What if I’ve been forced into sex?

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It can be a horrible feeling, knowing that someone has forced you into sex. It can make you feel confused, upset and angry.

unwanted sex or rape
They might have been demanding and aggressive. They might have pressured you and tried to guilt-trip you by saying you’d led them on, or you’d do it if you really loved them.

They might have held you down, or threatened to hurt you.

Or they might have taken advantage of the fact that you were drunk or stoned and didn’t know what was going on.

If someone has forced or tricked you into sex, this is called ‘sexual assault’.

Sexual assault is anything sexual – oral sex, penetrative sex, fingering  – that you didn’t agree to and that makes you feel uncomfortable, scared or threatened.

It includes if someone has sex with you when you weren’t able to freely agree to it – for example, when you were asleep, drunk or affected by drugs.

Why did they do this to me?

It might be because:

  • they wanted to have sex regardless of what you wanted
  • they wanted to force you into sex as a way to hurt you and to show you that they’re the boss
  • they decided that you ‘owe’ them sex and used this as an excuse to force you into it
  • they were so focused on what they wanted that they didn’t stop to find out what you wanted, or chose to ignore any signs that you didn’t want it, or
  • they wanted to ‘score’ to impress their mates, so they can feel like a ‘real’ man.

The main thing to remember is don’t blame yourself

One of the most helpful things you can do is to learn not to blame yourself for sexual assault. Many people worry that it’s their fault or that there was something they could have done to stop sexual assault from happening.

Remember, even if

  • you are married to them or in a relationship with them
  • you are in a relationship with them and haven’t had sex with them yet
  • you had already been kissing them or doing other sexual things with them
  • you were flirting with them
  • you accepted a lift or went home with them
  • you have had sex with them before
  • you were wearing sexy clothes,
  • you were drunk or affected by drugs

you were not asking to be forced into sex.

No one has the right to force you into sex – not even your boyfriend or husband.

You don’t owe anyone sex, and you don’t have to have sex to prove you love someone.

Some other things to know

Giving in doesn’t mean that you agreed to have sex.

If you gave in because the other person made you scared of being hurt, then giving in was a way of surviving the experience. It doesn’t mean that the sexual assault was your fault.

Unfortunately, sexual assault is common – you are not the only one who has experienced this.

One Australian survey found that 1 in 7 teenage girls said a boyfriend had tried to force them to have sex (Young People and Domestic Violence, Canberra: National Crime Prevention, 2000)

Tell someone

It might seem scary at first, but telling someone can really help.

Talk to a friend or a family member or a counsellor.

What does a counsellor do?

A Centre Against Sexual Assault counsellor is experienced in supporting people who have been sexually assaulted, and they wont judge you. A counsellor can help you to understand your feelings and think of ways to deal with them.

A counsellor can help you get medical attention if you need it, and work out what to do to get safe – including, if you want, helping you to report to police. They can also link you up to support groups where you can talk to other people who have been through this.

See Why call a help line or see a counsellor? and Services that can help.

If you still are in a relationship with the person who sexually assaulted you, see Ok, I’m not being treated right and Safety tips.

Other people’s stories

He would always talk me into having sex with him and said that was the only way to show him that I loved him.

Read Katie’s story

I asked him to put on a condom. He said he didn’t have one. I asked him to stop, and he wouldn’t. And he said that it didn’t matter, not to worry about it.

Read Ann’s story

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Photo from Flickr by hownowdesign / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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One Response to “What if I’ve been forced into sex?”

  1. My live in boyfreind, who in hindsight was also emotionally abusive, took advantage of me being drunk to have anal sex with me, followed by vaginal, which i was too drunk to think would lead to a bladder infection and did.

    Also once when I took a xanax for insomnia, and was dead asleep, i woke up to him touching me and as soon as i woke up he tried to roll over quickly