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    • #128580
      ISOPeace
      Participant

      Someone posted recently about their partner having sex with them while they’re asleep. I’d recently read an article that said the law is crystal clear: if you can’t give consent (e.g.when you’re asleep) it’s rape. But what about the times when we say yes to sex just to keep the peace?

      I mean if your partner said “can I kick you in the head? You know it’s important to me. I’m really hurt that you’re saying no. Don’t you love me? Blah blah blah” nobody would think that’s OK and would be wondering what else has happened to make you agree.

      I’m guessing nearly everyone on here has said yes to sex just to keep the peace many times. We all know the background to this is a much wider context of threats and abuse. They don’t need to say “if you say no I’ll make your life hell” They don’t need to say that. My ex would even say “of course you can say no” but I knew he was choosing not to say “but you’ll be punished for it”.

      I imagine in a healthy relationship people have sex when they don’t feel like it sometimes, but I guess the difference is that they’re not doing it for fear or punishment.

      I suppose it’s part of a much bigger issue about boundaries being violated. It’s definitely a boundary violation so is that rape? If it isn’t rape, is that the same as saying we’ve chosen to stay in an abusive situation so we’ve consented more generally? But that is just crazy….

      So I think it is rape if it’s done to avoid punishment but I’m having a hard time accepting that in that case I’ve been raped many, many times.

      Hope this isn’t too triggering for those of you reading it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.x*x

    • #128583
      KIP.
      Participant

      Hi there. If you think about a complete stranger in your bed. And you say to this stranger that you don’t want to have sex and he threatens you and you feel you have to have sex for your own safety or to prevent some sort of punishment then that’s rape. It’s exactly the same for a husband or boyfriend. Have a look at Thames Valley Police video ‘a cup of tea’ x you have a right to say no and expect your wishes to be accepted x

    • #128584
      KIP.
      Participant

      At the beginning of my relationship I was the one that instigated sex more often. But as the abuse increased I didn’t want to have sex with a man who hurt me and then the coercion began. It’s about a power and control thing. It’s about you saying no and them not accepting that because then you have the power. If your husband said he didn’t want sex, would you threaten and coerce and bully and even when you know he didn’t want sex would you carry on anyway, even if he’s giving out the signals that he didn’t want to (obviously it’s different physically for a man but it’s still sexual contact). Anyone who has sexual contact with someone who isn’t clearly into it and consenting is just sick and yes a rapist if penetration occurs x

    • #128614
      littledove
      Participant

      It’s in the title of your post. The minute someone feels coerced into sex just so they can have an “easy life” in my eyes is classed as rape. As it’s someone having sex with you when you don’t want it

    • #128649
      nbumblebee
      Participant

      You dont want it do you? He asks I reply with no but we have sex anyway. I dont push him off i dont argue i just lay there as if i dont he will get grumpy and nasty for days on end sometimes even silence for days. Ive felt like a prostitute in the past as if the kids needed anything id ask him for money and hed say well you know what to do after he would give me the money.
      When im on a period i feel i must help him out as he gets the arse then too.
      Do i see this as rape no I dont. Ive always thought it was a normal marriage. To me rape is forcing through violence or when someone is not able to say no. I am able I choose not to say no just for a quiet life. I sound so harsh and I am so sorry for that. Sadly I also know what it is like to be raped b4 I met my husband. This is a very hard and interesting point. X*x

    • #128652
      Auriel
      Participant

      Its one of those weird grey areas with the law someone I knew threatened to hurt people I cared about if I didn’t do what he wanted and knowing how sick he was I just did and even when I said no and they did it anyway I still though cos it was my relationship I was still blinkered they know what they’re doing they’re stealthy sometimes the threat or something is the equivalent of having an invisible gun to head and there’s no proof they know this

    • #128653
      KIP.
      Participant

      The proof comes when other women make the same accusations so I’d encourage any woman who has been sexually assaulted to report to the police. Chances are you won’t be the only one he’s sexually assaulted or raped x

    • #128671
      Marmite
      Participant

      With my partner this is one of the main problems between us. He will just keep on about it until I give it to him just to shut him up. It’s not that he will be violent to me if I don’t have sex with him, he just will not give up trying and touching despite me saying no. It’s the wearing me down until he gets his way.
      Also he has said that he wouldn’t do the same to someone else. Like if he was in a pub trying it on with someone, if they said no he wouldn’t carry on, but with me he does.
      He has also tried to blame me by saying he cant read my mood on whether I want it or not, despite me saying no!

    • #128675
      Secretlife
      Participant

      ISOpeace, your post has really made me think. I see sex with him as an absolute chore and I feel like a prostitute. I do it simply to make my days more bearable and to avoid the moods and silence treatment. I have never thought of it as rape as I could say no, and suffer the emotional punishment afterwards. I’ve always considered rape as physically violent. But as I think about thus, I suppose it is like rape, having sex with someone knowing they don’t want to and only doing it for your own pleasure, yes, that is so very wrong. For me, the fact that I have no feelings for him mean I am ‘just going through the motions’ and he know this but really doesn’t care. It is awful to think that they actually do have such physical control over us. I feel powerless to be able to do anything about this.

    • #128682
      Jedi warrior
      Participant

      Been struggling with coming to terms with what is pressure for sex from my husband for years ruined our marriage and my feelingsfor him ..if I said no would wear me down ..slam doors nastiness tell me I wasn’t too tired to read or hobbies ..would ask daily had I finished my period ..after months of councilling I now understand so much more about coercive behaviour emotional abuse to get what they want Not normal behaviour always thought giving in when I quite clearly stated NO !! No should mean no otherwise its rape ..a word I cannot quite come to terms with in marriage but there is a difference between wanting to please your partner if you don’t feel like it but should never be under pressure or they don’t take no for an answer get nasty then it must be rape ..I used to think it was part of my marriage I now know that wasn’t a healthy marriage suffered years of anxiety because of such behaviour .taken me years to walk away but glad I have .

      • #128690
        nbumblebee
        Participant

        Yep I get all this too. Am so glad you made it out. I honestly truely believe that this was just normal in a marriage never have i ever seen it as abuse and especially not rape. So hard to see thi isnt it?

    • #128687
      ISOPeace
      Participant

      Wow, thank you all for your honest responses. I find all the different perspectives really helpful in understanding my own situation but I feel really sad to hear what you’ve all experienced. I read somewhere a theory that all abuse from men is about sex. I’m not sure I agree with that, but it’s probably fair to say that virtually all controlling relationships involve sexual abuse.

      You’re so right KIP, the answer is in the question!


      @nbumblebee
      I don’t think I could have accepted that it was rape while I was with him, so I understand what you’re saying. It’s hard to see it as rape when you’re consciously consenting. But like Auriel said, it’s like there is an invisible gun to your head (what an amazing description Auriel). Sometimes the invisible gun is more obvious than other times. I think the background of abuse and knowing that if they don’t get what they want they’ll punish us means there’s always an invisible gun.

      Having said that, even now that I’ve left it’s hard to accept that I allowed it to happen. I have this feeling that it’s my fault for letting myself be so degraded and I shouldn’t have let it happen. I don’t know why I seem to be able to accept the other types of abuse so much more easily. It’s like I now think that I would have been better/stronger or something if I’d said no and put up with the fall out because my ex was not physically abusive. Perhaps I’m falling into the trap of minimising the effect of emotional abuse. I also wonder whether all the messages about consent and having the right to say no get messed up when there’s abuse. We’re told we have the right (and responsibility?) to protect our boundaries and say no, but we all know that abuse is all about violating boundaries. So we’re being told we should say no, but even we forget about the invisible gun that stops us saying no, and then we feel bad that we’re not doing what women are supposed to have the right to do.

      Then there were all the times I wanted to have sex, because for a long time it meant he wasn’t angry with me any more and we’d be back in the honeymoon phase. I can accept that from a legal perspective that’s not rape, unless there was some law that said a background of abuse and invisible guns negates consent (I think our legal system is a long way from that kind of complexity). But from a moral perspective it kind of is. I mean it’s most definitely wanting have sex for the wrong reasons, because of having been terrorised. xxxx

      • #128692
        nbumblebee
        Participant

        @isopeace Im gonna say it out loud for the first time ever. At 19 I was raped by a family member, i believe i was drugged which meant I couldnt fight him off.I never saw it as rape as I believe I was drugged I just remember waking up to find him on top of me and i was unable to move at all. Now i can see that most likely was rape. What my husband does says doesnt feel like rape either doesnt seem like rape its so hard isnt it to try and look at your life whilst you are living it.
        I just cant see it as I couldnt back then.
        Xxxxx

      • #128697
        marmot
        Participant

        Hi nbumblebee, just wanted to send a big hug and show you some support. That was a very brave thing to post. I think that if you couldn’t consent because of being drugged then that would certainly be rape in my book, but I am no expert. Hope you are feeling OK xxxx

      • #128702
        nbumblebee
        Participant

        @marmot
        Thank you x*x

      • #128698
        ISOPeace
        Participant

        @nbumblebee, you are so brave to share that! I hope you have some sense of relief from sharing it. It sounds like an absolutely terrible thing to have experienced. I hope you’re able to get some support about it when you feel ready. I can imagine that in comparison, what your husband does doesn’t seem like rape. It’s just so complicated.

        I think you’re absolutely right that you can’t see things the same while you’re living it. But I do think you can slowly detach little by little, just enough to get away, in your own time of course. The fact that you’re even involved in the conversation shows that you’re not totally blinded by what’s going on. I can definitely think of a time when I would’ve thought the suggestion that it’s rape was ridiculous. xxxxx

      • #128703
        nbumblebee
        Participant

        @isopeace many Thanks as always you are so supportive and you make so much sense when not much else does. I really do hope one day I can see it too. Big hugs x

    • #128688
      KIP.
      Participant

      Yes when sex is involved it complicates things because women tend to bond with sex making it even more confusing. I was violently raped the first time we had sex and that set the bar for me. Give in to sex or go through that again. It only took that one occasion. I’m a fast learner. It’s the word no I believe is what abusers can’t stand. My ex said that he was aggressive because he didn’t get enough sex so I had sex every day for three days to try and stop him abusing me but by day four he was bored with it. Didn’t want it. It’s the control, not the sex that is important to abusers x

    • #128689
      marmot
      Participant

      Interesting question. Made me think. My ex would coerce, threaten to leave, remind me of all he did for me and kids and storm out if I said no. Basically the word no, would have adverse consequences and I had to balance things up. In fairness, I still “loved” or was trauma bonded to him so only wanted to say no on some occasions. Do I consider it rape on the bad occasions? No. I consented. That is the acid test for court isn’t it? I class it as part of his control, but not a separate rape offence. Appreciate others have different views.

    • #128691
      KIP.
      Participant

      The test for court is if you consented freely without fear of consequences or coercion and were in a state of mind when you could consent. Not on drugs or drunk or sleeping. For me giving in to keep the peace was giving in to not get hurt again.

    • #128693
      marmot
      Participant

      Hi KIP, I am not a criminal lawyer but my limited understanding is that there is a rebuttable presumption that there is no consent if violence is used or threatened to get sex. There is then a presumption that there was no consent and that the man knew this. It is open to the man to produce evidence to the contrary.
      In my case no violence was threatened.
      I am not aware of the law involving coercion which does not amount to threats of violence.
      Yes I think if a woman is unable to consent because she is asleep, drunk or under the influence of drugs then this means no consent.
      But as I say, I am no expert on criminal law.
      At the end of the day, it all comes down to evidence which is one of the reasons so many rape cases are not charged/fail in court.

    • #128699
      ISOPeace
      Participant

      Maybe the law in this country is not a great benchmark to use, even though I know I started this thread! I was horrified when I heard that rape within marriage only became a crime in the 1990s. I just googled it and found an article that said a survey of 4000 people showed that a third of people didn’t think non consensual sex within marriage was rape if there was no violence and more than a third of the over-65s did not consider forced marital sex rape. Just shocking. I wonder whether the law is different in other more forward thinking countries.

      I think the definition of rape should be sex when consent was not given freely, or not given at all. You can’t give consent freely when you’re under someone else’s control. You could argue that you can’t give it freely when you’re trauma bonded… but so few rape cases lead to conviction as it is that I struggle to see how anyone would benefit from the law changing.

      I guess the most important thing is to educate women and girls that regardless of how the law sees it, it’s one of the ways an abuser violates our personal boundaries and it’s completely normal to feel s****y and traumatised by it. xxxx

    • #128701
      KIP.
      Participant

      I read of a student who was raped and spent the rest of the semester trying to get the man to be her boyfriend. When I was raped I felt a bond to the man who raped me. It’s incredibly destructive to mind and body.

    • #128785
      ISOPeace
      Participant

      Oh my goodness, I can’t really put into words how awful that sounds. I’m really sad to hear that you had you experience that. I know you are incredibly strong and have done a lot of healing work but I’m sending you a hug anyway.

      This shows how limited general knowledge is about the effect of trauma. Having read about trauma, what you describe sadly doesn’t surprise me but I would expect most people would be very surprised. xxxx

    • #128797
      KIP.
      Participant

      Thank you. Yes I’ve done a lot of healing work but also a lot of reading to understand the dynamics of abuse and grooming. There will always be that power imbalance. We think we have won first prize when in fact we have won the booby prize.

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