We Need To Talk About Sexual Coercion
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We Need To Talk About Sexual Coercion

The kind of rape culture we don't discuss enough

We Need To Talk About Sexual Coercion

When I was 14, I was molested by a guy I knew in High School. There was a period of time where I was coerced into thinking it was love because right after that traumatic event, he told me he loved me. Unfortunately, I got into that situation by him making me feel badly towards him if I didn't see him after a rehearsal one day. I felt guilty enough that I met up with him and the rest is history.

When our society talks about rape culture, we commonly forget to acknowledge the ways in which someone may have gotten into this situation. In NO WAY is it ever the victim's fault. There are more situations than just "wrong place, wrong time" that a victim of rape can be in and this starts the discussion of what happened to me: sexual coercion.

What is Sexual Coercion?

Sexual Coercion is "unwanted sexual activity that happens after being pressured in nonphysical ways that include:

In a healthy relationship, you never have to have sexual contact when you don't want to. Sexual contact without your consent is assault. Sexual coercion means feeling forced to have sexual contact with someone."

When answering the question of what it is, I wanted to do some research to include for awareness because I believe this happens to too many people and barely anyone is talking about it. Here's an interesting chart that I found on https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-saf...:

Examples of sexual coercion

Ways someone might use sexual coercion

What he or she may say

Wearing you down by asking for sex again and again or making you feel bad, guilty, or obligated

  • "If you really loved me, you'd do it."
  • "Come on; it's my birthday."
  • "You don't know what you do to me."

Making you feel like it's too late to say no

  • "But you've already gotten me all worked up."
  • "You can't just make someone stop."

Telling you that not having sex will hurt your relationship

  • "Everything's perfect. Why do you have to ruin it?"
  • "I'll break up with you if you don't have sex with me."

Lying or threatening to spread rumors about you

  • "Everyone thinks we already have, so you might as well."
  • "I'll just tell everyone you did it anyway."

Making promises to reward you for sex

  • "I'll make it worth your while."
  • "You know I have a lot of connections."

Threatening your children or other family members

  • "I'll do this to your child if you don't do it with me."

Threatening your job, home, or school career

  • "I really respect your work here. I'd hate for something to change that."
  • "I haven't decided yet who's getting bonuses this year."
  • "Don't worry about the rent. There are other things you can do."
  • "You work so hard; it'd be a shame for you not to get an A."

Threatening to reveal your sexual orientation publicly or to family or friends

  • "If you don't do this, I will tell everyone you're gay."

In the age of Harvey Weinstein and countless others, I want victims of this kind of mistreatment to know they are not alone and that just because you may have had a conversation with your partner about sex, does not give them the right to take it as a yes from you. Yes means yes and no means no. There should be no loopholes around it, otherwise, you are coercing someone into an activity that they may not want to endure. Verbal consent is the most valuable thing a person can give and without it, it is assault.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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