We are Taught Don’t Get Raped instead of Don’t Rape

Mixed messages about rape
where I will be this week

We live in a society that teaches “don’t get raped” instead of “don’t rape”.  And we wonder why we are so filled with guilt and shame when we get raped. We mistakenly believe that we somehow didn’t prevent ourselves from getting raped.

And some of us even question what others “did” to get raped because we are so conditioned to think in terms of “don’t get raped, instead of “don’t rape” ~  as though the weight of the crime should be shared between the victim and the perpetrator or even worse that the weight of the crime rests mostly on the victim.  

And the weight of the crime should not be shared. There is no excuse for rape.

When we are treated unfairly or unjustly we try our hardest to understand why someone would treat us that way and when we have been told that we get what we deserve or that everything that happens to us is our own fault, we look for what we did to cause it. If this brainwashing is done well, then when we are beaten black and blue, we believe that we did do something to deserve it. We will even look for what we did to deserve it. And when we have been conditioned to try SO HARD to be perfect, the things that we think we do so wrong make little sense to the rest of the world; Left the toothpaste cap off the toothpaste? Left the toilet seat up? Forgot to put a coffee cup in the dishwasher? Phoned 5 minutes late? Didn’t realize he was in a bad mood?

Growing up this way becomes our normal. But it is a false normal. We become desensitized to the truth. We become accepting of mal treatment and disrespect. We have no idea that we deserve better. How would we have learned that?

We live in a society that teaches “it’s your own fault” and we wonder why we take the blame for everything and believe it is our responsibility to fix it.

We live in a society that teaches “don’t retaliate”. And when “don’t retaliate” is taught, “don’t fight back” is what is learned. When we teach “don’t fight back, we also teach “don’t stand up for yourself”.

What is taught is what is learned.  

We live in a society that teaches “trust” someone until it is proven that you can’t trust them. But then we are also taught the conflicting lesson that it is our own fault if we get taken advantage of.  We are told that we should have known better or that we placed ourselves in danger, therefore either we deserved what happened or we brought it on ourselves.

We are taught that relationships work in a way that they don’t work. We learn things that we never should have learned; in ways we never should have learned them.  False things that we think are true.

Emerging from Broken is about unlearning those things.  It is about separating the real truths from the false truths. It is about sorting out those mixed messages and conflicting teachings and embracing the real truth so that we can live in freedom and wholeness; thriving instead of just surviving. It is about flourishing with our faces held up to the sun. 

Please share your thoughts and feelings and feel free to use any name you wish to use in the comment form. Your privacy is important to me.

A mini snapshot of truth on the journey to wholeness

Darlene Ouimet

If you would like to have a peek at where I am going to be this next 10 days, check out the webcam at the resort I am visiting.

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49 response to "We are Taught Don’t Get Raped instead of Don’t Rape"

  1. By: Raya Posted: 27th October

    Ready for this? I was told, after going out with a number of college acquaintances and ultimately being raped, “You mean you got in a car with all black people? I don’t feel sorry for you then. You deserved it.”

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th October

      OMG Raya,
      That is horrible! I will never understand where people get these ideas and how they come up with this stuff.
      hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Jane Posted: 15th November

    Darlene you are a God send to me. I try so hard to find some self worth somewhere and yet just don’t know how to find it. With your help I hope some day I can overcome my self esteem and come back somewhat whole.

    Angels don’t always have wings . your a truly one


  3. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th November

    Hi Jane
    People thought about it back then. There have been HUGE cover ups going on since way before you or I was born. My parents were talking about protecting me from my grandfather over 45 years ago now. But they still took me there and they ‘brought me in on all the fear and responsibility’ to protect myself from him. That caused additioal damage.
    Your self esteem becomes repaired as you progress in the healing by seeing where it got broken AND the false beliefs you have about yourself because of the trauma and setting those false beliefs back to the truth.
    Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Jane Posted: 14th November

    How can I ever have any self esteem when all around me are memories of what happened to me. Self esteem…………..I feel worthless and this was back 35 years ago when no-one even thought of molestation of children by there own family members(grandfather) un the less at all. My father would have killed him with his bare hands if he ever new. and yet I still have no self esteem, pride, or even think I am worth an effort. How does one get self esteem? I have been looking for some my whole life and have never found it.THANKSGIVING SUCKS FOR ME big time..

  5. By: Jane Posted: 14th November

    How can I ever have any self esteem when all around me are memories of what happened to me. Self esteem…………..I feel worthless and this was back 35 years ago when no-one even thought of molestation of children by there own family members(grandfather) un the less at all. My father would have killed him with his bare hands if he ever new. and yet I still have no self esteem, pride, or even think I am worth an effort. How does one get self esteem? I have been looking for some my whole life and have never found it.THANKSGIVING SUCKS FOR ME big time.

  6. By: Sister Renee Pittelli Posted: 23rd October

    This is wonderful and applies to all types of abuse. Such an important message. I’m sharing on my fb pages. Thank you and God bless you 🙂

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 24th October

      Hi Sister Renee Pittelli
      Thanks for your comment and for sharing on your FB pages!
      Welcome to emerging from broken,
      Hugs Darlene

  7. By: Kia Posted: 22nd January

    Sorry so long in responding… I appreciate what you said… I feel like I’m not alone since you told me that. Sure I struggle a lot. Thanks for your kind words….

  8. By: Faith Posted: 9th December

    Another great article! Whow, this truly spoke to me today. Tying this in with the other article written for todays’ reading, it says it all about what I have seen, been through and working through. More and more I see that if a person can work at some of the abuses/mistreatment on their own that they have been through – that they can and do get further along in their freedom from the oppression. What has hurt me in particular has been one therapist within the Veterans’ healthcare system back in the 90’s, who felt it was her duty to undo all the good that my previous therapist had done. I was emerging from being broken and starting to become more independent from my husband (now deceased), yet somehow I allowed this mean therapist to practically ruin my life. I’m still on the lookout for a good therapist and eventually I may find one; but being able to read the articles posted here and the supportive comments from others, is actually helping me.

    Thanks for the beautiful sharing and writings posted here. Blessings to all.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th December

      Hi Faith
      One of the things that I have realized about mental health professionals is many of them are people who have a personal history of trauma and damage, who also have a degree. That can be dangerous! SO we give them positional power and authority because of the degree. If that therapist or dr. has a back ground issue in their own lives that isn’t dealt with, they don’t really want to empower a client to heal their own issue because it might cause them to have to look at the missing work in their own lives. That is such a dangerous relationship! I have had a lot of really bad experiences with people in the helping profession. (and I KNOW there are good therapists and dr.s out there! They are just hard to find)
      Thanks for sharing.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: J Posted: 1st December

    Hi Kia,

    I’m really sorry to hear of your pain. It must be so hard to have memories like that come back.

    I wasn’t sexually abused, but I can relate to the porn side of things. (I’m male, just so you know). Found hardcore stuff in the “recent files” list of my father’s computer very early teens; arguably been hooked ever since (to varying degrees). Used to be able to find ways of seeing what other people had looked at without having to actually search for stuff myself. My first job (at a small high-brow business firm) I also found a ton of stuff the same way. All very confusing.

    My parents were pretty “hyper-fundamentalist” (I don’t think that’s an “official” term btw! :)) christians as I was growing up and pretty badly repressive of even the slightest interest in girls (as innocent as it would ever be) so I have a lot of very messy feelings/emotions etc re sex, relationships, girls etc.

    Also can relate to the “internalizing” side of things. FINALLY starting to give some “credit where credit is due” to my parents for all the dysfunction they farmed in me (only over the last year or so. Now feel like I was brainwashed to always blame myself for everything, and never to question them in any way).

    Anyway, just wanted to share some of my story too. I really feel for you, and hope you can be very gentle with yourself during this time of re-discovery. Also hoping you have, or can find, some support (whether friends, professional, whatever) if you need/want it.

    Take care of yourself and thanks for sharing!

    PS I’m worried about this next bit coming out wrong, but in a strange way it’s kinda “nice” to hear about someone else who struggles w/porn (I guess just kinda the “not alone” sort of feeling. Also I tend to assume it’s a male-exclusive problem, so I appreciate your honesty in reminding me that’s not the case). I hope that makes sense without sounding too weird.

  10. By: Kia Posted: 30th November

    wow! This kinda touches a sore spot for me. I’m in my first semester on college and can’t believe all the triggers that has been for me. My memory of the first 10 years of my life is coming back to me. I have had SO many memories that have been buried and are just now coming back.
    Anyway, that to say, I discovered in May that I had been molested. My bio dad molested me at least once. He did it under the pretense of giving me a hug and holding me on his lap. Why would he do that, when he had never EVER held me and rarely hugged me? I also stumbled on to why (in part) he didn’t like me. I look like my bio mom’s parents and he did not like them. That just adds to my confusion about why he would touch me sexually. He didn’t even like me. To this day, I cringe even when innocently touched. I’m also pretty sure that one of my brothers and a brother-in-law molested me. I don’t have the memory of that like i do with my bio dad. More of a sense. I’m learning to trust my instincts with stuff like that.
    I turned to the internet and porn to help me dull the pain, but it only brought more pain to me. I began to fantasize about really horrible stuff and i found porn that helped those fantasies grow. I’m so ashamed of myself. Now i have an addiction on top of the shame i felt about being molested. I’ve had my computer blocked, but not all computers are and i can’t seem to stop myself from getting on those when i have a chance.
    I internalized everything. I still do. I still think everything is my fault. I wondered what i did to cause those men to lust after me and touch me. I wondered if i had problem that drew them to me. I’m still super sensitive today. I tend to take the blame for everything. I have taken the blame for years for someone else’s attitude, someone that i love very much. I feel i am the reason for that attitude, that i’m not trying hard enough, or i’m just being stubborn. I have some friends who made some bad decisions recently – one of them could have been killed – and i felt like i had not protected her enough, had not been a good influence in her life. I don’t like feeling like i have let someone down.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st December

      Hi Kia
      Try not to be too hard on yourself. Sexual abuse can cause all sorts of stuff like this to happen, where we turn to other self harming behaviour in order to deal with what we have been trying to cope with. You did not cause the abuse to happen. Taking the blame is a survivor mode from childhood because we have no hope if we place the blame on someone else. (we can’t make them change, we can only change ourselves) so we keep trying to change AND we keep taking the blame. BUT real relationship in adulthood is not dependant on us taking the blame anymore and we can ditch the survivor mode of thinking and reacting. Keep reading the posts Kia. You are having some breakthroughs even if you don’t see them yet.
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: J Posted: 31st October


    I’m not sure I fully understood all of your post, but the part about what people said to you about being raped makes me feel really angry. I think it’s completely understandable it makes you angry.

    Quite apart from the fact that nobody can possibly know beforehand how they’d react in that kind of situation, saying something like that to the victim of that crime is one of the most horrendous, heartless things I’ve ever heard.

    Take care of yourself!

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