My Truth

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I’m very passionate about mental health and abuse awareness, mainly due to my own expieriances. I am very open about my past, which I know is something that many do not like, but I do not see why I should stay silent – afterall that’s what the abusers told me to do and I can’t let them win can I?

I don’t want nor do I expect pity or sympathy. I do not deserve it, and I do not want it, what happened happened and I am only who I am today because of it. I do not want hugs and people saying they are sorry, what I want, what I fight for every day, is for OTHERS to feel safe that they will not be judged. What I want is to make it so that those who currently suffer in silence scared of what may happen if they open up know that they are not alone, and maybe make it so that they no longer have to fear judgement and blame.

I know that my work and my speaking out will not end abuse, discrimination and suffering, but if I can just let people know that they are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence and maybe if I can make a few people stop and think then I am happy with that. I cannot stop abuse, I cannot change the world, but maybe I can help to plant the seeds of change, plant that idea in to the minds of others, and then they can help that idea to grow until one day change can and does occur. Maybe one day the things which I fight will no longer exist, but I doubt that I will see that day. I can do so little, but it’s the best I can do, I just have to hope that human nature is not as bad as I fear and that these seeds if change and the glimmer of hope will take root.

I tell my story, my truth, not for pity, but for the hope that I can help to ignite change in this world. I know most will not believe this, but I know my truth and I hope that a few of you know this truth too. This is why I spend so long creating websites, writting letters, speaking in schools, raising money and trying to spread awareness. It’s an inconvenient truth I know, but it’s a truth that needs to be known, I cannot just sweep it under the carpet when I know that it could help others. So I fight and strive with the hope of helping, of making the suffering of others that little bit better that bit more bearable.  I wish that this truth was not there, that it did not need to be spread, but it is and it does. And for this I am sorry

This is my truth

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Social and self perceptions of rape.

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Popular perceptions of rape and sexual assault can certainly be seen to be based on misinformation. Soothill and Walby (1991) conducted an analysis of the media reporting of sex crime and found that ‘the popular imagery of rape as represented in the newspapers… typically involves strangers, madmen, multiple attacks and reckless women, some of whom brought it on themselves’ (cited in Walby and Myhill). The role of ‘rape victim’, in particular, is highly stigmatised, with a tendency for society to view rape victims as ‘damaged goods’ (Koss, 1992) with a ‘degraded status’ (Walby and Myhill).

Narrow and sensationalist media coverage helps perpetuate the myth of most sex attacks being committed by strangers. Consequently, it may be difficult for a woman raped by a man known to her to identify herself as having been raped. ‘Stranger rapes’ may also be perceived as more serious than those involving known perpetrators, despite the fact that the latter also involve a breach of trust (Soothill and Walby, 1991). Certainly, many victims of sexual attacks do not acknowledge themselves as having been ‘raped’.

Myths and realities of male rape – men can be raped too

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Myth: Men can’t be sexually assaulted.

Reality: Men can be, and are, sexually assaulted every day. Any man can be sexually assaulted regardless of their size, strength, appearance, occupation, race or sexual orientation. Male rape can happen at home, work, out doors, in a  car, in the military, prisons, in locker rooms, rest rooms, public toilets, in fact just about anywhere a rapist thinks they can get away with it, and it can happen to any male.

It should also be noted that it is not unusual for a male to “freeze” during a rape, in part due to shock, and fear of ones life. Remember, the rapist will no doubt have done this before, and hence be prepared for what happens, but few, if any men, have even considered in their mind the possibility of such things happening and are thus totally unprepared.

Myth: Only gay men are sexually assaulted.

Reality: Although gay men are raped slightly more often than heterosexual men this is due more to the fact that they can be the target anti-gay violence, that often includes acts of rape, plus that gay men are at far more risk of date rape attacks from other men.

Heterosexual males can be, and are, also raped in very large numbers. An F.B.I. statistic put the number of males that will be raped as an adult at 3 %, a number most organisations think is very underestimated. Of this 3%, over 40% identify themselves as exclusively heterosexual.

Myth: It is only gay men that sexually assault other men.

Reality: The vast majority of men who sexually assault other men identify themselves as heterosexual. Many rapists will attack either males or females, while in their  consensual will only have sex with females. Some target males more than females as it gives them even a greater sense of power and control.

This fact helps to highlight another reality, that is, that sexual assault is usually more about violence, anger, domination and control over another person, than it is about lust or sexual attraction.

Myth: Adult men cannot be sexually assaulted by women.

Reality: Although the majority of reported perpetrators are male, (97 to 98%), women can, and do, also sexually assault men but is seldom reported… not that many males feel safe reporting rape anyway.

If you include emotional blackmail as a way of giving the victim no choice, then the number greatly increases. Also don’t think that if a woman rapes you that you have to penetrate her, there are such things as vibrators that she can use on you as well.

If you think a female can not force a male to get an erection against his will, think again, you have little (to no) control over that part of your body with your will power.

Think you could never be forced to gain an erection? Wait till the most important football match you ever want to watch is on TV, then see if your partner can distract that part of your body against your will 🙂
You will lose every time.

Think an unconscious (drunk or drugged etc ) male can not get an erection ? Never known a man wake up with morning “wood” or it happen on a bus or at the supermarket, or work, against their will …. the mind has little control on getting it to just go away

Myth: Male rape victims don’t suffer as bad a female rape victims, after all they do not risk becoming pregnant.

Reality: All rape victims suffer in many different ways, some responses are gender specific, some are not.

Male male rape frequently involves higher levels of violence, weapons, and is also more likely to involve multiple assailants. Male rape victims are also more at risk of committing suicide as a result of rape.

As for the risk of becoming pregnant, no male rape victims do not run that risk. However anal rape does have a much higher risk of internal tearing and damage, and with that comes a higher risk of possible HIV transmission.

Myth: Most rapists are strangers.

Reality: Whilst many gang rapes and acts of anti-gay violence are committed by strangers, most rapes, like in women, are committed by people known to the victim. They may be a friend, neighbour, boss or a relative, father, uncle, co-worker, brother or ex partner. They could also be a trades person, or a professional e.g., a doctor, teacher, psychiatrist, police officer or a public servant. One worrying increase is in the amount of rapes during robberies, muggings and house break-in’s in an attempt to stop the person reporting the crime.

Myth: Getting an erection or ejaculation during sexual assault means you “really wanted it” or consented to it.

Reality: This is one of the things that can cause male rape survivors a lot of confusion and guilt when they do not know how things work. For a start I can honestly say that getting an erection shows nothing other than your body responds how it is suppose to do. It is a totally normal thing to happen and has nothing to do with desire. Have you never been on a bus, or sat in an office meeting, and it has gone hard all by it’s self  for no reason ?

Basically, unless you have some medical condition that stops you then you will get an erection when it is manipulated. It is a result of stimulation, and it does not matter if you do not want it to happen or not. There is little you can do to stop it most of the time.

Sadly, some males become confused and think an erection equals arousal equals them wanting it. In reality all it means is that part of the body has nerve endings that respond to touch and that touch can be wanted or not wanted, pleasant or non pleasant. With lubricant you will have even less choice as to how it responds to touch. It is the same as the body will respond to someone tickling you and you will probably laugh, but if it is done at a time or by a person you do not want to tickle you it will still respond.

If you were penetrated, the pressure in the prostate gland also will cause an erection.  Anyone who has ever had a DRE (short for Digital Rectal Exam) of the prostate at their doctors will know that getting an erection often happens during the examination.

Now as far as ejaculation goes, again this is a very normal thing to have happened. In fact, the rapist will very often go out of their way to make sure that you do ejaculate, in order to try to make you more ashamed, (adds to their dominate feeling of power) and also they know it will likely reduce your chances of reporting the crime. First off, it is because it is a normal reaction to stimulation. Second, the pressure on the prostate will, by it’s self, release some fluid, making the penis more sensitive to that stimulation. In fact, it is possible for a doctor to obtain a semen sample during a DRE. Pressure on the seminal vesicle will likewise release a lot of fluid, and could resemble ejaculation to some extent, although may feel different.

One other thing to remember, is that ejaculation against your will, and an orgasm when having a wanted sexual encounter are, two totally different things.

(my degree actually came in useful there…)

Myth: Rape in Gay couples does not exist.

Reality: Rape in marriage or any relationship, straight or gay , can and does often occur. Through physical, psychological or emotional coercion, some men are forced by their partners, to engage in unwanted sexual acts, including oral or anal sex. A spouse, or partner, boyfriend can be charged with the rape of their partner in many countries now. The law recognizes that a spouse is not the property of their partner, to be used sexually by them. Gay relationships deserve the same recognition.

Myth: Male rape only happens in prisons.

Reality: Rape does happen a lot in prisons, there is no doubt about that. In fact, in the USA, it is said that there are far more male rapes every day in prisons alone than there are rapes of all females in the USA. However, males are raped outside of prison every day of every year, in their homes, cars, at work and just about anywhere. Male rape also happens in the military and armed services as well, collages, universities, and all sorts of places.

rape victims should take responsibility for what happened?

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A majority of women believe rape victims should take responsibility for what happened, a survey suggests.

Almost three quarters of the women who believed this said if a victim got into bed with the assailant before an attack they should accept some responsibility.

One-third blamed victims who had dressed provocatively or gone back to the attacker’s house for a drink.

The survey of more than 1,000 people in London marked the 10th anniversary of the Haven service for rape victims.

More than half of those of both sexes questioned said there were some circumstances when a rape victim should accept responsibility for an attack.

The study found that women were less forgiving of the victim than men.

Of the women who believed some victims should take responsibility, 71% thought a person should accept responsibility when getting into bed with someone, compared with 57% of men.

An Amnesty International report five years ago found that a significant minority of British people laid the blame for rape at victims themselves.

So over the last 5 years instead of progress we have gone backwards…

Around one in 12 people (8%) believed that a woman was totally responsible for being raped if she’d had many sexual partners. Similarly, more than a quarter of people (30%) said that a woman was partially or totally responsible for being raped if she was drunk, and more than a third (37%) held the same view if the woman had failed to clearly say “no” to the man.

Changes in the law relating to consent mean that an alleged rapist must show that they had taken reasonable steps to ensure that the other person had consented to sex. In this respect the poll exposes a gap between the law and public attitudes.

The poll also shows that the vast majority of the British population has no idea how many women are raped every year in the UK, with 96% of those polled saying they either didn’t know the true extent of rape or that they thought it was far lower than the true figure.

Only 4% of respondents even thought the number of women raped exceeds 10,000 per year when the true figure is likely to be well in excess of 50,000:

I know I shouldn’t let this poll get to me… but it does… so according to the general population a woman should monitor their dress and behaviour always on the look out for rape, whereas the men are fine and allowed to jump on whatever woman they want? I kind of wonder how many of the women who took this poll keep by their own rules: never drink, never wear revealing clothing, never flirt, etc…

So then… was it my fault? Was it my fault when I was 16 and a guy held a knife to my throat? Was it my fault when my landlord manipulated and blackmailed me into dating him and then tied me up before raping me? Was it my fault when my landlord and his friend held me down, beat me and took it in turns to rape me?

Rape is funny…

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The sad thing is, sexual aggression in men is normalised and even praised in our society, to the detriment of all genders. Rape is not a joke. Rape is, in every case, a violation of law, international and domestic. It is not acceptable to have sex with a woman without her consent. It is not acceptable to joke about it or create the appearance that rape is funny, amusing, or acceptable. Making light of this horrific crime is a slap in the face to survivors of rape and women everywhere.

80 percent of all rapes are never reported to the police. Males report rape at even lower rates than females. The incontrovertible fact is that victims already feel hesitant to come forward, to speak, to tell their story, without feeling as if the world considers it a joke.

For those of you who wonder why rape victims get all super sensitive about rape jokes, well, this is why. Before you’re raped, rape jokes might be uncomfortable, or they might be funny, or they might be any given thing. But after you’re raped, they are a trigger. They make you remember what was done to you. And if the joke was about something that wasn’t done to you, not in quite that way, you can really easily imagine how it would feel, because you know how something exactly like that felt. Rape jokes stop being about a thing that happens out there, somewhere, to people who don’t really exist, and if they do they probably deserved it, and they start being about you. Rape jokes are about you. Jokes about women liking it or deserving it are about how much you liked it and deserved it. And they are also jokes about how, in all likelihood, it’s going to happen to you again.

Apart from that joking about things reinforces misconceptions and beliefs, people start to actually think that rape victims deserved it… NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED!!! They start to believe that rape isn’t real, that people enjoy it but feel ashamed of the action the next day and so “cry rape”… and so slowly we develop a culture where rape becomes almost normal, and even acceptable… but rape is a crime, it’s not a joke, not a punch-line, not normal and DEFANTLY not acceptable. It also acts to belittle the experiance, making those who have been through rape feel that maybe it wasn’t a big deal, maybe they are overreacting, being pathetic…

The crux of the argument is this: rape jokes are triggering to rape survivors and reinforce rape myths, and seeing as so many women have survived rape, it might be considerate not to be joking about rape when you have no idea if someone listening has been affected by it

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