If you answered yes to the question above, we’ve determined one thing already: you are not a rapist! 

Because if you were a rapist, the one thing you would never want the world to know is that you participated in one of the most vile acts that man (as in huMANkind) can do. Once the world knows that, it doesn’t matter why you did it, how often or anything you did before or after that moment.
From that second forward you are forever a rapist, and a rapist alone. 
I can sympathize, because I know for sure that once you’ve been raped your life is never the same again. But instead of it being the way the world sees you, what changes is the way you see the world. 
But for us to understand (and eradicate) rape, one of humanity’s most reprehensible acts, yet one of the least talked about, we have to understand rapists. 
We have to understand how a person, any person, could feel low enough, depraved enough, to commit an act like that. Were they raised in an environment where that was acceptable? Was it a switch that flipped in their brains one day, or have they always been inclined to such behaviours? Were they, too, abused or used and their coping mechanisms took an unhealthy direction? 
The problem is we don’t ask the rapists. And even when we do, how often really, do they confirm our worst fears? 
After I experienced my abuse I thought a lot about how it affected me. I thought about it like a puzzle, picking apart the pieces of my personality. Not only did I have to know when and how what I experienced changed me, but it helped me realize who I was as a person within the confines of my abuse. 
At some point there were no codes left to decipher. No puzzles left to work out. I focused on being strong, confident and forgave myself for being a victim of abuse (another lovely side effect is shame and guilt.) 
Once I didn’t have myself to pick apart anymore, I started to think about the person who had hurt me. 
I realized at that point that we don’t give people (victims and survivors) the space they need to tell the truth. The legal system doesn’t act like a “justice” system for us, and the perpetrators have more protections. 
We wouldn’t want to put someone away who might be innocent just because thirty-five women SAID they did, would we?! I mean, if someone hasn’t said something about being raped within say, five years after it happens, then it clearly didn’t bother them THAT MUCH right?! 
After all, he SAYS he’s not a rapist! 
If we want to get rid of rapists, if we want to show the deviants out there that it’s not okay to irrevocably alter another persons existence for the remainder of their life, to change the way they see the world, then we need to stop protecting the fucking rapists! 
We need to get under their skin. We need to make them see that when a woman says she has been hurt, taken advantage of, defiled in any way, that we don’t give her rapist the honour of benefit of the doubt. That we don’t criticize her choice of clothing, venue or activities, because there is not a single person out there who wants to be used against their will. 
Are there women out there who falsely claim these horrendous acts?! Most certainly! But they are eclipsed a thousand times over by the amount of women, men, and children who are too afraid to speak out for fear of being told their memories, their forever-changed personalities, aren’t proof enough of their experiences.
We need to stand up for each other so more men, women and children feel comfortable enough to stand up for themselves. 
I am tired of seeing the abusers get the benefit of the doubt while the survivors just get what is left of the doubt. 

In the span of 5 years Christella has gone from Tour Buses to Temper Tantrums, chronicling her ups and downs as a young mom of two boys on her blog, Crawl The Line. Her special brand of humour and her tongue-in-cheek approach to parenting may not be winning her any Mother-Of-The-Year awards, but she wouldn't change it for the world! The next thing she's going to conquer? The dishes. Eventually...

1 Comment

  1. Christella, this was an amazing piece; you are so incredibly gifted with words. Way to effin’ lay it out–you rock, sister! I so admire your strength, tenacity, and punch! Love you big time.

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