Tag Archives: rape

“Blame The System, NOT the Victim!”

SlutWalk NYC

This slogan struck a chord with me when I saw it on picket signs in images of SlutWalk, inspiring me to do something about what happened to me Halloween of 2014. I went to the cops and reported the rape, but I could already tell before even finishing giving my report to the police that nothing would be done and I wouldn’t get justice through the U.S. “justice system.” The male detective’s questions were much more focused on my drinking habits, how drunk I was that night, how much I’d been drinking in the days leading up to it, etc., rather than the rape itself. I could tell that he was trying to judge whether or not I had a drinking problem, which it was pretty clear that I did. His opinion of me as an alcoholic definitely seemed to determine the questions he asked. I actually think he asked more questions about my drinking than the event itself, and he was not even remotely sensitive to what I had just been through. He treated me like I was the criminal, like I was the one who had done something wrong. The female detective who spoke with me afterward to get more of the details wasn’t much better, though she seemed to be more trained in dealing with victims of sex crimes. (She asked questions like, “What color were the sheets on the bed?” and “What was the furniture in the room? What did it look like/what color was it?” presumably to judge how intoxicated I was, how fuzzy my memory was, etc.)

The police, judges, courts and government that just pretend this is a non-issue, systematically allowing perpetrators of sexual violence to go free or receive light sentences while distracting victims and protestors from the real issues at hand – these are the entities we as victims of sexual violence should be focused on to demand justice, since they seem to think our rapists have done nothing wrong.

I was shocked and outraged at how I was treated by the male detective. He clearly had no training whatsoever in dealing with these sorts of sensitive matters, or at least he just didn’t care. Let me give some background info: I’m a white girl with long dreadlocks, a septum ring and tattoos. I live in a small backwoods town in Georgia where racism and discrimination is still very much alive and well. The second the detective laid cold, calculating eyes on me, I could sense him sizing me up and forming his judgements and prejudices. You would think maybe the fact that racism is rampant among the police force in this town might actually be an advantage to me in this case since my rapist was black, (*not to say that’s right), but it didn’t. The guy was a clean cut nerdy type who was in the military. It was my word against his, and the detective made it pretty clear from the beginning that he didn’t think a crime had been committed. He never came out and explicitly stated it, but it was obvious from his questions, his condescending attitude, and the insensitive way he treated me that he thought I was just a sloppy alcoholic who drank too much, had sex with a friend, regretted it the next day and was now trying to clear my name and conscious by accusing him of rape.

That’s why these types of cases have been referred to as “gray rape” – a term I have since learned is denounced in much of the online feminist community for implying that there are varying degrees of rape, some of which are not as “bad” – cases of rape accusations where consent is vague and hard to determine. Generally, “gray rape” refers to a sex act where consent was granted at some point but retracted later. (A common example given is where vaginal sex is consented to but oral or anal sex is not). In my case, I was drugged and had been drinking for days, so I was too intoxicated to give consent.

It’s been over a year since this happened to me, and as far as I know the man who raped me never went to jail, was never convicted of anything, probably was never even questioned by the police. This is the second time in my life I have reported a rape or sexual assault, and the assailant was never jailed or punished in any way. The same thing has happened to my 16-year-old sister multiple times just in the past couple years, and since my mother never talks much about her childhood but obviously was traumatized in some way, I have a feeling she’s probably been through it too. The pathetically small percentage of rapists, child molesters and abusers who are behind bars is infuriating and simply unacceptable. But what can be done about it? What can I do to ensure that my 10-year-old sister doesn’t have to go through the same thing?

“BLAME THE SYSTEM, NOT THE VICTIM.” A little lightbulb popped up over my head when I saw this: If my rapist gets away scot-free, where do I seek justice? Who do I blame? THE SYSTEM! The detective who handled my case so insensitively, who had already decided before I even opened my mouth that he didn’t like me and wasn’t going to help, who decided that it was MY fault I was taken advantage of while unconscious because I had a drinking problem. The police department employing the detective for obviously not training their detectives to be sensitive in handling cases of sexual assault and rape. The entire U.S. justice system for systematically allowing rapists to roam free while the victims are treated like criminals for reporting their rapists.

Who knows if it will do any good, but I am working on reporting the detective who took my report. I also intend on contacting the police department and finding out what kind of sensitivity training they put their employees through for dealing with victims of sex crimes, because they seriously need to step it up. I hope to inspire other victims to start thinking like this as well – looking to the SYSTEM to answer for these crimes, since they refuse to carry out justice for the victims.

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We Have Nothing to Fear But Love Itself

coffee and a blank page

[CN: rape, emotional abuse] 

48715452_18ea44079c_o (1)(“So thick you couldn’t see the building.” photo by Vicky TH via)

The conversation we had begun that afternoon did not finish until after nine at night. I felt spent and numb, yet somehow giddy. My throat was raw. When I stood up, I rocked unsteadily on my feet.

“What now?” my mother asked. “Shall we go get dinner? What do you usually do after these kinds of talks?”

I blinked at her and shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve never actually told my mother about being raped before.”

~ ~ ~

I am now going to tell you a story. That is, I am going to try. I suspect I will conceal more than I realize, and reveal more than I intend. Such is the nature of stories.

My mother would read the words I am about to write as violence. As betrayal.

She might not…

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First, you’ve got to get mad.

Without this song, I’m not sure I would have reported my last assault. The speech in the beginning (from the 1976 movie Network) has been a huge inspiration to me. It shook me out of my numbness and depression and inspired in me an outrage that made me want to do something about what had happened to me. Beyond that, it made me want to do something about the fact that it continues to happen at all, to anyone.

We sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be… 

… first, you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, “I’M A HUMAN BEING, GODDAMMIT, MY LIFE HAS VALUE! … I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

Rape, murder, homelessness and general mistreatment of our fellow human beings… it’s NOT the way it’s supposed to be, but we’re numbed to it more and more each day. As the speech goes, I don’t know what to do about it but it all starts with giving a shit, and if you give a shit you’ll get mad, and if you get mad maybe you’ll stand up and do something about it.

(YOUR ANGER IS A GIFT).

“Ma, wherever ya see a cop beatin’ a guy / Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries / Wherever there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air / Look for me ma / I’ll be there. Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ for a place to stand / For a decent job or a helping hand / Wherever sombody’s strugglin’ to be free / Look in their eyes ma / You’ll see me!

I am a human being.

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Realizing I’d been raped.

I was assaulted for the second time in my life on Halloween 2014. I was date raped and it took me days to realize that I had indeed been violated. I was black out drunk before we left the party. I specifically remember telling him that I couldn’t wait to get home and go to bed. I couldn’t remember the car ride or what was said. I probably did agree to go to his apartment, like he later claimed. I was wasted.

It was a guy that I had been casually seeing for about a month. He came off nerdy and totally harmless, I’d been alone with him plenty of times before, but we had never had sex. I had never even been to his apartment. I consented to sex at first. I even took my own clothes off. But I was so excessively drunk I could barely move, and I was blacking in and out of consciousness. I later realized that he must have slipped something in my drink at the party, because I’m a heavy drinker and I never black in and out like that.

I remember being so messed up I could barely move. I just kept laying there giggling drunkenly. He must’ve been a little drunk but he definitely knew what he was doing. No decent guy would have kept going after I blacked out. I remember at one point, he asked if he could go down on me. I remember giggling, pushing my legs together and covering myself up, saying that I felt weird. As I blacked out again, he was pushing my legs back apart and going down on me anyway.

After awhile of blacking in and out like that, I finally fell asleep with him spooning me, still rubbing against me. I figured he would fall asleep too, but when I woke up he was still wide awake, having his way with me. I felt so uncomfortable when I turned around to see him staring at me, wide eyed… knowing he must’ve been going at it for hours while I was deeply asleep. He asked me, “Do you like waking up to this?” and I knew something didn’t feel right. I jumped up and had him take me home.

The next day, I had him bring me a morning after pill. I remember feeling really creeped out by the fact that I had no way of knowing what he might’ve been doing to me while I was blacked out and sleeping. A few days went by, and I still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. I did some research and realized that I had been date raped.


After I realized what had happened, I could not believe how difficult it was for me to get the help and support I needed in my area. I spent days sifting through countless rape survivor resource websites and calling numerous hotlines, only to be referred to yet another phone number to call. I live in northwest Georgia. It was so frustrating to find support here that I nearly gave up entirely.

After being referred to my local crisis center, I found that the hotline that was supposed to be available 24/7 was not. I was indeed in urgent crisis and had to spend hours and hours calling the place back before finally getting an answer and being told to call back later because the person I needed to speak with was not in yet.

I also could not believe how I was treated when I went to file the police report. I felt as though they judged me based on my appearance (I have dreadlocks, piercings and tattoos). I felt as though they treated me like I had done something wrong or that it was my fault because I am a heavy drinker and was date raped while I was extremely drunk (I also believe I was drugged). I felt no sensitivity from them whatsoever as I described what had happened. After collecting the clothes I had been wearing that night as evidence (I couldn’t bring myself to do a rape kit), they seemed in no hurry whatsoever to do anything.

I have been assaulted twice in my life, at the ages of 14 and 25. Both were not typical rapes. There was no obvious force involved. Both times I was left extremely confused, questioning if I had indeed been violated. Both times, the aftermath was worse than the assault and I know I did not get the support and after-care I needed. It is my hope that I can now use my experience to help others get the help they need.

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