I started writing this post more than a year ago, I knew what I wanted to say but every time i started writing a feeling of apprehension would come over me & I would stop. After going over it numerous times in my head, I decided that it was better I just left it unfinished. After all it’s a very sensitive topic & I did not want to be misunderstood or come across offensive. Recently however I was thinking about it & I decided I was doing myself & others a disservice by not finishing & publishing this post. I have tried to approach this topic with the utmost understanding and have tried to be considerate of my reader’s sensibilities.
The subject that has caused me so much anxiety and uncertainty is that of Rape. You might be asking yourself where I am going with this or why I am even writing about this topic. Well like everything else I write about; it was on my mind. To be honest it has been on my mind for a while. Why? Well I met somebody who was the victim of rape. I started thinking and realized that I knew others who have either been raped or knew somebody that was raped.
Raping somebody is one of the cruelest & most disrespectful things one human can do to another. I say ‘human’ because both men & women can and have been victims of rape. In my book rape can only be topped by murder. Actually, when somebody is raped I think a part of them dies inside. For some people their innocence, self-worth and self-love are taken. It is not unusual for rape victims to wander down a path of substance abuse and promiscuity. They often have difficulty showing and receiving affection and as a result their relationships suffer. The effects and aftermath of rape are well documented and studied. As for the perpetrators, they often times go unscathed and unpunished.
In my years of socializing, so far I have met at least ten women who were raped, about four who were almost raped & I have actually ‘rescued’ two women from potentially being raped. In one instance I was actually attacked & had to make a hasty retreat (with the potential victim). The second incident involved a really drunk female at a party. My friend and I realized how ‘wasted’ the young lady was and we could start to see strange men moving in for the ‘kill’ like hungry hyenas. That’s sixteen cases of sexual assault. I have to admit that is a frighteningly high number. Even if it was just one, that would have been one too many. I am always plagued by the thought that if I know of at least sixteen cases, just imagine how many more cases were out there (considering I don’t socialize a lot). Of those sixteen cases, less than five were actually reported. One of the reasons why so many of the incidents went unreported was because they were carried out by somebody the victim knew. Another reason is that they fell in a class I call ‘Hold dung & tek’. What is this? I will use a scenario to explain it as I understand it.
A female visits or goes out with a male (she may or may not be acquainted with), she ends up in a compromising position & the male decides that he is going to ‘hold her down & take it’ for the most part. It happens more times than we would like to admit. The man feels like ‘it’ is owed to him and that her ‘NO’ really means ‘YES’. He might feel that he is just being a ‘man’ and taking ‘charge’ of the situation. The female might feel that it is acceptable since the incident was not violent and it was with somebody she knew. What do you think? Is this rape?
I should point out that I am not agreeing or disagreeing with the scenario or explanations put forth. I am just setting the stage for a clear understanding and/or discussion.
There are other situations where the female might feel that she was assaulted but ends up feeling guilty for putting herself in that position and so she doesn’t report it. She might also feel that others will blame her and accuse her of being naïve. Some may say that she wanted it or that she seduced the man.
Sandra: I was supposed to go to school but I decided to go to my boyfriend’s house instead. We had sex & after we were finished he left the house. I was at the house alone when his brother came home. His brother held me down & had sex with me. I told my boyfriend what happened when he returned home but he didn’t believe me. He said that I wanted to have sex with his brother. I did not report it. I felt it was my fault. If I had gone to school like I was supposed to, that would not have happened.
Carlene: One morning I took a route taxi (like I always did) to work. I didn’t see or thought there was anything untoward when I entered the taxi. There were two male passengers, the driver and myself. Things quickly changed when the car detoured. The men took me to a remote location and raped me. I tried to report the incident but I got nowhere, the police were more curious about why I was released unharmed.
Tanya: My older neighbor kept a party at his house. I just remember that he gave me something to drink and the next thing i knew, I was lying down and he was on top of me. I guess he drugged me. I told my mother what happened but she did not believe me. She said that I probably wanted it. I got pregnant as a result of the incident. I did not want to carry the baby but I was forced to.
Debra: There was this guy that lived in my community. One day he invited me to his house, I knew he liked me but I didn’t think anything was wrong with going to his house. While we were there he held me down and had sex with me. I didn’t report it. I got pregnant as a result.
Those were just a few of the accounts that were recounted to me over the years. The names of the victims were changed and certain information was omitted to protect their identities.
I leave you with a line from Beenie Man’s song ‘Old Dog’: …cause mi nuh join the hold dung an tek, dat a rape! But if mi beg an mi get that’s great!
10 comments on “Rape By Another Name”
I’m a man, I could never rape anyone. I expect the same from every other human being on earth. I’m non-violent, but I would go to the electric chair to protect a victim from rape if it meant I had to kill someone. I cannot even imagine getting an erection, let alone enjoying sex with an unwilling partner. The laws are archaic, but man oh man, I’d turn into one hell of a vigilante to rid the planet of these types of animals. No means no, always has, always will.
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I feel you. I get crazy thinking about what i would do if something like this happened to one of my loved ones.
Yeah, I’ve never been through it, but it is a very violent act. I’m not Buddha, I think I’d lose my mind and get revenge, but hopefully not. Forgiveness is the higher road, but … well, ya know. 9mm
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Terrible.. And it’s something I think about in every situation as well as “if I reported it would anyone believe me”.. Which makes me a little apprehensive about going into certain situations. When you get a little older you can” control” certain incidences you find yourself in (driving yourself, “read” some guys and carrying pepper spray).. But all you can do is try to protect yourself, hoping it doesn’t happen to you.
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I think about it a lot whenever my female friends and family have to take a taxi,especially at nights. Thanks for commenting.
As someone who has lived through it is a terrible thing and it strips you of everything you mentioned. My hope is to get through most of pain, but I will tell you, that I find some parts harder to rid myself of. Just wanted to comment to let you know I appreciate the time you took to write this post and understanding of what it can mean to somebody’s life.
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I am so sorry and i appreciate your comment,i can only imagine how difficult it has been. Stay strong.
Jah know. It was hard not to tear up reading this post. I too have met many women who were victims of sexual assault & it makes my blood boil every time. There is a school of thought that rape is not about sex – it’s about power. I believe there is some amount of mental instability that factors in as well. As hipmonkey.wordpress.com said above, I cannot imagine deriving any pleasure from having sexual relations with an unwilling partner.
As a youth, one of my biggest precautions to avoid being accused of rape was never to have sex with an intoxicated woman (even if it was “my” woman). That’s how deathly afraid I was of being accused of “hold down & tek”. To this day, I still take precautionary measures – even in a stable relationship.
Women, if you have been the victim of sexual assault, never blame yourself. Get professional help & counselling if you have not yet done so. Repeatedly, if necessary. If you have not been assaulted – don’t use words like “lucky”. It’s probably because of your awareness skills.
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Another day, another time, when I’m in a better place, I’ll likely do a post about this topic. I understand your hesitation to do it and respect your decision to finally move forward with the post. Well reasoned and written
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I look forward to that day. I know it will be a great read.