Trigger warning: references to sexual assault.
Rape is a heavy term. Even as a small child, I knew it was a woman’s worst nightmare. Remember the movie Pardes, where the girl’s fiancee rapes her? I used to change channels at the sight of it. I still don’t believe that I put up with something like this.
Only when I felt that enough is enough, that I finally spoke to a professional about it, who was shocked to hear about it and ended up blaming me indirectly. I was thought of as this naive woman, with an inability to read a man’s advances and being defenceless to the hilt.
A week after, I finally mustered enough courage to speak to my family about my abuse. At first, I didn’t blurt out the entire truth, only suggested that he tried to hug me tight, so I pushed him away, which was far from the truth. In a way, I tried to downplay the story of my own rape.
I was thought of as this naive woman, with an inability to read a man’s advances and being defenceless to the hilt.
A while later, when I was far away from that environment of abuse, I had a few altercations with my mom. In a fit of rage, I told her that I had, in fact, been raped. No wonder I was disbelieved. After that, I made many attempts at convincing them to let me file a case of molestation against the guy.
But to my family, honour came first. I was repeatedly asked questions by my family about whether he really touched me, disrobed me and the like. It’s not easy answering these questions. It’s one of the reasons as to why women have a hard time reporting the violence they have faced.
It has not even been a year since the last time it happened. According to my rapist, he wasn’t hurting me badly enough to cause serious physical injuries, that it wasn’t serious and I was imagining things. What was even more baffling was that my rapist tried to convince me that I wanted it, which was far from the truth.
He would laugh at me, and when I repeatedly asked him to stop, he would say aloud “Enjoy!”, much to my chagrin. As much as popular opinion tells us that rape is all about power and less about sex, I disagree a bit with this notion, as he used to act like everything was alright around me when he was sick or low on energy.
I know the exact reason why this guy chose to assault me. He was mocked for being not being man enough as he didn’t have a child of his own. So I guess to supplicate his male ego, he attacked a woman who he thought was more qualified than him. At times, I felt like punching him in the face, but he was too quick for me.
What was even more baffling was that my rapist tried to convince me that I wanted it.
In short, most rapists are regular men, who have nothing unusual going on about them. They are good at identifying vulnerabilities and even more so at manipulating their victims. These series of incidents have changed how I view my world. I have a much more positive view of feminists now, as they have stood by me in times of need, hearing me out and offering me support.
To people out there who ask a woman to get over with it: continued abuse makes one feel as if it’s going to happen again. Bodily memories are real. So please respect the journey of a rape survivor towards healing.
Featured Image Credit: Brescia University