now but what you did made me a stronger person. I am not a toy for others to do as they please with. I have absolute control on what happens to me, and if I say ‘no’ or anything along those lines I should be respected and the issue is not with me but with them, with you.

Through all of the years after that night I have grown to realise something. I have to thank you for a few things too.
1) I want to thank you for making me stronger, making me more resilient and showing me why barriers within myself can be helpful.
2) Thank you for teaching me that trusting someone fully is not always a good thing. That if I have a doubt about someone, something or a situation to recognize that and proceed accordingly.
3) Thanks for forcing the rose coloured glasses off of me. Not everything is as it seems.
4) You taught me compassion for sexual assault victims as I can understand how their trauma came about. For that I grudgingly thank you.
5) Thank you for giving me one of my strongest passions. Which is to see justice for every victim. For every sick disgrace such as you may feel karma and the law catch up with you. To help others through their issues, something I never reached out for after that night.
6) Thank you for teaching me what true hatred feels like; because, although I can not stand that word, I can safely say I hate you.

If I could turn the clock back all these years I would, I would stop that night from happening and I would stop having anything to do with you. I know I can never forgive you. But I’ve learnt that that night is not my fault, and I forgive myself. I can say I don’t hate you nearly as much as I did that night, but I will never be alright with you. I am stronger, I am happier, and I am moving forward with my life.

Sincerely,
Your Victim

For me this as closure, as I have no way to tell him this directly. I have learnt that it’s hard to get closure if you have unsaid feelings and words stuck in you. I hope he reads this one day, however chances are he never will.
I’ll be honest writing this was painstakingly hard, I sobbed a few times and wanted to give up, but I didn’t. But now that it is out I feel ten times better than I had, I feel slightly more at peace with my past. I know I still have a long journey ahead of me, but right this moment I feel as though I just finished climbing the mountain I was sure I’d never reach the top of. I have more mountains and hurdles ahead of me but from here I hope they get easier.


With all that being said I tried to leave out as much detail as I could without losing the integrity of it, sorry if it was too much for anyone. Hopefully it helped someone else too, that even one other person took something from this that will help them.

What would you say to your assailant?

Stay Strong, Stay Beautiful,
Marie Olsson xx

Feel free to contact me if you wish,  you can get the information in my about me.

 

 

 

Marie Talks: Things I wish I was told about Sexual Assault

Trigger warning: talking about sexual abuse/assault and rape.

Growing up you don’t hear much about sexual assault , at least not about the stuff that really matters. I see a lot about how it wouldn’t have happened if the victim did this or didn’t do that. I hear a lot of people telling victims they’re lying, that it’s not sexual assault , or they provoked it. What I don’t see a lot of is people supporting the victims and making their life a little easier by just making them feel safe to talk to someone about what happened.

Here are a few things growing up I wish I had heard about sexual assault and rape:

1) It is never the victims fault.
No matter what the situation it is still not their fault. Even if they were fine while kissing and touching but then changed their mind and wanted to stop, it’d not their fault.
Times when it’s not the victims fault:

  • they never wanted it
  • they are drunk or under the influence of any substance
  • they are showing skin, and when they aren’t
  • they changed their mind
  • it was their boyfriend
  • etc.

Times when it is the victims fault:

  • never.

2) It doesn’t matter how you are dressed
Whether you are covered in clothing all the way from your chin to your toes or you are absolutely naked you are still not at fault and can be sexually assaulted. If the amount of clothing or lack of clothing made you a target then sexual assault could be solved by covering up; however that is not the case as even in the winter sexual assault still happens. The assailant does not choose their target necessarily on attractiveness and lack of clothing, they go after someone who is an easy target. More often this means the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, in an isolated or dark area, or someone that trusts them.

3) The assailant is not always a stranger
Yes they can be a stranger but your assailant is just as likely to be someone you know. Whether it is a coworker, your best friend, your boyfriend/girlfriend, a classmate, or a family member they can be your assailant and it still is assault.

  • It is still assault if you are or have been intimate with the person. Giving them consent once does not give them free reign to be intimate with you whenever they want to be.

4) Everyone can be a victim
Boy, girl, man, woman, mother, or teacher can be sexually assaulted. Just because you wouldn’t expect them to be assaulted. They are just as much a victim no matter their relationship with their assailant, their gender, or their ‘title’.

5) Sexual assault does not make you dirty, slutty, worthless or take away your value as a person
As a victim you may feel this way, but sexual assault does not make you any of these things. What happened does not take away your worth as a human, you are just as valuable as you were before your assault. You are still the same person, just something horrible happened to you. You are not dirty or slutty, you had no control over what happened to you and you should not let what happened have control over you. The only title your sexual assault gave you is a victim, a survivor.

6) After being raped or sexually assaulted you should report it. 
Reporting it can be a tedious and stressful thing to do. However it can be beneficial to do so, along with getting a full STD/STI testing done. There are many organizations such as Surrey Women’s Centre (Surrey, BC, Canada) that can offer their support through this process.

Stay Beautiful Lovies,
Marie Olsson xx

Ivybelle On The Fear Of Intimacy

The Fear Of Intimacy

 “Aphenphosmphobia. The fear of intimacy phobia is known by several other names such as  Aphenphosmphobia (which is the fear of being touched) as well as Philophobia
(which is the fear of love).” – www.fearof.net/fear-of-intimacyphobia-aphenphosmphobia/

Intimacy means being vulnerable and that’s something that I’ve been struggling with for years. Growing up being sexually abused, bullied, and feeling like I’m not good enough or pretty; I think it has a lot to do with fearing intimacy. A lot of people knew I was vulnerable as a kid and they took that for granted by doing what they pleased with me.

Standing there and letting someone else put their hands on me or take off my clothes off is something that scares me a lot, I become very vulnerable. Knowing that the man standing in front of me and seeing every part of me is very hard. How do I know if they like what they see? How do I know that they aren’t using me? How do I know if I can please them?

When they lay their hands on my leg, on my arms or grab my hand and give me a back massage all I can feel is my heart pounding, my stomach is in knots and my legs start bouncing and hands shaking. All I want to do is cry and scream and for them to go away. There’s nothing wrong with the men who I try to date or who try to get intimate with me, there’s just an issue with me that I need to fix. Often I feel the pressure that I need to sleep with them to sleep with them but most of the time I’ll walk away or wont bother going on dates or get into relationships.

A few months after my dad sexually abused me, I moved with my mom and she could tell I needed help. Sometimes my mom would put her hands on my knees and I would start shaking and bouncing my leg. I knew that she wouldn’t sexually abuse me but there’s another part of me that wasn’t sure anymore. I would get very uncomfortable when someone would hug me or touch me…I really hope that one day I can face my fear.

Here are some things that might help understand the fear a bit…

(This may or may not be accurate for everyone)

What causes the fear of intimacy

  • Being sexually abused as a child
  • An abusive Childhood
  • Alcoholism
  • Self-esteem problems
  • Body image issues
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Previous Abusive Relationship
  • Betrayal

How to know if someone fears intimacy

  • They avoid any physical contact
  • They become very distant
  • They struggle expressing their feelings
  • They blush a lot when talking about anything intimate
  • They may be a bit shaky. Eg Hands shaking, bouncing their legs, etc.

How to Heal from it

  • Therapy
  • Taking time to fully trust someone
  • Try to find closure with the source of the problem

Please remember that even though you may be struggling with the fear of intimacy, it doesn’t mean that you’re not normal and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you need help please do not be afraid to communicate it with your partner or get some therapy. One day you will be able to trust and be able to be intimate with someone.
Don’t give up. Have faith.

Stay Strong. Stay Beautiful. Keep Fighting.
~Ivybelle~ Xx

Marie Talks: Domestic Abuse

Disclaimer: None of what I say is definite it varies case to case. I can only speak of my personal experiences.

Domestic Violencealso known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, intimate partner violence, battering or family violence,  is a pattern of behavior which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.
Domestic Abuse can come in many forms,  the five types are: physical,  emotional,  sexual,  psychological and economic (financial).  It can also include spiritual abuse which is belittling a person’s beliefs.
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone: female, male, young, or old.

Domestic abuse is a scary thought, and it can be down right terrifying to the person living it. It can be draining, traumatizing and seemingly endless.  Many times you are constantly making excuses for your abuser whether to yourself or to others.  Or you believe that they’re just struggling and you can help them,  that you are the only one who can fix them. It can be hard to imagine that you can’t: help this person, get back the person you fell for before the abuse started, make things better and have a healthy and happy relationship.

You try to justify that the abuse only happens when they had a bad day or only once in a while, it’s not that bad – it could be worse. Your partner had a rough day at work, they just failed a test, they got laid off, or it only happens when they’re drunk. It’s a vicious circle of being abused and justifying your partners actions, whether with your reasoning or the reasons they feed you. The excuses, the countless reasons, they all add up until you could probably write a novel with all the justification given for their actions. For every action there’s a reason and whether consciously or subconsciously you give or accept the reason for the action.

You justify their actions believing you deserved it, you brought it upon yourself. They hit you and yell demeaning, hurtful things at you; but that’s ok you didn’t do what they asked of you. You’re forbidden from seeing your friends or family because you don’t tell them everything you do (how can they trust you if you don’t give them a minute by minute run through) or you stay out too long. You hug a friend of an opposite sex, or look or talk to anyone of the opposite sex, that’s punishable, how can you be trusted to be faithful. You dress or act not exactly as they want you to, they don’t like it, you did wrong by them and you deserve what happened. You buy things they see as petty and unnecessary, how can you be trusted to manage your own money.

The first time your partner abused you they apologize and promise they will not do so again, you believe them. You tell your partner that you forgive them, and for a while it may not happen again. But one day they hit you or demean you (use any form of abuse really) again, and you wonder why you believed them the first time that they were truly sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again. Your partner apologizes again, giving another reason for why it happened and maybe they promise again that it was the last time, they care for you and it hurts them just as much as you if not more. Or they tell you that you deserved it for something you did and tell you that they were really angry and you crossed a line. Maybe you forgive them again, holding on to the belief that what they are saying is true. However they don’t stay true to their words it happens again and again. Maybe the abuse is widely spread out a year between the first two, a couple months, a month, weeks or days; but it starts becoming more frequent with even more excuses. The abuse gets worse, you start looking over your shoulder, start isolating yourself and living in fear of your partner. You are probably still holding on to the happy memories, how great they can be, how they used to be; they are still that person just troubled. Maybe you keep forgiving them, maybe you want out. Your partner may threaten you with what they will do if you tell someone, if you try to leave them, if someone finds out.. and that just adds to your fear.

I think it’s important for the victim of domestic abuse to remember the excuses made for their partners actions, the justification either of you give does not make your partners actions alright. That you do not and never did deserve how you were treated, and that it’s not your job to ‘fix’ them. That the abuse you are/were put through is not your fault and there is no reason for you to have been treated like that. That all the apologies and jestures can not make up for your partners actions. Whether you decide to stay or not should not be up to your partner. That you should not put or keep yourself in a situation that is harmful to yourself. That there is always a way out, and there is help. Remember that there is no reason to be ashamed of being abused, that you can reach out to get help to recover.

Stay Strong. Stay Beautiful. Stay Safe.
Marie Olsson xx

RESOURCES:

International Resources
http://www.hotpeachpages.net/a/countries.html
Helpline 24/7 (VictimLink) (BC, Canada)
http://www.domesticviolencebc.ca/dvbc/index.page?
1-800-563-0808
Surrey Woman’s Center: http://www.surreywomenscentre.ca/
(Surrey, BC, Canada)

Sources: http://www.woodbridgedvrt.org/pages/fiveforms.html

Marie on the difference between infidelity and rape

Warning: talks about rape

Infidelity or cheating in my eyes is something that should never be done. To me the act of cheating is unforgivable. However that does not mean I am a saint, I have been unfaithful in the past. I was raised to see cheating as any action that should be reserved for your partner happening with someone else. (eg. Dates, kissing, sex etc.) It was very black and white, if it happened it is cheating, no ‘if’s, ‘and’s or ‘but’s.

I was dating a man a few years back and my best friend invited me to a party. My boyfriend, lets call him Craig, had no reason to have a problem with me attending. I’d gone to plenty of parties with my best friend without him in the past with no issues arising. So with no reason to not trust me going he told me to have fun and he’ll pick me up afterwards. The party was being held on a party bus and we had a blast; we were drinking, dancing, and conversing the night away. By the time the party was over everyone was fairly intoxicated, and we were all splitting ways: some to continue drinking and others to go home. My best friend and I said goodbye as we had to go opposite directions for our rides.

I’ll admit I had a bit too much to drink and was not fully aware of my surroundings.  As I was walking towards my destination one of the guys who we were partying with appeared next to me.  He seemed nice enough and we were both heading the same way, me for my ride and him for the bus.  We easily fell into conversation, and were seemingly walking innocently down the street. I knew the area pretty well and it was a pretty safe place so I felt fairly comfortable.  However I did not take into account that the person I was walking with could potentially be a threat. Although he seemed nice enough, that night my attempts to fight off and plead with him to stop were futile and he is now my rapist.

When I finally met up with Craig I felt dirty, violated, and ashamed.  I wanted to go home, sleep, and tell him what had happened. However seeing as he had a bunch of friends in the car with him who wanted food, that did not happen as the only way to make him change his mind was to blurt out in front of everyone what had just happened. Which put off me telling him for the night seeing as I was dead tired by the time he dropped the last friend off at home.

In my state of intoxication I knew it was rape, and not my fault. I had no issues telling him about what happened, Craig was my boyfriend and I trusted him.  However when I woke up in a clearer, more sober state of mind I started second guessing myself.  I still knew I was raped, however I started blaming myself. I chastised myself over getting drunk and the ‘what if’s started arising. What if I had gotten Craig to pick me up closer? What if I had been more aware of my surroundings? What if I kept my guard up? Countless scenarios went through my head including if I had fought harder, I tortured myself with these thoughts for months. Along with these thoughts came the fear that Craig would see it the same way. Would he blame me? Would he consider it cheating? That scared me and pushed me into not telling him.

Months went by and I was withdrawn, depressed and ashamed. Eventually I tried to tell Craig and it came out as a garbled mess.  By that point some part of me had twisted it into I had cheated and I was to blame. Thankfully he did not see it that way, he saw it just as rape and not an act of infidelity.  It had taken me quite a while for me to revert to that way of thinking as well.

Infidelity is the action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse or other sexual partner. I had classified my rape as infidelity because someone other than my boyfriend had been ‘intimate’ with me regardless of consent. Someone else had touched me places reserved for my boyfriend.  I had in my mind skipped over the part where I had not willingly allowed those events to happen, I only focused on the fact that it happened.  I should not have thought that way, but I had.

Rape is not an act of infidelity.  No one chooses to be raped. Infidelity is a choice someone makes. The only part of rape that is a choice is the rapist’s choice to violate someone when they have not consented. No one should blame themselves of cheating if it was rape.  The person did not choose for those events to take place, they did not consent, making it rape.  If someone you are with is raped and you blame them for cheating you are wrong.  No one should feel or be blamed of cheating if they were raped. It took me a long time to separate the two, but I don’t know if I would have without the help of my boyfriend.  If he had blamed me I don’t know if I would be able to separate the two and be able to say I was raped without classifying it as infidelity.

Unfaithful: engaging in sexual relations with a person other than one’s regular partner in contravention of a previous promise or understanding.
Rape: unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.
They are not the same.

Stay Loud. Stay Proud. Stay Faithful.
Marie Olsson xx

What if.. On Sexual abuse and consent

Welcome to the Last Installment of the Five part collaboration on Sexual abuse, thank you for reading. This week we’re trying something new, as we were struggling with this topic on our own. Four of us have teamed up to answer some questions and dispel some myths. This team up is coming to you in five installments:

Monday was of myths

Tuesday was answering questions

Wednesday was more baffling myths

Thursday was even more mind boggling myths

Finally today we have a ‘What if..’ question that we are going to answer.

Enjoy!

Q: What if someone verbally consented to a sexual act, whether it was kissing, taking their shirt off, or having sex, but later, when they were in bed and making out, felt unsure and only said yes because the other person was pressuring them? Would you still consider that consent?

Marie: If they were pressured into saying ‘yes’ then no, in my opinion I do not consider that consent. In the eyes of the law it defines consent as voluntary agreement to partake in sexual activity with another person. If you feel pressured into agreeing to partake in a sexual activity your consent was not voluntary, making your agreement not consensual. As the law recognises consent by not only verbal consent but also by non-verbal cues, eg: body language and or struggling, despite ‘yes’ being said body language said no, making it sexual assault.  People have the legal right to change their mind at any point and if the partner does not stop when one changes their mind it becomes sexual assault, because there is no longer any consent. Personally I didn’t understand the idea that you were legally allowed to turn around and say ‘no’ or ‘stop’ at any point even if consenting earlier, and that at the moment you communicate your lack of consent it becomes sexual assault.

My boyfriend at the time (now my ex-boyfriend) a couple years ago who ignored me when he wanted to take kissing and fooling around farther and I had said no stop. At the time I didn’t completely understand that that was rape, but I knew it was wrong. I do now consider it rape because I did not consent, however I was in that haze of ‘well he’s my boyfriend, and we were fooling around’ that was trying to justify his actions.

 

Ivybelle: I remember a few years ago I was in a new relationship with a guy I really liked. However, my ex-boyfriend wasn’t happy about it and he tried everything to get me to break up with him or vice versa. Stress was kicking in and I remember that my ex and I were always fighting about me being in a relationship with my boyfriend. At that time I was living with my ex’s sister until I could get back on my feet again. My ex told me that if I didn’t dump my boyfriend I would be kicked out of his sister’s place and I would have nowhere to go. I was scared and angry every time he would mention it.

One night, my ex told me he needed to talk to me face to face and I did. When I got there it was 1am and we got into a huge fight. Once he calmed down I was about to leave but my ex didn’t let me; he said it was too late and that he didn’t want something to happen to me.  He told me that I was going to sleep over, and that’s when my fears kicked in. I sat on his bed in the living room because there was nowhere else to sit. He asked me if I had dumped my boyfriend and I said no. He wanted to watch a movie so we did and he kept putting his hands on my body. I took his hands off me and told him no 3 times. That’s when he pinned me to the bed and asked me to have sex with him one last time. I didn’t want to, I was screaming on the inside and all I could see were my past abusers. I just froze and didn’t know what to say. He asked me again and again until I could say something. The only thing I could say was “I guess”, I was scared and I couldn’t move. See at this point, I could have ran for the door but it was as if I was paralyzed. I wanted to cry and scream but I couldn’t. He kept pressuring me to have sex with him even though I told him 3 times to take his hands off me, but I said “ I guess” instead of saying no…

 The next day I woke up and I felt like crap, I got dressed and left. When I got home I got a message from my ex saying “if you don’t tell him you cheated on him, I will and he will be pissed. Either way, you and him it’s over.” I was hurt and broken; I felt bad and took the blame. I didn’t hear from my boyfriend for 3 days and I messaged him telling him what exactly happened. When he finally texted me back I knew he was pissed at me. He told me that he trusted me and that he was in love with me but now the damage is done and there’s no way to fix this. I tried telling them that I was pressured into it, but to him it’s still considered cheating. I was confused at that moment… All I could think was “is it rape? Did I cheat? Was it my fault?” I didn’t know what to think. When I talked to my ex’s sister she told me I should have just walked out, I should have pushed him away, and that it’s my fault for cheating…

Now the guy who I once loved, is married, has 3 kids and is happy. As for me? Well, I finally was told that yes, it’s rape. If you are being pressured into a situation, yes it is rape. If you feel forced into saying yes but you mean no, then yes it is rape. If you don’t give an answer, then yes it is rape. Unless you say yes and actually mean it, then it is rape.

 

Madison: When it comes to feeling pressured in a relationship. You never should, you should feel safe enough to be honest with your partner. I was in a relationship a little while ago where the same thing happened time and time again. I was afraid of telling him because I didn’t want him to feel rejected or hurt by it, but every time it happened I felt more and more regret because I wasn’t being true to myself or him. When I finally came out to him he was more offended but that I hadn’t been totally honest. I try now to always have a good communication with my boyfriend’s now.

When it comes to having this kind of thing happening with a stranger or friends. The only thing I really can say is that you really shouldn’t have to feel that way. What I could recommend is trying to be honest with the person and let them know that this isn’t a good time and maybe we can try again another time.

Thank you for reading!

Don’t be afraid to leave a comment leaving your opinion on this ‘what if..’ question, our responses or any questions you may have. If you can think of a myth you’ve heard and haven’t seen here please don’t be shy and leave it in the comments.

Until next week,

Marie Olsson, Madison Taylor, and Ivybelle Teller

Source:

“What Is the Legal Definition of “Consent”?” What Is the Legal Definition of “Consent”? N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2015. <http://www.rapereliefshelter.bc.ca/faq/what-legal-definition-consent&gt;.

Sexual Abuse Myths #3

Welcome to the Fourth Installment of the Five part collaboration on Sexual abuse, thank you for the read. This Week we’re trying something new, as we were struggling with this topic on our own. Four of us have teamed up to answer some questions and dispel some myths. This team up is coming to you in five installments:

Monday Was of myths

Tuesday was answering questions

Wednesday was more baffling myths

Today is even more mind boggling myths

Finally Friday we have a ‘What if..’ question that we are going to answer.

Enjoy!

  1. Women get raped because they are dressed provocatively

Marie: As I stated previously in my last response, I could be standing there absolutely naked and that still does not say I want to take part in any sexual activity. The first time I was sexually assaulted I was seven wearing jeans and a fully buttoned up shirt. The last time I was sexually assaulted I was wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt. However I will sound like a broken record by saying it does not matter what I am wearing, even if I am absolutely naked in front of you I am not asking for it. Every time I was raped or sexually assaulted I had on pants and a shirt that did not show off my body. A woman does not get raped because of what she is wearing; they get raped because the other person had no concept of consent or controlling their urges.

Ivybelle: This is a big no, a girl can be wearing a long baggy shirt with baggy pants and she will still get sexually abused/rape. I know this for a fact because when it happened to me when I was younger. I was wearing a covered up with baggy t-shirt and baggy pants and yet I was sexually abused. A girl can wear a mini skirt and just a bra, or walk around naked but that still doesn’t mean a man or woman have the right to touch her body. A women should have the right to wear whatever she wants and still feel safe and not judged. It’s like saying if a guy walks around just in boxers, shorts or walks around naked then he is asking to be raped. It doesn’t make any sense.

Madison: when it comes to clothing it shouldn’t matter if a female wears short shorts and heels or baggy pants and a t-shirt, when it comes down to rape it could happen to anyone. Females do not go in to a store to pick out an outfit going “does this outfit help me get raped tonight” most females look for outfits that best fits their body, and makes them feel good.

Lynn: How one dresses has no relation to anything, sexual desires especially. The only thing it has relation to is what clothes a person feels happy and comfortable in and making them feel less so is a really dick move.

  1. When men become sexually aroused they have to have sex and cannot stop.

Marie: No, that’s rapists. Men respect women, they make sure their partner is consenting. Men do not rape. A man is able to control his urges when he becomes sexually aroused, he does not absolutely have to have sex. Males are not the only gender of rapists, women can be rapists too.

Ivybelle: It doesn’t matter if a man has sexual urges. If the person does not give you consent, you can’t just continue because you want it. If you really need to get some relief, pleasure yourself or find another consenting partner.

Madison: No, men can get an erection at random points of the day. Men aren’t always aroused when they have an  erection. Also men have just as much self-control as a female does.

 

  1. Rape only happens to young sexy women.

Marie: Then explain to me all the children, men and older women who are raped or sexually assaulted. Rape is not just a pretty young women issue, it’s everyone’s issue. Anyone can be a victim of rape, no one is safe. I was 7 the first time I was sexually assaulted, and I was barely 13 years old the first time I was raped… If that’s the definition of a young and sexy woman, what’s the definition of an innocent child?

Ivybelle: It happens to children and men too. There’s no specifics to who it happens, it just does. You can be 3 or 17, man or woman, be 90 lbs or 200, unfortunately it happens.

 

  1. A weapon is used.

Marie: One’s hands and body are a weapon in this kind of assault. I don’t need a gun pointed at me or a knife to know I am at danger. A weapon is not always necessary, the fear is more than enough to freeze someone and give their attacker an advantage. Never mind the fact that if your assailant overpowers you they don’t need a weapon to get their way.

Ivybelle: Weapons are not always used. Sometimes force is all they need and some people are too afraid to say no.

Madison: A weapon doesn’t always have to be used. A person could use body strength to overpower someone. You do not need to put a knife or a gun to someone head to assault someone else.

  1. If the attacker is drunk at the time of the assault then they cannot be accused of rape.

Marie: I’m torn on this, it all depends. I’d have to know all the facts as this varies from situation to situation. However just because the attacker is drunk it does not excuse raping another person.

Ivybelle: That’s like saying if a murderer was drunk then he cannot be charged for murder… how does that make sense? Whether you are drunk or not you still know that rape is wrong. Unless the person gives you their consent (says yes I want this), then you are not to have sex with them.

Madison: Yes and no, it all depends on the person. Some people can be much disoriented after it happens. But then there are some who are able to hide their pain better than other. There not really a toll tell sign of how someone acts after sexual assault.

 

  1. Women lie about being sexually assaulted to get revenge, for their own benefit, or because they feel guilty afterwards about having sex.

Marie: Why would a woman do that? It’s not funny nor is it something to be taken lightly. It’s a scary, life altering event and it’s not a scapegoat. If a woman uses it as an excuse then there’s something wrong with the whole picture.

Ivybelle: I’ve heard cases that a woman would lie about being raped out of revenge but some of them have a mental illness. I am not saying that they are right for doing it, but it happens. When women/men lie about that it makes it hard for cops to believe us victims. I once knew a guy who met this girl at a bar and they both agreed to a one night stand, but the next day she got attached. He told her that he made it clear that there’s nothing going on between them. She got so mad that she told the cops that he raped her and he had to go to court. He never got charged guilty because of proof, however she went to jail for falsely accusing him of rape. It was really sad because it had an impact on his career.

Madison: No not all of the sexually assault case are going to be lie. There may be the odd case where a female was upset. Majority of case that have to do with sexual assault are actual case and no matter what should be taken seriously. No assaults should be joked about it’s not a method to be taken likely because it can physically and mentally harm someone.

 

  1. You can tell if a woman is really sexually assaulted by the way she acts.

Marie: You may be able to tell she is uncomfortable in certain situations; but in no way can you tell for sure she has been sexually assaulted.

Ivybelle: Yes and no, everyone reacts differently. Some people will act distant yet others will act like nothing happened. Some people will want to stay single and not sleep with anyone for years while others will want to sleep around or want to be in a relationship. However most people, will have a bit of a change to their personality or attitude. They may either be bitter or just withdraw themselves from everything.

Madison: Yes and no, it all depends on the person. Some people can be much disoriented after it happens. But then there are some who are able to hide their pain better than other. There not really a toll tell sign of how someone acts after sexual assault.

 

We’d love to hear your opinion on this what if question and if to you there is still consent.

“Q: What if someone verbally consented to a sexual act, whether it was kissing, taking their shirt off, or having sex, but later, when they were in bed and making out, felt unsure and only said yes because the other person was pressuring them? Would you still consider that consent?”

We’ll be sharing our opinions on this on Friday!

Thank you for reading!

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow for more. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment leaving your opinion on any of these myths, our responses or any questions you may have. If you can think of a myth you’ve heard and haven’t seen here please don’t be shy and leave it in the comments.

Until tomorrow,

Marie Olsson, Madison Taylor, Ivybelle Teller, and Lynn Rascal

Sexual Abuse Myths #2

Welcome to the Third Installment of the Five part collaboration on Sexual abuse, thank you for the read. This Week we’re trying something new, as we were struggling with this topic on our own. Four of us have teamed up to answer some questions and dispel some myths. This team up is coming to you in five installments:

Monday Was of myths

Tuesday was answering questions

Today is more baffling myths

Thursday was even more mind boggling myths

Finally Friday we have a ‘What if..’ question that we are going to answer.

Enjoy!

A rapist is a stranger.

Marie: No, the rapist is not always a stranger. Personally I have been raped by 6 different men, only one of those six men was a stranger to me. Of the others 2 were friends and 3 were boyfriends. This isn’t even taking into account just sexual abuse that did not end in sex, but I think rape alone painted a good enough picture. This idea that you don’t know your rapist is not always true, many times you know your assailant well. It is very likely that your rapist be someone you trust.  Realistically 80% of assailants are friends and family of the victim making it a lot more likely that you are more likely to be assaulted when you feel safe then walking home alone.

Ivybelle: No, a rapist can be anyone: family, friend, boyfriend, ex, stranger, co-worker, etc… I personally know this because I was abused by family members, an ex-boyfriend, school mates and friends. A lot of people who go through abuse, rape is by someone you know and it makes it a lot harder to admit.

Madison: No, it’s not always the case. In cases when a child is the one being sexual assaulted it is typically coming from someone they already trust. In the case of a stanger taking sexually assaulting someone that has already been stalking them a while or they were an object of opportunity.

Lynn: Not always. Rapists can be strangers, but they can also acquaintances or friends or even family. Personally, I really trusted my sexual abuser until I found out what it was he was doing to me, seeing as it was my mom’s boyfriend at the time.

 

They didn’t struggle so they were not raped.

Marie: Personally I have fought back; but I only fought back the first few times or if it was a new assailant. I learnt pretty quickly that it hurt less and was over faster if I didn’t struggle or put my all into it. Overpowering my assailant was a fight I could not win, I was left drained and hurt but that did not stop me from being raped. That’s not to say that trying to stop your attacker from sexually assaulting you is useless or will not make a difference and I am not saying you should not try. All I am saying is that I knew my struggling was futile and I gave up, but that does not mean I consented. I was much younger and much weaker then all my rapists, leaving me at a disadvantage. But just because I did not give it my all to fight back does not mean I consented and was not raped.

Ivybelle:  That’s not true. Not everyone reacts the same way in the moment. Some people are too scared to do anything, some people are in shock mode, some people already have their trauma’s and they don’t just don’t want to fight it cause they know there’s no point. I can say that I’ve been sexually abused and raped but I’ve never actually fought to make it stop. I remember being scared and telling myself that if I tried anything I would probably get hurt.  When fear takes over you never know what’s going to happen. You cannot blame a victim for not defending themselves.

Madison: In my past I was sexually assaulted by the same guy for almost a year. After a certain point I couldn’t fight anymore. That is still considered rape, I was half the guy’s age and I did not consent to any sexual activity but after a certain point I couldn’t fight any longer. When it comes to rape it doesn’t matter if the female fight back or not, there was no consent. Your brain goes into the 3 f’s mode (Fight Flight or Freeze), if a person doesn’t fight back it could either they froze in fear or in a state of shock. If your judging someone on how much they fight back, that could be more harmful to their mental and emotional state the not giving any support.

There are always visible injuries when someone is sexually assaulted.

Marie: Just because there are no marks left on a victim’s body does not mean it did not happen. Just because you cannot see an injury doesn’t mean it’s not there; they could have hidden it or could be somewhere no one else should see. The trauma of sexual assault can scar you mentally, and that’s more than enough.

Ivybelle: No. Not everyone has marks left behind. It depends on the force of the rapist/abuser.

Madison: Not all sexual assault is rape. It can be anything, sexual assault can be; Groping, kissing, touching inappropriately, rape, it’s can be anything that would make you feel violated. It comes to a point where if that person crosses your boundaries willing or after you have clearly stated you are unwilling then that is clearly sexual assault.

You can identify a rapist by just looking at them – and they are usually from a particular race, or from a disadvantaged background.

Marie: yeah, sure, that makes complete sense… I mean just looking at my assailants you could clearly tell they were. I mean a couple white guys, an Asian and a Hispanic, how did I not see the pattern. Majority of my assailants came from a relatively advantaged background and most seemed like perfectly sweet gentlemen until you really got to know them. The only way to know someone is a rapist is from being told or experiencing it.

Ivybelle: The rapist can be anyone. Sometimes it can be a friend, family member but sometimes it can be a complete stranger. When it happens in the street or anywhere, you can’t always identify the rapist.  There’s no specific race or background that makes someone an abuser. The rapist can be white, black, Asian or any race.

Madison: If you are walking down the street I wouldn’t be able to honestly tell if someone has sexually assaulted someone or not. I believe there is no particular race or background that sexually assault someone, it honestly can be anyone. You may be able to tell if there is something off by their behavior, not by the way they look. If we start judging people by the way they look are jails will be ten time more crowded with innocent people. Let’s stop judging people by their ethnicity and cultural background and start looking at people with their own personality, because every person is their own person.

Lynn: Not at all. There is no “poster child” for rapists. Rapists come in all different shapes, sizes, races, and genders. Anyone could be a rapist.

 

Unless she is physically harmed, a sexual assault victim will not suffer any long-term effects.

Marie: Sometimes the most harmful events are the ones that don’t (always) leave physical scars. PTSD is a very real problem, and it can be an issue for sexual assault survivours. I personally have a hard time being intimate with another person in fear that if I say no they’ll ignore it or force me.

Ivybelle: No matter what way you were harmed; physically, mentally, or emotionally, you may suffer in the long term.  When you are being sexually abused it takes a big toll on you emotionally and verbally. You could spend most of your life looking over your shoulder, not being able to trust others. You may feel worthless and disgusting. When it comes to relationships you could have a hard time giving everything you have because you’re scared of what they can do to you or you may have problems expressing yourself. You may have trouble focusing in school or at work. Sexual assault trauma isn’t something that just goes away. Your life may change after that.

 

Rape is a sexual act that is taken too far.

Marie: Rape is rape. Rape is assault; it is violence. Rape is not a sexual act nor is it is not a sexual act gone too far. Rape is a physical assault violating someone’s body.  It is something to not be down played, justified or made excuses for; it is a vile act of ignoring a person’s wishes to not perform a sexual act upon them. Without consent a sexual act is not sexual, it is rape.

Madison: At what point is it too far? The moment the person says no or when the person is screaming in pain. For me as soon as a person says no and the other person continues then that is already going too far.

If a woman has had many sexual partners then she cannot be sexually assaulted.

Marie: Without consent a sexual act is sexual assault or rape, regardless of how many or few sexual partners the person has had.

Ivybelle: Sexual assault has nothing to do with how many partners you’ve had.  When’s there’s no consent, it is rape. Even if you are in a relationship it’s possible to be sexually abused.

Madison: It should not matter how many sexual partner she may have, it’s about having her rights stripped from her. What is the different is a female has 2-30 partners. The point is that no matter what no one deserves to be sexually assaulted

 

 

We’d love to hear your opinion on this what if question and if to you there is still consent.

“Q: What if someone verbally consented to a sexual act, whether it was kissing, taking their shirt off, or having sex, but later, when they were in bed and making out, felt unsure and only said yes because the other person was pressuring them? Would you still consider that consent?”

We’ll be sharing our opinions on this on Friday!

Thank you for reading!

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow for more. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment leaving your opinion on any of these myths, our responses or any questions you may have. If you can think of a myth you’ve heard and haven’t seen here please don’t be shy and leave it in the comments.

Until tomorrow,

Marie Olsson, Madison Taylor, Ivybelle Teller, and Lynn Rascal

 

Source:

“Sexual Assault Statistics in Canada.” N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.sexassault.ca/statistics.htm&gt;.

Questions on Sexual Abuse

Welcome to the Second installment of our five part Collaboration!

This Week we’re trying something new, as we were struggling with this topic on our own. Four of us have teamed up to answer some questions and dispel some myths. This team up is coming to you in five installments:

Monday Was of myths

Today we’re answering questions

Wednesday is more baffling myths

Thursday even more mind boggling myths

Finally Friday we have a ‘What if..’ question that we are going to answer.

 

 

Questions about Sexual Abuse:

 

  1. Was it my fault?

Marie: No. When you are sexual assaulted or raped it is never your fault. It does not matter how many ‘what if..’ and ‘if only I had..’ thoughts went through your head, not consenting for a sexual act that took place makes it not your fault. Did you ask for it to happen? Did you consent to the activities that took place? If you answered no to either of these questions it was not your fault. I asked myself this question when it happened to me and sometimes I still do, but I have to keep reminding myself that I do not take any blame in my sexual abuse.

Ivybelle: No. No matter what people say, it is never your fault. When something is taken away from you without your consent, it is not your fault. Someone took advantage of you. For the longest time I thought it was my fault that I got abused because everyone told me that I started it, that I wanted it. At first I blamed them, but then I thought “what if I did start it? What if it was my fault” and I started to believe myself. I was lucky to have my best friend around at that time to help me and remind me that it’s not my fault and what they did is wrong.

Madison: No, if you are sexually assaulted it is not your fault.

 

Q: Will I ever feel better?

Marie: You may, it varies from person to person. You will not always feel as bad as you did right after it happened, but it may never fully go away. Personally I still have a lot of triggers and trust issues when it comes to touching me, which I don’t think will ever disappear. However I can say they are not as bad as they were, and I can learn to trust others and let them in. It may take baby steps but I no longer cringe every time a male is near me and I have managed to have a physical relationship since with a lot of trust building. Having support from friends, family and, if you decide to seek it, therapy.

Ivybelle: Honestly.. No. It doesn’t go away. The memories are still there sitting in the back of your mind. One day you may be fine and the next you might have a meltdown or not even want to get out of bed. You may be angry and push people away without realizing it. You have built this wall between you and the world, you might shut down. You may not be able to be intimate with someone for a long time. You may become more protective of your friends and family. You may always look over your shoulder. When a guy/girl flirts with you, you may get scared. When you drink you might feel vulnerable. You may have trouble sleeping at night, sometimes you may feel like someone is on top of you. Sometimes you may feel like you are being watched. There’s a lot of things that may happen. This constant fear might take over. I’m not saying that this will happen to everyone, but for a lot of people that’s the case. Please, don’t be afraid to get some help.

Madison: I agree with Ivy belle the memories will all be there, and it may not fully go away. But it’s the also the part of us that can make us stronger. I wouldn’t be where I am today if my past was not what it was.

Q: What do I do, or whom do I tell, if I am sexually assaulted or my child is sexually abused?

Ivybelle: Tell someone you trust, whether it’s a friend or a family member, also call the cops. It’s a scary thing to do, but the cops will be able to help you. If you can’t call the cops, try to get someone who you trust to call for you so he/she can send the cops to your home or wherever you feel safe. Maybe if you are scared to be alone with the cops, get someone to sit down with you and support you. The cops will give you a phone number or reference you to some therapy or someone to talk to. Therapy does help.  The cop will ask you to go to the hospital, so try to not take a shower after the assault has happened.

Madison: if my child or I had gotten sexually assaulted then I’d so to my family doctor or the police. But in a different situation especially when fear is involved then the only thing I can recommend is go to someone you trust. That can be anyone from friend and family to a social support work and counsellor.

Q: I do not know how to help a friend who has been sexually assaulted.

Marie: Be there for them. Be supportive and patient with them. When you find out they have been sexually assaulted ask if they’re safe, are they in any danger. Ask if they’ve reported, and if they have not ask why. They may be unsure of the process, they may be scared of their assailant, or they could feel like reporting it is not going to help. They could also be afraid of talking about it out loud, in a lot of detail over and over again; or that they will not be believed. Those on top of many other things are legitimate thoughts to think in that sort of situation; but urge your friend to report the incident and reassure them that you will be there for them and that it is a good thing to do. But never pressure your friend into anything, whether it’s talking to you or the police, that’s the last thing they need at that moment. Talk to them about the possibility of support groups or therapy and help them look for that if they’re interested. When someone reports their sexual assault to the police they can also be referred to services such as support groups and/or counselling through them as well. If they don’t want to report it or go to therapy or support groups don’t force them, be supportive of them. You can also ask if they have thought of seeing a doctor for screening (STI testing and such) to ensure their health.  All you can do is ensure their safety, and be there for them, reaching out is their job and you cannot force that to happen.

Ivybelle: All you can do is be there for them and don’t judge them. They are already struggling with expressing themselves and they feel like everyone will judge them. Tell them that things will work out, but never tell them to just get over it. Ask them if they have reported it, if not ask if they plan to. If they haven’t yet because they are afraid, ask them if there’s anything you can do to help. Sometimes they just need a little push to help them get the ball rolling. After I was sexually abused, I didn’t report it to the cops or get help, but my mom knew I needed help. She took me to therapy and my therapist gave me 2 choices. Either I go to the police station myself or he was going to call the cops to get them to meet me at my place. It took me a week, my mom knew I didn’t go. She grabbed me by the arm and made me make a report. It was hard, they didn’t want my mom to be in the same room, but I told them that the only way I was going to do this is if my mom joins me. They let her come in but I wasn’t allowed to talk to her. After the report, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I thank my mom and my therapist for it. I still struggled and when I needed a friend the most, my best friend was there for me. She gave me comfort, gave me hugs, reminded me it’s not my fault and talked a bit. It was a relief to know that my best friend wasn’t judging me. Sometimes people need a little push. Before taking that step, make sure the person asks for your help.

Madison: The one thing I needed most after mine attack was compassion. The only thing you can do is try to just listening and supporting them.

Q: Aren’t gay people more likely to sexually abuse children than straight people?

Marie: I hear this quite a lot and honestly, no they are not. That’s like saying girls are more likely to be smart then boys are. It’s quite an outdated, uneducated and baffling way to think. It’s not true and it never has nor will it ever be.

Ivybelle: Yes, I also ride a polar bear to work, live in an igloo and I drink maple syrup… No! I’ve never heard this before but no. Gays are just like straight people, there’s no need to label people. Anyone can be a rapist, gay, straight, transgender, etc..

Madison: No, Being gay does not automatically mean you will sexually abuse a child. People who sexually assault children struggle with something more the sexual identity. I don’t think it matters if you are straight, gay, bi sexual, lesbian when it comes down to it anyone could be anyone.

 

Q: Can I be sexually assaulted by my boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or acquaintance?

Marie: I cannot say this enough, without consent it is sexual assault. It does not matter what your relationship with the person is you still have to give consent for it to be a sexual act.

Ivybelle: Yes. I know this can be confusing for a lot of people… “He’s my boyfriend, they can’t rape me.” Yes there is. If you tell your boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or whoever else that you are not in the mood or no and the person is still being pushy about it – it is rape. Whether you are married or not, if you don’t want it and they force it, it is rape. It’s something that not a lot of people mention but yes it does happen. If there’s no consent, it’s rape.

Madison: not every person get raped or assaulted by their partners but it can happen. As soon as you say no and your partner does not stop it is consider assault/rape.  Doesn’t matter who it may be, as soon as you say no it means no.

 

We’d love to hear your opinion on this what if question and if to you there is still consent.

“Q: What if someone verbally consented to a sexual act, whether it was kissing, taking their shirt off, or having sex, but later, when they were in bed and making out, felt unsure and only said yes because the other person was pressuring them? Would you still consider that consent?”

We’ll be sharing our opinions on this on Friday!

Thank you for reading!

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow for more. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment leaving your opinion on any of these questions, our responses or any questions you may have. If you can think of a myth or question you’ve heard and haven’t seen here please don’t be shy and leave it in the comments.

Until tomorrow,

Marie Olsson, Madison Taylor, Ivybelle Teller, and Lynn Rascal

Howie’s talk on sexual assault.

Hey blog readers, it’s Howie Defranco and today’s blog will be very much more on the informational side and less on the personal back story side.  The topic of the TIME blogs this week is sexual abuse, an ugly act in itself and hard to write about when you don’t have a personal story.  I do know people who’ve gone through but those aren’t my stories to talk about but I’ll use it to discuss this topic, in terms of what I’ve seen a person go through.  So the first thing to say here I guess is that sexual abuse is an act that is just wrong, I don’t care what the person’s reason is in the slightest it’s just wrong.  It’s because intercourse is supposed to be a mutual consensus between two people or else it’s one of the most violent things you can do to someone.

Violating a person’s body the most personal thing there is besides one’s own mind and involves multiple wrongs beyond just that.  Assault, manipulation, threatening, drugging  without consent and even resulting in murder sometimes.  Of course that’s without mentioning the shock, trauma, fear, anxiety and other disorders that can follow the victims of it for the rest of their lives.  Their is no excuse for committing it no matter, how much a person says they desire it or how much they rationalize it.  The very idea that person would go through with it is saddening as its a reflection on humanity as a whole that we see even a shred of entitlement to having sex with someone.
I mean I’ve done some things I’m not proud of because we all have urges, but it was always between two consenting adults.  Now maybe I sound a little closed minded on this subject, but I can’t think of any situation in which this is even slightly an acceptable course of action.  In my life, I am aware of a couple people who went through sexual abuse in their life and I will not discuss it on here.  It’s not because they wouldn’t be ok with it, a few are very open about, it’s not because it’s something that should be hidden or not talked about.  It’s because it’s something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place and not my story to speak about.
I repeated myself a fair amount in this entry and I apologize for that, as it doesn’t lead to a very good read, a short one sure but not a compelling one.  For anyone who is reading this right now and has gone though it I’ll tell ya, talk to someone about it.  Put it out in the world and fight the person who did it to, legally of course not for the money.  No money should be the last thing on the mind when you take it to court, it’s about painting a target on the abusers back so people know.  So the abusers can get what they deserve for putting you through the pain, the suffering, the violation and their inhumanity.
Below you’ll find a link to government site to help you on that path if you choose it

Sexual Abuse Myths #1

This Week we’re trying something new, as we were struggling with this topic on our own. Four of us have teamed up to answer some questions and dispel some myths. This team up is coming to you in five installments:

Today being the first. We have a blog of myths today

Tomorrow we’re answering questions

Wednesday is more baffling myths

Thursday even more mind boggling myths

Finally Friday we have a ‘What if..’ question that we are going to answer.

Warning: Talks on Rape and Sexual Assault

Meet the four of us involved in this big collaboration:

I am a victim of sexual assault. I am here for anyone who needs anything. I will not turn a blind eye to sexual assault. It’s not one person’s, one gender’s, or one age group’s issue, it is everyone’s issue. It is global, it is common and it is scary, we need to feel safer to come forward and report our assault not hidden in the darkest corner of the shadows. No one should ever be alone in their struggles. Marie Olsson

I am a victim of sexual assault. I may not be with you in person, but I am with you in spirit. If you need me, I will be here. Whether it’s a comment, a question or a message, I am here to help. Never feel you are alone because you are not. It’s time to speak up and try to break our fears. I am here, we are here. – Ivybelle Teller

I am a victim of sexual assault. Though it has been a number of years since it has happened, I still have the compassion to help. I will also love to listen to your stories, comments and questions. – Madison Taylor

As a child, I was molested by someone I thought I could trust. Since I was so young, I didn’t quite understand that what was happening was wrong, but I didn’t feel it was right. Turns out I was correct. I hope to educate children, and adults alike, so that they know that what may be happening to them is wrong and that it’s okay to talk to someone about it. – Lynn Rascal

Sexual assault is not a common problem.

Marie: Growing up I believed that sexual assault or rape only happened once to a person if it happened at all, I wish that were true. However I have been raped countless times by multiple men, most of which I had called my boyfriend or friend. I have been sexually assaulted by strangers, by classmates and by men I held dear to me. My idea of how common rape is that I had built in a bubble of childhood innocence was shattered at a very young age, I wish that that idea was true though. Rape and sexual assault should not be as common as it is. In 2009 Canadian women reported 472,000 sexual assaults, according to Statistics Canada. That number alone is heartbreaking; however to make things worse only 6 out of 100 incidents of sexual assault are reported to the police. Sexual assault is more of a common problem then you think, it needs the attention and awareness to help those who are suffering. Every victim should have a voice and every voice should be supported.

Ivybelle: It’s more common than people think. It is just that social media or school don’t bring it up because it’s either they don’t see it as a serious issue or the subject is taboo. To a lot of people sexual assault is not a big deal because it’s considered like “sex” but it’s not.

Madison: Sexual assault is a common problem but not every victim speaks up. In all honesty I did not speak up about my assaults until 8 years later. It’s not a common issue brought up in social media or in public education, but that does not mean it not any less important or common. Sexual assault is a very touchy topic to discuss and not everyone is open to it.

Lynn: Honestly, it is a bigger problem than people realize, what with victims keeping quiet out of fear. People could lose their jobs and even disowned for speaking up. Hell, even Ke$ha is losing face over talking about her sexual assault. Plus with rape culture practically becoming normalized on social media sites, the problem only continues to grow.

Women say “no” but they mean “yes”.       

Marie: No means no. In what world does the meanings of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ get reversed when it comes to consenting to sexual activities? This is utterly absurd, no is never yes. Someone who thinks otherwise is living in a bubble of denial about word definitions. I honestly don’t know what to say about this because all I want to do is give dictionary definitions and yell profanities at people who think this way.

Ivybelle: No doesn’t means yes, it means no. People tend to forget that when someone says no, it’s because they don’t want it. When you are putting your wants and needs before someone else’s rights, it is not right. For some reason this whole “no means yes” thing is science… no means no, it’s not science.

Madison: when it comes down to it no matter what you may think no is no. As soon as someone says no any sexual activity should stop, otherwise there is no consent from both side. There’s nothing more you can really say for that because really it’s common sense no mean no, nothing else.

Lynn: Well, the dictionary says that the definition of no is “a negative used to express dissent, denial, or refusal of a question or request” Hmmm…nothing about it meaning yes in there. When someone says no, they mean no. NO if, ands, or buts.

People who get drunk or take drugs or don’t take personal safety precautions shouldn’t be surprised if they are raped or sexually assaulted and must take some of the blame.

Marie: Wait, what? What this is saying is if I am not sober at all times and constantly on guard for being sexually abused I am at fault? How does that even make any sense? Just because I am not walking around wearing a shirt that says I do not want sex or introducing myself with “hello I am Marie, and no I do not consent to sexual activities at any point tonight.” does not mean I should take partial blame for my sexual assault. I don’t know what part of sexual abuse or rape people don’t understand but a women never asks for it or is to blame. I could be absolutely naked in front of a guy but that does not mean I consent for him to touch me or anything more. No one should be even partially blamed for being assaulted because to an outsider it could have been prevented if the victim was proactive in preventing it. As a victim of sexual abuse when I hear these comment it feels as though you are making a personal jab at me.  As a victim I repeatedly asked myself what I could have done to prevent these attacks and why me. I what if the situation until I drive myself mad. But realistically with the fact that one’s sexual assailant is likely to be someone they know (and trust) you could feel safe and it still happen.

Ivybelle: Really!? I don’t understand how this could even make sense. A person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol isn’t aware of what they are doing. Whether someone is sober or not and they want to have sex with someone who is under the influence, regardless if they say yes or no it’s still not acceptable. Mentally, the person is not there, they have no control over their body or what they say, so yes it is rape. Even if the women/men flirt or come on to you the other person who is sober shouldn’t take advantage of the situation because they might regret it the next day or feel used. No one can blame it on the victim because of the influence.

Madison: when it comes to this one there are rule set in place so thing like this don’t happen. No one under the influence of either alcohol or drug can consent to any sexual act, because they aren’t in the right mind space to do so. I will not sleep with my partner if he has had a couple drink in him, even if I know he would consent to me but how do I know if he really will say yes. It all comes down to safety, not just for yourself but for the other person to.

Lynn: Definitely not. People drink or take drugs to enjoy themselves, not to constantly fret over whether there’s a rapist lurking about. That’s like saying people who get hit by cars and get critical injuries should take some of the blame for not wearing protective gear while crossing the street.

If a man pays for dinner or a movie, the woman owes him sex.

Marie: No the woman owes him nothing besides a thank you. Paying for the date does not mean sex is owed to him. If you want money spent to sex get yourself an escort.

Ivybelle: No. If a man plans to pay for dinner or a movie, a woman does not owe him anything. Back in the day, a man would take a woman out on a proper date yet she wouldn’t have sex with him. Back then there wasn’t such thing as sex before marriage. Why would a woman owe man sex now? Unless the woman and man wants to have sex, she doesn’t have to.

Madison: I’m sorry this I find hurtful to no existent. Yes I believe in 50/50 but that does not mean I owe you anything. No one should owe anyone sex, sex is supposed to be something special between two people you care about. It’s almost like if I say yes to a date you owe me the most expensive dinner.

Lynn: Nobody owes anyone anything for acting like a decent human being, sex related or otherwise.

Women secretly want to be raped.

Marie: There is a big difference between roleplaying and rape. No one wants to be raped, this rumour is ridiculous and I have no idea why anyone would think this.

Ivybelle: I don’t know who started this “rumour”, but this is 100% false. There’s a difference between being raped and rough sex, BDSM, S&M. Rape is when someone doesn’t want it, when someone takes advantage of someone. Rough sex or other, is when there is consent.

Madison: No person in their right mind want to get raped. Rape is having their whole body violated. I was raped and I never want to go through that feeling again.

Lynn: I highly doubt that. Consent exists for a reason; to confirm that a person does in fact want sex. Rape is sex without the other’s permission/consent, meaning they do not want sex.

Men cannot be sexually assaulted.

Marie: Rape is not just a female problem. Men and boys can also be raped or sexually assaulted. 1 in 10 adult men have been sexually assaulted (estimated) and a majority of their assailants were heterosexual men. On top of that by the age of 17, 1 in 6 boys have been sexually abused.

Ivybelle: Yes a man can be sexually assaulted. It’s not only women or children. I know multiple guys that have told me that they did not want sex from a woman or a man, but they were forced into it.

Madison: Yes, a man can be just as assaulted as a female. Like I have said it’s not about what action were took but how they were forced and not consented to it. Male have just as much rights to say no as females do.  When it comes down to it males have a most difficult time being able to identify the assault let alone help find support for it.

Lynn: Yes they can. Men can not want sex and are just as likely to be violated and/or abused as anyone else.

 

We’d love to hear your opinion on this what if question and if to you there is still consent.

“Q: What if someone verbally consented to a sexual act, whether it was kissing, taking their shirt off, or having sex, but later, when they were in bed and making out, felt unsure and only said yes because the other person was pressuring them? Would you still consider that consent?”

We’ll be sharing our opinions on this on Friday!

Thank you for reading!

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow for more. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment leaving your opinion on any of these myths, our responses or any questions you may have. If you can think of a myth you’ve heard and haven’t seen here please don’t be shy and leave it in the comments.

Until tomorrow,

Marie Olsson, Madison Taylor, Ivybelle Teller, and Lynn Rascal

 

Disclaimer:  Everything stated here is opinion and may not reflect everyone’s views.

 

 

Sources:

Women Against Violence Against Women. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.wavaw.ca/mythbusting/statistics/&gt;.

“Sexual Assault Statistics in Canada.” N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.sexassault.ca/statistics.htm&gt;.

“SACHA » Statistics.” SACHA » Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2015. <http://sacha.ca/resources/statistics&gt;.