What to Do When You Were Raped and Your Boyfriend Can’t Cope

These tips for coping when your boyfriend can’t deal with your rape are inspired by a reader, and by my own experience as a survivor of sexual assault. What do you do when your boyfriend doesn’t understand your fear, confusion, and feelings? This blog post was inspired by a reader who commented on my article about sexual assault…

What to Do When You Were Raped and Your Boyfriend Can’t Cope

What to Do When You Were Raped and Your Boyfriend Can’t Cope

“I was raped by one of my best friends and I felt it was my fault, so I didn’t tell my boyfriend I was raped,” says Sally on How to Tell Someone You Were Sexually Abused as a Child. “A few months later I talked to a girl who was raped, and I really related to her. I realized the rape wasn’t my fault. I told my boyfriend two weeks ago, thinking he’d understand and be there for me. I was wrong. He couldn’t handle it and broke up with me a few nights ago. He wants to remain friends. It hurts that he can walk away so easily. Although he’s being a jerk and a baby about this, I love him. I want to tell him how angry I am, but I’m scared if I make him mad he will stop talking to me. Part of me doesn’t want to be friends so I can move on, but I also want to be with him again. I’m torn. Please help.”

Below, I offer a few ideas for coping with a boyfriend who doesn’t understand what it’s like to be raped, or how to cope with a traumatic rape.





I Was Sexually Assaulted – But Not Raped

When I was 18 years old, a man broke into my apartment to try to rape me. It was the most horrifying experience of my life, and I still live with occasional bouts of fear and anxiety in certain situations. I’m almost 47 years old now. I can’t believe it’s been almost 30 years since that guy attempted to rape me, and the memory is still fresh.

When Your Boyfriend Can’t Cope With the Rape

me (Laurie)

He had my kitchen knife – I lived alone in a basement suite – and I woke up at 3:08 am to see his crouched at the foot of my bed. It was actually the night of my grade 12 graduation, which I hadn’t attended.

I screamed, and he shoved his hand down my throat. We wrestled for a bit, and he touched me. I somehow managed to get over to the side of the bed and turn on my clock radio. I blasted it, hoping someone would hear and come save me. He reached for the plug, and I was able to break free and run outside. I wrote about the whole experience in How I Survived an Attempted Rape in My Bedroom.

That was almost thirty years ago, and just last night I was scared that someone would break into my house and try to rape me again. The consequences of being attacked, sexually assaulted, or raped never go away, do they?

And it’s even worse when your husband or boyfriend doesn’t know how to support you.

When Your Boyfriend Can’t Cope With the Rape

One of the consequences of being raped is that your loved ones often don’t know what to do or say. Your boyfriend may have certain ideas and opinions about your rape, but he has no idea what you’re really going through.

Rape triggers deep-seated, painful emotions for men

I taught grade 8 for three years, and one of my male students’ sisters was raped. My student had a very, very difficult time coping with his sister’s rape – his pain came out in different ways, all the time. He felt helpless, scared, and unable to help her deal with the rape. He was emotionally volatile, and would outburst in anger at the drop of a hat.

Rape can trigger very painful emotions for men. They may not even realize how deep-seated their reaction is to your rape. They don’t know how to interact with you physically and emotionally. They’re confused and bewildered.

If your boyfriend can’t cope with your rape, remember that he’s dealing with his own emotional baggage – and his pain may have nothing to do with you. It’s a selfish response on your boyfriend’s part, to allow his own pain and discomfort overcome his love and compassion for you. But, humans are often selfish – we often act out of self-preservation and survival.

Some men are too emotionally immature to cope with their girlfriends’ rape

Helping someone you love cope with something as painful and violent as rape requires patience, maturity, and a deep sense of compassion. It’s not necessarily about love – your boyfriend can love you with all his heart, but not be able to cope with your rape.

Your boyfriend may not know how to separate his own emotional baggage from his feelings of compassion for you. He’s simply too immature to cope with a girlfriend who was raped. He has his own issues about rape, and he’s not able to reach out to you.

It’s not about you. It’s about him. But this doesn’t make it easier to be with a boyfriend who can’t cope with the fact that you were raped! If you’re lonely and sad with your boyfriend, read What to Do When You Feel Alone in a Relationship.

Some boyfriends don’t know how to handle the idea of rape

If your boyfriend is making your recovery from the rape more difficult, you might have to let him go. I know how painful it is to break up with your boyfriend at the most painful and lowest point of your life, but if he can’t cope with the rape, you have to protect yourself.

A great way to heal from being raped – and from the breakup – is to reach out to other survivors. Volunteer at a crisis center – give other women the opportunity to connect with you. Their own boyfriends may not be able to cope with their rape, and they would be grateful to have you to talk to.

Read How to Live Without the Man You Love.

No matter what your boyfriend says – keep talking about being raped

Sally said she related to a girl who had been raped – and that’s one of the best ways to cope with being raped! Connect with other women who were raped, and ask them how their boyfriends or husbands coped with it.

If your boyfriend was more mature, I’d suggest he join a men’s support group or get counseling to help him understand and cope with the rape. I’d also suggest he read A Man’s Guide to Helping a Woman Who Was Raped. But, it’s important to accept that some men can’t cope with rape. They walk away instead of reaching towards you. I think it’s better to let a boyfriend like that go, so you can move on and start a new chapter of your life. Maybe one day he’ll come back to you – maybe he’ll cope with the feelings of his girlfriend being raped, and he’ll get healthy and able to love you.

Help Healing From Rape or Sexual Assault

You Were Raped Boyfriend Can’t CopeRead Healing from Trauma: A Survivor’s Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your Life by Jasmin Lee Cori. While there are many different approaches to healing the trauma of rape, not all books or resources offer a wide range of perspectives and options.

In this book Jasmin Lee Cori helps you:

  • Understand trauma and its devastating impacts
  • Identify symptoms of trauma (dissociation, numbing, etc.) and common mental health problems that stem from a traumatic experience such as rape
  • Manage traumatic reactions and memories of the sexual assault
  • Create a more balanced life that supports your recovery
  • Find the right therapies, self-help groups, medications and alternatives to healing
  • Recognize how far you’ve come in your healing and what you need to keep growing

Whether or not your boyfriend is supportive of your experience of rape, it’s crucial that you create a balanced life that supports your recovery. This includes learning learn what reactions to expect from loved ones and how to cope with them. The first thing you need to do is face your own feelings about the rape – and reclaim your life, personality, and inner strength.

What to Do When You Were Raped and Your Boyfriend Can’t CopeIn Life, Reinvented: A Guide to Healing from Sexual Trauma for Survivors and Loved Ones, Erin Carpenter brings both inspiration and practical tools to survivors of sexual assault, rape, or childhood sexual abuse and their friends, family members, and partners.

Combining recent research, years of clinical experience, and first-hand accounts of healing, she offers a unique viewpoint on recovery from trauma. Life, Reinvented is a truly complete guide to healing. Beginning with the myths and facts about sexual trauma, Erin introduces common symptoms and describes what happens in the brain when trauma occurs. And, she explains in a fascinating way how trauma-related symptoms are actually signs of healing after you were raped or sexually assaulted.

Were you raped? How did your boyfriend or loved ones cope? I welcome your thoughts below. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it may help you to share your experience.

My prayer for all women who have been raped or sexually assaulted is for peace, healing, and guidance. May we handle the outfall and be brave, strong, and courageous.





xo



32 Responses

  1. Laurie says:

    Dear Tessa,

    It takes a lot of courage to share your experience of being raped. Writing about it is difficult! I remember writing about the guy who broke into my apartment and try to rate me, and my hand was shaking so much I could barely write.

    Thank you for sharing your story here. Look how strong you are! You graduated from school – but the fact that you were arrested for shoplifting shows that you haven’t worked through your feelings about the rape. I agree with what you said. If that guy hadn’t have raped you, you very likely would not have ended up being promiscuous or gotten into trouble with the law.

    Bad things happen to us. There is no getting around that. Every single one of us has to deal with something. Some of us have to deal with many somethings all throughout our life. Some of us and crumple when we experience traumas such as rape, abuse of parents, or bad marriages.

    But some of us get back up when were knocked down. And Tessa I can see that you’re one of those women who will get back up. I can tell by everything you’ve written that you are a survivor.

    What do you need to do now? You need to start dealing with your experience of being raped. I encourage you to get counseling. Honestly, that is the only way to start healing and growing, grieving and overcoming the terrible thing that happened to you. When you speak the words out loud – “I was raped” – and when you talk about it with someone who is nonjudgmental and wise, you will find that a great weight is lifted from your heart and soul.

    I’m glad your boyfriend is supportive of you. He sounds like a great guy. The best way to ease his mind is for you to get emotionally and spiritually healthy, grieve the fact that you are right, and learn how to build a healthy relationship with him.

    What do you think? Is there anything you can do to help yourself heal?

    • Tessa says:

      Thank you so much for responding. Reading that made me cry and you are definitely right. I have looked into counseling but I am kind of nervous to go and I haven’t followed up yet. I do have one other issue that is kind of a big one. While that experience was not good in anyway I kind of have a “rape fetish”. I’m not sure if this is normal or not. I would not wish rape onto anyone and I definitely don’t want to do through it again but that kind of porn often turns me on. Should I seek help for that? And do you think its something other people feel? I’m not sure what to think of it but I have a feeling its not good.

      • Laurie says:

        I hope you follow up on the counseling idea! I don’t think there is any “normal” response to being raped. Every woman responds in different ways, and takes different amounts of time to heal and move on. And that’s why I encourage you to see a counselor! So you can work with her on your specific responses, and so you can find the best ways for you to heal.

        If you haven’t read any books on surviving sexual assault, that might be a great place to start. Learn other women cope with being raped, how they work through it, how they process the grief and pain. This will help you heal.

        May you be filled with peace and healing, joy and light as you move forward! I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Healing is so beautiful and good – it’s painful, too. It takes so much energy to work through the consequences of rape! But if you keep going through it, you will come out on the other side….and you will be happier and healthier than you ever thought possible.

        Take good care of yourself, for you are worth taking good care of.

  2. Tessa says:

    I came across this website looking for ways to cope and I figured I’d share here. It’s much easier for me to write about this than talk about it out loud. About two years ago I went to prom with a guy a few years older than me. We had been talking for about a month and right before I graduated I went to his house. I went there very drunk and I remember initiating having sex with him the first time. I then passed out on the couch for maybe an hour before waking up. I hardly remember the rest, its mostly in fragments but he took me back into his room and pulled my pants off. He went over to close the door and dig through my purse for one of the condoms I had in there. While he did that I curled up onto the bed because I felt so bad from all the alcohol and I just wanted to sleep. He came back over and pulled my legs down off the bed and had sex with me again. I never really told anyone about this because I never thought of it as rape because I didn’t say no or fight back plus it was my fault for going there drunk in the first place.

    After this happened, I graduated a day later and then 3 days after that I was arrested for shoplifting. I was so upset about him not talking to me anymore and everything that happened that I didn’t care about anything anymore. Throughout the coming years I ended up being very promiscuous and had very many casual sex partners. Even now, I think that if he didn’t do that to me, I would have never gotten arrested or had so much casual sex.

    I’m 20 and currently have a boyfriend of 9 months and a few weeks ago I ended up telling him about this experience. He was shocked to say the least and very upset. Not at me, but just at the fact that this happened to me and continues to tell me that I was raped. I never wanted to be a rape victim and I’m still not even comfortable labeling myself as such. He has been supportive of me but I know he is still hurting too. I’m not quite sure how to ease his mind on this and I am afraid he won’t be able to handle it and is going to end up leaving me. I don’t really have anyone else to turn to about this topic, its pretty much just my boyfriend. I guess I feel like I just needed to get this out somewhere. So thank you to anyone who reads this and chooses to respond. Anything would help me right now.

  3. Laurie says:

    Hello again O,

    Here are my thoughts for you. I hope you read the article, because you will see how you are being “tricked” into believing that you aren’t good enough to help other people cope with abuse!

    Not only are you GOOD ENOUGH, you are the perfect person to help others. Your compassion, love, tender spirit, and calling is all you need. God has equipped you with the right tools, and He will guide you as you move forward, grow, and help others heal.

    ok, ok, here’s the article:

    How to Stop Feeling Guilty and Ashamed About What You Did
    http://blossomtips.com/how-to-stop-feeling-guilty-ashamed-of-what-you-did/

    Don’t let your past stop you from Blossoming into the woman God created you to be.

    xo
    Laurie

  4. Laurie says:

    Dear O,

    Thank you for sharing your story here. Did you know that it is harder to forgive ourselves that it is to forgive others?

    Funnily, my husband and I were talking about that just last night! We were agreeing that when we perpetrate hurt and abuse on others, we are responsible for their pain. But when somebody has hurt us – such as a man raping us or a boyfriend not being able to cope with the rape – it’s easier to forgive them. Maybe because we can heal and grow and even find the good in the pain. Whereas when we hurt other people, we don’t necessarily know how their healing process is unfolding. We only see the pain we caused, not the beauty that God grows from the pain.

    Forgiveness is complicated, and it is a lifelong process. I’m proud of you for wanting to help people who have gone through abuse, difficult childhoods, and brokenness. And I totally understand your obstacles! We are our own worst enemies. We really are. You are normal, and your feelings of guilt and shame are a normal response to the past abuse you experienced, as well as the abuse you perpetrated on others.

    To answer your questions… Yes, you are good enough to help others who have gone through abuse. In fact, because you have harmed other people, you are actually in a better position to help people who have experienced abuse. You have the perspective of both the abuser and the abused – and that is extremely valuable! That will make you a more compassionate, kind, and caring helper then all the textbook knowledge in the world.

    I feel like I need to stop responding to your comment in this little wee comment section! I want to write an article for people in your exact situation. Your struggle is the same as other people are facing – and they are letting it stop them from helping others.

    If you believe in God, then you probably believe in Satan or the deceiver. Is it possible that the deceiver is planting lies in your head – lies that you are not good enough, that you can’t help people because you hurt people in the past, and that you are not good enough? That’s what the deceiver does.

    Thank you for being here. I want to say more to you, but I want to choose my words carefully and write them in a way that will help you and other readers. I will write an article that addresses your questions, and post the link here.

    Stay tuned. And thank you so much for being here! I will come back soon with more thoughts on helping others…

    xo
    Laurie

  5. O says:

    Hi Laurie,

    I am on your newsfeed and I came across this article. My heart goes out to anyone that have experienced any form of abuse. I was abused when I was younger. I Never really told anyone, expect two people. I always felt like something happened to me when I was younger, but I can’t remember anything before age 7. I have never told my mom that when I was younger that different males have placed their hands on me, called me out of my name, bullied me, and have said explicit statements and comments to me. I was afraid. I was completely ignorant to the fact it was a form of sexual harassment and abuse. She only knows about my father hitting and punishing my siblings and I. Today, I am apprehensive about relationships and suspicious of men as a majority, even though, not all guys are like, I feel to be on defense mode, especially those that say they “Love me” and want to know me better. I feel like it’s “trap words” to be taken advantage of and manipulated. My childhood was difficult and I wonder if I have experienced extra pain in life because of it. Like I’ve mentioned previously, I experienced abused, but I have also abused others. I have been carrying shame and guilt. I know God has forgiven me, but my younger days replay back over and over again. I want to help people that have gone through abuse, difficult childhoods, and brokenness. But my set back is what I did. It sounds confusing to be be victimized then hurt others. I didn’t know I was doing. I have noticed a pattern with the type of people I have attracted in my life–I will emphasize more on the abused and brokened. Am I good enough to help anyone who gone through this? How can my story help others when I was a victim and hurt others interchangeably? How would God use me, when others have gone through abuse to a deeper extent? I should shut up and sit down, right? I hate to compare stories and testimonies but I feel I can’t really others like I desire to. Do I have be on the front lines? Should I support a group or organization to show I’m passionate in helping people? Is praying, listening, and helping others here and there enough in this broken World??

  6. Laurie says:

    Dear Courtney,

    I’m sorry you experienced sexual abuse. No child should ever have to know about abuse like that, much less go through it.

    I wrote this article for you, to help you tell your mom that you were raped:

    How to Tell Someone You Were Sexually Abused as a Child
    http://blossomtips.com/how-to-tell-i-was-raped-child-sexual-abuse-survivor/

    I hope it helps…feel free to come back anytime and let me know how you are, and how it went with your mom.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  7. Courtney says:

    Hi Laurie,

    My problem isn’t my boyfriend, it’s my mom. I was raped by my older brother when I was 10 years old. He also molested my little brother but I didn’t know that until recently. I haven’t told anybody about the childhood sexual abuse, not even my mom and dad, because I didn’t know how to say it. Now that my little brother told me what my older brother did to him, I want to tell my mom we were molested but I don’t know how.

    Thank you,
    Courtney

  8. Tim says:

    I hope it is not inappropriate that I post here, but I write with the motivation to help both the survivors of rape, and the partners such as myself.

    My partner was raped last week. We had spent a couple of weeks apart from our 7-month long world travels, and I was home in Australia visiting family while she traveled on to Mexico, our next destination. She was alone in a cabana on the beach after a night out with friends and woke to an intruder raping her. Upon waking she screamed and pushed him away and he ran off. It was completely dark and disorientating and she could not identify her attacker. He had broken into her room, and also robbed her.

    I learnt of the attack immediately after it happened, and of course I broke down in tears. It was one of the worst moments of my life. I was so far away and I could hear how devastated she was. All I wanted to do in that instant was be by her side, but I was 16,000 kilometres away. I felt the whole gamut of emotions; guilt for not being there to protect her, and stupidly frustration at her for not being more careful with her safety. I know this was the wrong response and that it was just my way of trying to comprehend the incomprehensible. To apply logic to an illogical situation, and a way to direct the utter helplessness I was feeling. Fortunately I am a survivor myself, having overcome sexual assault as a child. I repressed these idiot feelings and the very first things I told her were: I love you, it was not your fault, this does not change how I feel about you at all, we will get through this together. Then I suggested the next steps to take to protect herself and seek the right care from the local authorities, which thankfully she has received. I got there within 30 hours and we went to all the appointments together and I have not left her side since.

    A week later we talk openly about the attack if and when she needs to… But I don’t press. Despite my best intentions I am prone to obsessing about what happened, and am beset with feelings of helplessness, anger and sadness/depression and usually have a quiet cry each day. I talk about this with her, and show her and she has said it helps her to know how affected I am by what has happened as well. She said that just being here, and giving her nothing but my love, affection and unconditional support has helped her beyond measure. So far she is bearing up incredibly well, unbelievably well… but she has nightmares and disturbed sleep as one would of course expect. Whenever I am affected by my emotions I get online and read up on how to prepare for whatever she may have come up in the future (PTSD, etc) and that lets me feel like I am actively doing something to help her. That is how I found this page.

    I recommend if your partner is struggling to understand what you are going through, he should read “A Man’s Guide to helping a Woman who has been Raped” by Matthew Atkinson. It was the very first thing I read the night it happened and it helped me give my beautiful partner the love and care she needed. I would also like to add that I am a 43 year old male, and I would hope emotionally mature, yet I was completely overwhelmed with the emotions brought on by this attack. It is one of the worst times of my life and I struggle internally each day with the stupid “what if’s” and “If only’s”. If your partner is blaming you (It’s not your fault!!) or withdrawing/running it says absolutely nothing about you and does not diminish you in any way. It is 100% his inability to process something the emotions he is feeling.

    I hope you find the love and support you need from your partner. And if your current partner cannot be what you require of him, please do not assume that all men are unable to support and cherish you. Absolutely talk to someone who understands, and absolutely talk to other survivors.

    Much love,

    Tim

  9. Laurie says:

    Dear Leah,

    What were the results of your pregnancy test? Have you told your parents that your ex friend raped you…and is your boyfriend still being supportive?

  10. Leah says:

    So I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost three years now, and there’s this guy who was like my second best friend(after my boyfriend) who I went to school with last year. We were really close, and like hugged every time we saw each other to greet each other and say bye every time we saw each other. I always thought he was one of the nicest people i met, and whenever we hung out he’d always tell me that my boyfriend should come chill too. Then two totally got along awesomely, but I wouldn’t say they were quite friends they just really bonded over the fun times we three had. My boyfriend would still refer to him as my friend though not ours, and he would still call him my boyfriend not his name or anything so they got along well but pretty formally.

    I visited him without my boyfriend. We smoked, and the last thing I remember, he was putting eye drops in my eyes cause they were red but I just vaguely remember I was having a lot of trouble holding my head up and keeping my eyes open then himd saying, “I should probably give you those eye drops now.” Even though we still had hours left to chill.

    Then I woke up on the couch, right where I’d been sitting after I moved away from him cause my phone was ringing. It was my mom saying she was on her way to get me. He looked asleep on the other side of the couch, but I could tell he wasn’t actually asleep and I just had this really wierd vibe. Plus I was really disoriented, slurring all my words, I felt kinda drunk and really hung over even though I don’t remember drinking any alcohol, dizzy, sore in certain places, wierd taste in my mouth and confused as to wtf that wierd sleeping spell was.

    I “woke up” my friend even though I knew he was faking sleeping, and he seemed really surprised that I was awake. He also started to catch me when I stood up before I even started falling over. He was giving me wierd vibes and wouldn’t look me in the eye.

    My mom got me, the goodbye hug was brief and awkward, and I went home and slept for a couple more hours. At one point I noticed my yoga shorts were on wrong and there was jizz in them, but I was so out of it I didn’t even process it.

    Two weeks later I realized what happened, I think my friend raped me. My boyfriend told me I brought it on myself for trying to get my friend’s attention. he said my friend was obviously rapey and obviously liked me, and he just didn’t say anything sooner cause he didn’t wanna be perceived as jealous. Then basically was like can I get back to studying now?

    Then I told my next best two friends that I was raped. One didn’t care, the other said I deserve it. I don’t talk to them anymore.

    I’d been keeping it to myself since even though it’s like excruciating to go through alone, no one’s here. But last night I realized im probably pregnant.

    I called up my boyfriend again and he seemed really uncomfortable to talk about it, I could tell though that he’s only reacting how he is cause he has no clue how to cope with it. He feels extremely bad for how he initially reacted cause he panicked, and now is insisting that he’s here for me and obviously cares a lot but I just don’t think he’s mature enough to actually do any help other that hugs and cuddles, he’s just too sensitive to that kind of thing and it makes him feel sick to talk about the idea that I was raped.

    I’m only a teenager and I shouldn’t be pregnant yet. My boyfriend is gonna take me to get a pregnancy test tomorrow. If it’s positive I’ll tell my parents what happened but if not I don’t wanna get involved with all the legal stuff of accusing my ex friend of raping me. Courts stressful, I’m not even mad at the ex friend I just feel bad for him and don’t talk to him anymore (he doesn’t know I know), my dad openly hates me and my mom warned me she got a wierd vibe from him long ago so o can only imagine how they’d react. I just really hope I’m not pregnant

  11. Laurie says:

    Dear Grace,

    Yes, you were raped. It sounds like it was a terrible experience, and I’m sorry you had to go through that! You didn’t do anything to deserve it, and you are far more precious than you know. Nobody should treat you like that.

    Please talk to someone in person about your experience with rape. The more you talk about it, the more healing you’ll experience. It may feel scary and embarrassing to say it out loud, to describe what happened, but you really need to share it with supportive women.

    Can you call a distress line, help phone, or local resource center for women?

    Here’s some information about a safe house for women:
    http://blossomtips.com/womens-shelter-safe-house-abusive-relationships/

    Please call, and get help in person. Don’t suffer through this alone, ok? You were raped, and it’s important that you talk about it.

    May you find healing and peace. May your body recover quickly, and your emotions and spirit revive. May you find supportive people to help you.

    Come back anytime, let me know how you are. Sign up for my email newsletter so you hear from me regularly!!

    Warmly,
    Laurie

  12. Grace says:

    I think i was raped. I’m not 100% sure though… he was my boyfriend at the time. He was (and still is) severely depressed and has anxiety and lots more going on with him. He used that to make me feel bad for him and to please him all the time because if he is ever sad at any moment he would say he would want to kill himself and if I ever stopped dating him then he would kill himself. I was never really a fan of sex and he knew that but he got horney a lot and that made him depressed cause he didn’t feel like I loved him cause I wouldn’t have sex with him often. One day he almost started crying amd started talking abouy how depreased he was when I said no so I was like fine okay we can have sex. So we started doing it and after like 2 minutes I couldn’t do it anymore and so I tried pusing him off me. I don’t remember if I said no or not but I kept trying to get him off of me and then he finally came off of me and so I rolled over and I feel like I said something kind of like a no but I don’t Rembert and I tried crawling away to get a way from him but he ended up trying to stick it back into me but he missed and ripped my other hole so I started bleeding and crying then I ran to the bathroom and cried in there for a but and then came back out and left. Is that rape? It has emotionally scarred me. I started dating this other guy after the first guy and we tried having sex and after it I had an anxiety attack and it was so scary. And then I had sex again after that to see if I wasn’t affected anymore and when it was happening I started crying so much and having so much anxiety…. was I raped?

  13. Laurie says:

    Dear Bethany,

    I’m so sorry this happened to you, and that you have to deal with the aftermath of being raped by yourself. I wish your boyfriend was more supportive, and I can’t imagine the pain you’re in.

    Please call a sexual assault phone line, or a rape survivors help phone. You are a SURVIVOR, and you will heal from the trauma of the rape! And, you will learn how to cope with your boyfriend’s reaction to the rape.

    You boyfriend is making the rape about him. He doesn’t understand how horrible this experience is, and he is being selfish and thoughtless. He is blaming you – and the rape was not your fault. It a violent act that happened to you, and you were powerless to stop it.

    But you aren’t powerless anymore. You CAN heal, you WILL move forward and get better! You can become a survivor who dealt with not only a terrible rapist, but also a boyfriend who didn’t understand and couldn’t cope.

    Call a hotline. Talk to a rape advocate or go to women’s help support center in person. Don’t continue to struggle through this alone, because you’ll spiral downwards.

    Call, and come back and let me know how you’re doing.

    With prayers for courage, strength, faith, and hope for healing,
    Laurie

  14. Bethany says:

    About 5 months back I was raped. Taken from getting out of my car and raped. And thrown back. I never told anyone. I was to scared. I finally went to the Dr. For a full exam. I could tell my husband because he we can’t really talk about anything he gets mad at me. So i finally got the currage to tell him and now He wants to leave. Because be said I lied by not telling him and I’m disgusting and Its my fault and he just can’t handle it. I have three kids. I depend on him for everything I don’t work. How can he do this to me when I need him the most? Why does he blaime me. I just wanna die alot of times. He said this ruined his life and that he didn’t go his whole life to have to have this happend because it didn’t have to happen. I need help. I am so upset. I’m beyond not ok

  15. Laurie says:

    That’s terrible, Ruthann – what a terrifying experience. It’s especially difficult to heal and cope with the aftermath of rape or assault when you feel like you can’t share what you went through with your boyfriend.

    How are you coping? What is your relationship like with your boyfriend now?

  16. Ruthann says:

    My ex boyfriend showed up at my house with a gun in his lap. Told me it was in my best interest to get in the car. I froze, I didn’t know what to do so I got in the car. He forced me to perform on him and blackmailed me for 6 months; every time he wanted something, he threatened to tell my boyfriend. So, for 6 months, this man tortured me. I finally got the nerve up to tell my boyfriend, but I left out the details… I only told him that I’d been being harassed. I couldn’t bare to tell him that I had been too weak to fight, I couldn’t bare the thought of losing him. I thought I could make it all go away if I finally told him. A few days later, my ex told him everything, conviently leaving out the parts that incriminated himself.

  17. Laurie says:

    Dear Jess,

    It takes alot of courage and strength to share your story! You are reaching out for help, and that’s awesome.

    You are right to listen to your intuition, which is telling you that your boyfriend is making you feel worse about being raped. He doesn’t understand what it’s like to be sexually assaulted, and he doesn’t know that not all women can scream. Being raped is an extremely traumatic, shocking, and violent experience — it’s not as easy as “you should have just screamed.”

    Your boyfriend can’t give you the support or understanding you need. He doesn’t understand how you feel, and he blames you for the rape. You can’t change how he feels or responds to this terrible thing you experienced, but you can find different ways to cope and heal.

    My advice is for you to find a woman friend to talk to in person. Share your experience with being raped, and talk about how your boyfriend is coping with the rape. Be honest and real — but talk about it as soon as you can!

    If you can’t talk to a woman in person, call the sexual assault survivors phone line. Ask about support groups, resources to help you, online or phone counseling for rape victims – anything that will help you cope.

    Do you need help finding a distress line or survivors’ help phone number? I can help search for the right numbers to call, if you need. Let me know!

    Surround yourself with love, light, and people who care. Open your heart to God, and ask Him for guidance and wisdom. Take a deep breath and know that you CAN heal and recover from the rape…and you have the power you need to make the right choices.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I really need help me and my boyfriend had been fighting and I know I made a comment already but before the sexual assault happened I had been messaging my friend and he had been talking to me and I guess since my boyfriend had been ignoring me I felt vulnerable and emotional because we had been fighting so it felt nice to get attention but he started talking about sexual things and I was stupid and replied so o soars him for a ride the next day but I told him I wanted to talk I wanted to put an end to it by talking it out and he started asking me question about me being turned on and stuff and I started talking me about my boyfriend and he said we wouldn’t last and eventually I let my guard down because it got me upset with the way he was talking about my relationship when he put his are on my thigh and I said no it’s not fair I love my boyfriend… Whenever I brought him up he seemed to get upset and afterwards he started rubbing my back and I said no stop and he said relax okay I’m not going no to hurt you and he put his arm in my chest and I said no stop and when I tried to move his hand he grabbed my arm and said its okay and I covered my face because I didn’t want to see him… Anyways I don’t know how to tell my boyfriend the whole thing because it was basically my fault for texting him and replying to the stuff he would ask me… I don’t know I just feel like either way he’ll be mad at me and I don’t want to lose him for being vulnerable and upset that I waned attention… I feel like this is all my fault. Please I need to know

  19. Jess says:

    I was recently assaulted by a close friend and because he was my close friend I didnt seee it as that but as the day went on I couldn’t stop thinking about it and get this pain in my stomach and feel sadness… I told my boyfriend and he said it was my fault and I deserved it. He said “karma’s a b**ch.” I want to be with him but I don’t know how if he’s making me feel worse. Everytime I talk to him he says its my fault because all I did was say no and stop I never screamed or anything li ke that… I’m starting to think it is my fault and I can’t help but feel pain down there whenever I think about it. I’m starting to believe that I am a wh**e like what my boyfriend said and I need advice. This has never happened to me.

  20. Laurie says:

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It’s horrific and terrifying to experience a sexual assault…and when our boyfriends or husbands don’t understand, it’s even more difficult to heal.

    If your boyfriend doesn’t believe you were raped, he’ll never be able to understand or support you the way you need him to. I encourage you to talk to a rape survivor counselor, and learn ways to process your grief and emotions. It’s such as scary, violent thing for any woman to go through!

    But you will survive. You can be stronger, healthier, and more resilient after this. You will relate to other sexual assault victims in a deeper and more meaningful way, and you will be able to help other women survive.

    Talk to a counselor in person. Work through your feelings about the rape, and about your relationship with your boyfriend. Lean on your friends and family…and hold on to the people who believe and understand you.

  21. Rape victim. says:

    I was raped on July 10th 2016. I told my boyfriend about it and he blames me. He said i put myself in thay situation. He isnt speaking to me today. He thinks i just had a one night stand with someone and regretted it so i am calling it rape. I dont know what to do.. My ex is there for me more than my current boyfreind..

  22. jane doe says:

    I was recently raped by an ex-partner. My boyfriend found out and was upset that I had seen my ex and immediately broke up with me. I told him what had happened but he blamed me for the end of our relationship. This blame also made me feel very responsible for my sexual assault. That maybe my decision to see my ex (with no ill intentions) was the cause for all of this pain. My boyfriend has always had trust issues surrounding any men I spend time with, so I know deep down that this isn’t about me, it’s about him and his issues. But it still hurts. He doesn’t understand that this is the time I needed him most but he left. I’m still not sure how to cope, as it has barely been a week, but my boyfriend leaving hasn’t helped.

  23. CLN says:

    When I was 15 I got dropped off to hang out with a boy I thought I really liked at the time. I got dropped off at his friends house where we were going to hang out for the day. I had absolutely no idea that there were going to be 3 other boys there hanging out as well. Long story short I ended up being FORCED, not willing to give oral sex to all the boys that were there. I immediately called my sister to pick me up, I never said one word to any one… until a girl in school found out from the boy I had liked, she went around and told everyone that the boys just wanted to pee in my mouth. I was angry so I ended up beating up this girl and taken to the principal. Once the principal found out he and a counselor immediately took me to my moms house to have me tell her what happened. I begged my mom to not press charges because ‘I liked this boy’… why? I don’t know… after I started to get over this I started dating my now husband for the first time at 16. For whatever reason I ended up telling him about it, after that the relationship didn’t last long. We still stayed in contact over the years. Just 3 years ago we got back together to figure out how much we loved each other and couldn’t spend another day apart. We’ve been married now for 2 years. Every so often he will bring this nasty memory up and be angry and disgusted with me corns few days. And now just the other day he brought it up again telling me how nasty and used up I am. And that I’m such a who’re, I’m the true definition of a stupid slut. And now he doesn’t want to be with me anymore.. telling me to leave and go kill myself and have sex with more guys. I sit here and cry and plead with him that we’ll get over this. I know it will never go away. But I stay in hopes that in a few days he will be calm and love me again …call me stupid but I love him and don’t want out marriage to end.

  24. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Jaye,

    Thank you for having the strength and courage to talk about your rape here! I lived on an island once, for 5 years. It’s much more difficult to cope with a rape when you’re in a small place or town, and when your boyfriend isn’t supportive.

    I’m sorry you had to experience that. It’s terrible, and it’s not fair. I agree that you need justice! It doesn’t feel like it’s over until the rapist faces the consequences.

    May you find someone on the island to talk to – someone who can help you cope with the rape, the idea of bringing the rapist to justice, and your boyfriend’s response. I hope you share your experience with someone in person, who can help you move forward. I hope you have someone to trust! I pray God brings healing and peace into your life – and people that can help you the way you need.

    Blessings and sympathies,
    Laurie

  25. Jaye says:

    i was raped in my senior year of highschool by a guy i thought was a friend. I was in a relationship at the time and my boyfriend was off island. The guy I thought was a friend and I were talking and we told me lived right by me so I could come over and just hang out and watch tv if I wanted too. I thought this was okay because I had no intentions of doing anything neither did I expect him to do anything wrong. I been over friends house before and played video games and watch tv but of course this was with other people. I did feel something in my gut telling me to not go, but I went anyway. It was just suppose to be a quick stop by and back home so I didn’t tell my boyfriend that I was going over there. The guy picked me up and I walked with my art pad to busy myself incase I got bored, plus he was asking me to draw a tattoo design for him and sounded really interested in my art. So. I got inside now and took a seat on one side of the couch and he took a seat on the other. We we’re watching tv and talking about college and the future plans and him in thr music industry and everything was fine and normal. But then I realize he started staring at me harder than I liked, I felt uncomfortable so I started drawing in my pad. Then he told me I was super pretty bad…I just brushed it off and say uh thankss. and tried to change the conversation because he knew that I had a boyfriend, plus he had a pregnant girlfriend. These comments continued and he came on the same couch as me and I tried to act calm by watching the tv, then he started telling me about my lips and tried to kiss me and I pulled away and told him to stop. he came back again and kisssed me on my lips..I eventually moved down to the end of the couch and told him to chill. He stopped for a while and came back to touch me and pulled on my shorts I told him to stoppp. and he took off my shorts, I kept tellingg him to stop and get up off me. He tried to play with me and I kept saying stop and i pushed him and thats when he got up and put his thing inside of me . after that i couldnt say anything anymore. I just froze, and laid there and took it. I couldn’t believe that he did that. After he finished . I was quiet, he asked me what happened and I didnt respond.So he started talking to m normally, and I tried to be normal to and smile it off, but inside it was killing me.I asked him to drop me home. when I got home I cursed him out and told him he raped mee, and he told me he didnt see anything wrong with what he did, he thought i was okay with it. That night I cried and told my boyfriend what happened he took it hard and wanted me to go to the police but I was scared what everyone would of thought of me so I didnt. We stayed together for another 10 months since then but he would always get anggry and me about it. he dumped me several times for it because he didnt believe me because i didnt take it to the police. well lastnight he told me he spoke to my “rapist” and the guy denied ever rapping me he told him a different story. So my boyfriend told me f*ck me and callled me a hoe and told me he hated me and blocked me on every social media for something I didn’t do.
    Now Im just completely angry that I have to go through this. Because I know that was raped. I said no no means no. I think I should go to the police, but I live on a small island and the guy who rape me is a popular icon in the island. So the media would actually rip me apart. but i feel i need justice

    • Taylor says:

      A very similar situation happened to me.
      I met a guy at work and we had talked for a few times before, he seemed really nice and we got along ok. I had a fiancé at the time and this guy friend knew about him. I didn’t talk to this guy friend very much we texted every once in awhile and occasionally at work. One time he texted me that I was really pretty I just said thanks and my fiancé thinks so too but you probably shouldn’t talk to me if you think I’d want to be with you.
      After a few months this guy friend didn’t talk to me, he quit his job at the place we worked at and I thought our friendship would fizzle out and I was ok with that. 3 months later, he texted me again, asked how I was doing and asked about my art. Naturally I talked mostly about my fiancé and he didn’t seem very upset about that. We were “friends” again but I didn’t really talk to him much still. A few months went by without much talking and he asked if I wanted to hangout out of the blue one day. I basically said no, that my boyfriend would probably my like it. He kinda got mad, I just told him that my fiancé is just very protective of me. He stopped talking to me again, I didn’t really care because all I needed was my fiancé. A week later this guy friend asked me again to hangout. I said ok, talked it over with my fiancé, he was very upset so I asked my fiancé to drop me off there so he could meet this guy friend. He dropped me off and they met and we all briefly talked. This guy friend was not very clothed and I know that made my fiancé uncomfortable but I told him I would call when I want to be picked up. So this guy friend and I hung out, mostly talked outside while he smoked. Talked about music, concerts, etc..
      He had a cat and I really wanted to meet her because I like cats but we had to wait for awhile until he could get his cat from the friend that was watching her. And I told my fiancé it would be a bit later until I wanted to be picked up because I wanted to meet his cat.
      After I got to see his cat I wanted to be picked up. Everything was fine we had an ok time hanging out, and this guy friend was nice and respectful.
      My fiancé was quite upset about it when he picked me up because I smelt like smoke. We got into a fight but seemed to resolve it. About a week later this guy friend asked me to hangout again. I denyed him at first because I just didn’t really care to and I knew my fiancé was upset about it. But I did trust him and we were only friends and he knew that. I asked my fiancé to drop me off again and he was upset. I did want to hangout with this guy friend (I didn’t really have any friends and we got along well).
      My fiancé was upset again and I told him I would call him when I wanted to leave. This guy friend asked me to bring my art with me because he was really interested in seeing it so I did.
      After I got there we looked at all my art, talked about random things again outside while he smoked.
      Later I needed some water so I went to fill a glass up by the sink.
      My guy friend came up behind me and shoved my body over the counter. He then turned me around and pushed my body back against the counter which was extremely painful for my back. He then forced his hands down my pants and penetrated me with his fingers. It hurt so bad and I tried so hard to fight him off. He then brought me to the ground and sat only my chest making it hard for me to move and breathe. He then put his crouch on my face and grinded on my face. I fought so hard to get him off me but I couldn’t. After I tried to run to my phone to tell my fiancé but then this guy threatened my fiancé and the look in his eyes terrified me. I loved my fiancé and I wanted to protect him. When my fiancé picked me up I didn’t tell him what happened we got into a fight and continued to fight. Meanwhile this guy called and texted me constantly telling me he loved me and if I told anyone that he would hurt everyone I loved. He was stalking me showing up at my house and work, constantly calling and texting me. I didn’t tell my fiancé he was stalking me because he was threatening to hurt my fiancé and I love him so much. One night I went over to where this guy lives and confront him and tell him to F off for good. My fiancé called me completely torn apart which was NOT good, this guy heard me talking on the phone with him and threatened to rape me. I was so afraid and my fiancé wanted to meet up with me. This guy told me we could meet at a restraunt close by. I was so scared he was going to hurt my fiancé but I had to. I begged y fiancé not to do this this now but I didn’t have a choice. This guy forced me into his friends car and we drove to the restraunt. The guy told me in the car, you stay with me or you will lose him for good. I had to walk over to the love of my life while he was completely broken and tell him that I had no feelings for him anymore. I thought he could take the hint that something was wrong by the way I said it but he pushed me to the ground and knocked the wind out of me. The guy came running over across the parking lot and was going to hurt my fiancé. I pushed him away and my fiancé drove off. The guy forced me back into the car and dropped me off at my home. My fiancé and I were struggling so hard because he thought I didn’t love him anymore. I broke his heart to protect him. We struggled for about a year to keep our relationship together. We both love each other so much. He had enough and broke up with me for good.
      I’m very close with his mom so I told her first about the rape and then I talked to my ex about it.
      He got so upset that I didn’t tell him and doesn’t trust me because I lied to him and kept it a secret. I also told him that I was being stalked. I’ve talked to people about the stalking and rape but I just wish my ex could understand how ashamed and embarrassed I was about the rape. I just don’t think he knows how to cope with it and has a lot of anger about it. I know we can work things out and build trust again. I just love him so much and wanted to protect him from that guy. I just wish he would understand.

  26. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Abi,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience of being raped. I’m so sorry you’re going through this, and that your boyfriend can’t cope. I don’t know exactly how you feel, but I remember feeling so alone and scared when I was dealing with the aftermath of my attempted rape.

    Please talk to someone about this – call a rape crisis center, and share what you’re going though. Don’t hold it in, because it’ll get more painful if you keep this to yourself. Please tell people about your experience, and ask for help! The worst thing to do after you were raped is to hide and keep it a secret, especially if your loved ones or boyfriend can’t cope with the rape.

    Call a distress line, or a rape crisis line right now, and share what you’re going through. Simply telling your story and sharing your emotions with someone who cares can make all the difference in the world. And, you’ll get advice on how to cope with the resulting feelings.

    I’ll keep you in my prayers. May you find peace, comfort, and help by reaching out to women in person who know what it’s like to be raped, who can help you cope. I pray for God’s arms to wrap around you, and give you strength and joy.

    xo
    Laurie

  27. Abi says:

    I’m so sorry to everyone dealing with this, I can barely deal myself.

    Less than a month ago was my senior prom, everything has to be perfect. My boyfriend looked so handsome and was gauking at me. I couldn’t imagine a better date for the occasion.
    It was getting close to time to go, and my friend asked me if I wanted to go out and of course I said yes to her I didn’t want to stay in on prom. So my boyfriend asked his parents if he could stay at a friends house so he could go out with me, they said no. I didn’t want to go to the party without him and he was extremely reluctant to let me go, but in the end he told me to so I could have some fun.
    I dropped him off at his house, kissed him goodbye and left to have a good time with my best friend.
    The night was young still and I was starting to get tipsy when i noticed this guy flirting with me. Maybe I was flirting back I don’t know, I still blame myself.
    He let me take shots with his bottle and I took a little to many, I eventually blacked out, the last thing I remember is telling my best friend I was tired and then waking up a little later in a place I had never seen before next to the boy that was flirting with me previously in the night.
    I wasn’t sure what had happened I just had a sinking feeling.
    About a half an hour later people were leaving and this girl approached me and started showing me pictures of me naked and unconscious. And a few of someone on top of me.

    In no way shape or form is this okay, this is rape. Just because I’m drunk doesn’t make it okay.
    I’ve been blaming myself since it happened. I can’t help but feel dirty. I take showers twice a day and cry and just scrub my body. I feel disgusting. What did I do to deserve this?
    Obviously i had to tell my boyfriend and he of course was not okay. He told me he was going to be here for me, and here we are exactly two weeks from it happening and Im sitting alone in my bedroom typing this crying. My boyfriend broke up with me because he can’t handle it.. He can’t? What about me? I’m the victim here I can’t just check out of life. I can’t walk away. I’m so hurt by this. I feel broken inside.
    He is telling me that we can still talk and that he will be here for me but it’s not the same it’s not okay. How do I deal with something like this?

    I need help, serious help.

  28. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Janel,

    I’m so sorry for what you’ve experienced. It is a horrible thing, and it’s even worse when our loved ones don’t understand what you’re going through.

    Have you thought about taking a break from this relationship with your boyfriend? It’s possible that you need time and space to heal and process the rape, without your boyfriend pressuring you. You don’t necessarily need to break up with him, but it may help you to take a week or more away from him.

    Your boyfriend may not understand this, but you need to do what you think is best for you. You need to focus on grieving and healing, and not be distracted and burdened by how your boyfriend is coping with the rape.

    My prayers are with you as you move forward. I’m sorry this happened to you, and I pray that you find people and resources to help you deal with the aftermath.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  29. Janel says:

    I was raped a little more than a week ago and told my boyfriend about it 4 days later. At first he blamed me. He still kind of does. He keeps telling me that he didn’t sign up for this. He keeps telling me that I’m not focused enough on how he is feeling and that I’m being selfish and making this all about me when it’s about him too. He doesn’t understand that I need my space and can’t be there for him all the time the way he wants me to…

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