You may not be ready to use the word “rape,” or even know for sure it was rape, but you need to know: you are not alone.
A while ago, we published a story featuring various accounts of women who had been raped by a boyfriend. Because so many women were searching for “raped by boyfriend,” in Google, it continues to get tons of reads — which disturbs me on so many levels.
So I decided to do some further digging on the realities of getting raped by your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse.
There’s a Term for It
There are so many women who raped by boyfriends or husbands that an actual term has been created just for this circumstance. It’s called “intimate partner rape.” It applies to anyone who is assaulted by a current or past partner.
You May Not Be Ready to Define it As “Rape”
After reading so many stories of women who had been raped by their boyfriends, it was clear that the whole situation was just confusing. A lot of women use terms like “kind of raped me” because they’re not sure it “counts” if it’s with someone they love. Let me reassure you that it does count. But if you’re not ready to use those words, that’s ok too. Everyone has to come to terms with what happened to them in their own time.
It’s More Common Than You Think
According to these stats, nearly 7.8 women have been raped by an intimate partner in their lifetime. That is obviously a huge number, and yet, as we all know, rape is often underreported so the actual number is most likely much, much bigger.
As for married women? Stats indicate that 10%-14% of married women have/will be raped by their partner in their lifetime.
There are specific laws on the books making marital rape illegal in all 50 states (although there are a few loopholes in 8 states). And rape by a boyfriend? Yeah, that’s illegal too.
There Are Resources for You
There are a ton of organizations dedicated to helping rape survivors and some even deal specifically with intimate partner rape, like RAINN. Head over to their website for help and they can guide you to the right resources.
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Image Credit: JD Mason/ Unsplash
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.