This post is by far one of the hardest ones I've had to write but it's a post I've always wanted to write and it will get a lot of my chest, it's something that is close to my heart. Some of you may disagree with me sharing this kind of post but I guess as I always say, it's my blog and I feel like this is an issue which effects more people than anyone realize and we need to talk about it. SO today's post is all about the misconceptions which go with sexual abuse. I hear so many things which are wrong about rape in just passing comments and I just don't understand how people have got it so wrong.
A few I've heard are:
"She was wearing a short dress"
How does someones outfit choice determine what rights a woman has over her body, a woman should be able to wear what she wants without the idea of what she wears making her a target to sexual abuse.
"She's a 'slag' she probably wanted it"
You can't make that assumption about anyone, it doesn't matter how many men she may or may not have slept with still does not give anyone the right to do anything she doesn't want.
"She was out on her own at night she was asking for it"
I completely forgot the part of where a woman walking out on her own at night-time meant she was asking for sex, it's sick that a woman can't even go out on her own without having the fear of something bad happening. So wrong.
"She was drunk, she didn't know what she wanted"
Have sex with someone who is drunk they can hardly function probably isn't the best idea, I mean obviously one night stands happen as a consequence of alcohol which is fine. But as long as both parties are consenting, any hesitation means no.
"She led me on, she wanted it!"
Just because someone was flirting with you/ kissing you does not give you any right for you to take it any further, if the person walks away or says no. That means no.
Common misconceptions of Sexual Abuse:
"Most people are raped by strangers"
Almost 90% of sexual abuse is committed by a person the victim actually knows, e.g. a boyfriend, an ex boyfriend, a friend or even a family member. Even if a person is in a relationship they have to consent, a relationship does not give you an automatic right to a woman.
"Only forced sex is sexual abuse"
Any amount of touching, kissing which is unwanted is sexual abuse. Touch someone who doesn't want it, that counts. Pressuring someone into sex, that also counts. If someone has said NO, there shouldn't need to be any convincing, no always means no.
"Once you've said yes, you can't change your mind"
Of course you can, it's NOT a contract, if you change your mind at any point, say so and if the person doesn't stop that still counts as sexual abuse, just because it's started never means anything.
"You didn't say no, so that was a yes"
Sometimes a personal is unable to say no, but if a person is uncomfortable, distressed or scared in any shape or form you should always stop.
Sexual Abuse is never the fault of the victim, and the way people choose not to believe people is sick, just because someone doesn't feel like they can go to the police doesn't mean they are lying. Just because the accused person is nice to other people you don't know what they are like underneath- you can never judge a book by a cover. Sexual abuse can happen to anyone of any age, it's not just the pretty, skinny people it happens to, it can happen to anyone. Instead of telling your daughters not to go out late at night or on their own or even in short clothes how about telling your sons that NO means no, and if someone says no, don't pressure them. It's their choice not yours. No-one asks to be abused, it's never the victims fault, blame the abuser not the abused.
If you want to talk to anyone about the issues in this post, I have put some websites below: