Rape is an act of violence and domination and anger. It uses sexual acts including penetration as weapons. Rape is a subject which most people find uncomfortable. For women it conjures up all kinds of images. Some of us will think of dirty old men in plastic coats, or a monster too gross to think about. Others will have more specific ideas about rape, perhaps thinking about a certain group of men such as 'weirdos' in dark alleys.
Rape and sexual assault happen far more often than statistics indicate. You may find that the people around you do not really understand about rape - most of us are shielded from knowing what actually happens until we, or someone close to us, is affected. The rapist may have used physical violence and/or verbal intimidation. He may have done humiliating things to you. Perhaps he threatened the safety of your family. He may have been someone you know - a partner, ex-partner, friend, neighbour, workmate, relative or carer.
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