This subject is either black or white. Trying to find a grey area on such discussions takes layers off your argument, leaving you as guilty as…let’s say, someone who just understands the train station.
My friend shared with me a link to a Facebook story, about a girl who was raped by her best friend [her best friend is female]. I opened the link and closed it immediately I realized it was more than four slides. I saved the link as my read before I go to bed; a ritual. I forgot to read that night.
The next, I opened a whatsapp group to see the same story. My friends were discussing the story, and trying to break it down to whether whatever transpired between the girl and her best friend was rape or not. Sadly, or rather accurately, to my excitement, it wasn’t the kind of subject that generated diverse opinions. Everyone in the group agreed it was rape. I smiled. I was happy I had friends who identify rape, and address it with the urgency it deserves. I love my friends. I love that I have friends who understand consent. I have friends who respect humans.
This victim has been friends with her abuser for a very long time, which blurred out whatever happens between them. Leaving her vulnerable to feel she had lost her voice or the will to choose her first. As long as she was concerned, she had to put her friend’s happiness before hers. It wouldn’t make sense, but that explains how far some will go to protect friendship.
Sometimes, victims find it difficult to call out rape as rape. And this is because of their relationship with whoever the culprit is. My friend dropped an example of such abuse which summed up everything.
If we are all honest to ourselves, some people usually have that one person in their lives, they can’t say no to, and that doesn’t imply consent. They could try really hard, but they do almost everything their friends ask of them…and their friends KNOW IT. Their knowledge of this is the power they have against their victims.
Now, from the story we read, this lady didn’t scream, not because she didn’t want to, but as far as she was concerned, her trust was violated.
Many times, it’s about the violation of trust they had in someone who they thought would respect them enough to not push, knowing that if they pushed, they wouldn’t want to embarrass them by pushing them off or shouting.
There have been instances where friends have touched friends inappropriately because one was drunk [this is just one of the many circumstances where things like these happen]. The friend knows what’s happening but will want to say no, but because of their closeness their friends, they may just keep quiet to avoid embarrassing their friend. After the sexual act [or near sexual act], they will totally avoid the subject and it may never happen again. It’s not like the friend couldn’t have fought off, but rather, disturbed that the trust has been betrayed. Sometimes the betrayal of trust is like shackles on its own.
Sometimes, the victims lay there in silence out of shock. So shocked that they can’t even scream or struggle, or ever mention it to anyone. They just lay and wait for the act to end. Not to ever downplay rape and its effects, most times, what has been raped is not just the person. It is usually the trust that has been raped, pillaged and rampaged without mercy.
@joewacklegh | joewackle.com