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honeybeemidnightblooms wrote
on March 19th, 2013 at 02:51 pm

(I was going with a robbery metaphor as tylik did above. Since tylik said it so well, I'll just sum up a bit and expand a little with my thoughts.)

Someone breaking into your home is traumatizing and horrifying. Your space, your safe place, isn't safe anymore. But you buy new stuff and fix the doors and windows. You install an alarm system and get a big damn dog. You take precautions and you don't forget and you are always a bit more alert than others who haven't experienced a break-in, but (hopefully) you go on with your life.

I think with rape, it's different in people's minds because it's your body that was broken into. It seems more...personal...more permanent because you can't put up stronger doors and slap on new paint. You can't move to a different house in a "safer" neighborhood.

I think some of the "her life is ruined...permanent damage" idea comes from that. Yes, I know the historical background of the idea, and yes, there are asshat victim-blamers, but most people I've met aren't like that. They feel genuine sympathy for the victim, but have no idea how to express it. I don't know, maybe that's just me? I'm trying to understand as well.

Rape feels intensely personal, or maybe it's more accurate to say it feels like it should/would be intensely personal? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't? I don't know as I've never experienced it. I do know that people who haven't lived through a violent act don't understand how if feels. Hell, living through something violent doesn't mean you understand it either. I gave birth three times and I don't fully understand everything I experienced.

No, rape isn't different from any other crime--at least it shouldn't be. It's traumatic, but you survive because that's what people do. You aren't broken. You are different because experiences change us, and violent experiences change us more.

As you wrote above, people aren't saying what they think they're saying and they need to understand that. I've never seen a discussion about the miscommunication around rape worded this clearly and we need more dialogues like this. Because I really think most people just don't understand the nuances and how what they are saying is wrong and hurtful to the victim and to society.

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