TW/CW: rape, sexual violence, domestic abuse
I try to avoid debating certain topics online but sometimes you just get dragged in.
A blogger had posted a twitter poll about rape – whether it was always a violent act. I pointed out that by definition (legal and literal) it always is.
The original poster and some random jumped on this, insisting it isn’t. I used to work for a charity that supports rape victims, I’ve had training, spoken to survivors and read around the subject. I do know a lot about this topic. None of it is cheering.
The law is very slow when it comes to sexual and domestic violence. Rape in marriage has only been illegal since 1992 in the UK. Rape convictions are ridiculously low and the government’s endless cuts often end with victim services disappearing.
Coercion is something that is only just being added to the statute books. This includes forcing someone to have sex with you with threats.
Which is violence – pure and simple. Whether it is a threat to the person themselves, their children, other family members or even something like saying they’ll burn the house down- the spectre of violence is there.
Saying, oh rape isn’t always violent, it can be – what, gentle?? Is ignorance, bordering on rape apology.
It’s a bit like saying murder doesn’t always leave a dead body. It’s willfully ignorant.
Then they (Twitter persons) said but the victims might not see it as rape so somehow that makes it ok?? Now that is rape apology.
A victim may not immediately know they’ve been raped but they usually do know something wasn’t right. And even if they don’t seek help straightaway most do eventually.
Rape isn’t about sex – it’s about power and control – having sex with someone without their consent is rape. Full stop. Even if they consented earlier, but withdrew it, even if you’re married to them, even if they’re drunk or wearing a short skirt.
There is no way to claim rape isn’t an act of violence – there really isn’t. Someone is violated (from the same root word) and their consent taken away.
There are a lot of books written around the subject, a lot of research undertaken, and none of that ever suggests or states anything else.
Basically if you think you want to discuss this topic, or any other, educate yourself first, do some actual research and not just ask Twitter.