25
Apr
12

Not-rape

Not-rape= 1. when a person is sexually assaulted but it is not called rape.

This happens one of two ways typically. A) The victim of sexual assault opts not to label it as rape because they think it was somehow their fault, because they wore a low cut dress or because they didn’t say no loudly enough.
B) The second way is when it looks like rape, it smells like rape, but it isn’t legally rape.

I’m going to mostly talk about the second definition of not-rape in this blog post.  I was reading my student paper this week and it has a graph of crimes students were charged with and had categories for “sexual assault(non-rape)” and  “sexual assault(rape)”  I understand why these crimes were labeled as such, that it relates to the legal definitions.  However, I think that labeling sexual assault non-rape in the mass media without careful explanation is damaging.

I think that all sexual assault is traumatic and I think that when you see the details of a non-rape sexual assault, that lots of people think “oh well at least she wasn’t actually raped.” and the victim thinks “well thank god I wasn’t actually raped.”  In reality sexual assault is traumatic no matter how it occurs and those thought processes only serve to belittle the trauma of sexual assault.

At best, the victim will be surrounded by caring, loving people who support the victim as they get back on their feet.  They will hopefully be surrounded by people who stop these thoughts as they come and reassure the victim that they deserve and are allowed to feel however they feel post-assault.  At worst, the person will be around people who say “Oh, well it isn’t like he actually raped you.”

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