Rape Why its not your fault

Growing up, whether you’re a boy or a girl, you often hear girls being told to be careful when they go out: Don’t walk alone, don’t dress in a way that makes others harass you, cover your body, don’t drink too much alcohol or don’t drink at all, don’t speak to strangers etc.

Often when a rape does occur, a girl might be asked where she was, who she was with or what she was wearing. Thinking about how she could have avoided being raped might make her feel guilty, ashamed and angry at herself. However, if you have ever been in a situation where you have been sexually harassed or violated, please know that this act was not your fault. You didn’t cause this to happen. The only person to blame is the person who raped you.

It is unfortunate that we live in a world where being female puts you more at risk of being violated and where you have to be extra careful in certain situations. But what’s even more unfortunate, is the fact that the message “don’t get raped” seems to be more common than the message “don’t rape”.

There is no excuse, no matter how drunk or naked you are, to justify a rapists actions.

No matter how many people you have had sex with before being raped, no matter how many clubs you had been to or how often you walk alone at night: It is NOT your fault.

Even if the person was your friend, ex, current partner or someone you had been having sex with – if you were forced to have sex without your consent, you are not to blame.

Being gay or lesbian, doesn’t mean that you’re inviting anyone to force themselves on you or to “correct” your lifestyle. There is no person, male or female, who deserves to be raped.

Some rapists might try to convince their victims that they are to blame, saying stuff like: “The way you were behaving made me think you wanted it”, “You enjoyed it” or “You shouldn’t have seduced me” – anything to make sure that the victim’s own guilt or fear will silence them.

Sex without consent (no matter what the circumstance) is rape and rape is wrong. Anyone who rapes another person is 100% responsible for their actions. Anyone who is raped is 0% responsible.

If you have been sexually attacked or abused, don’t remain silent about it. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed because what has happened to you is not your fault.

Useful Contact Numbers for Rape Victims:

POWA (People Opposing Women Abuse)

Phone number: 0116424345/6

Stop Gender Abuse

Phone number: 0800 150 150 (Toll free)

LifeLine

Phone Number: 0800 055 555 (Toll Free)

Health4Women

www.health4women.co.za

Phone number: 011 581 5000

Email: info@health4women.co.za

If you need any more information or a private conversation, feel free to head to the Ask Choma page.

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