The survey found that four in ten of the survey's rape victims, and one in three victims of attempted rape, chose to have intercourse with their so-called attacker again. The survey researchers scratched their heads as to why these women would return to their attackers, but Sommers asks the obvious question: "Since most women the survey counted as victims didn't think they had been raped, and since so many went back to their partners, isn't it reasonable to conclude that many had not been raped to begin with?"
The original survey may be flawed, but this conclusion is downright dangerous.
From personal experience I can speak to this paradox. My boyfriend didn't fit the profile of a rapist as I'd been taught (a monster who snatches girls off the street) so even though what happened to me was rape, I couldn't accept that he meant to treat me that way. I couldn't accept that the guy who had been in my life nearly my whole life and who was one of my brothers' best friends could be a rapist.
Looked at without understanding, people could think I decided to have intercourse with my boyfriend again. I did no such thing. It took a second rape (when I was still in shock from the first rape) before it began to sink in that the first time hadn't been a fluke. He hadn't mistaken the signals of non-consent.
Two rapes by the same person don't cancel each other out or imply consent.
If you still don't understand, think of it this way:
On the positive side of the scale I had 10 plus years of fun when this guy was around.
On the negative side of the scale I had less than 1 day of unimaginable pain and betrayal.
The next time I saw my boyfriend he was at his very best. Kind, loving, so on and so forth. It was like that 1 day never happened.
And of course he set out to manipulate me from the moment he decided he wanted sex and increased the manipulation after the first rape so I would feel like I was hurting him if I stopped seeing him. He did a fine job of manipulation until I found out he had another girlfriend. Then the whole house of cards crumbled.
Many rapists use manipulation and power to keep getting what they want. Sexual abuse can go on for years and to say that repetition and duration somehow negates the crime is the ultimate in victim blaming.
Nothing cancels out a rape, not even consensual sex.
From later in the article:
In the past, victims of rape were made to feel that the crime was their fault. Many women around the world still suffer this bias. Today in the United States, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. A man accused of rape often is convicted in the court of public opinion without evidence.
I don't buy this argument at all. Too many people in the US continue to insist that the alleged victim must be a liar or stupid if they don't come right out and blame her while arguing that accused rapists are the only group being labeled as guilty.
For more on this subject read:
abyss2hope: Defense attorney asserts that alleged rape victims have an unfair advantage
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