Thursday, May 28, 2015

Delays in Reporting Are Normal

[TRIGGER WARNING: CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE, RAPE, RAPE CULTURE]

This is clearly something that we really need to work into people's heads because so many people just don't fucking get it.

Not reporting rape right away is normal. Going into denial about what happened is normal. Not wanting to report because you're aware of all the awful shit you'll be put through and fearing the possibility of total social rejection and harassment is normal.

These past few days, I've read so many stories from survivors who stayed in contact with their rapists, who stayed friendly with them, who stayed in relationships with them because rape culture narratives and social pressure caused them to fail to recognize rape as rape and/or go into denial about what happened.

Then I read this story, which is more horrific than all the others:

I lost my whole family for reporting my rapist.

Why didn't this girl report for 10 years? Oh wait, she did. She told her parents, her teacher, and her pastor. They all did nothing. Why would she think that the police, who are complete strangers, would do anything if her fucking parents wouldn't help her?

You'd think people could produce some fucking empathy for rape survivors. Has anyone not had a time when something bad happened to them and they responded in a way that was totally timid and inadequate or just strangely, and you think back on it and wonder "why did I do that? Why didn't I respond better?"

It's easy to think that, if you were raped, you would recognize it right away and go straight to the police to report it without a second thought. The reality is not so easy. Especially because the vast majority of the time, the rapist is going to be someone you know. That, among other reasons, is why delays in reporting of rape by survivors is NORMAL.

The moral of the story is that, seriously, if you have not been raped, then shut the fuck up about the experiences of survivors. Do not speculate on how you THINK a survivor should have acted. You don't know shit about it. Do not run your fucking mouth about it.



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