19 Questions You Should Never Ask A Rape Victim
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19 Questions You Should Never Ask A Rape Victim

We are survivors.

19 Questions You Should Never Ask A Rape Victim

I'm writing this message to you, not just from me, but from the thousands of rape victims across the nation. Rape culture is not taken as seriously as it should be. Rape jokes should not be a fad. Memes that refer to rape should not be a trend. Victims should not be given blame for the unjust act of others. 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have fell victim to this heinous act. Unfortunately, I fell victim to this act on November 30, 2012. I was a sophomore in high school. My life has never been the same since that Friday afternoon. 4 years and 2 months later I'm still learning to cope and recover from that affliction. Almost one-third of all rape victims developed PTSD sometime during their lifetime, and more than one in ten rape victims still has PTSD today.

With that being said, I would like to bring to your attention the questions you should never ask a rape victim. You never truly understand the impact these questions have.

1. "Why did you let it happen?"

This is one of the most hurtful questions to be asked. It is as if you are suggesting we wanted the assault; no one ever wants to feel out of control of their own body.

2. "Did you say no?"

This question is the most common question. To our best ability we tried to vocalize our choice, but unfortunately, we were not in control of the situation.

3. "What were you wearing?"

This question infuriates me. Why does it matter what I am wearing? If I say no or tell you that is not what I want, you should respect that. I should be able to wear whatever I like without feeling I am in harm's way because of my outfit.

4. "Did you just change your mind?"

It does not matter if I changed my mind 5 minutes before or 5 seconds before he acted upon his wishes, I vocalized not wanting to have sex, it should have stopped there.

5. "Were you under the influence of drugs or alcohol?"

This is another question that is extremely upsetting to me. You as a human-being should respect another person's body and mind when they are under the influence. You should never try to pursue someone who is incoherent and not able to make decisions for themselves. If someone is unable to give you consent you are taking advantage of their unconscious body.

6. "Did you like it?"

Are you kidding me? Why, why is this even a question? Of course I did not like it. I hated it. I hated all of it.

7. "Why did you say you were raped when you were dating them?"

Many confuse their boundaries when they are in a relationship. My body is still my body and if I tell you I do not want to have sex with you, you need to respect that. Just because we have a relationship does not mean when I say no it is still okay to do as you please.

8. "How many times have you been raped?"

Do not ask this. Please. This is such a personal question and you, as a person, should not want to know that answer.

9. "Why did you not tell anyone immediately?"

We have our reasons why we did not come forward whether it was for our safety, being afraid, or not knowing where to go or who to turn too. We do not want to have to explain why and go back through those feelings repeatedly.

10. "Why did you not report it?"

I believe in getting justice, I wish we all could get justice for the acts that have been done to us, but sometimes that is not the case. Sometimes dealing with the pain, making adjustments in your life, and becoming more aware of all your surroundings is the best choice. It is better than being poked and prodded, asked questions that require detailed responses, and having to relive the painful memory over and over again in a room full of judgmental people who want to either prove your case right or wrong.

11. "Do you get flashbacks often?"

As you ask this question flashbacks resonate immediately making me feel uncomfortable and my stomach turns to knots.

12. "Do you regret putting yourself in that position?"

I feel like this question results from a lack of common sense. Of course, I regret it every day. I wish I would have listened to my gut instinct and decided against being at that place at that time.

13. "Did you tell someone because you wanted attention?"

This brings back up question #9. This is why many do not come forward. We do not want attention, we want help. If anything we want the attention away from us.

14. "Did or have you consider suicide?"

Unless you are a medical advisor, do not ask this question. This is such a personal matter. We may be comfortable enough to tell you ourselves, but if we do not bring it up you should not either.

15. "Have you thought about seeing a therapist?"

We have thought about everything that could help us recover, we do not need you to tell us what we need.

16. "Why did you not tell me? Did you not trust me?"

Do not be self-centered. We do not want to feel guilty because we did not want to tell you that our bodies were taken advantage of. It is hard enough to trust anyone at all to seek help from.

17. "Do you still have sexual relations with people?"

Would you ask any other person such a personal question? Then why ask us?

18. "Was it your first time having sex?"

Regardless if it was or not that is not a question to ask anyone. Do not over step your boundaries.

19. "Are you sure you were raped? I just can not imagine him doing such a thing."

I am sorry my rapist does not qualify for his own persona. Being accused of lying is why so many victims do not come forward. It is why so many rapists still run in the streets, because they do not look or act like the type that would rape someone.

When a rape victim comes forward and is open to talking with you about what happened to them, do not ask the questions, let them speak for themselves. All the questions you have may be answered by the end of the conversation. If they are comfortable and can trust you, they will open up and use you as a source of healing. We often go so long without speaking of it, so when we do finally start that deep personal conversation, we trust you and want you to be there as a crutch. We need to know you are not going to judge and ridicule us. We have dealt with pain since the day our innocence was wrongfully taken from us. We do not fall as victims, we rise as survivors.

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