Violence and Rape

Sometimes myths tell us that rape would always involve extreme additional physical violence. While this is sometimes the case, and women can also suffer internal injuries from the rape, in many cases no injuries are sustained and no additional violence is used - this does not invalidate the survivor's experience in any way. This myth relies on the idea that perpetrators always use force to ensure the victim's compliance - this is not always true and other means used can include intimidation, alcohol or drugs, and threats. If the victim is a child or young person consent cannot legally be given even in the absence of coercion, and often the perpetrator will have used their position of relative power in order to convince the child that their behaviour is normal or that the child should not tell.

When a woman is raped she may not have a chance to say 'no', and her reaction to the situation could be to freeze and be unable to move or fight back. We often tell ourselves as a society that rape is so abhorrent that we would always fight back - when it happens this is often not the case and a woman's thoughts will be on survival, or not making the situation more dangerous or frightening than it already is by angering the perpetrator.

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