Writer. Researcher. Editor.

Why I didn’t report my rape #38 – “I didn’t know it was rape”

I didn’t know it was rape until learning the definition of rape in a psych 101 class.

We had been hooking up for months and he begged and pleaded and I’d always say no. I wasn’t a virgin but after falling in love with my friends-with-benefits partner in the past I didn’t want to risk being hurt again emotionally.

One day, he said ‘but don’t you want us to be official, the only way to prove you love me is to do it’ or something along those lines. I tried to put it out my mind so long I don’t quite remember his exact words. Begrudgingly I agreed because I did love him and I did want for us to be official.

I joke that it was the worst sex I ever had. I was uncomfortable and unwilling but I did it because when it came to him I was a blind naive little girl.

It wasn’t violent and it wasn’t a stranger in a dark alley. He was my best friend. He was the person I cared most about. And I disrespected myself by letting him ‘coerce’ me into having sex with him.

And honestly if I walked into any police station and told them that they would probably laugh and tell me to stop wasting their time.

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PLEASE NOTE: The “Why I didn’t report” stories are submitted by rape survivors and victims from around South Africa (and a couple from abroad) as well as by their family members and friends. These stories are published anonymously at the request of the authors. Please do not re-publish these stories outside of this website without my permission, as I have to clear this with the author of the story. This is in order to maintain the integrity of the authors’ stories, as well as respect their privacy. Please help me create safe spaces for survivors to tell their stories by respecting this request.

If you would like to include your story in this conversation, please email me: michelle at journoactivist dot com. I will assume anonymity for all submissions unless specified otherwise.

If you are rape survivor and need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to call the ‘Stop Gender Violence’ helpline at 0800 150 150.

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