I didn’t report my rapist: here’s why [trigger warning, clearly]

I didn't report my rapist

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I didn’t report my rapist these last few weeks – mostly after reading Mary Cate Smith’s piece in The Journal, which is not about rape but about the violent harassment she experienced at her gym. It’s a bracing piece that details her own experience, while using it to talk about male aggression in general – and what (if anything) is being done about it.

The reaction to it was disappointing, but also unsurprising. Readers expressed disbelief that her experience was honest. “If it happened, you would have reported it.” It made me think a lot about that time I didn’t report my rapist, and how that didn’t make my experience any less true. (Although that’d be a nice magic trick; hey, girls, if you don’t report it, it didn’t happen! Yay!)

I always enjoy the Hollywood Reporter’s Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot but I’ve been frustrated by recurring comments about the movie Elle. The anonymous Academy voters say that Isabelle Huppert is excellent but her character doesn’t behave like a victim ‘should’ after her rape. This idea that there is a certain way for people to process trauma is missguided at best, if not dangerous. It negates the individual experience and can be manipulated into yet another reason to disbelief survivors if they don’t react as ‘expected’ There are countless different ways in which victims can and will react to sexual violence and all are valid. It is not up to us to prescribe how survivors ‘should’ behave. We need to listen, and let them know that they have been heard and believed.

A post shared by Louise O’ Neill (@oneilllou) on

Then, today, author Louise O’Neill posted this on her Instagram account which, once again, brought up the same themes. Why are rape victims held to such unrealistic standards of predictability when, in all other parts of life, we accept that human behaviour is, above all else, unpredictable? I decided I would share my story – an explanation, if you will, as to why I didn’t report my rapist.

I was 21 years old when I was raped. I had been sexually active, at that stage, for five years; I had slept with five men. (I wonder, sometimes, if I will ever regret sharing so much of my life – I suspect, however, that my Mother regrets enough for the two of us.) One of them was this man – the man who would, in a few short paragraphs, turn from sexual partner to rapist.

He and I had known each other a few weeks – we were in college together – and had kissed a handful of times. The weekend before, after a drunken night in a neighbouring apartment playing cards, we had ended up in bed together. Afterwards, he told me he’d been hoping this would happen – he really wanted to cuddle and I felt really uncomfortable.

I had recently broken up with my boyfriend and, I think, in that moment I realised that he was a rebound. I liked him a lot, but I didn’t really fancy him, and I most definitely didn’t want to go out with him. I was kind of disgusted with myself – I felt like the evil men I read about in women’s magazines, who slept with women and then, once they’d “got what they wanted”, realised they weren’t that into them anyway. I felt guilty.

The following week, we found ourselves socialising with a group of friends in the local. I spent the night avoiding him; I was afraid he’d try to kiss me again, and I was too much of a coward to be upfront and tell him I wasn’t into him.

Later, back in our apartment, he and a few of his friends came back for more drinks. We all sat on our couch, drinking from glass bottles (remember when it was cool to drink those tiny bottles of French beer?). When it came time to go to bed – I was always one of the first to fold, which may be part of why I don’t really drink anymore – he followed me into my room and asked if he could kiss me. I was in my pyjamas.

Once again, I was too ashamed – of my own meanness to say no. I remember thinking, he’ll get the message eventually. We kissed. He tried to undress me. I said no. He tried again – my top came off. I told him I didn’t want to have sex. We kissed some more. He tried to take off my bottoms. I said no.

He wasn’t pushy – at least not physically – but he was stubborn. After several “no”s, I remember thinking, ‘it would just be easier to let him do it.’ So I stopped saying no, and I lay there, and he had sex with me. At no point did I shove him away, or scream at him, or tell him to get out of my room. (I wish I had.) I didn’t behave like a rape victim should behave.

Right afterwards, he asked if I wanted him to leave. “Do you want me to leave?” When I look back, this is the part I have the biggest issue with. Up to this point, I would believe you if you told me that he didn’t know what he was doing was wrong – that he didn’t know he was taking something I wasn’t willing to give. But he knew; the minute it was over, he asked if I wanted him to leave. I said yes. He left.

I didn’t report my rapist because…

I didn’t report my rapist because, for years, I refused to accept that I had been raped. I was humiliated and ashamed; I felt worthless. I remember being disgusted at how I had just let him do that. What kind of person was I, who thought it was easier to just let someone have sex with me than to have the awkward “I don’t fancy you” conversation?

I didn’t report my rapist also, in part because I felt bad for him. I still do. I don’t think that he would look back on what happened that night and think that he had raped me. I doubt he ever thinks about it, in fact. I worried that, if I reported him, it would ruin his life. I still would never report it, because I still worry about that. He didn’t mean to rape me; that makes it okay.

The aftermath

Afterwards, I didn’t do anything a rape victim is meant to do. I didn’t stand in the shower, rubbing my skin raw. I didn’t skip lectures for weeks and stop eating. I just… got on with things. I carried on.

But I went through an incredibly promiscuous phase. It was as if I thought that if I could let him do that, then why not just let everyone else do it? I’m not saying I slept with 20 men per weekend (I didn’t), but I definitely slept with men I didn’t particularly want to sleep with, and who definitely didn’t warrant being looked at twice. I hated myself.

I don’t know when I quite recovered (if that’s even the word), but I think it was around the same time that I realised that what he’d done was rape. Once I realised that it wasn’t my fault – that this was something that had been done to me, rather than something I’d let happen (although it was that, too), I shifted the blame from me to him. That helped.

I’m not sorry

I’m not sorry I didn’t report my rapist. I think the lines were too blurred for there ever to have been a conviction. I think that reporting him would have ruined his life – when I’m not sure he necessarily deserved that, for being drunk and pushy and not respecting my boundaries – and possibly mine.

It’s so funny because, in theory, I would always advocate reporting rape. I mean, who wouldn’t? But it’s not so black and white when it happens to you.

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Comments

    • R
    • February 23, 2017

    Rosemary. I’m so sorry. And I wish I could say I can’t imagine how you must feel or did feel but I can’t. Because I do know, almost exactly. And I’d wager so many more know it too. It makes me so angry and sad. Thanks for sharing your story, I know it makes me feel less alone with my experience.

    • Shirley Walsh
    • February 23, 2017

    Thank you for that. I had nearly the same thing happen me on a sixth year holiday and I still wonder should it be classed as rape, but I now know it should. Very brave of you.

    • Karen
    • February 23, 2017

    I’m really sorry this happened to you. I can relate in that similar things have happened to me, I have let sexual situations happen just because I was too attached to the concept of myself as pleasing to say “no I don’t feel that way about you”, too immature, too deeply sensitive and easily wounded myself to handle rejecting another person . I have kissed people I did not fancy, I’ve even gone out with them. I recognise that at least one of these people was extremely manipulative and put an awful lot of emotional pressure on me to validate him in this way. Afterwards I felt full of shame and self disgust. The thing is though for me I found acknowledging my own responsibility in this sort of situation, where I played along as somewhat willing, made me feel much safer than looking for the other persons culpability. I feel I can only rely on me to keep me safe. If I looked to every person I met with their emotional baggage and ineptitude to do that for me I would feel constantly under threat. Of course it would be different if I were forced, if I cannot physically say no, but in situations where I don’t speak or act for myself, can I expect another person to that for me and if they don’t can I really lay more blame at their door than my own? I feel that whatever keeps me safest is what empowers me most even though acknowledging my own shortcomings in these situations is painful. I wonder what makes you feel safest. I don’t mean to be confrontational here or to invalidate your experience of your perspective or your pain. I know it’s all real. It’s just that is so different to my own that I am genuinely interested to know how it’s impacted how you face the world.

    • Ciara
    • February 23, 2017

    Such a brave thing to share your story and be so honest Rosemary. Thank you for sharing. There is not one “type” of rape and everyone deals with things differently.

    • Nicola Conroy
    • February 23, 2017

    Hi Rosemary,

    Thank you for sharing your story. Your honesty is refreshing and it’s one of the reasons you’re my favourite! I was saddened to read this article. The naivety of young women and our strive to please the opposite sex can often leave us in less than favourable situations. This piece is really excellent in helping girls realise that it’s better to have the awkward conversation rather than being forced into a situation you’re not comfortable with.

    I hope you’ve been able to take some comfort in sharing your story x

    • Meg
    • February 23, 2017

    So brave and honest! I wish more people could do this, it will help young girls (and hopefully some boys) realise the difference in consent. It doesn’t have to be violent to be rape, and you don’t have to have sex with someone just because they won’t take no for an answer.

    • Ellinor Bogen
    • February 23, 2017

    Thank you for sharing this, and saying the things I, and many others, can’t bear to say. I’ve spent years having to tell myself that what happened to me wasn’t okay, and reading this made me feel like someone believed me.

    • Lyn
    • February 23, 2017

    Your honesty is brave. Our conditioning to be people pleasers, to be polite, to be responsible leaves women vulnerable. Many many women have ‘accepted’ situations you described, because what did you expect? Boys will be boys and you shouldn’t have *insert behaviour here*.
    Consent, consent, consent. It’s time, it’s long passed time we teach our boys and girls better lessons.
    Stand tall in the coming storm, you look after you.

    • D
    • February 23, 2017

    Rosemary this has really touched my heart. It is something that I have personally battled with for nearly 10 years now and my parents always just wanted the entire thing to “go away” that I couldn’t report it either, and never will. I’ve always felt shame over the whole situation but to have someone I follow on a daily basis open up about such a topic has helped me in ways you will never know. Thank you.

    • et
    • February 23, 2017

    I had a similar experience with a previous boyfriend, I told him no and he just persisted. I never knew if what had happened could be classed as rape, but now I know it probably should have…

    • Majella
    • February 23, 2017

    You are amazing for sharing your story, very brave!… my experience is very different, but none the less I blamed myself for letting it happen.. I clearly dont anymore… No is no and it is a much brushed over topic… My reasons for not reporting my rape was, i was underage, he was much older, I willingly enteted his house, (yes, I now know that means I did not willingly have sex with him) who would believe me, everybody would know what had happened, did I really want the shame of my family finding out, having to re-live the experience over and over and more than likely the man not been convicted… It was easier to just get on with my life!… I am now a mother and it is something I will teach my daughters, because there is no shame in been attacked! Even though society may make you think otherwise!

    • Paula
    • February 23, 2017

    I know xx

    • E
    • February 23, 2017

    Very real, happens all the time in my opinion, thank you for writing this and making women aware.

    • Olivia
    • February 23, 2017

    I cried reading your post, I can relate exactly and have always berated myself for not reporting my own experience. Thank you for putting it into words I can finally understand.

    • KTKtoo
    • February 23, 2017

    This topic is such an important one not just for females but for males, too. Both sexes need to know that NO means NO. NO means STOP. Simple as that. Whether it’s a stranger; someone we’re talking to; someone we’re dating or married to, if we say NO (or aren’t in any condition to say YES or NO) then it is rape. Period. I hate you’ve dealt with this but I’m so glad you opened up and shared your story. <3

    • g
    • February 23, 2017

    ok im gonna be controversial but its more of a debate than anything else. Overall i don’t think it was rape look at the facts a) you’d previously slept together b) you didn’t say no c) you were under the influence of alcohol
    i believe the guy mis-read the signals as he was drunk and he didn’t mean you any harm. You defi wouldnt have a case if you reported it, overall i think it was a big mis-understanding and i wouldn’t call it rape.

    • A
    • February 23, 2017

    Well done rosemary.i went through the same thing when I was 16 however my rapist was my then boyfriend.he apologised afterwards when I pointed out what he had done.needless to say the relationship broke down soon afterwards and my life spilled out of control with dark suicidal thoughts becoming the norm.i never reported him because who was going to belive me when i was in a relationship with this man. Now I’m an independent 26 year old woman who is in a relationship with a lovely,caring man who knows exactly what I went through and is understanding that maybe sometimes I need my space to process my thoughts.well done for writing this piece,unfortunately this is far too common

  1. g, this is a lazy copy and paste job here but:

    He tried to undress me. I said no. He tried again – my top came off. I told him I didn’t want to have sex. We kissed some more. He tried to take off my bottoms. I said no.

    He wasn’t pushy – at least not physically – but he was stubborn. After several “no”s, I remember thinking, ‘it would just be easier to let him do it.’ So I stopped saying no, and I lay there, and he had sex with me.

    How are you interpreting this as “you didn’t say no”?

    Your other two points are farcical: having consented once doesn’t mean you automatically consent to having sex with that person again and again forever, and alcohol does not = consent. Far from it, in fact.

    • Rachel
    • February 23, 2017

    No means no G. Whether it’s someone you’ve slept with before, a stranger, your long term partner, if you’ve been drinking or not. You are not being controversial, you are deliberately ignoring the information Rosemary has provided in her post. Rape is not a misunderstanding. Don’t diminish the victim’s experience.

    • AD
    • February 23, 2017

    G, if I lend you €5 one day, do you then presume that you can just take €5 from me everytime you see me?

    Just because Rosemary consented once, doesn’t mean she therefore consented every single time she saw him.

    P.S. please look up legal definition of rape – it is non-consensual sexual intercourse. Nothing to do with previous behaviour, or alcohol being involved.

  2. I can’t imagine how your feeling as thankfully I’ve not had it happen to me, I will say human beings are complex creatures. You may have frozen, and you didn’t have the will to push this guy away. The mind & body are powerful things.
    Until your in a particular situation, none of us can judge others.
    Hopefully your honesty and story will help another person and give you some closure. x

    • L
    • February 23, 2017

    Reading this post like it could have been about my own rape.
    I was 15, a virgin beforehand and couldn’t comprehend or understand it. I knew him, had kissed him before and thought he was my friend and a nice guy. But I was wrong.
    didn’t think I was raped at the time. I thought you could only be raped if you were dragged kicking and screaming down a dark alley by a stranger in a hoodie violently attacking you.
    But I’ve learnt a lot since then.
    I also didn’t report, not because of how it would affect him, but because of the victim blaming culture and disbelief among society in general towards rape survivors (I’ve seen girls from my area report their rapes only to be demonised on social media, called sluts and liars, or told that they ‘asked for it’ because of their behaviour and ‘you can’t be raped if you were drunk’).
    I didn’t want to put myself through that so I chose not to. I found out a few weeks after my rape that I was pregnant and so flew to England with my mum to have an abortion. Here, in Ireland I would have been forced to carry and give birth to my rapists child.
    For so long I felt ashamed of myself and my experience, it’s only in the last few years through educating and empowering myself, taking note of inspiring feminists like yourself Rosemary that I have wised up. I am no longer ashamed or afraid to talk about my experiences. For so long I hid those parts of me, but I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if I had not experienced them.
    Ireland has the lowest conviction rate for sexual violence crimes in Europe. I seen your snapchat about educating our children in hopes of tackling the problems of sexual violence in our society and I completely agree. Through education, and starting a dialogue at a young age we can hopefully achieve something.
    Thank you for sharing your story so publicly, I am 22 now and hope I can have the courage to do the same one day.

    • Ed
    • February 23, 2017

    Holy cr*p G, you’re not being controversial, you’re being completely wrong. No means no, it doesn’t matter how many time you have had sex with a person before and it doesn’t matter how he misinterpreted any signals, if a person says no you STOP. What you’re doing is classic victim blaming. Maybe before you comment on another persons experience of rape, you should actually visit a rape crisis website or something and do a little research on consent.

    • David O'Hara
    • February 23, 2017

    This is a scurrilous article. According to your own account, you decided to engage in consensual casual sex. Branding the young man a rapist is repulsive. At what point did you ask him to get out of your room? Why did you not simply refuse to engage in any intimate activity? I am incredulous that no one is calling you out on the fact that you decided to have sex with him over telling him to get out of your room.

    Branding your old college mate a rapist from this description is appalling and a falsehood. I hope he is alerted to the article and corrects the slander through the courts.

    • Roisin
    • February 23, 2017

    Hi David, did you actually read the article or did the point fly over your head??? She said no on multiple occasions, what pray I ask you is the right way a girl is suppose to act under those conditions cause no one person will have they same reaction.

    Your comment just cements the my & im sure others belief that rape culture is alive & well in this country. Do us all a favour Dave & take a big step back into the fecking sea! Cheers!

    • Yvonne
    • February 23, 2017

    David O’Hara is a cretin and is the owner of cretinous thoughts. You sir, are an ignormamous.

    Rosemary. I won’t share with you my own experience as its still just too raw (October 2016) but thanks to you so much for sharing. I hope it brings you some peace. It certainly brings me some.
    Like you did, I’m just gettin on with it. Unlike you, I knew what it was as it happened as I had unfortunately experienced it previously.
    No means fucking no.
    I can’t wait til the initial sting leaves me so I can rebuild and feel strong again.
    Cheers doll, you’re an aul star sure ya are x

    • The Other Emma
    • February 23, 2017

    David the only person who would be able to identify who Rosemary is referring to is the other person involved and if he did decide to sue for slander I would be interested to see how he explained interpreting repeatedly being told “No” as consent. Silence does not equal consent. Drunk or not he must have known that being told no more than once meant she wasn’t interested.

    Rosemary, it takes courage to talk about this especially when you know you will have deal with shite like David has spouted and worse.

    You know you are far from alone in experiencing this and I hope your words help others. I know they have helped me.

    Thank you.

    • Fi
    • February 23, 2017

    I am not sure if I am reading a totally different article to David O’Hara but… Rosemary did not consent, she repeatedly said no, she never said yes. Having sex with someone without their consent is rape. Most women are raped by someone they know, in many cases by an ex-intimate partner.
    I don’t think this man, whose identity remains hidden, will be taking Rosemary to court. Men who do not wish to be “branded a rapist” should consider not raping people.

    • Extremely Worried Gent
    • February 24, 2017

    This article is absolutely horrendous and I think that you need to take a long hard look at yourself before you go throwing around rape allegations against an old college mate. You decided to have sex with this person and at no point asked him to leave your room. If you felt as uncomfortable as you suggest then why not be honest with yourself and the person that you had already slept with previously ? I added a bit from your lazy copy and paste for G :

    ” he followed me into my room and asked if he could kiss me. I was in my pyjamas.

    Once again, I was too ashamed – of my own meanness to say no. I remember thinking, he’ll get the message eventually. We kissed.”

    “He tried to undress me. I said no. He tried again – my top came off. I told him I didn’t want to have sex. We kissed some more. He tried to take off my bottoms. I said no.

    He wasn’t pushy – at least not physically – but he was stubborn. After several “no”s, I remember thinking, ‘it would just be easier to let him do it.’ So I stopped saying no, and I lay there, and he had sex with me.”

    I find it interesting that you point out to G that you said no and you can’t understand how they don’t come to the same conclusion, while not addressing the first part of that sentence where he asked could he kiss you and you couldn’t bring yourself to say no so went with it. You say that you remember that “he’ll get the message eventually” How exactly ? There is also the part where your top came off after you kissed. Did it fall off or did you have any part in this ? Were you stripped against your will ? From the details you give above it wouldn’t seem that way. It’s also very worrying that even after your top came off you continued to kiss and be intimate with this person. What sort of signals would you like this person to have picked up on ? The fact that you said no or the fact that you welcome this person into your room proceeded to kiss him and after your top came off you continued to be intimate.

    You need to take responsibility for your own actions instead of looking for someone else to blame for your own shortcomings when it comes to expressing your wishes. Reading through your article (sober) it could be argued that you sent mixed messages so I can only imagine how difficult it might have been when this person had been drinking.

    I do believe that no means no and that rape should not be condoned in any manner but you can’t expect people to “get the message” when you welcome someone in and start kissing them.

    The fact that you are well known in Ireland through this website and your blogging also means that the person your are talking about most likely now knows that you think he raped you. All of the others in the apartment most likely do too. So you have accused (wrongly) this person of being a rapist on the internet and I think you should apologise for doing so. I am glad I am not the only one that thinks this person should correct this disgraceful slander in the courts, as another person pointed out in the comments.

    I would suggest thinking long and hard about the events of that night and any other before you go publicising them on the internet.

    • T
    • February 24, 2017

    Rosemary… I don’t even know if il be able to express how remarkable you are. To have all that awareness and to consider that persons life after what happened to you is remarkable …… that’s what I think it means when people say your true self …. you are remarakable ….. you didn’t behave like a rape victim ? Who says ? You behaved like a boss !!! ( I sincerely hope I have that saying right and in correct context )

    • John Doe
    • February 24, 2017

    You weren’t raped.

    • Boxxy
    • February 24, 2017

    I think this is absolutely outrageously offensive to victims of actual rape. You should be ashamed of yourself. You’re branding this man a rapist despite agreeing to sexual intercourse – yes, he was pushy, and he should have been more respectful perhaps but by your own account, you choose ‘the easier option’ (that was YOUR decision) and willingly engaged in consensual sex that you later regretted . Why didn’t you ask him to leave? I’m sorry but this account is not rape and it’s an insult to those that suffer genuine cases of rape. Thankfully I’ve never been raped but I’ve been in situations like the above where I’ve said “Sorry, but I said no and I do mean it” and I stop any physical contact, it’s never been an issue. To think that you’ve a) branded this man a rapist and b) fashioned yourself as a victim of rape just sickens me.

  3. Hi Rosemary, I think you bring up some really important points in this piece. Up until recently this was one of the only ways Irish guys got sex. There was this ridiculous perception that nice girls didn’t agree to sex straight off the mark. They had to be convinced. There was this game so the nice girls could keep their dignity and not be branded sluts. So nice guys were pushy and persistent and nice girls expected this game, as dangerous as it was. This still goes on. Only in recent years are women claiming their sexuality and their right to say no but it’s still only the few and the brave. The worst thing we can teach our girls is to be NICE and therefore fearful of offending. This is a conversation worth having because it is a grey area. Well done for your honesty and as ever brilliant writing xx

    • Petter Griffen
    • February 24, 2017

    Rosemary,

    A very good friend of mine was attacked and gang raped by 4 men and now suffers from agoraphobia but all that is nothing compared to the horror you had to go through. You are so brave coming forward like this, imagine having pity sex with someone who was not forceful at all.

    Do you have any advice for my friend in dealing with the aftermath of such a brutal attack? Clearly you have gone through some emotional turmoil but have come out strong to tell your story in your obviously not clickbait article.

  4. Peter, what do you hope to achieve in writing this comment? Do you want women who have been raped to feel ashamed of their experiences and – worse – ashamed of coming forward, because their rape isn’t *bad* enough?

    If this opens up a conversation about consent – which should be active, rather than passive, FYI – then isn’t it a good thing we’re talking about it?

    I really don’t understand why there’s such a huge level of anger directed at me for talking about my experience. I mean, I get why some people don’t like me, and that’s fine, but the vitriol this is getting surprises me.

    • Mark
    • February 24, 2017

    What a slap in the face to real rape victims that you say these things just to get yourself some page views. If this is what being a social infuencer is all about you need to take a good look at yourself.

    • Caroline
    • February 24, 2017

    This blog post has been sitting with me for a couple of days. Can I first mention that I’m not the kind of person that ever usually comments on blog posts or by no means a troll but I feel I can’t let this go without having my say.
    While I fully agree there are blurred lines when it comes to sexual consent , however in this case, I think it was incorrect and inappropriate for you to call this man a rapist and yourself a rape victim.
    You mention yourself that the reason you did sleep him was because it would be easier just to let him rather than hurting his feelings. You decided it was easier = your decision to allow it to happen. I wonder how an actual rape victim would feel about you calling yourself this and using such a contradictory statement by saying I just lay there and let him because it’s easier.
    You say he wasn’t physically pushy by any means and you didn’t want to be the one to say no so I can’t understand how this is defined as someone forcibly trying to have sex with you.
    Yes consent lines are extremely blurred but from your article I do not agree that you can call this rape and I’m pretty confident someone with the unfortunate experience of being an actual rape victim wouldn’t agree it was either.
    If most of us were to be totally honest with ourselves I’m sure there has been an experience where we have regretted a sexual encounter with someone at some stage in our lives, this by no means makes the majority of us rape victims.
    As some one with close personal experience with this I think you should really stop and think carefully about posting pieces like this for click bait/ attention grabbing, revenue generating headlines and think of the insult to victims , slander of this man and the effect it can have on others.

    • Izzy
    • February 24, 2017

    On a side note, I find it interesting that all the commentors claiming “It wasn’t rape!” and trying to diminish Rosemary’s experience are men. To Rosemary, I think it was so brave of you to post this, knowing you’d be slandered and attacked by safely anonymous people. Thank God, I’ve never been in the situation you describe but I’ve been in situations that weren’t far off, and I see so easily how something like this could happen to me or one of my friends. So thank you for writing this. Your story will stay with me, and I’m sure many others, and hopefully will be the impetus somebody needs to say without guilt or hesitation: “No. I don’t want this.”
    Sometimes it’s so easy to feel that you owe something to another person.

    • EH
    • February 24, 2017

    This was published on boards and I think it’s the most accurate post I’ve seen today on this situation.

    “A lot of people are using this thread as a place of projection and throwing out irrelevant sound bites.
    Rape is disgusting, brutal and horrible. I have worked along side rape victims. I’ve seen the after effects and its manifestations. Christ though. I’ve never, ever come across someone who has, 15 years after the situation, decided she was raped, wrote a blog post about it, plugged it on every social platform, bragged about the traffic it’s getting, and post a crying face selfie in order to further promote your blog post. It’s. Just. Incredible. I will not get into what I personally think of RMC, because for now that is neither here nor there. But the facts are, she was in a position of privilege that night as, she had a CHOICE, which is a thing that other victims do not have. She decided to have sex with this person because she didn’t want to tell him she didn’t fancy him. That is the crux of it! That is it! That is not rape.”

  5. EH, I think that’s an over simplification. The vast majority of rapes are committed by people known to the victim – a lot of those are partners. Most rapes *aren’t* violent rapes – therefore, couldn’t the majority of rape victims choose to resist? Why don’t they? Sure, they weren’t raped at all because they CHOSE to stay there, to cry instead of screaming, to lie down instead of fighting.

    The boards poster in question has made several jibes at me over the past 18 months and is in no way unbiased on this topic (me), and tbh I would be incredibly surprised if she genuinely has worked alongside rape victims – because if she had, she’d know the truth of what I’ve said above.

    Rape happens when a rapist doesn’t listen to someone saying no.

    • RW
    • February 24, 2017

    Totally agree with g and EH and very pleased that at least SOME people have the courage of their convictions to say it as is it. Hate to say it but I feel this piece is totally self-serving and done for pure publicity and does a total disservice to actual victims of rape, which is the most despicable and abhorrent of crimes to subject a person, male or female to . Jesus if we were all to examine every awkward fumble of our late teens and early twenties there wouldn’t be enough space on the internet for us all to be ‘brave’ and vent our feelings. Grow up, Rosemary.

  6. RW, do you really hate to say it? Or did you quite enjoy leaving that comment?

    • Heidi
    • February 24, 2017

    I cannot believe the amount of hate and vitriol that this post is getting.
    It’s simple – she said no and he didn’t listen to her. That’s rape.
    I’m sure these people commenting have never been in a position like this one – the majority of people saying that this situation wasn’t rape look to be men. I’m a 25 year old woman and I’ve been in this position multiple times – I think for a long time guys thought that it was down to them to convince women to have sex with them, they had to be ground down and pushed until they agreed, meaning saying no was just a challenge, not a refusal.
    I feel lucky that I’ve been in this position with the guys I have – purely because when I’ve said no, I have always, always been listened to. The older I get, the most I realise that my experiences are rare.

    • RW
    • February 24, 2017

    No, I got no pleasure from sending that comment because I actually really like you and follow your blogs and instagram posts daily. I rarely/never post comments on any type of site because I hate being critical of people and believe that everyone is entitled to their voice and opinion. I believe that you wrote this article for the right reasons and that it came from the heart. I also believe that you truly believe that your experience constituted rape and that’s ok- everybody’s perception of things is different, naturally, and what one may take from an experience can be so different from another. It’s just that with a subject as sensitive and emotive and awful as rape strong feedback is to be expected and perhaps welcomed because if nothing else you’ve opened the conversion. By the way, my name is Rebecca and I’m female.

  7. Ah, okay – it was the “grow up, Rosemary” that led me to suspect you didn’t really hate the dissent.

    I do, however, feel like your attitude has totally changed between these two comments. At first, I’m self-serving and publicity-seeking, and doing a disservice to “actual victims” of rape, implying that I’m either lying or completely delusional. The second one says that you acknowledge that, to me, my experience constituted rape – which is at odds with the first IMO.

    I agree with you at least that it is great to open up the conversation – but not, honestly, if the reaction is going to be “shut up you attention-seeking baby and think about how this makes REAL rape victims feel”. I’m not sure that’s the reaction I’d recommend giving to something as “sensitive and emotive and awful as rape”.

    • Karen Lockhart
    • February 24, 2017

    Caroline you have echoed my sentiments entirely and in parts so have David, G, Extremely Worried, Boxxy, Aisling, Mark and Rebecca. This article has consumed me over the last few days as I think it’s dangerous but also important. This NO thing is so volatile, I’ve said no, I’ve said stop but if he had I would been disappointed. As Aisling said back in the day this was how it went, a game. It was part of our control. We are only hearing one side of the story here and it’s Rosemary thoughts, feelings and memories. All over the country there are women being raped nightly but they wouldn’t call it that as they are in loving relationship with someone they trust. They may say no as they are tired, they feel unattractive or not in the mood and their partners will cajol and persist and the woman will give in, some happy they did, others resentful..who was raped? How are men to tell the difference between a soft no or a hard no?
    Karen.

    • Niamh
    • February 24, 2017

    I’m very sorry that this happened to you, and appreciate your honesty in sharing this. It makes me think that so many of these experiences (I bet so many of us have had them) come from this sense of not wanting to seem ‘mean’, to act ‘ungrateful’ for the male attention – the terrible, terrible repercussions of learning that our primary role on earth is to please others (men in particular) rather than listening to our own needs and safety. But posts like this – that are so clear and honest about the feelings around this – are part of the change. Thanks.

    • N
    • February 24, 2017

    Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve been in your position , and in the position where I kept saying no and nothing happened. I think the crux is not us women blaming ourselves for not having the strength to keep saying no, but men’s attitude ( like a spoilt child) that if they keep asking they will eventually get what they want, without realising that this is wrong. I know that a man would argue ‘ blurred lines etc’but that leaves us women with no protection. It’s horrible, but I’m pretty sure that most women have felt regret and violated and guilt that they were somehow responsible. Sorry, rambling here x

    • R
    • February 24, 2017

    Reading this blogpost gave me such peace of mind knowing I wasn’t alone in a situation similar to this Rosemary, and for that I thank you dearly. No single person can fully understand the fear and the anger and every other emotion one person can feel in a situation like this. I was 17 when I was raped by my then boyfriend. I was sober and so was he. I said no again and again until I gave up and waited for it to be over. I will never forget it but I have stopped letting it consume me. For these ridiculous people to come on here and post the most insensitive, hurtful comments about rape when they have never been ‘really’ raped is appalling and just goes to show that the victim-blaming culture still exists in this country. Rape is rape whether it is a once off and both the rapist and rape victim are drunk or whether it happens everyday, sober within a marriage. NO MEANS NO. I fully understand why you didn’t report your rapist and I know I could never report mine either. I would never like to put anyone in the psychologically torturing situation I found myself in after I was raped. For those of you who decided to comment abuse towards Rosemary, i don’t know what to say other than take a look at your own lives and try and put yourselves in another persons position. You don’t know a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes and you will never know a rape victim unless you’ve been raped yourself! Lack of empathy and respect is shocking.

    • Roisin
    • February 25, 2017

    Wow…. the comments…. I can’t get over the amount of men here having a go at you & yeah don’t pretend that your female, we know. The say rape culture doesn’t exist, it’s right here on these comments & on boards.ie, each as horrific as the last.

    If you go home with someone, guy or girl, & during kissing or any sexual activity they say no then you stop. That’s it, stop! I’m so sick & tired of people saying how a certain person should act if their raped or when does no actually mean no. It’s painful to repeat yourself but I just want to say a it again for the people in the back:

    1) if a person says no, stop
    2) if a person is so drunk they can’t speak properly, stay upright, if their passing out, stop
    3) if you think in any shape or form the person seems reluctant, stop
    4) if there not responding to your advances or if they are just laying there, stop! Something is not right

    There are grey areas when it comes to consent but we can use are intuition & sense when something’s wrong! Sick to death of people belittling a persons personal experience especially when they’ve never been through it. The majority of negative comments here are not trying to open the doors to a conversation on consent, there purposefully being hateful, spiteful & nasty for god knows what means.

    How you deal with this shite rosemary i don’t know. I’ve huge respect for you but my faith in humanity…. that’s another thing.

    • Jenny
    • February 25, 2017

    *DISCLAIMER: I AM FEMALE*

    You had the luxury of choice! You chose incorrectly! That, does not a rapist make!

    • H
    • February 25, 2017

    I sympathise with you completely. I think your story highlights a more important issue thats not being discusssed with young girls. Giving in to pressure whether its having a cigarette, drinking alcohol, or robbing some makeup from boots, is the kind of regret that you will get over. It may linger for a while but eventually you will probably laugh at it. I dont think girls fully understand how much sex affects the mind, and all too often girls have sex at an age before they were ready. Rosemary, you were put in an awful situation but I wonder if at that age you knew how much unconsentual sex would affect your mental wellbeing, you may have accepted the ”meanness” as you called it and ran for the hills. Sex when you are not ready/not wanting is a serious mindfuck and unfortunately its the lesson you learn only when it has happened to you. I think girls need to be educated on this more.

    • PintSize
    • February 25, 2017

    An insult to rape victims everywhere – how dare you brandish this innocent fella a rapist – and not even have the decency to actually tell him what you’re saying about him – you’re an absolute disgrace and you should be banned from writing anything ever again – YOU DID CONSENT
    Write him a letter and get his defense – let him answer you

    • Emma
    • February 25, 2017

    I believe you. And I agree with your judgement on what happened – in my opinion yes, this was rape. You clearly didn’t consent. You were also right to not make a report in court if you didn’t want to as your main responsibility is to care for yourself however you could. You don’t owe anyone anything – the rapist is responsible for his own behaviour. You have a right to write whatever you want on your blog. I am sorry that you have to face these exhausting comments from ignorant tossers who are defending this stupid rapist. Thank you for using your voice and being generous enough to share your experience. I am sorry that not everyone is able to respect your courage, integrity and strength. x Em

    • J
    • February 25, 2017

    Ah, look all the men who have pushed on while a woman said “No”, recoiling from any suggestion that there’s something wrong with that. “I’m not a rapist!”, they assure themselves.

    If you’re not met with enthusiasm, STOP.

    • Lola
    • February 26, 2017

    Pressuring someone until they concede does not qualify as consent. That person did not want to have sex. That person has made it clear that they do not want to have sex. And the person applying pressure knew full well that they did not want to have sex. But they did it anyway.

    So yes, that is still rape.

    People often remark that “telling a rapist not to rape won’t stop them raping someone.” Well what if you don’t know you’re a rapist? What if you don’t realise that you’re raping someone? Take this as a lesson and learn from it. Don’t rape.

    • S
    • February 26, 2017

    It’s not just men who feel this isn’t rape. I’m a women and I feel she wasn’t raped because she chose not to have sex with this person instead of telling him she didn’t fancy him. That’s the crux of it. That’s a privelege rape victims don’t have, but one I bet they wish they did have. So insulting. Also, can people please stop framing this as a men v women issue? I know just as many women who are disgusted by this article as men.

    • S
    • February 26, 2017

    Want to edit my above post i meant to say “she chose to have sex with this person instead of telling him she didn’t fancy him”.
    She CHOSE. That’s a decision. That’s consent.

    • Jan
    • February 27, 2017

    So it’s not just me then? Thank you for writing this. I’ve never felt less alone.

    • John o'shea
    • February 27, 2017

    Jan, Did you say no three times and thentake your top off and kiss the guy and agree to pity sex too?

    • S
    • February 28, 2017

    Lola: are you completely ignoring the part where Rosemary clearly states there was no pressure or force?

    • Mark
    • February 28, 2017

    I see you deleted the crying selfie and are now blocking people and deleting their posts on other social media platforms. It appears being a social influencer means manipulating the discussion to suit ones own point of view.

  8. Hi Mark,

    I deleted the crying selfies as I decided they were stupid. I share a lot of my life, and felt like, if I share a laughing selfie, why not share a crying one? But I get that people thought it was tacky and cheap and attention-seeking, and decided that it was probably wiser not to post crying pics any more! So I removed them.

    I deleted one – ONE – post on Instagram, from a person who left a comment that did nothing but name-calling. I’m perfectly happy to engage with people (and I have, across a lot of platforms) and have a discussion, but if a comment is just name-calling, well, it doesn’t contribute to the discussion. So I’ll delete.

    Aside from that, I hid one comment on Facebook, which I felt was slightly insensitive and, to be perfectly honest, I felt like it reflected a lot of questions that other rape victims who HAVE reported their rapes will have received, like: “Couldn’t you have fought harder?” “Why didn’t you scream?” “Did you not think of… X?” I didn’t mind responding to it myself (and I did), but didn’t want to leave it there so that (a) more interrogation could be piled on and (b) it would upset other people.

    I haven’t hidden or deleted any other comments. Since yesterday, I am blocking people on Twitter who @ me or like others’ tweets implying that I’m a narcissistic liar because, well, I don’t want to see them. I’m tired of this discussion, it’s incredibly draining and, like I said, while I’m happy to discuss things (to a certain extent, not forever), I’m not happy to keep getting notifications about what a dick I am.

    • E.
    • February 28, 2017

    As ghastly as this episode must have been, it falls short of rape when you decide it’s easier to have sex than to reject him. You decided he could have sex with you, and understandably you felt used when you were used for sex. Feeling used isn’t nice, but it’s not the same as rape.

    The cynical part of me sees lots of posts cheering you and calling you brave. How can a person be brave when they admit to allowing their body be used than having an awkward conversation? How is that braver than standing up like a grown woman, and telling a man that you’re not going to be having sex – or kissing! – because you do not find him attractive?

    Oh, I’m a woman by the way. Not a child who won’t speak up, yet somehow is ‘brave’ for it?

    How twisted is the world when instead of standing up as adults and behaving in control of our lives, that agreeing to the ‘easy’ option and blaming the other party after the fact is what’s applauded? That is not the feminist I am. The feminist I am tells pushy men to get out, I don’t kiss them and let them use me and call them rapists more than a decade later.

    Real women don’t seek approval for their tears and regrets, they get on with life and learn lessons.

    • K
    • February 28, 2017

    wow! cannot believe the reaction to this. I read this piece the other evening and it really struck a cord. Everyone in life has different feelings and opinions on events that happened to them in the past. They were the ones involved in these events and therefore only they can really judge what they believed happened in their own eyes.
    Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you. PERCEPTION IS REALITY.

    • Nicola
    • February 28, 2017

    You broke up with your boyfriend then you decided to sleep with this guys.. You decided you didn’t like him.. then you decided to sleep with him again.. Then you decided you really didn’t like him.. You then decided to sleep with lots of other guys..

    Are they all rapist also?

    How can no mean no when your kissin the face off him!

    I am terrified for our sons if this women is taken seriously..

    I am a women and I think you were right to feel ashamed of yourself.. You still should be.. There were no blurred lines here bar the fact that he was a perfectly nice guy, delighted to have been with you and you used him as a rebound..

    • Maria
    • February 28, 2017

    I would be very much of the view that you were not raped. Please think about the damage this piece of writing can do to people.

    By your own admission, you let him have sex with you, that is not rape. This would not secure a rape conviction. You consented when you decided to persist with intercourse over telling him you didn’t like him. Yes you originally said no, but just like consent can be taken back at any time, it can also be given at any time. This guy is at the very worst not very good at reading social ques- that does not make him a rapist. Your body language telling him yes- kissing and removal of clothes etc

    This piece is very damaging. And Id urge anyone reading it to read it again. And read beyond it’s ability to sympathise with the author over the word “rape”, please read the details. She was not raped. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to live in a world where my brother, father, husband and son are viewed as rapists. Please stop.

    Oh also, if it’s not obvious: IM A WOMAN.

    • Sb
    • March 1, 2017

    Are you intending to report this alleged rape to the gardai? That would be the truly brave and courageous thing to do. If you genuinely feel you were raped then let the laws of the land decide. If you truly consider this old friend to be your rapist then will you say so publicly? By doing so you give him the opportunity to tell his recollection of the night too.

    If you genuinely feel this is a story that needs to be told and you need your rape to be validated and acknowledged then you now have an obligation to report it.

    • jennifer
    • March 1, 2017

    now you have deleted ALL comments on your facebook that don’t align with your way of thinking, and on your website you attack the character of a woman who questioned your article.

    “The boards poster in question has made several jibes at me over the past 18 months and is in no way unbiased on this topic (me), and tbh I would be incredibly surprised if she genuinely has worked alongside rape victims – because if she had, she’d know the truth of what I’ve said above.”

    so.. if someone has a different opinion to you they are wrong and lying? this is not an attack on you as a person. but if you a ‘social influencer’ with thousands of followers, post’s something that people may find offensive and potentially very dangerous. it is important that readers of the article can read another point of view. especially from other women. and not be shut down, have their comments deleted, or be called liars.

  9. Jennifer, I haven’t deleted a single Facebook comment. I did, however, delete the post itself (my crying selfie), because I read the criticism people had about it and I decided they were right. It appeared sensationalist and attention-seeking, and I regret posting it. (See? I took criticism on board – it’s a shame that you’re now angry about that.)

    In no way do I think people with different opinions are necessarily wrong / lying, but if someone claims to work with victims or rape and then says things like, “rape victims don’t do X, Y or Z”, forgive me for being sceptical. As I’ve said several times, there is no “right” way for rape victims to behave. Anyone who argues otherwise is, in my opinion, wrong.

    As you can see from numerous comments on this thread disagreeing with me, readers of this article can indeed read dissenting views. I haven’t deleted a single one.

    There is quite literally nothing else I can say in my own defence. You think I’m a terrible human; I think I’m an okay human, even if I sometimes make mistakes (aforementioned selfie).

    • Penny
    • March 1, 2017

    I don’t believe the person said “rape victims don’t do x, y or z”.. what she did say is rape victims do not have ye privilege of choice. The only choice they have is “will I be raped or will I be raped brutally”.. not “will I just let him have sex with me or will i tell him I don’t fancy him and get it over with”.. you CHOSE option B. You chose to have sex. You cannot decide for yourself you were raped and then label somebody a rapist. You even acknowledged that he would not be convicted of rape yet are happy enough to go about calling him a rapist.

    Regret sex does not equal rape.

    • Jenny
    • March 1, 2017

    Rosemary,

    Can you see at all the opinion of people that don’t agree with you saying you were raped?

    Do you think we are all 100% wrong to think this?

    Can you somehow rephrase your article to show the exact point you didn’t have a choice in having sex with this man?

    Can you help us find the part in the article that mentions the lack of options you had that night?

    Can you highlight the sentences that show when you ran out of choices because that man took the choices away from you?

    Because when I read it, you had options and you chose one! Then you regretted the choice! And now the man is in the wrong! He took away your choice apparently! But I just cannot find exactly where in the article he did that!

    Consent can be taken away at any time which is wonderful but consent can be given at any time too! And you gave your consent!

  10. Hi Jenny,

    Of course I can see people’s opinion – and I do think they’re wrong, because I was there and believe the opposite. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think people are entitled to their opinions.

    I don’t think rape – or sex without consent, to be specific – is as black and white as you’re making it out to be. Cajoling a person into sex, coercing them into giving in, not relenting until they stop saying no, is not consent. You’re defining consent as the absence of a no, when in fact consent is the presence of a yes – physical or otherwise. A woman doesn’t have to put up a fight, or scream or punch someone, in order to make it clear (as I did) that they do not want to have sex.

    And as for options: what about women who are raped by their husbands? They have “options” (by your definition), surely – therefore, if they don’t leave him, they’re not raped. They chose to stay!

    Like I said, it’s not that simple.

    • E.
    • March 2, 2017

    You have a responsibility to yourself not to engage in things that you do not want. If you decide it’s easier to do something than have awkwardness, that is your decision. You don’t get to diffuse blame and look for pity – that crying selfie really revealed what this is about.

    Aligning yourself with women who’ve suffered rape and abuse trivialises their suffering, but if it gets you more attention I suppose you get what you want.

    • Penny
    • March 2, 2017

    Rosemary please state how you were cajoled and how he was not relentless? At first you say he was not at all pushy! Which is it? Stop changing the details!
    Your body language was giving mixed signals. Nobody has to say “yes I am consenting to sex” to engage in consensual sex otherwise they were raped. That is a pile of shite. People have been having consensual body language sex for thousands of years.
    You say “he should have listened” well, you should have told him you don’t fancy him! Take some responsibility for you situation! Stop making women out to be weak minded, feeble beings that they have to be protected from the act of persuasion.

    Persuasion= not rape
    Pressure or force= rape

    • Sb
    • March 2, 2017

    Rosemary I think you’re adding smoke and mirrors to this recollection by saying it’s not that simple or black and white. You wrote the words yourself about taking the easy way out and having sex.

    However to go back to my original question, are you now going to report this alleged crime to the gardai? If not then I think this article is probably defamation of character. I think you’ve made a serious allegation about someone in a very public and explicit way and you now have a responsibility to carry this through and report it.

    • Penny
    • March 2, 2017

    Of course she is not going to go and report him to the Gardai, because then there may be a trial and he would be acquitted, and then she wouldn’t be able to go around calling him “my rapist” anymore and seek sympathy.

  11. Perhaps consensual sex doesn’t always require “I want to have sex”, but in an instance someone has said no several times, as well as the words “I don’t want to have sex”, the LACK of consent seems clear.

    Sb, as I said in the piece, no I will not be reporting it. I’m under no onus to do so, as I’ve said over and over again, and frankly I’m done saying that.

  12. Penny, do you honestly believe that, in all rape cases which don’t result in guilty verdicts, the accused are not rapists? I’m shocked by that tbh, I thought we were all aware of the shockingly low rate of conviction in rape cases (due to he said / she said, lack of evidence etc).

    • Sb
    • March 2, 2017

    That is a very cowardly approach. That’s not brave. That’s the opposite of brave. Why would you put this on social media and then say you’re not going to report it as a crime?

    You’ve alleged that a crime took place. You were a victim of that crime. You’ve give very very very specific details about the location and date of the crime.

    What are you telling victims of sexual assault? Go on social media and tell the world but don’t report it as a crime?

    I think you’ve now got a moral obligation to report it as you’ve pretty much identified this person. You said you didn’t want to ruin his life by reporting it. I’m sure you’ve done some damage to his reputation now but you’re denying him the opportunity to defend himself.

    Is that not defamation of character?

    • Penny
    • March 2, 2017

    Rosemary, in this instance, which is what we are talking about, he would not be convicted because he didn’t rape you.

    Stop bringing statistics in to prop up your argument to make it sound more convincing.

    He wouldn’t be convicted because he’s not a rapist.

  13. Penny, I have no interest in trying to make anything “sound more convincing”. It’s not an argument, it’s an account. My account, to be exact. I’m not quite sure why you are so determined to convince me that my body’s “mixed signals” amount to consent, and that my repeated “no” does not equal a lack of consent. I get it: you don’t think this is rape. I really do get it. I just don’t agree.

    • Penny
    • March 2, 2017

    Of course they do Rosemary!
    Also, I’m not disputing your repeated no meant you don’t consent. But you admit at some stage you stopped saying no and decided to have sex. Just like consent can be taken back at any moment, it can also be given at any point. You gave it when you decided to have sex with him. Stop making him responsible for the situation. There was two of you in it.

    He should have listened to your no- but there was mixed signals there and the decision to continue kissing after the removal of your clothes (you don’t state who removed them) resulted in an ambiguous situation -the fact he didn’t doesn’t make him a rapist- because you decided to have sex when you decided you rather do that then tell him you don’t like him.

    • jennifer
    • March 3, 2017

    Consent has been extremely blurred, that is why in November 2016 the supreme court introduced a definition of consent into the Irish law on rape.
    so innocent people will not be accused of rape using the blurred lines of consent defense.

    “In Irish law, a man has raped a woman if she had not consented to intercourse and he knew this, or was reckless as to whether the victim did or did not consent.”

    if you had your clothes removed or were forced to remove your clothes through a threat to you physically or otherwise, then you did not give consent.
    if you were forced to have intercourse through a threat to you physically or otherwise, then you did not give consent. (the person would be charged as they know you are not consenting)

    if you were unconscious, or so under the influence that consent was impossible for you, even if you have been kissing them and showing signs of consent before. then that is rape (The person would be charged under the reckless definition)

    if you were underage and not mentally mature enough to consent to sex, then that is rape. (the person would be charged under the reckless definition)

    there are hundreds of other scenarios I could outline, your accusation of rape does not meet the standards. for the reason being the man you were with DID NOT KNOW YOU DIDN’T WANT SEX. he was not reckless as you were in your right mind and of age.

    by taking off your clothes you gave consent, to not follow your audible statement of ‘no’ with a physical statement of ‘no’ and by physical statement I mean, to stop kissing him, to not remove your clothing, to not have sex . you CHOSE to have sex because you found it easier than telling him you didn’t fancy him. the man you were with certainly did things wrong, but he didn’t rape you.

    you are not a victim, you did not have your choice taken away from you. you did not have your body violated, you were not set upon and abused. and yes there are many forms of rape, you rosemary had consensual awkward sex you regret, you were not raped.

    • Penny
    • March 3, 2017

    My brother wants to take my keys to my car. I tell him no you can’t take them. He abides but then goes to take them again. I see him take them but I decide to let him have the keys as it’ll be easier then to have an awkward conversation about why I don’t want him to take my car.
    Later on, I regret that I let him take them.

    Is my brother a thief? Can i report him for theft?
    No. Because I let him take them.

    And yes, I just compared “rape” to the taking of car keys, but, you should know, they use these kinds of analogies in court all of the time.

  14. Say in this scenario your brother has asked you several times. You’ve said no repeatedly and then you’ve said: “I do not want you to take my car.”

    He takes it anyway, and you watch him take it and you say nothing. You have friends in the house and you’re embarrassed that your brother doesn’t respect you enough to obey your wishes, and you’re afraid they’ll take his side and anyway, you don’t want to cause a scene.

    Your brother stole your car. It actually doesn’t matter why you said nothing, why you watched him take it, why you “let him away with it”. You told him that you weren’t giving him your property. He ignored you and took it anyway. That’s theft.

    If you chose to report it, he could be arrested and charged with it. But say you don’t, cos he’s your brother and you’re embarrassed that you weren’t more forceful with your refusal to “let him” take your car.

    It doesn’t mean he didn’t take it and, in the absence of your consent to do so, it doesn’t mean that wasn’t theft. It’s pretty clear cut, in fact.

    • Penny
    • March 3, 2017

    No rosemary, it is not theft. Letting someone take my keys (while not under any duress/pressure/threat) because I don’t want to have an awkward conversation and make him feel bad about himself does it make him a thief. He would not be convicted of theft.

    All the other details about friends in the house etc are extraneous.

    • Penny
    • March 3, 2017

    And you say “he ignored you, and he took it anyway”

    You mean “I said no first, but then stopped saying no and decided he could take them”

    • Penny
    • March 3, 2017

    “It’s pretty clear cut, in fact”

    Eh, all you’d have to say is “After several no’s I let him take them your honour as I wanted to avoid an awkward conversation”, and the whole case would be debunked and he would be acquitted.

    • Penny
    • March 5, 2017

    No response then? Thought as much.

    • Sophie
    • March 7, 2017

    He raped her. He knew she wasn’t consenting. He heard her say no, and he heard her say she did not want to have sex. He ignored her clear verbalisation of non-consent. That is the difference, if he genuinely thought she’d totally changed her mind, if she hadn’t gone silent and still, if she had said actually yeah I do want to have sex – then maybe it would not constitute rape. Though it would still be debatable as he would still know he’d pressured her into it. This is why it’s so shitty to focus on the victim/survivor’s actions/inactions. If you focus on the alleged perpetrator – did they have a genuine and reasonable belief that their partner was consenting by choice and at that moment had the freedom and capacity to make that choice (e.g. not under pressure, or judgement impaired by intoxication) – did they genuinely think the other person was into it or did they take advantage? That is what sexual assault is, in the most basic sense – taking advantage of someone.

    • JB
    • March 8, 2017

    Well done Rosemary for speaking out. This was a very scary and confusing thing that happened to you.

    Did you watch ‘The Hunting Ground.’ ? It’s a very good documentary on Netflix about the muddy area of date-rape. I think every senior school/3rd level might show this to their students, girls and boys (remember it is not only women who are raped). Rosemary’s situation as a victim and the impact it has on a person is well documented in this documentary. Also, you will note that many of the victims are inherently nice, biddable people which unfortunately makes them even more of a target. Horrible but true.

    • Penny
    • March 8, 2017

    Rosemary consented when she decided she’d rather have sex then tell him she didn’t like him.
    Case and point and end of story.

  15. Penny, unless he was telepathic, that’s not consent. (If I rob someone’s wallet, can I then go to court and go, “sorry your honour, I could tell they decided to let me. I could just TELL, even though they said no several times.”)

    • Penny
    • March 8, 2017

    Futile analogy.
    Unless someone is handing you their wallet at the same time as taking it back from you, your argument makes no sense.

    Also, why are you absolving yourself of blame and throwing all the responsibility on his shoulders? You decided to have sex, and your body language attested to that. He doesn’t have to be a mind reader to read consensual body language.

    Although, mind reading ability would have come in handy for the guy since you “hoped he would get the message”, instead of telling him “I don’t fancy you, let’s stop this”.

    Implied consent is still consent. Someone doesn’t have to say “hey I’m consenting”, to have you believe they are consenting. If he had reasonable grounds to believe you were consenting (which he had, because you did) then it would be understood that he did not rape you.

  16. To be perfectly honest, Penny, if I tell someone, over and over again, that I don’t want to have sex with them – I think it would require more than silence for them to assume consent. We are NEVER going to see eye to eye on this, so I really don’t get what you’re hoping to achieve by telling me, over and over, that my experience doesn’t constitute rape.

    • Penny
    • March 8, 2017

    You don’t seem to get that consent can be given at any time. You said no once or twice, kept kissing, and then consented when you decided to have sex over an awkward conversation. That is deciding to engage in sex, that is consent. That is the crux of it and the kernel that the whole substance of this issue hangs on. That’s it.
    Over and out.

    • Pauline
    • March 16, 2017

    Kissing someone and taking your clothes off for them has never Implied consent!

    • Gwen
    • April 7, 2017

    She said no several times and he didn’t stop. Ok? You people need basic reading comprehension skills. Penny, she said no many times. Pauline, she did not undress for him. No, thankfully, what she went through was not a violent sexual assault from a complete stranger in a back alley, but she said no and this person persisted and forced her clothes off and she gave up fighting. That happens sometimes, men and women stop fighting their rapists. Maybe it’s an ancient defense mechanism, who knows.

    All she did was share a story and people are angry at her. She didn’t try to paint herself as completely blameless and she didn’t name the man or give any clues about who he was. So why be angry at her? Because she is a human being who had a bad experience and dared to talk bout it? Has she done one bit of harm?

    I think reading things like this allow young women to imagine themselves in the situation (you will most likely be in this situation) and come up with a “game plan”. They teach children to shout, not say, but shout “NO”, scream even, when a stranger asks them to come away with them. They teach children to do this automatically, without thinking, and it saved my life once when I was little.

    • G C
    • April 8, 2017

    Every person has the right to tell their story and people have the right to agree/disagree. I’m so conflicted with this though. I wouldn’t call this man a rapist, but I don’t think what happened to you was right. If telling your story relieved you in some way then I am happy for you. Personally I’m glad I read it. It hit home a little bit for me. Being in quite an emotionally/psychologically abusive relationship for a number of years, this partner would look to have sex and if I said no they would often make remarks like “if you don’t I’ll have to go out and find someone who will..” or “if you honestly loved me you would just..” “you need to prove why I should be with you..” so even though I knew I didn’t want to, I did.. quite like this, I knew I didn’t want to, but still did.. Personally I never really thought about grey areas until now.

    • Quin
    • April 30, 2017

    Holy shit this thread is full of absolute IDIOTS! I actually read a case almost exactly like this, about two years ago.

    Girl didn’t want to have sex.

    Man stayed persistent but wasn’t attempting to force himself on her. (She was also being intimate with him during, just like you were)

    Girl gave into his persistence and allowed him to have sex with her.

    Literally exactly your situation in a nutshell. The judge then explained to her that persistence isn’t rape. Unless he forcibly penetrated you, you were not raped. You saying no didn’t make it rape, because he did not penetrate you until you allowed it without being forced. The judge was a woman, by the way. I know I should mention that, because otherwise people will claim it was sexism.

    At least she was smart enough to acknowledge her rape claim was foolish, but I doubt there’s enough braincells between this lot to form a rational thought.

    • Beth
    • May 12, 2017

    Wow I can’t believe all the horrible responses people are leaving to this. I had something very similar happen to me. This IS rape. She said no multiple times. When does her no become a real no? I didn’t yell and scream when I was being raped bc I was scared and completely shocked. I always thought that I would fight back if I was ever raped but guess what? When it came down to It I didn’t. She said she wasn’t interested multiple times and he wore her down until she felt like she couldn’t say no. He wasn’t taking no for an answer. And who cares that she kissed him? You can consent to kissing someone and still not want sex. Shame on all of you. And how dare you presume to know how her trauma has or has not effected her. And suggesting that her experience somehow invalidates the experiences of people who were violently raped is ridiculous.

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