Rape is…

Lulo Vdk, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Lulo Vdk, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Rape is a violation.

Rape is a bodily invasion, a brutal rending, a robbery.

Rape is a physical body entering your own. It leaves you struck dumb and powerless, unable to speak or move.

Rape is a lack of consent.

Rape is a theft of power, of agency. Rape steals the chance to say no.

Rape is a being left a broken thing, a dazed picking up the pieces. A shower that goes on, and on, and on; a scrubbing red, a feeling of never clean, never clean. You can’t wash him out of you. You can never wash him out of you.

Rape is living with it, day by day, night by night. Rape returns in ugly flashes: in faces in the crowd, in the touch of a friend. Rape is always coming back to you. Rape is always coming. Rape is never forgetting.

Rape is having to do it with your clothes on.

Rape is suffocating when you’re kissed, of insisting your dear boyfriend make out with your cheeks and your shoulder and your chin, because whenever he kisses you, you can’t breathe until he stops.

Rape is having to do it with the lights on.

Rape is there, not there; this, not that; softer not harder; harder not softer; this position and not that. Rape lives in your bedroom. It sits on your mattress and laughs, and holds you, and you can’t get free. You can’t breathe.

You can’t breathe.

You can’t breathe.