So, I’ve decided that I’ll be countering my latest bout of insomnia with some lovely rape myth busting, seeing as twitter users @JusticeForChed and @FreeChedwyn have been tweeting rape myths all over the #IBelieveHer tag. Lovely. I mean, the I Believe Her tag, and subsequent Facebook page have been responsible for a lot of survivors speaking out about their own rapes. Myself included. So, to see “yada yada, Ched Evans is our hero and Assange is innocent” over such a tag is more than a little upsetting.
Anyway, I’ll be debunking a rape myth a day for the forseeable future. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but yeah… I don’t fancy letting bullshit rape myths stand unchallenged.
Rape Myth: She doesn’t remember, it can’t have happened… <insert Ched is innocent style quip here>
My nan is 94, with senile dementia. Last time my father visited her, she had to ask a nurse who he was, to which, she replied “I don’t remember having a son.” At that point, my father ceased to exist, and was wiped from all history.
Last week, someone was murdered. The murder victim doesn’t remember it. Thus, the crime never happened.
Yeah… Neither scenario above works, do they? That’s because, if you’re reading this (and you’re not Team Rape Apologists) you probably possess that little thing called logic. Right? Therefore, to say a rape didn’t happen because the survivor doesn’t remember it happening is evading logic.
Let me tell you a little story. In 2005, I was less than a year into a relationship with the man who would later become Mini-Dragon’s father, Dom. One evening, we headed out to our local rock-themed pub. Now, being a heavy drinker, Dom could pack a few drinks before feeling anything. I’d known him to last a fair few shorts before even beginning to feel anything. This evening, he was in a slow drinking mood, taking about 45 minutes to nurse a double vodka and lemonade; something I’d seen him knock back many a time before. As I finished my drink, I headed up to the bar, and ordered two identical looking drinks; he was on the vodka and lemonade, I was on the schnapps and lemonade. After less than two sips of his drink, Dom began complaining of “not feeling right”. Eventually, he decided to head outside to try and clear his head. It didn’t work. Even now, he doesn’t remember the events of that evening, and maintains the idea his drink was spiked. I believe him on that. But what scares me is, should anything have happened to him, or had it been my drink spiked, and something had happened to me, the event wouldn’t have been remembered. If it had been my drink spiked, and I’d been subsequently raped, the rape apologists would have been telling me “if you can’t remember, how can you say you were raped”
Here’s the thing. There are a few reasons someone may forget a rape. Having your drink spiked is one. Taking drugs, getting drunk, repressing memories, are others. None of which mean that the rape didn’t occur. All it means is that, for whatever reason, the survivors memory of the attack is unavailable. If a woman is in a position where, after intercourse has taken place, (intercourse was confirmed by Evans himself) then it stands to reason she was either in no position to consent in the first place, or what happened to her was traumatic enough that she subconsciously chose to forget the event. Neither of those scenarios suggest the woman in question was in any state to consent. In fact, to me, they suggest the complete opposite.
I Believe Her. I always will.