I hate it when people call me “brave” for surviving being raped.
It’s been seven years since he took me to his dorm and after my saying “no” several times, him forcing himself on me. And it’s been seven years of hell.
I was told by the police that your boyfriend can’t rape you because you’re in a relationship and a relationship entails sex. I was told by “friends” that I was overeacting, and that I should give him a break. One of them said it’s been long enough – we’d been dating for over a month. The head of our department said I’m just trying to sabotage his grades because he’s better than me in most of our shared classes.
After what my aunt called “the fuss” had died down, people started telling me that I am strong. I am brave. People started telling me that I am not a victim, but a survivor. That I am stronger for having had this experience.
Yes, I am strong – because I have to be. Yes, I am a survivor – because I didn’t die (which many women who are raped do either after the attack, as a result of the attack, or committing suicide because they can’t live with it). But no. Don’t call me brave. I am not a better person as a result of having been raped.
Rape is a violation. It’s a personal attack of one’s physicality, emotionality, and mental state. But calling me “brave” and all those positive meditation-drenched crap is denying the fact that it happened, and I am broken by it. Taking away victimhood in this instance makes it so much easier to deny the crime ever happened.
So stop it. Watch the language that you use. This was a fucking crime, and it was inflicted upon me by someone. It didn’t just happen to me like falling over my shoelaces. Say it out loud. Rape is a crime, and I am one of the many, many women who bear the scars of it.