Posts tagged sexual assault.
Resources for Male Survivors
[tw: sexual assault, rape]
I posted last week asking people if they knew of some good resources for male victims of sexual assault. Here is the list people came up with:
— “Do we need a consent culture?” (via tabularasae)
Survivor Community Tag
On tumblr, some people make community tags. The example I can think off the top of my head is #actuallyautistic, for people on the autistic spectrum to post in.
The tags generally serve the purpose of being a place to talk, share things, and seek advice and opinions from others who may have a similar experience to you.
I’d like to see such a thing for survivors so to that end I had the idea of #traumasurvivor for the tag. The usual tags are very cluttered with a lot of different things, and while that’s not bad, it would be nice to have somewhere more personal.
What would the tag be for? Anything related to surviving through trauma, including personal experiences, anything. If you’re a survivor your post is welcomed.
Who is welcome to post? Survivors of sexual assault, rape, abuse of all types, and trauma. Trauma is a varied concept, and hard for me to nail down. I don’t feel right dictating who can and cannot call themselves a survivor, and to that end I leave it up to the individual. If you feel like a survivor and that your posts belong there, feel free to use the tag.
An Import Note
Content posted to this tag may be triggering, and to the end I urge everyone to make use of posting trigger warnings at the top of their posts so that content is clear and may be avoided if necessary.
how to have sex with a survivor* —
- don’t expect it of us. like, this is a given, absolutely, but between partners with varying experiences and sex drives… this has been a constant struggle for me in relationships. every person i’ve been in a relationship with could never fully reconcile that sex and a relationship were not inherently tied. our relationship did not give them a pass to intimacy. my lack of desire for intimacy for stretches of time would, to them, signify a failed relationship. that impression on their part in turn made me feel like a failure. that fucks up relationships. that fucked me up. whether or not you are a survivor, sex should never be expected of you. ever. and someone who believes they deserve that from you under any circumstances is a piece of shit.
- on that note, don’t plan sex. partners of mine have often tried to be seductive in saying things like, “i can’t wait to do this to you later tonight…” but, to me, that simply meant that it became an obligation for me. that made sex an obligation. and, therefore, it made sex undesirable. i would feel this pressure to perform for them rather than to engage in sex for my own pleasure and it became this thing where i would attempt to start for them but i could never fully commit because i felt pressured. not to say this is what my partner was intending. at all. but it affected me negatively.
- don’t make our kinks about our sexual trauma. yeah, me, personally? i really like being choked. a lot. but don’t ruin the pleasure of that by tying it into my trauma. is it your place to figure out the source of my kinks or is it your role as my partner to realize pleasure with me? we both know the answer to that. don’t “figure out” how your partner has been affected by their sexual trauma. what does your curiosity have to gain except for the make your partner feel dissected? partners have done that to me, and all it did was make me feel like personality was compartmentalized into pre- and post-rape.
- validate us outside of our sex life. i have long felt that my worth is perceived by others as purely sexual, and this was horribly exacerbated by my assault. while i love feeling desired by my partners, if that is heavily emphasized over the other aspects of our relationship, i will withdraw. i will resent them for seeing my purely in that light, and i will often be triggered. even when having casual sex, or sex in any capacity without a committed relationship, respect is key. making me feel like a whole, full human rather than only your sex partner is vital to my comfort and feeling of safety.
- use a safe word. it can be as simple as “wait.” it doesn’t matter what the word is. its function is purely to remind us that we hold power over our sexual interactions and it will always stop if we want or need it to. when i begin the spiral and feel like sex is becoming less mine and purely yours, having a word to center us and bring us back together and to affirm my own control makes a world of difference.
*i have received asks about this in the past, and felt it made sense to share a general post to address some issues i have answered asks on. this does not mean that my issues are the issues of all survivors, or that non-survivors can’t share these issues with me. these are things that i have experienced and i have come to this understanding of them.
by Jessica Valenti
The same week that a leaked video out of Steubenville, Ohio showed high school boys joking and laughing about an unconscious teenager in the next room who had just been raped—“They raped her quicker than Mike Tyson!”—House Republicans let the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) expire. They opposed an expanded version of the legislation that had increased protections for the LGBT community, immigrants and Native American women.
This week we’ve also seen mass protests in India after a woman was brutally gang raped and died from her injuries. American media covering the Indian protests have repeatedly referenced the sexist culture, reporting how misogyny runs rampant in India. The majority of mainstream coverage of what happened in Steubenville (click here for a primer), however, has made no such connection. In fact, the frequent refrain in discussions of Steubenville in comment threads is that these boys are “sociopaths,” shameful anomalies. We’d rather think of them as monsters than hold ourselves accountable as a nation and tell the truth—these rapists are our sons.
It’s not just the parents of the accused rapists or the boys who made jokes who are complicit—it’s not just Steubenville, a town criticized for putting their prized high school football team above the law and justice for a young woman. Steubenville happens every day in the United States, and we’re all responsible.
We live in a country where politicians call rape a “gift from God” and suggest that women regularly lie about being raped. Where a group of young men in high school think so little of sexual assault that they thought it was fine—hilarious, even—to post pictures online of a passed out rape victim, and to live-tweet the rape, joking about the victim being urinated on. We live in a country where media as revered as The New York Times finds it necessary to describe an 11-year-old gang rape victim as “wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s.” Where a woman can be fired because her boss finds her “irresistable” and a woman’s rape case falls flat because she isn’t married.
It’s time to acknowledge that the rape epidemic in the United States is not just about the crimes themselves, but our own cultural and political willful ignorance. Rape is as American as apple pie—until we own that, nothing will change.
Undocumented women are some of the most vulnerable to sexual violence. Read how the GOP has left these victims with even fewer options.
(via The Maddow Blog)
Congress had a lengthy to-do list as the end of the year approached, with a series of measures that needed action before 2013 began. Some of the items passed (a fiscal agreement, a temporary farm bill), while others didn’t (relief funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy).
And then there’s the Violence Against Women Act, which was supposed to be one of the year’s easy ones. It wasn’t.
Back in April, the Senate approvedVAWA reauthorization fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. The bill was co-written by a liberal Democrat (Vermont’s Pat Leahy) and a conservative Republican (Idaho’s Mike Crapo), and seemed on track to be reauthorized without much of a fuss, just as it was in 2000 and 2005.
But House Republicans insisted the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans — and they’d rather let the law expire than approve a slightly expanded proposal. Vice President Biden, who helped write the original law, tried to persuade House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to keep the law alive, but the efforts didn’t go anywhere.
And so, for the first time since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act is no more. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Democratic point person on VAWA, said in a statement:
“The House Republican leadership’s failure to take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable. This is a bill that passed with 68 votes in the Senate and that extends the bill’s protections to 30 million more women. But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates. No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first.”
Proponents of the law hope to revive the law in the new Congress, starting from scratch, but in the meantime, there will be far fewer resources available for state and local governments to combat domestic violence.
As for electoral considerations, Republicans lost badly in the 2012 elections, thanks in large part to the largest gender gap in modern times, but if that changed GOP attitudes towards legislation affecting women, the party is hiding it well.
Update: Reader AG asks about the House version that was approved several months ago. AsI reported at the time, the House gutted the bipartisan Senate bill with a watered-down version, which was widely seen by everyone involved as a joke that undermined the interests of victims. It had no support in the Senate and drew a White House veto threat. House Republicans knew this, and instead of revisiting the issue and/or working with the Senate on a compromise, GOP leaders simply decided the law was not a priority. The result was this week’s outcome.
— Michelle L. Meloy and Susan L. Miller, The Victimization of Women: Law, Policies, and Politics (via wretchedoftheearth)