Third of women say there are varying degrees of rape

(99 Posts)

..and that it isn't rape if the victim doesn't fight back.

Article here

How on earth do people still believe this kind of crap?? How do we change it?

NiceTabard Fri 06-Sep-13 10:16:00

That article could be so much more educational. Especially given that it is newsbeat and so aimed at young people.

How can people think those things? God knows. But they do - there have been surveys like this before with similar results.

I didn't fight back but it certainly still felt like rape hmm
I always thought I'd scream, kick, bite etc but I just froze.

It's easy to believe things like that when you haven't experienced I guess though. It's not just a physical experience & I personally think all the things that happen inside your head at the time and immediately after are worse than the physical aspect.

Still, it's mighty depressing & more could be done about it. It's attitudes like that (minimizing) which can lead to victim blaming etc.

Trills Fri 06-Sep-13 10:22:25

The title and your first line are different issues.

Were they asked as one question, or as two separate questions?

Nice I agree, it just presents the findings an misses an opportunity to correct them. Doesn't even need to be more than including the actual legal definition really!

Trills Fri 06-Sep-13 10:33:11

It looks like a very hastily-written article with no analysis or comment at all.

NiceTabard Fri 06-Sep-13 11:24:37

Newsbeat is very disappointing around sexual violence. I think a bunch of us complained a few months back when they decided to feature a piece about a man who was falsely accused of rape on the same day as Kier Starmer of CPS released a report saying false rape accusations were rare.

They also misquoted the report and in the header of the article said false accusations were "very common" instead of "very rare" (or similar I can't remember exactly).

And they had a recorded section from a police officer saying all reports of rape were taken seriously and they chose to take some of her words out of context for the article which made it sound like she was threatening people who reported rape.

Given the demographic they are aiming at I think it is terrible that they are doing such a poor job with this. And often reinforcing rape myths.

It's really bad.

burberryqueen Fri 06-Sep-13 11:29:54

I do not want to be accused of being a 'rape apologist' but i simply cannot imagine the horror of being attacked and raped by a stranger.
on the other hand, yes I have been raped by someone already in my bed and it is upsetting/unpleasant but not horrific. Does that opinion make me a bad mumsnetter?

scallopsrgreat Fri 06-Sep-13 11:33:52

How you feel about your own rape is very different from expecting others to react and feel the same way, I think burberryqueen. You are entitled to your own feelings, basically. So sorry that happened to you sad

burberryqueen Fri 06-Sep-13 11:35:05

yes that is true, cheers

burberry When you are talking about how you feel about what has happened to you, I think that is ore than fair enough. Dodgy ground only if you were telling other people how they should feel though.

I wasn't attacked by some stranger but someone I had knowns years and it wasn't just once. I didn't fight back. He was bigger and stronger then me. All fighting back would have done is cause me more pain and probably prolonged it.

Burberry speaking of your own experience does not make you bad at all.

Trills Fri 06-Sep-13 12:05:25

This is the trouble with yes/no questions.

I would agree that there are varying degrees of rape if we say that the only person who gets to decide what "degree" of rape it was is the victim. Other people don't get to decide.

CailinDana Fri 06-Sep-13 12:59:32

Trills, it seems to me that both you and the article/survey have conflated two entirely separate things - the crime and the reaction to the crime.
Rape is clearly defined under law. It's not easy to prove, granted, but a fairly limited set of conditions need to exist for rape to have taken place. It doesn't matter what the person's reaction is - if those conditions are met the crime has occurred. Therefore even though my rape just pissed me off rather than devastating me I was just as much raped as someone dragged down an alley. Other victims may experience other crimes such as battery or kidnapping. Again that doesn't make me any less raped than them even though they have much more to deal with in addition to the rape.
The quote from rape crisis that rape is "the most horrendous thing that can happen" is extremely damaging imo because people who don't feel that way (like me) might well dismiss and minimise what happened resulting in them staying in an abusive relationship.
Talking about degrees of rape in any context is pointless imo. It is not a requirement for a rape victim to be a destroyed mess. Rape is rape and it's not for anyone to judge whether one incident is "worse" than another. By even suggesting that "degrees" exist you open the way for minimising bullshit.

ScrambledSmegs Fri 06-Sep-13 16:02:42

Declan Harvey was involved in this article. He's the journalist behind that Newsbeat article NiceTabard mentions - where Keir Starmer said that false rape allegations were rare, and in the article it said they were common. Oh, and the entire article was about how damaging false allegations were to the victim.

Sounds like he has an agenda, doesn't it?

I complained too, NiceTabard. Got a crappy generic response from the Beeb, saying that they had included the details of Rape Crisis in the article 'for balance' hmm. Unprofessional pillocks.

ScrambledSmegs Fri 06-Sep-13 16:03:46

*False allegations were to the accused.

Sorry.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Fri 06-Sep-13 16:09:37

I well remember Declan Harvey's work on that Keir Starmer report angry I complained at the time too, but the beeb didn't give a fig.

I think he has a worrying agenda when it comes to rape, and it concerns me that he has a wide ranging, young audience.

That report is shoddily written too.

Trills Fri 06-Sep-13 16:12:16

The quote from rape crisis that rape is "the most horrendous thing that can happen" is extremely damaging imo because people who don't feel that way (like me) might well dismiss and minimise what happened resulting in them staying in an abusive relationship.

Yes, I agree with that.

Trills Fri 06-Sep-13 16:19:57

The trouble with the question "are there varying degrees of rape?" is that it could be interpreted to mean:

Are there legal differences? - e.g. like first and second degree murder

Are some rapes worse than others - more evil to commit? e.g. is it worse to drag someone down a dark alley than it is to carry on when your girlfriend says no

Are some rapes worse than others in their effect on the victim?

Unless they explained what they meant by "worse" it's impossible to tell what the people answering thought that they were saying.

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 06-Sep-13 16:22:52

I have wxperienced different degrees of rape. One was significantly more horrific than tje other.

The first was when I was 18. A new place of work, disnt know anyone and in a massive old building where the top 2 floors were stock and staff areas. Whilst getring changed an employe I only met that day came in and attacked me. He was bigger stronger and veey determined. I came away with broken ribbed, tears and had to go through all the horrid checks for stis etc. I became pregnant even after the morning after pill. I lost the baby at 10 weeks or so. The guy skipped the country. It took me a long time to get over that. I had nigjtmares for years.

About a year after my then bf raped me. Not the same. Much less traumatising, although obviously still upsetting and I am in no way underminning anyones feelings. I was in a relationship with him, I knew him. So in that way it was mire of a betrayal.....but still like i said not comparable to the horror of the first time.

Is it wrong for me to differentiate between the two? I think that there certinally can be varying degrees, although whos to say what a person would be morw upset by....

I know im not making much sense. Sorry

scallopsrgreat Fri 06-Sep-13 16:23:50

"The quote from rape crisis that rape is "the most horrendous thing that can happen" is extremely damaging imo because people who don't feel that way (like me) might well dismiss and minimise what happened resulting in them staying in an abusive relationship." Yes I agree. That worried me too. In addition the comment "It's going to affect women in exactly the same way" No no no. Women don't feel the same way about their rapes. I can't believe that someone from Rape Crisis made those comments. They are much more sensitive than that usually. I think that they mucst have been taken out of context or someone very in experienced has made them.

mercibucket Fri 06-Sep-13 16:26:28

thank you, CailinDana, your explanation makes a lot of sense to me

it is worrying to hear there is one man behind both these reports - agenda?.

CailinDana Fri 06-Sep-13 16:53:35

Absentminded, what I would say is that you were raped both times but that the first impacted on you to much greater degree than the second. You weren't "more raped" the first time but you were more gravely hurt both physically and emotionally.
So sorry that you experienced such horrible things. I hope you've had help and support to heal.

IMO the concept of "degrees of rape" only benefits rapists by unnecessarily complicating the concept of rape and allowing apologists to imply that rapes where the victim is drunk/asleep/uninjured aren't "legitimate" rapes. Rape happens at the point where a man inserts his penis into a person's body without their consent. How the rapist goes about getting to that point impacts in different ways on the victim but does not impact on whether or not a rape has occurred.

absentmindeddooooodles Fri 06-Sep-13 17:33:42

Well put cailin. I do agree that the second time was of less impact because of the first experience. I think regardless of that though the shock factor was much worse the first time. The police were heabily involved the first time, so did have support. However I think when it happens in a relationship it is usually seen as totally different. Not that I am condoning any viewpoints like that. But the reality was I never spoke out to anyone about it. I stayed with him for another two years before I found the courage to gwt out. This was due to a number of things, but I dont think alot of peoples outlook on that particular situation helped tbh. I found that I genuinpey disnt rhink people would believe me. Tjat I was playing the victim. He was a fantastic guy to the outside world. But not a soul would have bwlieved that every injury orargument was caused by him. This is what I think needs to be addressed.
Its the typical thing....I felt that by telling anyone it would seem attention seeking and sympathy grabbing. Silly in hindsight but I know so many people mist feel like that.
For the record I am not trying to come across as the eternal victim. These things happened, they were awful and mot caused by me. Im happy, not damahed emotionally anymore and have a lovely family. Just good to speak about it evwn on an anonymous forum.

CailinDana Fri 06-Sep-13 18:18:03

I get what you mean about playing the victim. I felt the same about my rape - it happened while I was asleep I woke up, stopped him (with some difficulty) went to the spare room and broke up with him the next day. Nothing very traumatic it just pissed me off. But because of beliefs like "it's the most horrendous thing" I can't mention it because people automatically expect me to be devastated.

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