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When asked:  Why didn't you fight harder


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Good answer 8888.

It's such an accusatory question. I've been asked it in a backwards kind of way and it

feels really bad. Like I'm guilty.

I'll try to remember your answer whenever I think about it.

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I've had similar questions. I did struggle and beg them to stop but didn't scream or hit, so obviously didn't try hard enough :(.

I've also had 'but why did you even go there in the first place'. That really hit a raw nerve and made me feel like the stupidest person in the world.

But I think one of the worst things I've been asked about one of my SA's when I said he overpowered me and I couldn't get him off was 'but you were wearing jeans! You must've had the chance to get away or kick him or something at some point before anything happened?' And then went on to say 'how did he even get your trousers off? Why did you let him?' Or words to that effect. Those questions still hurt me right to the core because I couldn't even give an acceptable answer. I ask myself those same questions all the time and it just makes me feel sick in my stomach because I still dont know how I let it happen :(

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  • 1 month later...

I didn't ask this of E but I certainly thought it. He's a martil artist, a blackbelt taekwondo fighter, but still he was assaulted and beaten for 4 times. I couldn't understand how that was possible, but I had no idea how terrified he was... My God. It WAS his best friend, my brother, wasn't it? Why else would he not fight???

Edited by Bitterblue
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Why else would he not fight???

This is the question that all men who have been raped are asked, in one form or another. Sometimes it comes in an even more brutal form: "Why didn't you die?"

If you'll forgive me, it's the wrong question. Some of us did fight—and lost. Some of us froze up. Some of us panicked. Some were incapacitated by drugs or alcohol; or blackmailed; or threatened; or were opposed to the use of violence; or...

None of that is relevant.

The only question anyone is entitled to ask is this one, of the perpetrator: "Why did you rape that person"?

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Why else would he not fight???

This is the question that all men who have been raped are asked, in one form or another. Sometimes it comes in an even more brutal form: "Why didn't you die?"

If you'll forgive me, it's the wrong question. Some of us did fight—and lost. Some of us froze up. Some of us panicked. Some were incapacitated by drugs or alcohol; or blackmailed; or threatened; or were opposed to the use of violence; or...

None of that is relevant.

The only question anyone is entitled to ask is this one, of the perpetrator: "Why did you rape that person"?

It *is* the wrong question, isn't it? He said he was drugged the first time and he did fight but nothing worked and he couldn't explain why he couldn't do anything on the other times. He was so terrified. My God. I want to know why too. Why did they do this. He did not deserve that. None of you did.

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hrabradjevojka

For me it was fear. Then dissociation set in so it would have been difficult to even mention until I was strong enough to speak out

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  • 2 years later...

     I am a man who was sexually assaulted first by a man and then by a woman on different dates. I was able to fight the man, but I didn't know how to fight the woman. I just lied there. I told her that I didn't want to be touched there at all. When she went to do what she wanted to do, I couldn't hit her. She had been following me on campus. When I was leaving campus one day, she asked me where I was going. I told her that I was going food shopping and she asked if she could come along. After two weeks of tagging along she asked if I can be her boyfriend. I said it wasn't a good idea because I was moving home in two months. Then she asked if it is possible that I could be her boyfriend for two months. I said that it was possible, because anything is possible, but I didn't say ‘yes’. She said "Oh goody". I told my friend and room-mate, and asked him what that meant. He laughed and said, "Congratulations buddy, you got yourself a girlfriend". I didn't want that. It was said ambiguously to me. I didn't agree to be her boyfriend. I was only being polite. I thought a gentleman was supposed to respect a lady's feelings. I wore an old wrinkled flannel shirt, and didn't shave the first time we went out in the evening, and tried to bore her with scientific, historical and political conversation. That didn't work unfortunately. She said that she didn’t understand what I was talking about but she liked listening to my voice. One night my friend asked me if it was him or is she kind of ugly. I agreed that she is kind of ugly. He said, "She's not just ugly, she's hideous." I had been trying to think of a word to describe how she looked, and that was it. I felt so sorry for this girl. I had thought her mother may have been subjected to teratogens when she was pregnant for this girl's face to come out so distorted. My friend said, "How do you kiss her goodnight". I said, "I don't". He said, "You've been going out with her for a month, and you haven't kissed her goodnight!" About a month later he said that he had been watching me walk her to her car every night for a month, and said, “It’s pathetic. She stands there waiting for you to kiss her goodnight." He said I was being mean to her, and that I had to kiss her goodnight or tell her that I didn't want to be her boyfriend. I did not want to hurt her feelings. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I didn't want to see her anymore. Since I would be moving soon anyway, I gave her a polite kiss goodnight. That was a mistake. As the semester progressed she kept asking me to have sex, and I told her repeatedly that I wanted that to wait for marriage. She insisted that sex didn't have to wait for marriage. Then one night she asked me if she could try something. I asked what it was and she told me that she didn't want to say, and I should just trust her. I asked her a second time and she said, "Don't you trust me!" as if she was offended. She already knew that I didn't want anything sexual because we talked about it multiple times. She said I could trust her. Then she kept on about it and told me to promise her that I would let her try something. I knew that she knew what I didn't want because I had made it clear multiple times. She unzipped my pants. I covered my zipper area with my hands, and she said I couldn't do that because I already promised. She said, "You promised. You're not going to go back on your word are you! You can’t do that!" She pitted my word against my chastity, my sense of honesty against my sense of morality. I never consented to this act. I was manipulated. However, consent can be revoked at any time, and it is illegal to pursue sexual acts after consent has been revoked. Then she raped me. In New York State as well as other states, it is recognized that men can be raped through an oral act. It felt vile. She used a lot of spit and it felt disgusting. I can still see her acne covered chin over her square jaw looking like a hideous witch preying on me as if she was stealing my life force. When she was finished she saw the expression on my face and said, "Oh no what have I done".  She covered her face with her hands and was acting all upset and kept asking me to tell her that I liked it. So I said I did to spare her feelings, but I didn't sound convincing so she persisted. She acted upset until I sounded convincing. She kept her face covered with her hands and acted as if she was crying. When I sounded convincing enough, she quickly recovered and I didn’t see any tears. She later said that she didn't tell me what she wanted to try because she knew I would say no. I remember thinking, "So why did you do it?"  About a week later she asked to do it again. When I said that we shouldn't she persisted saying that I said I liked it, and saying, "You didn't lie did you!" I still said that we shouldn't and she persisted saying that I would be a liar if I didn't. She again pitted my sense of honesty against my sense of morality. She did this to me a few times.  I found it intolerable and quietly waited for her to be done while screaming inside and feeling dirty. I remember eventually being kind of numb to it and relieved when I could finally get through it without the gut wrenching feeling. She referred to me as a boy toy on a number of occasions and said that she had me wrapped around her little finger. When I moved back home she called and wrote regularly. She called me her friend. After a couple of months she asked me to help pick out her next boyfriend. She said, "I realized you're not coming back." She said that it would be easy for us to be friends because we never had sex.

     “Erection and ejaculation are physiological responses that may result from physical contact whether it is pleasurable or not, wanted or not. These responses do not imply that you wanted or enjoyed the assault and do not indicate anything about your sexual orientation. “Some offenders are aware how an erection and ejaculation can confuse a victim of sexual assault - this motivates them to manipulate their victims to the point of erection or ejaculation to increase their feelings of control and to discourage reporting of the crime”, and “When a man has been raped, he has been forced to endure things that he did not want and which probably terrified him.” (Roberts 2013). Rape is a risk factor for post-traumatic stress disorder (Zinzow et al. (2012).

     I had never had a girlfriend before this experience. Rape alters a person’s boundaries and makes the victim more likely to be raped in the future (Young 2012). Rape, sexual assault and coercion makes a person less able to ‘trust in relationships’ and to trust other persons (Collibee and Furman 2014). After thirty years I was finally able to address and recognize the experience for what it was, and also address the harm that it has done to me for the past three decades. My greatest regret is how it has harmed my wife and our relationship. Rape does not only harm the victim but the victims loved ones as well. I share this experience to help the community at large. It should be noted that I was told that I am a learning disabled adult by practitioners at a local university hospital. “Men (like women) can be raped if the rapist uses extortion, subtle forms of coercion, deception or psychological control.”, and “Although the majority of perpetrators are male, women can also sexually assault men” (Roberts 2013).

 

References:

Collibee, C., Furman, W. 2014. Impact of sexual coercion on romantic experiences of adolescents and young adults, Arch Sex Behav. DOI 10.1007/s10508-013-0256-0

Roberts, M. 2013. When a man is raped: A survival guide. Information for when a man has been raped, parents, spouses, partners and friends. NSW Health Education Centre Against Violence. ISBN: 1-876969075

Edited by Respectfully
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  • 1 month later...

I have been lucky in that the people I have told have not really asked me ....its more of a question I put on my self. The fact that I froze is one of the harder things to live with, despite knowing it is common.

the one that crams that question in my face every time I speak to her.  

 

I don't know why I didn't fight.  If I could remember how it all happened maybe I could come up with an answer.  I'm guessing I was scared.  I had already said "no" twice and he had said he wouldn't hurt me, but he did.  I guess my fear silenced me...

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  • 3 months later...
Guest Cherysh
On ‎18‎/‎06‎/‎2002 at 6:16 PM, Guest said:

I don't know why I didn't fight.  If I could remember how it all happened maybe I could come up with an answer.  I'm guessing I was scared.  I had already said "no" twice and he had said he wouldn't hurt me, but he did.  I guess my fear silenced me...

I would have thought it was obvious why you didn't fight back; which, to your Gran, it is not obvious

If your assailant used a weapon, or even threatened you without a weapon, that he might have one, then you are obviously scared to fight back

So the "Why didn't you fight back" question is totally the other person not understanding

 

 

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  • 10 months later...
Guest AmberA (T)

Nobody has ever asked me this question, but I  used to ask myself these types of questions.  Maybe I did it to feel a sense of control about what happened by feeling like I could avoid it in the future.  Maybe it is because for a long time, I acted like nothing happened and lied to myself and others even when confronted by the assailant who admitted to raping me because I was just drenched in shame.  I did not want to be a person who was raped, and I was scared.  

I am not sure what moves another to ask this type of question, but I guess my response now would be something along the following lines: 

I was raped, and it is an uncomfortable topic and truth.  Do you understand how asking me why I didn't fight harder could be hurtful and feel bad?  Are you trying to blame me for being raped?  Why are you asking me this?  It was not my fault and I did everything I could at the time.  I guess maybe I was terrified, in shock, really afraid, trying to detach from what was happening because I had no idea how to deal with it, and he was so much stronger than I was that I didn't have a shot, which became abundantly clear after I said no and tried repeatedly to make him stop to no avail.  There was also a part of me that became aware I was being raped against my will, and I wanted it to be over with as quickly as possible because I was embarrassed, ashamed, and afraid so I froze up in a state of shock so I could push what was happening out of my mind as quickly and efficiently as possible and go into a state of denial and detachment from what happened.             

For some reason, when I was a kid, they taught us algebra, geometry, and 10,000 year old history in school, but nobody including my family members ever told me what to do if someone raped me.              

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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 weeks later...
Guest DeadGirlWalking

We DO freeze. I was pinned and could not move at all. He leapt on top if me so fast, I was so stunned. From gentle kisses and giggles into BAM a monster... That fast. He was strangling me.

1st person I told said immediately, "I would have scratched him."

The pain came in waves. Setting me back into eternity. Dying again. I forgive her. She just did not understand. I am glad she never was raped and did not know how those words whipped. But. Ya know what? I have lost love for her. I can't change that. That's just what happened.

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There are lots of responses that are not commonly talked about.  The four common responses are:  FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE & FAWN.  Fawn is when you try to get into the good graces of the abuser so the harm is less brutal and you see it frequently in long term abuse.  It is the one that is least talked about.  Never feel bad about whatever you do in order to live through an assault; it is you being smart enough to survive.

Gentle care,

Patricia

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  • 7 months later...

 

 

1st person I told said immediately, "I would have scratched him."

The pain came in waves. Setting me back into eternity. Dying again. I forgive her. She just did not understand. I am glad she never was raped and did not know how those words whipped. But. Ya know what? I have lost love for her. I can't change that. That's just what happened.

    I’m so sorry that happened to you and I know exactly what you mean about the freezing part. It’s VERY common and it’s a response that happens to many survivors because our body is protecting us from a THREAT. It’s because the person is being threatening  to you in the first place and our bodies freeze and go still until the threat goes away before we are attacked even more, so we could survive.

    It’s an involuntary response that happens only during very scary situations which our brains recognize are threatening and that’s why that happens.  I also know what you mean by the person being nice at first then just turning into a monster later and not seeing it coming. I didn’t either when my assault happened and I went into shock immediately then I froze. Many people froze and went into shock, so just know you are not alone in that at all. Also, I know it’s hard not to let people’s comments affect you (believe me I’ve heard plenty of people saying things like that) but the person who said that just doesn’t understand what you went through. It’s an involuntary response to fear and it’s not your fault. It’s the person who made that decision that is at fault. 

  Sometimes people don’t understand things they didn’t go through. It does happen so fast and I went into shock too when someone suddenly got on me after kissing me. I didn’t expect it because he seemed nice and we had kissed before and before that he hadn’t ever acted that way. 

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  I’m so sorry that happened to you. It’s messed up the victim blaming things people say. They just don’t understand. I know it’s hard but please don’t let it get to you none of that is true. You said no and that should’ve been listened to. What more were you supposed to do?! They don’t understand how scary that is and you already said something and that sounds terrifying, so it makes sense that you would detach from it and feel threatened due to his size and ignoring that. I also froze up during an assault that happened and detached from what happened. It’s a really common response. You were scared and that’s why that happened. HE made that choice and is responsible for that. Our bodies freeze due to the person being threatening, and our brains make those decisions to detach from it to protect us. That happens so we can survive it. The person who did this to you should feel shame and is 100% at fault. You DID do everything you could to survive in a very scary situation. blockquote widgetblockquote widget

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;She is a disgusting person who used your kindness and is a monster for that. She should’ve listened to you saying you didn’t want to and that was horrible of her to not listen to what you said. I understand you not wanting to hurt her feelings or hurt her and that is completely understandable. SHE made that decision though and shouldn’t have hurt you. It also sounds like she tried to make you feel guilty and was coercive. People need to start understanding women can be perpetrators too. I’m so sorry she should’ve respected YOUR feelings instead of using manipulation and that was so wrong. Also saying that she knew you’d say no is so messed up and proves she knew what she was doing.You made it clear you didn’t want to do that. I believe you.
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That’s a horrible thing to say. The person who did this to you who made that choice is 100% to blame not you. You did everything you could in a very scary situation and I’m so sorry that happened to you. It’s not your fault. People say such stupid victim blaming things sometimes but none of it is true. He should’ve respected that you didn’t want to do that.  I also got responses like that  and other things that made me feel ashamed. We shouldn’t be questioned about something someone else did. It’s messed up. But just know you’re not alone in feeling this way and it’s not your fault that happened.
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
Guest Anonymous

April, this hurts when people say it. I was molested by 2 family members from age 5-11. I mean at 5 I just couldn’t understand why someone could hurt me like that but through the 6 years I learned to lie there silent and block it out. Am I ashamed of that… yes. But it’s how I coped. Now family know about it and tell me not to share because they are embarrassed. Well maybe they should be, I should of been protected not abused. 
I really wish people could just be more accepting now and stop judging the victims. We have already questioned ourselves. 
You are strong and a survivor!

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I  am sorry. You very much should have been protected. There is no shame in doing what you needed to for survival. Sending lots of care. 

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