Sexual Assault Was this rape?

justasimplecat

Policy Enforcement
Not Active
Hello I’m new here.
I’m here to ask this because I genuinely don’t know. Apologies that this will be long.

I’m 23 and a few years ago when I was a teenager, I was in an INCREDIBLY abusive relationship. It only lasted a few months and I did break up with him, but in those few short months, the things he did to me have left me with a lot of trauma. A lot of emotional, physical, mental, verbal and sexual abuse. Just all of it. :(

For a little more context and so you can hopefully understand my story a little more, I’m a transgender man (female to male), and I am gay; I currently have a wonderful, supportive husband. (Note: I’m not interested in people’s personal issues or opinions or whatever about either of these facts, so please don’t bother going there in the replies. These facts however, are relevant to a part of the story.)

Anyway: I was in this abusive relationship, and he did rape me. This was proven to the police, and in a court of law. Obviously at first he denied it but then later confessed, and after a horrible and long ordeal, he was finally put in prison. However, there was an incident mere DAYS before the one which got him imprisoned...
I don’t know whether it was rape or not.

He had two best friends; one of whom was also his cousin. They weren’t particularly nice people either. On this particular occasion, my then-boyfriend had these two friends over at the same time as me. We were all playing video games together. But the three of them kept making sexual comments, whispering to each other and laughing. Something about it all made me very uncomfortable, and I kept wishing they would leave. At one point, I went to the bathroom, and when I came back, they were all standing up and the TV and console has been switched off. My then-boyfriend was laying a towel down on his bed. I figured his friends were now leaving.
My then-boyfriend held his arms out to me and pulled me against him to kiss me. Again, I was pretty uncomfortable doing this in front of his friends, so I gently pushed him away. But he pulled me back and kept kissing me and his hands were wandering.

Again, got uncomfortable in front of his friends, and asked him if they were leaving now, and he laughed and said no, we were going to “put on a little show”?
I turned around and at this point, his friends were now sitting down...touching themselves!? Obviously I got even MORE uncomfortable and told my then-boyfriend I wanted to be alone, just me and him. But he said no, it’s rude to ask his friends to go home, and besides I “needed to prove my trust in him”. I said “well what about you proving your loyalty to me?” (He had cheated on me - a one off as far as I know, and had somehow manipulated me into giving him a second chance even though I had dumped him after finding out. He was VERY good at messing with my head.). He said “this will prove it. This is something I would only ever do with someone special.” And I had no idea what he was talking about.

The next thing I remember, was his friends starting to grope me all over. I had recently had my top surgery (double mastectomy), and one of them said to my then-boyfriend “I thought you said he was trans? Where are his t**s?” And my then-boyfriend said “oh he had that surgery already.” Then that same friend went “ugh where’s the fun in that?! Oh well. We’ll have to make do with what’s there.” At that point my then-boyfriend told them I hadn’t had my ‘other surgery’ yet. I freaked out at this point and said to his friends “I’m not here for anyone’s ‘fun’. I’m *insert name here*’s boyfriend; not yours!” They laughed. My then-boyfriend then took over and pushed me back on the bed... The next thing I know, all three of them are on me from all angles! I couldn’t get up and I said I don’t want to, but they didn’t listen to me. My then-boyfriend told them it’s fine and to go ahead. He doesn’t mind! I said “well I mind!” But again nobody listened to me.

Then they took it in turns to have sex with me. I tried to get up but they would keep just pushing me back down again. They were all pretty muscular and masculine guys and I had trouble pushing them off me. But I didn’t shout or scream or fight. I did try to get away but they would just drag me back in place and carry on like I was a rag doll... Eventually I just stopped. I couldn’t do anything. I completely froze and was dazed, I remember feeling completely “out of it” even though I hadn’t been given anything to my knowledge? I just... there are parts where I remember exactly what they were doing, and there are parts where I just draw a blank and don’t fully remember...

When they were all done with me, I just lay there and couldn’t move. My then-boyfriend slapped me on the behind and said “good boy. You did really well. I’m proud of you”. And I couldn’t even say anything. Then his friends all got cleaned up and dressed again and left. My then-boyfriend told them “same time again next Saturday fellas. I’ll text you.” The whole time it was happening, none of them spoke to me. They did everything with my then-boyfriend’s “permission” but not mine. They just passed me around between them. And I was so “out of it” in my head and my body just felt limp and like I had no control over it.

Anyway I’m sorry to go into such detail. I hope I didn’t trigger anyone :( I’m so sorry if I did!

My question is, was this rape?

Because I did freeze and my mind went blank. I didn’t do enough to stop it but I definitely didn’t consent, and I didn’t want it. I didn’t climax or anything like that. I know that much. I definitely didn’t enjoy it! I know I was so stupid. I would never willingly sleep with more than just my romantic partner - I’m not that sort of person! I feel like it’s all my fault because I didn’t do enough. I finally confessed all to my husband and a close female friend; both broke down in tears and said that it was gang rape...

Was it? I’m not entirely sure. I did not consent to any of it, that much is true. But I froze and didn’t fight hard enough. I quite literally didn’t feel like I could even move! I felt too light to move, if that makes sense?

Please can anyone shed some light on what you think this was? I really don’t know if it was rape or not? Since I froze like that and didn’t push them off me hard enough or protest loud enough. I didn’t want it I swear! They asked him instead of me, but... I’m so confused. I’ve held on to this for years and I blame myself entirely. I’ve never told anyone until now. They knew about him raping me on his own, though.

I feel like an idiot even asking, but I genuinely don’t know. The trauma from it has been eating me up and affecting me in various, very specific ways ever since. I couldn’t hide it any longer. Please help me shed some light on the truth?

Thank you so much for reading.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
:((( oh my goodness. I am so sorry this happened to you. This was definitely gang rape. I hope you are seeking professional help. Also, whenever you feel up for it you can look up many articles that describe the freeze response when something traumatic happens to us and how the body just gives up fighting at some point to protect itself.
Hope you can heal from this and know that none of this was your fault.
 

EveHarrington

MyPTSD Pro
Being trans isn’t a necessary detail as what happened to you was indeed a gang rape, no mattter if you are male or female, or you identify as trans or not. Your ex set up a gang rape with men who treated you in a fetishized sort of way. Yes, this was a gang rape. (The answer would have been the same if I didn’t know you were trans.)

I encourage you to read up on tea consent. You said no and these men continued. This means it was rape as you did not consent. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t fight back as hard as you think you could. I encourage you to challenge the idea that it’s not rape unless you 1000% fight back. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @justasimplecat , welcome. This is a safe place to say whatever you need to. Various people here are trans and/or gay. (I'm a cis lesbian).

I'm so sorry this happened to you.
And yes: all that happened was against your will so yes rape.
I'm sorry.
Not pushing people off doesn't mean consent.
Not saying certain words doesn't mean consent.
So easy for me to say, but please don't blame yourself (I blamed myself for decades, so I know shifting the blame onto perpetrators takes time and effort, but it is possible).

I also didn't push people off. (One time I did, but it didn't make it stop). One time I didn't say no (one time I did, but it didn't make it stop). We behave in ways to survive and protect ourselves. And whilst our trauma brains make that mean we blame ourselves: all we did was get through, find a way to live and survive what happened.

You'll find many people here , whilst we may have different stories and experiences, will understand lots of the feelings and thoughts you have around what they did to you.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
No question this was rape. Consent is freely given and informed . This was neither. I’m so sorry this happened to you. We are encouraged to tackle our triggers here, so don’t worry about that either. As has been said before, you are welcome here for being you. 😘, trans, gay and all the stuff that is unique to YOU as an individual not just demographics.
 

Friday

Moderator
Because I did freeze and my mind went blank. I didn’t do enough to stop it but I definitely didn’t consent, and I didn’t want it
Where consent can get murky is when someone is cheerfully going along with something and then freezes... so there’s no way on planet earth for their partner to know that they’ve stopped consenting. Which happens. And is heartbreaking.

That’s not the case, here.

The moment the blokes seemed to be staying, not even participating but “just” in the room...you revoked consent. And we’re really f*cking clear about it. You wouldn’t even be having sex with someone you might otherwise enthusiastically have sex with, with them present. Their participating? Received an even stronger oh-f*ck-no. But wait, there’s more... As it moved out of the “we’re talking about it” (lots and lots of things can be talked about... it may even get ugly... but never progresses beyond talking/arguing/debating/attempting to sway the other person/seduction) to actual action? Yet. Again. You backed up your verbal ‘no’, which is enough, to physically attempting to leave/remove yourself. There is absolutely no doubt, and no murky-area whatsoever, in that you did NOT consent. At any point.

That’s rape.

I happen to be a HUGE fan of seduction. I LIKE my no being turned into a yes. Convince me. It’s delicious. Fail to convince me? That’s not seduction. At best it’s a failed seduction. At worst? It’s Rape. Because my no hasn’t been turned INTO a yes.

So I very much understand the impulse to class no-no-no-no-freeze, as something similar to no-no-no-no-yes. It’s not. Chasing after a child to pretend to eat them? I’m gonna EAT YOU!!! NomNomNom Is not the same thing as chasing after a child to eat them. Seducing someone, turning a no into a yes, is not the same as raping someone. The “pretend” is missing. The “consent” is missing. And without those missing pieces? Fun for everyone changes into miserable for at least one person.

Freezing? Isn’t consent. It’s not even murky, when you weren’t actively participating and then froze, but outright refusing and then froze.
I didn’t climax or anything like that. I know that much. I definitely didn’t enjoy it!
Don’t know if this helps at all, as it sounds like it’s not something you’re dealing with (at least in this situation)... but people have orgasms during rape, all the durn time. And don’t climax even having amazing sex with someone they’re wildly in love with, who’s also fantastic in bed. It’s a physiological response, is all. One that can & does often happen automatically, and one that can be provoked, completely against a person’s will. They ALSO tend to happen when someone is in severe pain, or severe panic/anxiety. Speaking as someone who worked jobs where both those things are “normal” for a number of years. (Think combat, disaster response, rape camps, etc.) If a person is puking/pissing/shitting themselves? Some of those bodily fluids will be cum. So if a person can orgasm as their leg is being sawed off? Or as they’re voiding everything in their bodies in sheer unadulterated terror? Trust me, a person can orgasm during rape. And often does. Which doesn’t mean they consent. Nor that they like it.

Because I did freeze and my mind went blank. I didn’t do enough to stop it but I definitely didn’t consent, and I didn’t want it
Just wanted to hit this piece, again, for a moment...

This is one of those emotional reasoning things, and emotions don’t logic so hot (that’s what brains are for) so it can take a bit to thump what feels right/wrong with what IS right/wrong.

Ask yourself... “What’s enough?”

Because if the definition of “enough” is enough to stop it? There would be no rape.

I know. Bit of a brain-melting moment when that sinks in.

TRYING to stop it? Is enough. Failing doesn’t mean it’s not enough... so it’s not rape. Failing means it’s not enough to stop it.
 
Last edited:

justasimplecat

Policy Enforcement
Not Active
Being trans isn’t a necessary detail as what happened to you was indeed a gang rape, no mattter if you are male or female, or you identify as trans or not. Your ex set up a gang rape with men who treated you in a fetishized sort of way. Yes, this was a gang rape. (The answer would have been the same if I didn’t know you were trans.)

I encourage you to read up on tea consent. You said no and these men continued. This means it was rape as you did not consent. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t fight back as hard as you think you could. I encourage you to challenge the idea that it’s not rape unless you 1000% fight back. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I just want to clarify I mentioned being trans because of what one of the guys said, which I mentioned in the original message, regarding me having had top surgery. That was what I meant by that, I needed to clarify in case there was a possibility of any confusion, and also in case people potentially assumed I was a woman and used incorrect pronouns in replies.
Sorry, just wanted to make that clear.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
It sounds as though your affirmation surgery and your body were used by the people who did that to you as another element to control and humiliate. So your trans identity was brought into it by them.

My take on what @EveHarrington is saying is that: you are accepted here and care and consideration is freely given to you here, however anyone identifies.

And totally get you want to ensure people use the correct pronouns so setting it all out to get the context of what happened and who you are.
 

justasimplecat

Policy Enforcement
Not Active
Thank you all for your replies.
Sorry it’s taken me so long to answer. I’ve been trying to process everything, and apparently failing to.
I had a huge breakdown after seeing that so many have said it was definitely the R-word...
I just fell apart. I haven’t been able to stop crying and shaking in hours, when awake. I’ve been napping/sleeping a lot. Every time I wake up, I just cry even more.
And then I don’t know why but I can’t even speak. I’ve lost the ability to vocalize all of a sudden! Usually I’m pretty chatty, especially with my husband, but now I just physically can’t talk! I have also harmed myself today.
A relative who is living with us helped me clean up but I refused hospital.
I have just fallen apart. This is exactly why I didn’t want to speak out, but I was acting so “off” with my husband due to my triggers, and the sort of pushing-people-away crap that they cause, and it was hurting him so I had to tell him. It was only fair that he knew, and I don’t ever want to hurt him. I want to be a better husband to him, because he is the best.
Now I can’t even verbally speak to him! Let alone anyone else.
I do currently see a therapist (over video at the moment of course due to the shutdown in my province). But how can I even speak to her now if I can’t even speak?
I’m so broken. I was expecting to be told that yes it was my fault, I should have done more, or that I was overreacting/overthinking things. God I’m so so stupid!
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Not stupid at all @justasimplecat . Just someone moving towards accepting what has happened. Totally get the thoughts and feelings: been there too.

Sorry to hear it triggered self harm. Are you safe now? If you need hospital treatment: you deserve it. You are valid, enough, worthy, of being treated well.

Maybe in therapy, you don't need to say the words (R word) or talk about the event. Maybe you can talk about how there is something and the words are too much to come out. Just having that conversation can really help. I've been there too. At some points I was able to say the R word with no feeling, then feeling came and I couldn't say it. Then there were the words about where in my body the R word happened.
What my T does is to help work out the feelings around the events. The shame, the fear, the humiliation, the self blame, the self doubt, the self loathing, the self disgust etc etc etc.

It'll come out in its own time. When you are ready.

The fact that you have been able to reach out here, shows you are beginning the (painful, hard) journey of processing.

I hope you can start some form of dialogue (safely) around the topic with your T.
 

justasimplecat

Policy Enforcement
Not Active
Thank you.
I’m sorry it’s happened to you too 😔

Hubby drove me to the ER eventually so I’ve been seen now, been seen to and cleaned up, steri-stripped the harm-marks/wounds (I won’t say exactly what they were in case I trigger someone, but I’m sure you can guess) etc.
Thank you.

I don’t even know how I’m going to talk to my therapist now if I’m honest. I seem to have lost my ability to verbalize and speak at all! 😞 It’s so frustrating because the words are on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t actually get them out! I clam up completely.
I don’t know if it’s down to shock or trauma or what? But it’s really stressful.
I desperately need to speak to my therapist but I can’t even speak.
Feel like I’m falling to pieces right now 😢
 
Top