“Consent is Vital”

Trigger Warning: Rape

 

When I was raped I didn’t say no. I didn’t have the strength to. As the weight of his body crushed down on me I knew it was safer to lie there and shut the fuck up than it was to say no and have it happen anyway. I lay there with the tears streaming down my face, being silent,being still, wishing that he would finish quickly so I could roll over and put some space between us.

This was not a stranger. This was my partner, a man who told me he loved me everyday for two years. This wasn’t a one off event but a regular occurrence. He made me do things I didn’t want to do, I learnt quickly to remove my thoughts from the situations I found myself in; daydreaming, meditating, anything to detach myself from the physical.

There were rarely any words and even if there were they were yes. They had to be yes. There was no choice, I had no control. I had no escape. there was no ‘no’.

In the beginning he always asked… ‘You want me, don’t you’. ‘You like it, don’t you’. ‘You want to do that to me, don’t you’.

Consent is a complex thing. I don’t love it or think it’s sexy. I wasn’t raped because I didn’t understand it or I didn’t want or love it enough. My ex did not rape me because he didn’t understand it or love it or didn’t see the cutesy brand. With or with out a logo what happened to me would have happened to me. He raped me because he wanted power, he raped me because he was a rapist.

Conversations about consent are vital. Political critique especially from survivors around consent and what it means, are vital. Learning about consent and teaching people how to navigate those conversations is vital. Consent is vital. Consent is required. Consent is not something to belittle or to love and the idea that it is makes me feel to blame. It makes me feel like I should have loved consent more, or had a conversation about it or if I’d been to a workshop then I would have had more control over what happened to me. That I should have been able to stop it. That in turn makes me feel angry and it makes me feel let down.


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