Note: From time to time, researchers ask me if they can use certain stories for their projects. Because I think it benefits us all for IPSV to be researched and knowledge about it made available, I will usually say yes (after checking that people aren't going to use stories for negative purposes). If you are not okay with this, please contact me and I will make a note on your story that it is not to be used for research.
ABOUT THE STORIES
This page links to stories from brave survivors of Intimate Partner Sexual Assault (and other types of sexual assault). Some were teenagers, some were married women, some have left and some still remain for a multitude of reasons. All were raped by partners they loved or trusted; some by coercion and some by physical violence. You'll see that many of them felt very isolated and it's also a common theme that they didn't realise they were raped - some still have trouble using the word, while others have claimed it. Some women are thriving through great trauma, and we hope for the safety of those still being victimized or still struggling with the worst ravages of partner rape. Hopefully you will find some stories that help you to feel less alone, and, if you are struggling, share the possibility of survival and healing with you.
If you are a non-surviving student, supporter or other person interested in knowing about partner rape reading these stories, you will see a gamut of terrible damage, confusion and social inactivity and hostility towards survivors. You will also glimpse survivor's strengths, and you will note the arrogance, entitlement and sheer dangerousness of most of the perpetrators. Please, let these stories move you to become an ally in whatever way you can to women whose partners have raped them.
SELF-CARE WHEN READING
It can be really healing to find commonalty through the stories of other people. Yet you may also find that some pain comes up as you are reminded of your own traumas, or perhaps become clear that you were raped. The stories will definitely trigger some readers. Therefore, please be discerning as you read.. If you are triggered or begin to experience flashbacks, anxiety or other overwhelming negative emotion, please know that this is normal but you may need to stop reading and engage the support you deserve. Go here for sexual assault hotlines, which you can make use of no matter how long ago you were assaulted. Comfort yourself in nurturing ways -have a friend hold you, a nice cup of tea. Remind yourself that it isn't happening now. If you 16 or over, you can certainly join and ask for support at Pandora's Aquarium, where other survivors will understand exactly what you're going through. If you are under 16, here is a page of resources for you. Take care, okay?
GO TO THE STORIES
To make it easier for you to decide what you want to read, the stories are divided into categories. Please click on the category you would like to read
to be taken to the stories:
My dear sisters, I feel a mix of deep rage, sorrow, pride at your spunk, inspiration and joy that you've survived. In reading your stories, the high levels of self-blame are sadly very apparent. You did not deserve to be raped, no matter how many times you went back and regardless of who has blamed you. You are not "stupid"; you were confused, scared, in love, betrayed, numbed, shocked, degraded, traumatised; you were acting out of what you thought was right at the time - and for some of you, remaining with an abuser was supported by others. Rape was never, EVER, your fault. At the time of writing, some of you had never told anybody else; my hope is that you've found trusted others to support you. Some of you have remained by choice, and some still living with ongoing rape and other violence; you can't see any way out. Some of you are still being terrorized although you've left. I hope you have since found safety, or will do so. Some of you have moved into very victorious lives (you go, girls!) and some of you still feel varying degrees of fallout even decades later. I wish you the healing that I know can happen. Some of you rejoice in the ability to give your violations the name they deserve - rape. Some of you are still confused. Claim the right to name it; it is yours. Have support when naming makes it come closer. And thank you for what you've done in encouraging other women and girls to name and heal. I don't know if you realise how invaluable that is.
I want to thank you again from the bottom of my heart for opening these painful wounds to tell your stories and convey my deepest respect to every single one of you, my darlings. We are privileged to hear your voices - and the same goes for those of you who will share stores in future.
If you have submitted a story in the past, I'd love you to drop me a line and let me know how you're doing.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR USAGE OF THE STORIES
These accounts of rape remain the property of the writers and in general may not be copied or used in any way. However, if you are conducting legitimate research into rape and/or domestic violence or are involved in a project to aid survivors, I will permit stories to be used except where the writer has expressed a wish for her story not be be used at all - and in this case I will accompany her story with a note. Please note that you mustcontact me first and let me know what context you will be using stories in - this is a condition of permission and failure to meet it means that you do not have permission to use any story . We all need to do our utmost to uphold respect for women who have survived these traumas, and that means not viewing their stories as just up for grabs.