Most rapes do not involve a stranger jumping from out behind the bushes and dragging his victim to an alley. Many of them, yes, occur between people who know each other, where the rapist knows what they are doing, that are about control and dominance and violence. But I fully believe, having been the victim of one myself, there are also those rapes that occur because the rapist has allowed himself to believe he has consent, and then finds out after the fact that he didn’t. Those are still rapes. Those men are still rapists. But those types of rapes and rapists can be stopped if we are willing to really look hard at at the nuances of what caused them to occur. Intent isn’t everything, but it does matter. We have to be willing to call things what they are — rape, rapists — with conviction, while also being brave enough to sift through how they came to be.
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