Do you want to have sex? Did your partner say 'Yes?' Did you say 'Yes'? Guess what? Rape occurs while dating, in marriage, casually, or with strangers. There is a misconception about rape occurring in a dark alley, late at night, while the person is scantily dressed. I say 'person' because another misconception is that men can't be raped. According to RAINN, 463,634 victims (age 12 or older) are raped each year. 1 out of every 10 rape victims is male and 1 out of every 6 women is a victim of rape. I want to be clear about something. Your sexual encounter must include a CONTINUOUS 'yes' in your body language, verbal/non-verbal communication, and EVERY other form of communication. You have the right to say 'Yes' to oral sex and 'No' to any other form of sex you choose to not engage in. You can engage in other acts and right before you engage in penetration, you can change your mind. You are not considered a tease, a whore, a slut, or any other derogatory word used to manipulate you into doing something you are not comfortable with. Your marriage, relationship, or lack of relationship does NOT mean you consented to sex. Consent means consent. At ANY age, regardless of gender, no one touches your body without your permission. The minute you have not granted consent to ANY sexual act, this is considered rape.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the 24/7 crisis line at 800-656-HOPE.
Natasha Thomas, LMFT