It’s international women’s day today and tonight I will be going out to town with my friends for the first time in literally years!
I should be happy and excited! I should be looking forward to getting dolled up and going out to let my hair down….yet I’m scared and worried.
I was sexually assaulted almost a year and a half ago and when I went to the gards I was interrogated and in no uncertain terms blamed for what that man did to me the questions went along the line of “why did YOU…?” and “why didn’t YOU…?” I was being held accountable for me being raped as are many many women across the globe I’ve since found out. There was excuses being made for the man who sexual assaulted me? I was baffled.
This I have since found out is rape culture this is victim blaming. It’s putting the onus on women to not get raped instead of teaching men not to rape and take advantage. This way of thinking especially by the law is teaching men that they can blame their violence on the woman’s actions and that will be accepted as a valid excuse. But in reality there is never an excuse for somebody to rape.
So today I find myself worrying about things I really should not have to.
What to wear.. ? If I’m raped will this dress make it look like I was “asking for it?”
Will I be sending some sort if a “it’s OK to rape me” signal if I wear this dress or wear too much make-up?
If I drink too much or my drink gets spiked and I get raped will I be blamed for not being careful enough?
My head is spinning with all these questions to myself about ‘how will that look if I get raped? Will that go against me and take the focus off the actual perpetrator?’ It’s sick that I or any woman has to think like that!? I feel like just staying in and never going anywhere near a man again. It would be safer and save me the hassle of being put up on trial like I was. I still to this day am sorry I ever went near the gards about my sexual assault. I was already in a bad place and blaming myself and they just intensified that feeling. I wish society didn’t make me feel like that because I now know after a lot of support from friends and online communities that what he did was his own actions not mine.
The urge to give my friends a lecture tonight about being careful is so strong. I want to tell them to stay close and in the group, don’t drink too much, don’t give guys the ‘wrong idea’ etc etc….but really I shouldn’t have to tell my friends to be careful so they don’t get raped should I? Isn’t that making me as bad as the gards and others, giving into rape culture and putting the blame on my friends if god forbid they got sexually assaulted.
We need to be telling the men in our society ‘Don’t rape” instead of ‘Be careful and make sure you don’t get raped’ It’s so twisted? We don’t blame or question the actions of the victim of a robbery or break in, we see that the person who committed the crime was completely in the wrong and took advantage so why do we feel it’s OK to blame and question a women’s actions if she was victim of sexual assault? It’s not right and not fair.
No, no I should not have to warn my friends to be careful of their actions so they don’t get taken advantage of. It’s 2014 we are open minded people so why is this still the norm? Why is the onus on women not to get raped.
The world sadness me so much. I wish for the day when society doesn’t question the woman actions if she was sexually assaulted but instead question the perpetrator and why they ever thought it was OK …after all it is them taking advantage of a situation and seeing it as an opportunity for their own wants.
Rape is always the rapists fault. End of.
I hope I made some sense in this post as it’s one fuelled by personal experience and emotion but I hope I can make people think more on this issue as it’s not only something that happens a lot in developing countries but here in Ireland too as I’ve found out from listening to other peoples experienced.
Please see contact Dubln Rape Crisis Centres Nationl 24 hour helpline on 1800 77 8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org you ever need help or just a friendly ear. Or if anyone ever wants to email me you can contact me here email@example.com