A discussion of rape’s impact…
Most people would agree that a bruise means nothing. It’s easy to treat and maybe baby the area a bit, right? But what if you had a clotting disorder? Then that little bit of blood under the skin that impacts very few others is now a medical emergency. And without quick intervention, they could die.
You think I’m kidding?
And what about the person who has had this bruise happen to them repeatedly, and no longer has ways of managing or coping, because they have PTSD?
Or what about the innocent who has never known this was possible, let alone that it could happen to them?
What about the woman who miscarries due to the stress and violence?
What about the people who get an STD?
What about the woman or girl who gets pregnant by her rapist?
Sure we could say that every person is the same under the law, and a bruise is a bruise, until it’s not. A bruise is simple assault. Right?
But what about the places in the world where a woman has to be a virgin on her wedding night, and knows that her only role possible in life is now gone, because she was raped? Is it the same as when a woman who has everything open to her gets raped?
Which might explain why in most lands’ laws, there is a degree definition of what is possible rather than a sole word that defines all. Assault can be aggregious enough to include major harm or even death.
In other words, a bruise is not just a bruise, it is an assault and the impact on the victim matters. Maybe not at trial, but definitely when the perpetrator is being sentenced.
Informed, enthusiastic consent matters. You cannot lie, force, drug, hold against their will, coerce or manipulate someone into having sexual relations. Or it is assault and now we need to know what the victim has suffered to know if in their schema it was rape or not.
And IMO, you don’t get to decide that!!