One recent study suggests that 15 percent of college women are raped in their freshman year of college, and that number would be much higher if it included the more general category of sexual assault Carey, Durney, Shepardson, and Carey, You can't stay anon if you reply to the thread! As my story can prove, rape is a crime that can ruin far more than two lives. I was with a rape victim when a roommate's friend, who we were meeting for the FIRST time, made a joke about raping the girl living next door to him not us because he didn't have a girlfriend and was feeling horny. If she feels like you have to help her with that process, I would question whether that's appropriate to a very new dating relationship. The rest of it i. It sounds like she is still processing what happened to her, as evinced by her wondering if you'd still want to be with her after knowing what happened. The reality is that you don't actually have to say all that much. Examples of things you could say that might be comforting to her: I chose to share that information with you at this juncture just to underscore that lots of people have experienced rape in their lifetimes, and that everyone has their own choices about communicating that information to others. As a rape survivor myself, I do sometimes worry that a guy is going to treat me as if I'm fragile as a result--fortunately, this has never happened. Yes, she will, and she will heal one day at a time. It could be a result of the situation making her uncomfortable, the alcohol, or perhaps the experience has been integral to her sense of self and she feels like it's important for you to know. In other words, if you decide this won't work out, this really won't have anything to do with that.
The women I have worked with clinically who have been raped report that one of the most difficult parts of the experience is the legacy it leaves in terms of trusting men, even a man with whom the woman may already be in a relationship. Focus on letting her know that you are listening and that you care about what this experience was like for her. Perhaps if we think more about this issue, we can educate those who have relationships with women who have been raped to be more sensitive. Sometime when neither of you are drunk, when you're not in an overstimulated social environment, and when you're just sort of hanging out and being comfortable together, tell her that you've been thinking about the fact that she was raped, that it makes you sad and angry for the trauma she's gone through and proud of the fact that she's survived to tell you, and that it doesn't change the way you see her - it's just one more part of the pretty cool person she is. In fact, as a woman, I suspect that in general some guys have a much better picture of what goes on than I do, because I am not privy to these secrets. If you are in a position where a woman discloses that she has been raped, it can be overwhelming and even scary to hear. One thing that I recommend, especially if you are with a woman who doesn't want to talk about it, is to read about other women's experiences. The idea that someone should keep his or her rape history a secret sort of implies that there's something shameful about it. I was with a rape victim when a roommate's friend, who we were meeting for the FIRST time, made a joke about raping the girl living next door to him not us because he didn't have a girlfriend and was feeling horny. I once met a girl in a bar who blurted out that she tried to kill herself once within an hour. Among single women, surviving rape makes dating - and sex with future sexual partners - an often harrowing and always stressful experience. Don't overthink it; be supportive, but be aware you can't fix things. I have treated women who survived rape and later self-medicated with alcohol or drugs , and many of them also met the criteria for Major Depressive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder , among other diagnoses. But if you're not sure about exclusivity then maybe you should bring it up, apart from this discussion. Extensive research exists on the numbers of women who have been raped, and much of the research shows that sexual assault and rape occur in extremely high numbers at colleges and universities. He was someone relatively close to me: I think it's an important issue that you raise here; if it was a Big Deal for her to confide in you, then yes, there may be an unspoken message of wanting or assuming a higher level of emotional intimacy than you are feeling. Bunny Wigglesworth at If she feels like you have to help her with that process, I would question whether that's appropriate to a very new dating relationship. Trust her that she will make the decision that's right for her to bring up or not bring up what she said. It is easiest to tell the good stuff. Even something you could have thought was a simple joke there are still popular date-rape jokes out there about getting women drunk before sex could fly under your radar, but not hers. Some people are more open about these things than others. This doesn't have to be a huge issue between the two of you. So if you've had a bunch of dudes saying dudely things, and women getting all huggy, he might have just hit a perfect storm of shit and blurted it out. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ; 76 6: Part of it was a way to express a certain level of trust, whether real or projected -- i.
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