"Myths keep us from doing the work we need to do based on Truth"
~ Cassandra Thomas ~
Rape by Partners is Real Rape
*I will be on holidays between Dec. 21st and Jan. 4th, so if you email me, please know I'm not ignoring you. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. See hotlines if you need help, or see below for online support from other survivors.
Merry Christmas and a safe and healing New Year.
It's Your Body. Always.
Forced Sex by a Husband or Boyfriend is Rape
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Introduction / Some Statistics / Your Pain is Real / A Note To Survivors / Want to Share Your Journey? / Enter This Site / The Naming of this Site / Messageboard, Chat & Mailing List Info / Other Sites I Support / Dedications & Thank You's / Guestbook
I am a survivor of domestic violence, which included repeated sexual assault and rape. I am currently engaged in the process of writing a book on sexual violence in relationships. The purpose of this site is threefold; I created it first and chiefly as a support resource for girls and women raped by boyfriends or husbands during or after the relatiionships. Second, there are so many myths and injustices around rape by partners that it necessitates an activist flavour in some of what I've presented. Thirdly, it's to give my book a bit of a plug.
People who might find this site helpful are:
Information about relationship rape, beyond a few excellent studies or pieces in books, is not common, yet the act of rape in relationships is.
Rape by somebody you have been sexually intimate with is often not seen as 'real' rape. Society takes the dangerously limited view that 'real' rape happens in alleyways or parks, the rapist is a lunatic stranger, and the victim must be a virgin of impeccable reputation. Such attitudes are based on the premise that having given initial consent, a woman is not free to withdraw it.
This makes wives and girlfriends 'unrapeable', and also permits sexual violence against them to continue.It is true that there are laws in most western countries which make rape in relationships a crime, but because of underlying attitudes about what is real rape, they are often ineffective.
Sometimes women raped by partners are theselves unable to name their experiences at the hands of partners as rape. When they can call it rape, they are often aware that there will be little validation for them, and this can make finding healing resources difficult. People can also tend to make negative and wrong inferences about a woman's intelligence or character if she stayed in the relationships - such people rarely understand the dynamics of violent relationships.
But partner rape is real. It may happen once or many times. It may involve coercive pressure or battery and torture. Women are raped by men they love.
If you think you are alone, or you are somebody who believes sexual assault by partners is rare, perhaps the following statistics will be helpful.
Where partner rape is acknowledged as having happened, it is often not seen as a 'real' trauma. Yet studies indicate that women can be severely traumatized for a long time after. Their pain, and what they struggle with, often carries longer and graver implications than for women raped by strangers (Finkelhor, D.and Yllo, K., License to Rape: Sexual Abuse of Wives, The Free Press, New York (1985); Russell, Diana E.H., Rape in Marriage, Indiana University Press, USA (1990). If you are a survivor of rape/sexual assault by an ex/partner, you probably don't need me to tell you this.
Women raped by partners often face the prosepct of ongoing contact with their rapists via school, shared children or other. Sometimes, they deeply and genuinely love the perpetrator, and struggle to come to terms with the magnitude of the betrayal. They balance this with fear of recurrence.
If you were raped by a current or past partner, you are not alone, sister. What happened to you is important and your pain is real. Whether you are still in the relationship or are some years out of it, you may find something informative and validating on this site. If you enter, you'll find information on counselling, healing, and a range of other things which could be helpful.
Please be aware that some of the site content could be very triggering if you are a survivor. Please don't be afraid to engage support. If you need help right now, please see theEmergency Contacts listed on this site.
If any sister would like her story of sexual assault by a partner included on this site, please email it to me and I'll make a page. You're also most welcome to send me poetry or artworks depicting your journey if you like. Hints on safety, and what has helped you heal would be wonderful too!
Feel free to email me with comments and suggestions about this site and don't forget to sign my guestbook.
*Please also report any bad links to me. There are about a million on this site, and while I've done my best to be sure they work, I'm still a little paranoid!