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Found out my GF was raped 9 years ago

(107 Posts)
RossDad79 Tue 14-Mar-17 12:03:03

I just found this out and I'm struggling to come to terms with it.

I've been with her for 2 years (she's 24 and I'm 39) and she was raped 9 years ago when she was 15. The man was unknown to her and there is no way of tracing him let alone finding evidence.

She led a very different life to me and although she's totally turned it around now at the time she was hanging around with the wrong type of people.

Furthermore this could have been gang rape if her strength of character hadn't prevailed but thankfully she talked another man out of raping her too.

I've contacted the Rapecrisis charity for advice and will let my GF talk about it in her own time. She has never told anyone other than her best friend and now me. Up until now she convinced herself that she wanted to have sex with the rapist.

She is an extremely strong and independent character and I'm going to give her all the time and support she needs although she may never want to talk about it again.

therefore I need a place to express my feelings because I have no one else I can discuss this with.

My feelings are all over the place and may be someone her can help me clear my head and allow me to focus so I can be strong for my GF and not let my own feelings make a situation worse.

Thank you x

SandyY2K Tue 14-Mar-17 12:11:55

You sound very supportive. Keep doing what you're doing and be there for her. We'll try and be here for you, but consider professional support by way of a counsellor if you need it.

HairsprayBabe Tue 14-Mar-17 12:14:09

You are making this about you far too much. A terrible thing happened to someone you care about but it is not for you to come to terms with really.

She may well be burying how she feels but it sounds a lot like you are blaming her for "hanging out with the wrong types".

Annesmyth123 Tue 14-Mar-17 12:14:59

Please don't say she was hanging around with the wrong types or that she talked someone out of raping her.

That's victim blaming and is wrong.

cowgirlsareforever Tue 14-Mar-17 12:16:30

Ignore Hairspray

HairsprayBabe Tue 14-Mar-17 12:18:40

Ignore me for what exactly? I have been raped and I know when I told my partner many years later I would have been mighty pissed off if they then felt the needs to "come to terms with it".

Offred Tue 14-Mar-17 12:18:59

I think it is ok to make it all about you here. In fact you should make here all about you so that you don't burden her with your feelings and thoughts.

I do agree though with pp that she wasn't raped because she hung out with the wrong types. She was targeted by criminals and horribly abused.

Euripidesralph Tue 14-Mar-17 12:19:14

I think you mean well and want to do right so fair play but another comment here to say that phrase about hanging out with wrong people is very very wrong and victim blaming

She could have been dancing naked on a biker bar in the back of beyond she shouldn't have to expect to be raped.....and be extremely carefultimately ad your statement that you were very different suggests you feel above her

Get rid of those concepts right now and you are not the focus here she is

Remember that and you'll be fine

HakeLively Tue 14-Mar-17 12:21:20

Rapists make rape happen, it was nothing to do with hanging out with the wrong types, you said this person was unknown to her.

cowgirlsareforever Tue 14-Mar-17 12:21:26

He's come on here to talk about his feelings and ask for advice on how he should deal with it best for her sake. Why the hell are you attacking him?

Offred Tue 14-Mar-17 12:23:49

And rape is not a crime of opportunity similar to leaving your car unlocked in a bad area. It is a crime motivated by power and control and misogyny. Most often perpetrated by someone known to the victim. Anyone can be a rapist not just people you think as 'the wrong types'.

fernanie Tue 14-Mar-17 12:24:15

hairspray I think that's a bit harsh. It's extremely distressing when something like this happens to someone you love, and perfectly normal for OP to feel like he needs to come to terms with what must have been a huge shock and left him with some very difficult emotions. He's already acknowledged that these have the potential to take his focus off her and is asking for support so that doesn't happen.
OP I think all you can do is exactly what you are doing, giving her a safe space to talk about it in her own time, if she wishes. In terms of your own feelings, ditto the previous suggestion to contact a counsellor. If that's not affordable, I find the local vicar can be very good at just listening and letting you vent, even if you're not religious (though I suppose that depends on what your local vicar is like!).

HairsprayBabe Tue 14-Mar-17 12:24:36

I didn't attack him, I just said he shouldn't make it about him or have to "come to terms" with it - it happened along time ago so I don't understand what he has to come to terms with honestly.

And I pulled him up on his victim blaming.

RossDad79 Tue 14-Mar-17 12:27:43

It was my GF that told me she was hanging around with the wrong people.

She was sleeping in a drug flat dealers as it was her best friends BF flat The two people who came in came ot buy drugs.

She walked away from her old life and hated everyone and everything to do with it. These are her feelings not mine.

Thank you so much cowgirlsareforever you are spot on. I can't honestly believe the replies I'm getting.

fernanie Tue 14-Mar-17 12:28:20

He didn't say she was raped because she was hanging around with the wrong types. It is possible to hang out with some unpleasant people and also to be raped without one causing the other.
Crying "victim blaming!" every time you think you read something between the lines really detracts from the seriousness of actual victim blaming.

QueenOfTheSardines Tue 14-Mar-17 12:31:14

I think that actually lots of women have been raped and never tell their partners / anyone so it's good she trusts you and feels confident enough to tell you.

Also, it was a long time ago. and it's not uncommon. Many women do just get on with it and time fades it.

Why / how did she tell you? If it was factual like "This happened to me 9 years ago" then she way well see it as a long time ago and so forth and not need support around it.

if she was telling you and was upset etc or said she still dwelt on it then that's different.

I say this from the context that I was raped when I was 19 by an ex boyfriend and it fucked me up for a while - like your GF I minimised what had happened - but now, years later, it feels like a lifetime ago and like something that happened to someone else, thinking about it is not emotional at all.

So base your approach on how she wants you - if it was factual and she's not upset about it then that's OK - although as a bloke maybe you think this is rare & etc and you talk about the police, it's not that uncommon. It's just something we (women) don't often talk about.

Anyway that was a really long winded way of saying that if she doesn't think it's a big deal, then that's up to her, and you should follow her lead. Talk of police / rape crisis feels like an overreaction unless she is saying she is upset / wants something to happen / needs to talk to someone etc.

RossDad79 Tue 14-Mar-17 12:31:54

Hairspray - I just found out and it is shocking. I'm being very honest here with my feelings and am just looking for support because obviously I can't talk to my GF about my feelings when it could be damaging to her.

So yes this is all about me, I'm sorry I have feelings too.

HairsprayBabe Tue 14-Mar-17 12:32:27

I feel like you are judging her previous lifestyle a lot OP.

From a rape survivor give her space, let her know you are there for her but don't push her, she might not view it as "baggage" for lack of a better word and that is fine.

I am still struggling to understand what you are trying to come to terms with though. Would you feel the same if she told you she was mugged or burgled or physically attacked nearly 10 years ago?

pallasathena Tue 14-Mar-17 12:33:46

I think you should analyse the reasons why you are struggling to come to terms with it. Think about what stereotypes and archetypes are invading your thoughts about what has happened to her and try to deal with each one forensically.
Social attitudes are changing and victim blaming is rightly outed as deeply damaging. She has been violated and that violation is always about power, control and the wilful denigration and subjection of another human being.
Think about that as you analyse your reaction and work out how best to come to terms with matters.
You must be very special for her to confide in you as she has.

heateallthebuns Tue 14-Mar-17 12:33:59

What are you feeling that you want support with?

QueenOfTheSardines Tue 14-Mar-17 12:35:02

I expect he's upset that his GF got attacked and that is understandable.

The thing is, if she doesn't think it's a big deal, then as far as you are concerned, you need to make it not a big deal for you either (somehow).

I also have my back up at the unsavoury characters stuff. I've met some lovely drug dealers, and some incredibly horrible "decent" men. They were rapists - that was the problem.

GruffaloPants Tue 14-Mar-17 12:39:40

It's ok to be upset, and need to come to terms with it. Well done for realising that you need a space away from your girlfriend to go through your feelings without that process impacting on her.

Could you maybe keep a diary to get everything out?

RossDad79 Tue 14-Mar-17 12:39:55

Thanks QueenOfTheSardines, she said it very matter of factually.

She considers it in her past and does not dwell on it. Only because of recent adverts and news programmes did she suddenly realise it was actually rape.

At the time she did confront the BF of her best mate to explain what happened but sadly this turned very sour as shortly afterwards the BF began beating her best friend which lasted for months.

I am so disgusted with men and how anyone could do this. I have two young girls and worry about the world they are growing up in.

Smurfpoo Tue 14-Mar-17 12:47:09

I mean this in the nicest possible way and its lovely you care.
Its not baggage, it doesn't define her, she obviously felt the need to tell you (I am very upfront about it to boyfriends as i feel its part of me and I've always worried there will come a time when i crash about it).

This didn't happen to you, its not your issue. Yes listen and support anything she may (or may not) chose to do about it. But it is not yours to do anything with. Don't try and jump on her grief band waggon - its not about you, she doesn't need to worry about you and how you react to her news.
Yes what she went through was horrific and shocking, but it doesn't change who she's been for 2 years with you.

Sadly theres fucking shit loads of us about, you'll know many many more - you just don't know about it. I remember in my circle of early 20 somethings, 1 in 10 hadnt been raped. None of us hung around with unsavoury characters either - although clearly the rapists were scum of the earth.

RossDad79 Tue 14-Mar-17 12:48:05

I should explain that when I say 'struggling to come to terms' I mean deal with my emotions as they are all over the place.

When my brother declared he was gay I was 14 and struggled then too but this was because i hated the way so many people were homophobic and not because I couldn't understand his sexual preference.

I'm just a normal lovely partner as well as a devoted dad and I am so angered by this and the fact that it still continues.

I want to kill the person that did it one minute and then the next I'm on the web trying to find charities I can donate to that support young girls in this situation. However whatever I do doesn't stop me feeling sad/angry about so many things.

Please give me a little slack as I'm here to talk not to have everything I say analysed to the 'nth' degree. smile

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