One of the ways to show that you did not consent is by describing how you resisted rape.
What is resistance to violence and rape?
Many rape victims think they did not resist so it’s important we understand what ‘resistance’ is:
Resistance is defined as any effort to prevent, stop, or limit violence, rape and so on.
Note: ANY EFFORT. It doesn’t have to succeed to be called resistance. It doesn’t have to be effective. It doesn’t have to be spectacular and it doesn’t even have to be visible to others.
When you scream and begin to fight, then stop because you realise he will hurt you even harder; that is resistance – you are trying to limit the harm to yourself.
When you stay as still as possible, avoid looking at him and don’t say anything because he has given you a look that makes you terrified; that is resistance. You are trying to limit his attack by not fighting back physically.
When you force yourself to suck on his penis hoping to avoid vaginal rape; that is resistance. You are trying to limit harm to yourself.
When you flop or try to relax so the rape doesn’t hurt so much; that is resistance.
When you go numb and try to think it isn’t really happening; that is resistance.
When you pray to god that you will survive and try to find strength to endure it by praying; that is resistance.
When you beg, plead or cry hoping to appeal to his decency so he stops; that is resistance.
When you stay the night at the rapist’s place because you don’t even know where you are and are afraid of being out alone in the night, you are trying to prevent further attacks from unknown potential attackers; that is resistance.
When you do not want to tell anyone close to you about being raped because you know it will hurt them; that is resistance. You are trying to stop the violence and the pain from reaching others.
When you are nice to him after the rape hoping he doesn’t attack you again and hoping that he lets you go; that is resistance.
When you tell him what he wants to hear and pretend you are ok so he lets you go; that is resistance.
When you close your eyes so you do not see his face and his violent stare; that is resistance
When you keep your eyes open and try to memorise every single bit of him so you can testify later; that is resistance.
You can see that resistance takes many forms, it can be physical, such as when you push your tummy out to prevent him from wrenching your jeans down. It can be stopping yourself doing certain things, such as when you stop shouting or crying because he has threatened you and you want to avoid more violence. It can be mental, such as when you try to remove yourself from the experience by using your mind to think of other things.
All the things we do and don’t do, think, or tell ourselves, in order to withstand and survive the ordeal – all these – are forms of resistance. They are efforts to limit our suffering, to limit his violence.
And there is so much more that victims do to try to stop, limit or prevent, rape. These are only a few examples.