‘I didn’t know it was rape when it was in my own bed.’ Anna blamed herself for not defending herself more iRADIO

“For a long time I thought it was just bad sex. It was terrible, but I didn’t think it could be a crime,” says Anna, who talks about how she was raped by a classmate at a school party while she was sleeping in the Radio Wave podcast Hranice violence. “It was not easy for Anna to name her experience for a long time. She herself was subject to social myths about what ‘real’ rape looks like,” comments psychotherapist Dana Pokorná.



The Limits of Violence podcast
Prague
8:45 am September 7, 2022

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In the podcast Hranice vlienti, Anna talks about how she was raped by a classmate at a school party in her sleep | Photo: Nikola Logosová

“I wanted to match my classmates who already had boyfriends and had sex. I was fifteen, I didn’t know how to make contacts with people,” recalls Anna.

It can also happen at home, in your own bed. Hear the story of Anna, who for a long time thought she had “only bad sex”

I-didnt-know-it-was-rape-when-it-was-in.

She threw a party at the end of the school year. “A classic teenage party, alcohol, people dancing, singing, it was a big mess. And I was sorry that my classmates were there with the boys and no one was waiting for me. I was sad that I was alone, so I solved it in a ‘genius’ way and started drinking more,” Anna describes.

When she felt sick, she went to her room, to her bed, and fell asleep. “I was in that limp state where a very drunk person feels strange, everything is spinning, he feels heavy. And at that moment, when I was already asleep, I woke up, a classmate was on top of me and he was undressing me.”


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Anna didn’t agree. “I told him what are you doing, I want to sleep, leave me alone. But I was also very tired, drunk, just out of it – and he didn’t stop. He raped me, had intercourse with me. I mainly defended myself verbally, I tried to push him away, but I didn’t have the strength. At that moment, I thought that it didn’t really matter, that I could endure it. It didn’t occur to me to scream any more.’

“And I also had the idea that it was good to get over it, the first sex, because it was said that the first sex hurts. And that then it will always be good.”

Reactions matter

It took Anna a long time to understand that it was rape. She tried to excuse the rapist and explain that he was in love with her. He wasn’t. Then he didn’t want to see her anymore.

“I asked a classmate who was also in that apartment. I told her that I had sex with a boy, I didn’t want it, it hurt, it was weird, I didn’t expect it at all. I asked her if they heard me because I must have cried. But she told me that I should have expected it, that it always happens at parties like this.”


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Psychotherapist Dana Pokorná from Terapie Zlatnická, head of psychotherapeutic services at the proFem center for victims of domestic and sexual violence, emphasizes that the reactions of those around you are important.

“Every reaction matters. The first one we send to a person who has experienced sexual violence can decide whether they seek professional help afterwards, or if they shut down, telling themselves that they must have misunderstood and that it’s normal. This is one of the ways in which society and the immediate environment transfer the responsibility for the violence committed to the victim himself,” he says.

Name it

Anna started to get depressed, she couldn’t sleep or eat. She felt hatred for her body. It resulted in suicide attempts, a lack of will to live and hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital.

“It wasn’t until later that I found out that the depression started because I slept in the bed where I was raped every day. And I never told anyone, I kept it to myself. I had the feeling that my body had failed, that it should have defended itself,” admits Anna.


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Psychotherapist Pokorná points out that Anna apparently encountered the myth of true rape:

“When the word rape is spoken, most of society imagines being attacked somewhere in the park by an unknown person. But most rapes and sexual violence are committed by a not completely unknown perpetrator.”

And he adds: “If we pretend that it wasn’t rape, but a mistake, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t rape and that it will disappear.” It is important to name it, because when the problem is named, it can be grasped and solved.”

When Anna was twenty-one, she became angry that she did not want to spend her life as an invalid with depression. In therapy, she started talking about her trauma, about her emotions, and today she feels strong and has a quality life.

“Now I have certain boundaries, beyond which the train does not go,” says Anna, who also talks in the podcast Borders of Violence about how, thanks to working on herself, she was able to come to terms with her experience, stabilize herself mentally and live life to the fullest. “I see the biggest change in myself in communication. Before I was extremely closed, now I know the possibilities of how to express what troubles me, I can talk about it.”

Listen to the entire podcast in the audio recording.

Táňa Zabloudilova

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The article is in Czech &&

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