Why Rape Victims Stay Quiet (As Written By A Rape Victim)

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Why Rape Victims Remain Quiet (As Written By A Rape Victim)

It happens to most of us, and it's WRONG.

Like the rest of the internet, I too watched Netflix's 13 Reasons Why almost immediately after it was released.

The depiction of suicide, as I've written about previously, was one of the most realistic I've seen on film or TV.

But the show was about so much more.

13 Reasons Why delved into taboo topics, not only suicide and depression, but bullying, sexual assault, and rape.

As I scrolled through my Twitter feed and fell into random fandom rabbit holes, I noticed that the character of Jessica was being slut-shamed.

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Excuse me?

Spoiler Alert:

Jessica was raped.

Jessica did not ask to be raped.

Rape is not something you ask for; it's something that is forced on you.

These internet users, who I like to assume are annoying little turds of the world holed up in a basement somewhere getting off on mocking others, blamed Jessica for the sexual assault.

Apparently, being drunk automatically gives sexual consent to anyone around you.

Apparently, flirting automatically gives sexual consent to anyone around you.

Apparently, all of the above is a crock of shit.

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), consent is defined as follows:


Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. 


Yet, not every single person who is affected by the violence will report it.


For the very reason Jessica, a fictional character, is being shamed on the internet.

Who wants to go through a traumatizing sexual assault and then be blamed for it?

Not me.

Yes, I was raped.

I was dating (and I use that term loosely) a man (and I use that term loosely) and engaged in consentual sexual activity with him on numerous occassions.

One night, while we were alone in his car in a dark and wooded area, he started to force himself on me.

I said no. I said I wasn't in the mood. I even offered that we can fool around in other ways but that I didn't want to have sex.

He then reminded me that he was stronger than me, which he was, and that he had a knife in his glove box, which he did.

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Then, and only then, did I say yes to having sex with him.

It wasn't because I suddenly became hot and bothered.

It was because I suddenly feared for my life had I continued to say no.

I never reported it.


For years, I justified the reasoning behind it:

  • I was in a dark, secluded area with him alone.
  • I was in his car.
  • I should have said no more firmly.
  • I continued to see him (albeit for a short time) after the incident.

Had I told authorities, they would have judged me for all the mistakes I made.

What I didn't realize until recently was that I didn't make any mistakes.



About 3 years ago, I told my father I was raped and only because the man who did it had killed his wife in front of his boys and then himself.

I felt I was safe again. I was no longer in fear of of being judged, but more importantly of being on the receiving end of retaliation.

He was gone. 

I told my mother.

She didn't believe me.

"Liza made up being raped to get sympathy." She would go on to tell relatives.

The truth is, I don't want sympathy.

No victim of sexual assault wants sympathy.

They want the freedom to live without fear.

They want the freedom to live without the memory of their past trauma.

The world is a scary place filled with some really violent people.

But if we speak up, maybe we can change the world. 

Maybe we can be the voices for those who can't speak, for those who are still in the relationship with their abuser because they have no other options.

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Maybe we can be the change the world needs.

I'm speaking up now because I can.

But let's remember that there are others who can't. 

Let's remember that silence is not consent.

Let's change the narrative one voice at a time.