“Did I have it coming?”—Ambiguity in Rape

Yes, I have been raped. For me, the hardest part about it was not the trauma that resulted from being sexually violated. It was the ambiguity regarding the act especially that it was from someone I knew and cared about.  I constantly asked myself: did I have it coming? Did I deserve it? Did I lead him on? Should I have enjoyed it instead of feeling so much pain?

I even questioned whether the act was considered to be an act of rape, or was it all just a figment of my imagination? I have had my feelings and experience brushed aside by other people simply because my rapist was an almost lover, someone I had unreciprocated feelings for. For the longest time, I believed what my immediate social circle told me. That is until my inner angry feminist emerged and finally confessed shouting out loud, “Yes, I have been raped. I have been violated, and I am not okay with this.”

I am tired of living in a patriarchal and misogynistic society where a woman’s experiences are neglected and ridiculed only because someone else has had it worse. So what if my rapist was my almost lover? Does that make me less raped? Does that make me less violated? Two years have passed and not a day goes by without feeling guilty and without thinking, “it is all my fault”. I tend to forget that at that moment, I was not okay with it and have uttered the words “no” and “stop” repetitively.

Being raped is tough to deal with by itself. Must I also deal with living in ambiguity? Why must I be corrected by people, who have never been raped, telling me that I have not been raped? Who has given them the authority to tell me what I have or have not experienced or felt? Is it only rape once executed by a stranger on the streets? Would they have felt “sorry” for me, then? Or would they have found another excuse to de-value my experience leading me to another endless spiral of ambiguity?

Did I have it coming? I can certainly say that I did not, regardless whether I cared or fell in love with my rapist prior the act. I can safely say that no one has it coming. No one deserves it.


Sawt al' Niswa





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