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

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Mixed messages about rape
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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.

Visit Emerging from Broken on Facebook

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

  1. By: Vicki Posted: 29th October

    We also live in a society that tells us “You’re the one who has to deal with the fallout of a murdered loved one” instead of “Don’t murder people, or you’ll get a serious sentence.”
    Anyone who’s ever known a murder victim will automatically know that the killer’s sentence is a freakin’ joke.
    And getting time off for good behavior, which they also get? That’s just a laugh.
    Since when is murder and rape a sentence that should include “time off for good behavior?”
    They act like the criminal is the one in the right, and treat the victims of the scuzzbags like THEY’RE the ones with all the psychological troubles.
    They did this to my daughter after she watched her dad dying in Tower 1. One person even told us “If you’re still upset two weeks later, I’ll think there’s something wrong with YOU.”
    I thought ‘I think there’s something wrong with YOU for SAYing that,’ and never said another word to him.
    Two freakin’ WEEKS. They hadn’t even found all the evidence of disappeared bodies in two weeks. It took them 6 YEARS to find as many as they HAVE located through DNA testing, and they’re still waiting for confirmation on hundreds more.
    That’s exactly why people who talk when they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about get on my last nerve?
    Why can’t it be like my therapist said yesterday: That they don’t talk at all before saying what they DO say?
    That response of his was in direct reference to when I told him people told ME they never would have “lain there and let someone rape [them.]
    Even after hearing that a knife was at my throat the whole time. they STILL insisted they would have fought two guys off of them at one time.
    Not unless they knew martial arts, they wouldn’t have, so they’re liars as well as just being mean people. IMO.
    I just feel angry about it. I don’t know if that’s right or wrong. It’s just how I feel despite whether it’s right or wrong.

  2. By: Pinky Posted: 19th October

    @Pam thanks! I recently found out about the Slutwalk. I live in NYC I missed it since it starts October 1st. Does anyone know about it? It started in Canada. Any thoughts?

  3. By: Pam Posted: 18th October

    Pinky, I’m sorry you are having to go through all of that. I’m glad you have God and a good lawyer. I know how far reported news can be from reality. Television news, especially, is about entertainment and ratings, not truth. I’ve lived through some unbelievable things also and the way they were reported was nothing like the reality. Truth is stranger than fiction and the news specializes in fiction produced from fact.

    I agree that abusers are all the same. We all have to choose between siding with good or evil and abusers, being cowards, have given themselves wholly, over to evil. I’m not perfect, evil lives in me too, but I fight it and I want my life to be a force for good. I am not a coward and that doesn’t mean that I am sometimes not afraid. I am afraid often but I choose to be a force for good. You’ll not find me blaming victims in hopes that those who victimize others might over look me. Living in this world and being a force for good requires the wisdom of the serpent and innocence of the dove. If I have only one or the other, I am either victim or victimizer. As in all things in life, balance is the key.

    I hope all goes well with you.

    Pam

  4. By: Pinky Posted: 18th October

    @Pam I can relate. My parents and 2 bothers took part in slandering me in the international news , I lost my career , the story went on called Top New story of the year from 202=2006 by one major news agency. My brother was my first abuser and he also raped his daughter and broke her legs at age 2. There was DNA proof. My mom ended up throwing all of my stuff out, my trophies, graduation pictures, prom pictures and everything all because I told the truth. I was under constant death threat and the judge in the case was bribed. She recently after 9 years (since the case went on starting 2002) she went into hiding due to being acusd of wrong doing in another case against rich and powerful people. The story about me that made the news was not even near being the truth. It was created to deflect against an abuser who lives in a different state and doesnt even know my family. Abusers network to protect their activities and will ay big money to abuse. his is not even skimming the story of what I have been through with my family or the non related case that they interjected themselves into. The judge put the case under seal which means I can never tell my story at the threat of jail time. But God is with me. God provided a famous attorney who is wealthy to help me out. He says when they bribe a judge theres not much you can do. However he did manage to rescue me from the worst case scenario. He did it out of the kindness of his heart. The people are still following me and hacking into my computer. Had my phone tapped and everything and the phone company documented this. The administrative judge told them to drop the case against me my judge defied those orders and then the administrative judge resigned. Anyway long crazy story that nobody would believe. But my point is that abuser sare all the same. Same story only the names change.

  5. By: Pam Posted: 18th October

    Pinky, Yes, it is a sick world. Even with the strides women have made, our culture still denegrades women. When I tried to talk to my family of origin about the man I left home to live with at barely 16, being legally, a pedophile and my parents being guilty of child neglect when they reacted with total passivity, they treated me as if I were rediculous. They accused me of blaming my ‘sin’ on others. I thought it was my fault for decades and I thought that maybe they were as ignorant, because of social attitudes towards women, as I was and hadn’t thought it through. I learned that they thought I got what I deserved and what ever they did or didn’t do as my parents was okay simply because they were my parents. The even took sides with the man who raped me and called me unforgiving for finally naming what he did to me. They said that he was a victim of the sexual revolution. They made it seem as if he were helpless to my ‘charms’. They put more weight of responsibility on me, a very nieve 16 yr.old with little life experience, than on a man who was married, divorced, had a child, and worked in the porn industry and dealt drugs. I get so sick of women bearing the weight of morality in sexual relationships. Men are not poor creatures who simply can’t control their sexual urges. Boys need to be taught differently about their responsibility in regards to sex. It’s hard when our culture openly accepts the sexual objectification of women. I’ve also read that most teenage girls who become pregnant outside of marriage are not impregnated by teenage boys but by grown men. Then there are girls like I was, runaways that more often than not, end up in the hands of a pimp and society not only turns a blind eye but holds those little girls accountable and not the men who exploite them and use them. I can’t express how angry all of this makes me. Yes, it is a sick, evil, world that we live in.

    I’ve had health problems too, some pretty serious ones, and dealing with disease and chronic illness is hard enough, but the attitudes of healthy people greatly increases the weight of that burden. I also get sick of healthy people who want government health care because of the expense as they totally ignore how people with health problems are treated under the government systems that already exist. It is no better, and often worse, than the insurance companies. People who are healthy don’t know how fragile good health is and are deceived by their pridefull attitudes into believing they are responsible for their good health. I know that state of mind has its affect but it isn’t the whole story. Everyone is vulnerable, some just like to pretend that they aren’t. The same goes with being a victim of a crime.

    Pam

  6. By: Pinky Posted: 18th October

    @Pam there is truth to what you are saying. Not sure if it is the only reason but true for sure. I am 100& cancer free but had breast cancer from 2008-2010. On the breast cancer pages and sites I am shocked at how many people blame the cancer patient for having cancer and I think ti is so they protect themselves from thinking they can get it. I am 100& cancer free not just in remission I am cancer free so I can say this, it is not being positive that got me better. Just like I can say begin negative didn’t get me sick. It is genetic. To me it is obviously delusional to think that way but unfortunately it is not as obvious with rape. There was a case in the news here in NYC where a hotel housekeeper was raped. The opposing counsel made up a story that she was a whore in spite of the fact that she had a clean work record and no proof of a second income. The case was dropped in spite f DNA evidence because of her sexual history which wasnt even proved in court. Sick world we live in!

  7. By: Pam Posted: 18th October

    All, I think one reason behind why people act this way is that they don’t want to think it can happen to them. They protect themselves from thinking the impossible possible by telling themselves that the victim was stupid. or asked for it. Like a lot of ugly things people do, the motivation to do them comes from fear.

    When I tried to tell my mom what happened to me at 14, she acted like she was going to get dirty just from hearing it. As a result,she’s never heard the details of any of the things that happened to me and doesn’t even have any idea of what she is blaming me for. It is impossible to get through that kind of denial.

  8. By: Pinky Posted: 18th October

    @Darelene, thanks for linking the web cam! I hope you have a great time!
    I guess I as pretty shocked to learn that these beliefs still exist. I have a supportive husband and circle of support. Just recent;ly one of my 2 rapists got out of jail for raping 20 girls who testified against him and he joined FB and started to harass me. I am FB friends with high school class mates. Though most of them are incredibly supportive he started harassing me on FB and having friends of friends post things about me liking it. I just blocked him and took them off my page. I was just shocked that people still think this way. I thought time and education would help them evolve but it doesnt. Rapists seem to have a sense of entitlement. For me I have to know the truth even if culture refuses the truth.
    I recently became acquainted with SlutWalk. I missed it in NYC this year considering doing it next year. Anyone here do it or have comments about it?

  9. By: Robin Frisella Posted: 18th October

    Darlene, this was really powerful. I’m going to post the link on my facebook page–hopefully reading this will be a paradigm shift for many people! Thank you for all you are doing.

  10. By: Shanyn Posted: 17th October

    Darlene. great post. How heartbreaking that we still have this going on. I remember the night I was raped, I came in late and as told that “bad things happen to stupid girls who stay out late”, needless to say I said nothing about what happened. After all I had proven them right, once again. And there are so many other untruths we are taught – seeing a bruised woman and hearing someone say, “She was talking when she should have been listening.” Hearing a judge say a woman “dressed and acted like she wanted to be raped” and so many other lies that we have to shout out against. We need to stop being silent not only in the face of an assault but also in the face of the attitudes that blame the victim instead of advocating for better choices and behaviour. Don’t rape, don’t assault, don’t abuse – that should be the lesson. Not don’t get raped, don’t get assaulted, don’t get abused. Thanks for everything!
    Shanyn

  11. By: Kelly Posted: 17th October

    Darlene and Pam,
    thank you both so much, for your honesty, your kindness, your strength and for being willing to share all of it with me and everyone else on this site.
    i cannot even begin to tell you how much i appreciate you

  12. By: Sarah Ann Posted: 17th October

    Even the way we speak about rape reaffirms this. I “got” raped instead of I “was” raped. I prefer to say that I WAS raped. I really hate to hear “she got raped,” as if the woman ordered rape in a catalog and it just arrived in the mail. “Got” implies that something was requested. However, “was” has a passive tone. I didn’t “get” raped– rape HAPPENED TO me. I didn’t ask for it. Unfortunately, I think the term “got” holds that connotation.

    For more on the way we speak about rape in our culture, see my article here: http://wp.me/p1aXm6-2s

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th October

      Hi Sarah Ann
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken and thank you for highlighting this post in this way. Yes this is a very good point.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Oh Kelly,
      You are so very welcome! I am thrilled to be assisting ohters on this journey!
      Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: Pam Posted: 17th October

    Kelly, For me it was the way my family treated me that caused me to think I was so bad that such things should happen to me. My family trained me to be a victim by the way they used me in my sick family system. Sometimes, I slip backward too but then I think about how they treated me and how they wanted me to carry the blame and use it to manipulate me and I get angry and I am returned to my right mind. Being logical and reminding myself of the truth helps.

    Pam

  14. By: Kelly Posted: 17th October

    Darlene,
    Yes, in those moments when can see that it wasn’t my fault, that the lessons i learned set me up to relive and relive my past, due to my negative feelings about myself.. feels good, like a breath of fresh air.. When in my negative thoughts its not so easy to find those truths.. i strive everyday though, to stay in the positive, sadly though i don’t always make it…

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th October

      Kelly,
      I didn’t always make it either. That is okay because it is in the persistence that I found victory. Lots of times I took myself to bed and agreed that I needed a break from the huge task of processing this stuff. And I took that break and I allowed the pain to come back and I just kept trying to go forward. Eventually, the new belief system overrode the old one! Today it rarely comes back, and when it does it is very easy for me to remember now that those things are lies and I just reset my mind again.
      It is okay to crash once in a while. It is part of the process!
      Hugs, Darlene

  15. By: Kelly Posted: 17th October

    Pam,
    I agree, of rape as the rapist wiping their filth upon us, then layers of filth being heaped on afterwards.. by others and ourselves.. When i am level headed, i can see this…i can see that my earlier abuses, my families training of me, set me up to attract more and more abuses. When i am notso level headed, when i get lost in my negative feelings of myself.. i see something different.. i ask over and over, how can one person attract so much evil.. only evil can attract evil… until i look at others, like all of you, here.. could i or would i, think that of you, or anyone else?.. that thought sickens me.. to think that any one would accuse any of you of being deserving in anyway of the hurts you have experienced as anything other then innocent children being hurt by horrible, sick people.. So why am i any different?

  16. By: G Posted: 17th October

    hi Darlene,i want to share this, excerpts/parts of my journal…very right timing about your topic..

    (TRIGGER warning)
    i remember you fed me the anxiety/sedative medicine inside the car which you said to calm me all those time you took me, you would ask me to take it during the time i was with the you ,i saw that the you brought plenty of the medicine because you would hand one every now and then,and all those times you would ask me to take it .i remember the you brought drinking water also and some clothes hidden in the trunk.when you took me, we travelled along our highway,a very dark place in our town and all those times i was struggling, cryng and asking you and the driver to stop, i stopped cryng and struggling already after many minutes ,(maybe i was calm already due to the medicine ).. the car stopped in a gasoline station in another town and me and you got out of the car,the driver/car took off and left the you and me, (all those time i was very calm/quiet already and just follow what you tell me), you brought me in a motel in another town, and all those time you still would feed me the medicine and would try to sexually take me but never succeeded.then i remember you succeeded only after you took me to your relatives place in xxxxxxxx,you tried again taking me many times and finally the you succeeded and i remember… you immediately showed me the blood from the shirt you used to wipe my private part with blood and you said..”specimen number one”…and showed the blood to me very near my face ,i was very confused but calm ,but i remember i cried after that inside the bathroom of the place where you took me and i cried sitting in the corner calling silently for my mother..
    after that, i remember, you took me back to our town but asked someone ,a military man from xxxxxxx to come with us in coming back to our town..
    i always remember this.how you took me,the manner how it was done, now tell me how do you call this?is this rape?sexual abuse?why is this still bothering me until now ,why am i still having all these flashbacks about this ?why after many long years of tryng to numb myself i am still remembering every detail of it?why am i still having flashbacks, nightmares about this and suffering and you enjoying and having the times of your lives?
    how do you call this?
    G

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th October

      Hi G,
      My goodness, Thank you for sharing this. This was such a crime, to the extent that he knew to drug you, knew to get you out of the town. Such care was taken to protect himeself, so that he could violate you in this way and not get caught. This is not the act of an innocent person. This was a criminal and premeditated act. This was rape and sexual abuse and a sexual crime and he was well aware of it.
      And you sound very clear about that! Thank you for sharing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  17. By: Pam Posted: 17th October

    Kelly, Rape is like having someone wipe their filth all over us. Then when we are blamed for it, others lather on more filth. It seems there is no way to get rid of it but it can be gotten rid of by placing the blame where it belongs and leaving it there. The people who were supposed to love me wanted me to wear that filth forever. That isn’t love and I’m not required to tolerate that level of disrespect just because they are my mom, my dad, my sister, my brother. They chose to side with my abusers and by doing so, they participated in my degradation. I left them along with the shame and filth that they required me to carry behind. I am clean, and free and you can be too. There is never any reason good enough for it to be an excuse for rape.

    Love,
    Pam

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th October

      Hi Kelly
      This is what I am talking about exactly. We are taught, not just by our families but by society in general, and in many ways with many messages that we are to blame and it was when I realized that I was not to blame that I began to really overcome the difficulties that I had in my life and emerge into real life and real truth. I have stories too, where I believed that because I “did something” that I was to blame for the crime against me. I told myself that it WAS my fault. I applied these lies even to the 2 year old me that had been molested. But this is not the truth. I am not to blame.
      The fact that you are having days where you can see this is huge! I went back and forth with this for a long time. It takes time to undo the things we believe and replace them with the truth.. but you are on the road! I rarely have to fight those beliefs anymore. Sometimes I have to review.. sort of remind myself, but I don’t all the way back anymore.. not even close!
      Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: Kelly Posted: 17th October

    When i was a child and was pretty much handed to my sexual abusers, i learned that i was worthless, that this is what i deserved.. when my mother blamed me for things that went wrong, when i was told by her that i was bad, that i couldn’t do anything right, i learned that everything was my fault, that i brought it all on myself.. i was lonely, hurting, so very sad.. i turned to alcohol and other things.. which my mother told me in doing so, i was asking for whatever happened to me… when i was gang raped at 14 in a park, then the guy who came by and rescued me, proceeded to, once we got away from the others, throw me down and rape me as well.. i knew it was my fault, not only from what i was taught as a child, but also because i had been drinking.. i didn’t tell anyone, as i didn’t want anyone to know how horrible i was, how dirty i was, that i was a slut… i told myself that i was not raped, that this happened because i was drinking and walking in a park.. so i asked for it.. i believed this for so very long.. on my good days, i can look at this, and other things and see it for what it was… on my bad days.. those old beliefs, become real again.. i feel so dirty and horrible in those times… i hope with everything in me that the days will come where i no longer have to fight those beliefs anymore…

  19. By: joy Posted: 17th October

    Hi Darlene

    You are right. .am still kinda of hurting from some things. I know healing is the only way even if ..for awhile its a lonely way. Its not popular..people call you crazy or mental if you seek help for yourself..but I know I need the guidance..

    You are absolutely right and am going to stay on the road.. to healing despite all the crazy feelings and emotions floating around..

    Hugs

    Joy

  20. By: joy Posted: 17th October

    Hi Darlene
    I have actually been guilty of doing just that. wondering what I am doing wrong: why would I have to keep having this happened.. and really one “legal” person old me I must like being hurt.. SOund nice? I like being hurt.. I am beginning to wonder seriously if because I chose to heal I have to suffer so much. I suffered alot as a child . had to keep quiet.. that is what I was told. I was told I deserved everything I got. that GOd saw I needed to be more holy more pure.. so I had to pass through this fire be more purified.. I must be one bad soul to have to go through so much purification. WHy would GOd want me to suffer so much. and then have the very people who are suppose to help me heal also hurt me. . AM I a bad person??

    Joy

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th October

      Hi Nicole
      The hurt went away for me when I realized that understanding my parents wasn’t going to make any difference, even if I could understand them. The hurt healed for me when I stopped letting their hurtful and neglectful regard towards me define me as unworthy of love and equal value.
      I know that this is hard to understand, we are undoing years of brainwashing.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Joy
      Here is how I look at it today. I was hurting my whole life. At least with choosing to heal I had some hope of getting to the other side.
      I realized that most people had lied to me about what I deserved. I threw that all out with the rest of the garbage and learned to define my own worth and find out the REAL truth about God etc.
      Hugs, Darlene

  21. By: Nicole Her Heart She Emerges Posted: 17th October

    Darlene

    I see this all now but how does the hurt go away, when you see that your own mother prb never really cared ever about you?? I guess I am still going back to see what I did wrong to a point, I just dont understand how a mother could say what mine did.. I dont know why she was like this my grandparents to me didnt seem like this to me. they are who showed me love.. this kinda goes with my newest poem. The point being we all want to feel loved and we do anything at any cost to feel it, to receive it.. I know that even tho I was taken for a fool all my life. I still have so much to give and I never want others to feel the pain like I have and I would do anything to help others not feel that same pain.
    even when I have had health prbs and I would go to my mom she told me I was make a big deal out of nothing b/c I was fine and there was nothing wrong with me it was all in my head.. But I was the one for her when she has had health issues finding everything I could about what she had going on.
    Thank you
    Nicole

  22. By: Red Tash Posted: 17th October

    This manifests even in small ways. We have a neighbor who hates our timid dog, and fires fireworks at him, and things like that. People assume our dog must be to blame. It has exasperated my husband completely. Everyone knows ge adopted this timid dog and has coaxed him through the healing process, gently. He also has a history of excellently trained dogs. Then one cruel neighbor decides to pick on our dog, and suddenly *we must be at fault.* I secretly think the neighbors are trying to manipulate us into buying a privacy fence (they have a pool), but that’s neither here nor there. The point is–regardless of why we are targeted, being targeted is not our fault. Bullies don’t go after bullies. They go after kind people, who they see as weak. That is my experience.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th October

      Hi Pam
      It is a travesty that so many are taught this nonsense. Thank you for sharing your story.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Red Tash
      Yes, this does extend to situations such as the one you have shared. Thank you for highlighting this.
      Hugs, Darlene

  23. By: Pam Posted: 17th October

    I was taught that rape or not, it was the girl’s/woman’s fault. When it happened to me at 14, I didn’t even consider that it wasn’t my fault. I also thought I was ruined because I wasn’t a virgin and no one would want to marry me. I didn’t think I could have a future apart from a man. At 15 almost 16 when a pedophile (28 years old)asked me to live with him, I thought why not, it was the best I could expect. I didn’t know about pedophiles or that it was wrong for a man to have sex with a teenage girl so I was raped again, over and over and over without having a clue that anyone had done anything bad to me. It felt very bad in my heart and my mind, according to my programming, told me that I was to blame. To this day, my family reinforces that view. I was 50 before I understood. It is a travesty.

    Pam

  24. By: Nicole Her Heart She Emerges Posted: 17th October

    This is just what my mom did to me.. she told me it was my fault I got raped that I set myself up to have it happen and she was shocked it didnt happen to me sooner.. what kinda words coming from ur own mother make a girl feel. God, now I know what I couldnt tell her I was molested part of my childhood. heck if she will tell me all that for being raped at 30 then I hate to think what she would have said as a child.
    the part on trust I was told that too by my mom that I trust everone and everything and that made me the bad one..

    thank you Darlene

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th October

      Hi Nicole
      Exactly! Like I said, and we wonder why WE have the guilt and shame over this stuff! We are taught this weird accountability instead of being taken care of and understood; soothed and nurtured. We are taught that we “must have done something” instead of being loved and cherished and just believed.
      Thanks for being here Nicole!
      Hugs, Darlene

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