wolveskulls:

This morning, BuzzFeed is featuring a story from Project Unbreakable (website/Tumblr), who work with survivors of sexual assault, photographing them holding a poster with a quote from their attacker. Today’s unique story uncovered stories from men who have been assaulted, and touches base on some of the stigmas surrounding men and sex, with quotes from attackers such as “Don’t worry, boys are supposed to like this,” and “You’re a guy, you can’t say no to a girl like me.”, as well as many threats to hurt loved ones. Many people still don’t realize that yes, man CAN and ARE victims of sexual abuse, not only from women but from fellow men, and that it is not made any less traumatizing for a man simply because he is a man, and saying things like “man up” does nothing except further dehumanize and hurt the victim. There is, if possible, even more blame put on a male victim of sexual abuse than female because people assume that all men want sex, from any person, at any time. Stop this. Stop the abuse of ANYBODY, stop victim blaming, and stop telling male abuse survivors that men being raped “isn’t a real thing.” You can read the full story and see the rest of the pictures here. 

Sexual Violence Survey

Hi there. I am conducting research for a project I am doing for my Women’s Studies class about sexual abuse. I am collecting stories from survivors of sexual abuse and forming them into a short documentary to give a face to this important issue. Here is the primary survey for everyone to fill out, regardless of sexual history, and here is the follow-up survey for survivors to share their stories. I would greatly appreciate if you could share this information so that we can get as many submissions as possible. Thank you!

 

submitted by aintlifepeachy

(TRIGGER WARNING: Rape/Sexual assault)

eatingwithafeminist:

Dear Todd Akin,

I am writing to you tonight about rape. It is 2 AM and I am unable to sleep here in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am in Bukavu at the City of Joy to serve and support and work with hundreds, thousands of women who have been raped and violated and tortured from this ceaseless war for minerals fought on their bodies.

I am in Congo but I could be writing this from anywhere in the United States, South Africa, Britain, Egypt, India, Philippines, most college campuses in America. I could be writing from any city or town or village where over half a billion women on the planet are raped in their lifetime.

Mr. Akin, your words have kept me awake.

As a rape survivor, I am reeling from your recent statement where you said you misspoke when you said that women do not get pregnant from legitimate rape, and that you were speaking “off the cuff.”

Clarification. You didn’t make some glib throw away remark. You made a very specific ignorant statement clearly indicating you have no awareness of what it means to be raped. And not a casual statement, but one made with the intention of legislating the experience of women who have been raped. Perhaps more terrifying: it was a window into the psyche of the GOP.

You used the expression “legitimate” rape as if to imply there were such a thing as “illegitimate” rape. Let me try to explain to you what that does to the minds, hearts and souls of the millions of women on this planet who experience rape. It is a form of re-rape. The underlying assumption of your statement is that women and their experiences are not to be trusted. That their understanding of rape must be qualified by some higher, wiser authority. It delegitimizes and undermines and belittles the horror, invasion, desecration they experienced. It makes them feel as alone and powerless as they did at the moment of rape.

When you, Paul Ryan and 225 of your fellow co-sponsors play with words around rape suggesting only “forcible” rape be treated seriously as if all rapes weren’t forcible, it brings back a flood of memories of the way the rapists played with us in the act of being raped — intimidating us, threatening us,muting us. Your playing with words like “forcible” and “legitimate” is playing with our souls which have been shattered by unwanted penises shoving into us, ripping our flesh, our vaginas, our consciousness, our confidence, our pride, our futures.

Now you want to say that you misspoke when you said that a legitimate rape couldn’t get us pregnant. Did you honestly believe that rape sperm is different than love sperm, that some mysterious religious process occurs and rape sperm self-destructs due to its evilcontent? Or, were you implying that women and their bodies are somehow responsible for rejecting legitimate rape sperm, once again putting the onus on us? It would seem you were saying that getting pregnant after a rape would indicate it was not a “legitimate” rape.

Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to close your eyes and imagine that you are on your bed or up against a wall or locked in a small suffocating space. Imagine being tied up there and imagine some aggressive, indifferent, insane stranger friend or relative ripping off your clothes and entering your body — the most personal, sacred, private part of your body — and violently, hatefully forcing themself into you so that you are ripped apart. Then imagine that stranger’s sperm shooting into you and filling you and you can’t get it out. It is growing something in you. Imagine you have no idea what that life will even consist of, spiritually made in hate, not knowing the mental or health background of the rapist.

Then imagine a person comes along, a person who has never had that experience of rape, and that person tells you, you have no choice but to keep that product of rape growing in you against your will and when it is born it has the face of your rapist, the face of the person who has essentially destroyed your being and you will have to look at the face every day of your life and you will be judged harshly if you cannot love that face.

I don’t know if you can imagine any of this (leadership actually requires this kind of compassion), but if you are willing to go to the depth of this darkness, you will quickly understand that there is NO ONE WHO CAN MAKE THAT CHOICE to have or not have the baby, but the person carrying that baby herself.

I have spent much time with mothers who have given birth to children who are the product of rape. I have watched how tortured they are wrestling with their hate and anger, trying not to project that onto their child.

I am asking you and the GOP to get out of my body, out of my vagina, my womb, to get out of all of our bodies. These are not your decisions to make. These are not your words to define.

Why don’t you spend your time ending rape rather than redefining it? Spend your energy going after those perpetrators who so easily destroy women rather than parsing out manipulative language that minimizes their destruction.

And by the way you’ve just given millions of women a very good reason to make sure you never get elected again, and an insanely good reason to rise.

#ReasonToRise

Eve Ensler
Bukavu, Congo

It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil.

The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of the pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering… .

Herman, 1997, Trauma and Recovery, p.7-8
… in practice the standard for what constitutes rape is set not at the level of women’s experience of violation but just above the level of coercion acceptable to men.
Judith Lewis Herman

Trigger warning: rape, sexual violence, victim blaming.

Last night I went to a gig. I had a few pints, and I probably danced like a bit of a tit, as I sometimes am inclined to do. I got talking to some people about bands we like, and accepted an invite to go to theirs for a beer. Upon arrival, they (cis men, for the record) got a bit sleazy with me, so I left. Nothing harmful happened (I was pissed off, but whatever).

But let’s imagine something did happen. Suddenly, not only would my life be upside-down, what could I do about it? Would I report it? Honestly, no.

If something had happened, and I said something publicly, people would be queueing up to tell me it was my own damn fault. I was drunk. I went to a strange man’s house. I was wearing a minidress and leggings. It was late. What did I damn well think was going to happen? Actually, I thought we were going to go listen to some punk music and talk about it while drinking beer. Notice how that previous sentence does not contain the phrase ‘have sex’.

I’m not a man-hating feminazi, primarily because such a thing doesn’t exist, but also because I’m mates with a lot of guys. So before anyone jumps in with accusations of ‘misandry’ (also a thing which does not exist, by the way), consider this - I want to hang out with guys. I want to be friends with guys. I want to have sex with guys. I just also want to be assured that if one of those people rapes or sexually assaults me, I won’t be blamed just for being in the same vicinity as him while not being a cis-man. What actually IS misandric is the suggestion that no one should be friends with men in case they rape them.

Did you know one third of the UK’s population would have said it was my fault if I’d been raped last night? Thirty fucking percent of people think that if a woman touches alcohol, she’s declaring open-season on her genitals.

FUCK THAT SHIT.

Why am I telling you all this anyway? Well, last night, a hashtag got going on Twitter, titled #ididnotreport. This was inspired by the Mumsnet ‘We Believe You' campaign, designed to highlight the hidden problem of rape and sexual assault. On it, thousands of people - men and women told their personal stories of why they didn't report their rape or sexual assault. And it's because of this VICTIM BLAMING BULLSHIT. Some trolls got on the tag, including a confessed rapist by the name of @NiceGuyBrianG (SERIOUS TW for that link), who thinks that the law on spousal rape shouldn’t just be reverted, but should apply to anyone in any kind of relationship. Presumably only women should be allowed to be raped, because if I took him back to mine and tried to assfuck him with a strap-on, I’m sure he’d have some quite loud opinions.

I REPEAT, FUCK THAT SHIT.

It is NOT your fault if you are raped. No ifs, no buts. It is only a rapist who decides to rape people. It is NEVER A VICTIM’S FAULT. And I want you all to know that and shout it with me.

Rape apologists, I’m going to give you a quick lesson in human interaction, because you sorely need it: YOU ARE NOT OWED SEX. NO ONE OWES YOU ACCESS TO THEIR BODY. PERIOD.

"But Nat, what if [insert convoluted scenario, possibly involving drink, usually espousing just how darned confusing this whole ‘consent’ thing is]??!?!?!"

IF YOU WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH SOMEONE, ASK THEM. POLITELY. IN FACT, IT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE TO BE POLITE. “WANNA FUCK?” WILL USUALLY SUFFICE. IN SOME CASES IT WILL NOT.

IF YOU ARE UNSURE WHETHER SOMEONE ACTUALLY WANTS TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU, WHETHER IT’S BECAUSE OF DRINK OR YOU PRESSURING THEM OR WHATEVER, DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH THAT PERSON.

THE EASIEST WAY TO AVOID BEING ACCUSED OF RAPE IS TO NOT HAVE SEX THAT MAY BE RAPE.

UNLESS YOU ARE 100% ABSOLUTELY IRON-CLAD CERTAIN A PERSON WANTS TO HAVE SEXUAL CONTACT WITH YOU, DO NOT HAVE SEXUAL CONTACT WITH THEM.

I genuinely can’t make that any clearer. If you wish to comment with a wonderful scenario of your concoction about just how gosh-damn tricky it is to not stick your penis in people, I suggest you take your scenario and shove it up your rape-apologising backside. Here’s some (long but awesome) posts on consent:

And if anyone feels the need to talk to someone about something that happened to them, here are the details for Rape Crisis (women and children), Pandora’s Project (trans* people) and Survivors UK (men).

somekindofbecca:

*Trigger warning for police brutality, rape and generally the exhausting society in which we live.*

I’ve just got back from the Dominique Strauss-Kahn demo outside the Cambridge Union Society building and wanted to get some thoughts down before sleep wears down the intensity of what I’m feeling right now.

A catch up for non-Cambridge folks as best I can (I’m pretty ignorant about Cambridge student politricks). The Cambridge Union Society, is a private members debating club which is, apparently, pretty famous. Touting themselves as promoters of free speech, they invited Dominique Strauss-Kahn (or DSKumbag as I’ll now remember him as) to talk on the basis of his economic knowledge and position in French politics. They also gave him a posh meal and free wine, ’cause that’s how they do things here. This obviously caused a lot of grief and anger as he is currently being accused of doing a lot of unspeakable things like rape, sexual assault and has been associated with a prostitution ring. CUS ignored the petition from their members for them to rescind their invitation for him to speak and, for the first time in the memory of everyone I’ve spoken to, they withdrew their normal ‘first come, first served’ policy on tickets and replaced it with a ‘random allocation’. Yeah, so random that no one who signed the petition managed to get a ticket… You can see how this works.

So, a protest was called. Things were pretty standard and demonstration-y for about the first hour. We stood in the cold, we made jokes about how the numbers would be misrepresented, we shouted through megaphones as we strode through the streets. But as we settled outside the building that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was hiding in, something really special happened. For me, it was one of the most powerful and inspiring experiences I’ve ever had. Strangers came forward to share their experiences of sexual assault and rape with a crowd of 150ish people on the megaphone. I’m not a Cambridge student, I didn’t know many faces but at that moment I felt safe enough to share my own experiences, which doesn’t happen often. It was raw and sincere and the most heartfelt thing I’ve heard in a space like that. I will never forget it. The stories continued and as survivors merged back into the crowd they were greeted with embraces and warmth. There is nothing that the former head of the IMF can say that is more important than what some of those speakers shared with us and we gave them the best platform we could.

But then things turned ugly. I was horrified by the institutionalised violence that the police and private security brought to this very peaceful and positive demonstration. I am even more horrified to know that the beautiful, constructive and life changing speeches that people made will be ignored in press coverage to make space for columns about student ‘aggression’. Instead of questioning the brutality and structural oppression that helps perpetuate and normalise a culture where aggressive crimes like assault can exist, tomorrow journalists will, without a hint of irony, ask what the protesters did to deserve their victimisation from the police and say that we had it coming. I’d like to echo what a fellow protester said: us shaking fences and climbing walls is not violence but the police and security guards punching people in the face and shoving climbers off of 8 foot high walls onto piping and concrete flooring is. Were any of the security staff arrested for their behaviour? No. They were just ‘doing their job’. I’d like to think that as humans who had just heard sincere and heart-breaking accounts of rape and sexual assault, that we were just doing our ‘job’ as well. How could we not be angry? How could we not get upset? Our voices had been completely sidelined and ignored by the people organising the event while a man accused of rape was being treated to a black tie dinner inside. I think that rattling a temporary fence is pretty damn restrained all things considered.

It was a microcosm of a wider issue, the wider issue of the night. We cannot expect violent crime not to exist when live in a society where government-sanctioned police are given rubber bullets, riot shields and batons to ‘maintain the peace’. We cannot expect to be safe on the streets or in our schools or homes when our only way to bring attackers to justice is to hand them over to a violent institution. We cannot say that protesters are violent for thrashing against wire fences when they have people in uniforms shoving palms into their faces. It’s wrong that some of us were subjected to such disproportionate assault from the Cambridge police and yet we will be the ones demonised in cultural memory when the newspaper articles are written up.

Later, as I sat on a church wall, placard still in shakey hands but mostly winding down for the night, some Friday night drinkers squinted at the sign I was holding. “Rape is not a ‘sex scandal?’” When I asked them what was so funny, one of them replied deadpan, “Well it’s just human nature.” At once, all the horrors of the night broke through and I started to cry. As I came around and calmed down, I realised that five strangers were holding me and crying too. It was the one of the most powerful acts of solidarity I have ever experienced and I am heartbroken to think that when this gets written up about in various blogs and articles, that feeling will not be captured. Once again the voices of survivors and people fighting alongside us will be ignored and marginalised. I wish that we lived in a society where people standing together in the face of unyeilding oppression is seen as being human nature, not rape or violence, and that deserves to be said, hell, it deserves to be shouted from the fucking rooftops and tonight we did that. I was so proud and humbled to be a part of that crowd.

Thank you so much.

Originally posted on toughtea.wordpress.com.

TL;DR: It’s not too long, stop scrolling and read this now. These women stood up against an accused rapist and told their personal stories of survival, of rape and of sexual assault. The least you can do is have the common courtesy to read this post. Scroll back up right this second.