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Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Drug-rape: this is how it feels

In the last week, nine women in Taranaki have approached rape crisis centres due to drink spiking. The letter below has been passed on by counsellors in the region. The writer wishes to remain anonymous.
Letter from a rape victim

How do I feel? Everyone keeps asking.

I know that I would like to know what happened and why, I would like to know why he chose me.

What was it about me that made him think he could drug and rape me? Was it something I did? The lady in the paper said we go out looking sluttish. I was in jeans and a hoody. How sluttish is that?

I would like to know what he looked like, because now I am afraid of everyone; I keep looking at every man and thinking, is that him? I'm afraid to be alone.

I go out of the house and think that everyone knows what happened to me. I see in the paper that they are urging us to come forward to the police. What would I tell them? I can't remember anything. What did he look like? I don't know. Where did he rape you? I don't know. Had you had anything to drink? Yes. Were you drunk? No.

Are the police going to believe me? I don't know.

Does anyone believe me? Am I going mad? I don't know.

How do I feel?

Ashamed, nervous, dirty, angry, confused, and jumpy, but mostly I'm afraid.

For the man that did this, fuck you. Karma will come around and get you. Fuck you, you bloody coward. How dare you do this to me, how dare you do this to anyone and all you other rapists, fuck you too.

To any other women out there who have had anything like this happen, find someone to talk to, it is helping me understand a lot. I hope one day I can move on. I know one day I will move on



Blogger Lou said...

We smugly think of ourselves in the Western world as civilised and advanced societies - yet no society that still includes rape as a common occurrance can consider itself civilised or advanced.

Something needs to be changed in the justice system so that rape victims can feel safe and comfortable coming forward, and rapists can be caught and punished and driven out of society.

I don't blame any victim for not coming forward in the current climate where a rape victim's sexual history comes under the magnifying glass and people look sideways at her thinking 'she deserved it, dressing/acting/drinking like that'.

For society to really, meaningfully say no to rape and other sex crimes, it needs to say no to the misogynistic elements commonly accepted in everyday life.

I got angry at an example of what I believe is the grass roots of this mentality today. I found out that the workplace I am currently contracted to had a female burlesque dancer who got down to her g-string as entertainment at the work Christmas function. I was like 'WTF?!' whilst everyone else thought it was funny. Then about an hour later we collect up staff comments on an organisation wide 'what do you think would make the company better?' initiative, and about 20% of them were: 'waitresses in g-strings' 'women wearing no bras' 'naked pole dancers'. Ha ha very funny, but isn't the next step a 'casual' brush against the breasts ? A slap on the buttocks (and not in the way we do it Bel ;-P)? Then a bit of 'minor' sexual assault? Followed by a drug rape?

I understand that sometimes people are being genuinely jockular and genuinely don't understand where exactly the line is. But frankly, we as a society need to do better until rape is a thing of the past.

Fri Dec 15, 05:02:00 AM  
Blogger Lou said...

Cripes, that turned into a bit of a soap-box rant, didn't it?

Fri Dec 15, 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger Lou said...

OMG, as soon as I hit post a colleague showed me a greeting card we got that is santa surrounded by tall blonde women dressed in fetish santa's little helper outfits (literally - they are credited as being from a sex shop).

I can't believe this country!

At first I was called a 'New Zealand raging feminist' before my view sunk in and the card is at this moment being sent back by colleague with a note saying it is sexist - hurrah! Score one for us!

Fri Dec 15, 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger Bel said...

Yeah, fortunately the women involved here HAVE found somewhere they feel comfortable going to - these rape crisis centres.
And it was thru them she chose to speak out - while some narrow minded fool shot their mouth off in the 'Letters to the Ed' presumably.
Let's just hope that funding is allocated appropriately in light of this, and give out of our own pockets as well.

Unfortunately, with high profile cases (and their ridiculous outcomes) such as the Louise Nicholas one, its no surprise woman in NZ today are wary of going to the police.

And, Lou, lordy! Keep on fighting the good fight!! Unbelievable stuff.
We had a Christmas card arrive with a thin young woman in a strapless dress on it... but it was just the card from the RNZ ballet heehee :P

Sat Dec 16, 08:22:00 PM  

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