I often hear people use the terms “sexually abused”, “sexually molested”, “molested”, incest and “child molestation but if you have lived through or suffered any of these experiences or know someone who has, you know someone that’s been raped.
I’ve used these terms myself in the past but in healing, I’ve learned that I was not abused or molested, I WAS RAPED.
What was done to me was an act of violation, power and domination against me. This is what abuse is, of any kind. It’s a smothering violence that makes a person give up and give in, suffocating them to a spiritual death.
Any time someone touches another person, forces themselves on another person or makes another individual do something sexual that they do not want to do, do not consent to do and do not want to experience– IT’S RAPE. Society can call it whatever they want, but its rape. They are not sexual predators, pedophiles or child molesters; THEY ARE RAPIST and should be labeled as such.
Politically, the phrase sexual assault was created to put the concept of violence into the word rape. This is good in the sense that it was the first step in moving responsibility from the victim to the abuser but the problem with this is that there is no “Sexual Relation” in rape. The only relation in rape is one that involves power – one side has it and the other side doesn’t. It is sexual only in the sense that all humans have sex organs.
Rape is an expression of anger. It’s not motivated by sex. It’s an act of hostility and control. Rape like domestic abuse is violence. One abuser commits the crime with their fist – the other use’s their penis.
So exposing crimes of rape shouldn’t be any more personal than talking about a person being mugged or beaten in the downtown square and we hear those stories on the news as often as they happen. The victims aren’t ashamed and the stories aren’t too personal to broadcast but because society views rape as sex, the crime of rape is rarely exposed.
We need to work towards changing this distorted idea of how society defines rape because as long as rape is viewed as sex, victims are going to feel trapped in shame that will silence them. When the world tells a victim that they don’t want to hear it – when they block these crimes from the news and organizations refuse to hear us speak – they are telling a victim that they’re at fault.
Victims don’t like to tell our stories, (we wish we didn’t have the experience to tell) just like others don’t like to hear them but talking brings exposure to these crimes and with that we can work together, creating laws that define rape for what it is making punishments severe, protecting future generations, boys and girls, men and women alike.
It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female or if you’re raped as a child or raped as an adult – the devastation that it has on a life is all the same. It’s a deep, lasting humiliation – it’s a shame that wreaks havoc on a victim – it’s a slow and, rather painful death, emotionally, spiritually and sometimes even physically. It’s a trauma that controls a victim for life the way they think about themselves and about others and the way they interact in the world. It’s disfiguring and leaves behind endless issues of intolerable emotions that force us to give words to pain that we ourselves struggle daily to understand.
Being raped is not who I am – it’s my past – it’s a trauma that I have survived – it’s merely where I’m from. What matters is what I do with my life. It’s how I live.
So like the great authors of the many books within our Bible, I’m using my experiences – my words towards the good of others. I tell my story and I share my pain to encourage healing, compassion, support and understanding in others. I tell my story because the more we talk about these crimes the more fear we put into these perpetrators.
THEY ARE RAPIST AND SHOULD BE LABELED AS SUCH!