7-5-13 Guest Post by Jubilee

Jubilee, as a survivor of domestic violence,  is a woman who has been instrumental in my healing .  She has been there for me since before I first left Bubba and I’ve watched her walk the path of escape with a few more women.  Her courage in speaking Truth to fragile victims and gently walking beside them as they become survivors has been inspiring to me.  She is an amazing woman with a heart for hurting women.  I am proud to call her my friend.  This is a small part of her story:

We are very aware of sexual assault in the abstract. We know to lock our doors, park in well lit areas, never accept drinks from strangers and stay in groups. By the time we are teenagers, we know that no means no. We are even starting to hear that the lack of an enthusiastic yes is a no.

But what we never hear about is marital rape. We never hear that no means no even if you are married.

I often woke up to my former husband on top of me.  The first time it happened, I was shocked and did nothing. I just could not process what happened. Then it happened again. This time I asked him to stop and he said to just let him finish. I was half asleep and really afraid. I just let him have his way and hoped for the best. He finished, groped me and went to sleep. I felt dirty and used.

The next morning at breakfast, I explained how I felt and that I did not like it. I asked him to wake me and ask me. He agreed to do this, saying he could see why it might be uncomfortable to wake up that way. I thought that was the end of it until about a week later, I woke up with him on me again.

I decided the only way to stop this was to make sure I never turned him down. No matter how tired I was,  if he wanted it, he got it. For a little while it seemed to work. I was resentful, but at least I was not afraid to sleep. Then it happened again. I was livid. I told him to stop and he informed me that if he did not get it from me, he would go somewhere else.

I had limited access to the phone, no car, no job and the internet was not as prevalent as it is today. I had no idea that this was abuse. I thought it was wrong, but we were married, so it could not be rape. But I still felt violated and afraid.

After a few more times, I was so angry that I  threatened him. I informed him if this ever happened again, I would tell my family and they would deal with him.  They would not have touched him, but  they  would have put the fear of angry relatives in him. Thankfully, he did not know I was bluffing.  I was far too ashamed to ever tell my family what was happening.

My threat sort of worked, he never touched me while I was asleep again. But it got much worse in other ways.  He wanted to sell me at a truck stop. How I convinced him it was a bad idea, I’ll never know.  He insisted on sex  in public places, why we never got caught I don’t know.  He brought in another couple and tried to convince me to make it a regular thing, but I was able to talk him out of it. I shudder to think about what would have happened if social networking had been around at that time.

BDSM went from being a part of our sex life to a huge part of our lives. Though our finances or lack thereof kept it in check. Alcohol was involved more often than I care to admit. The few times I had the courage to say this has gone too far were ignored in the best case scenario. He usually reminded me that I agreed to do this and could not back out now.

That just was not true. You always have the right to revoke your consent. Especially if you are uncomfortable with something. Even if it is just a whim, you have that right. No one has the right to touch you in ways you don’t like. No one has the right to badger you into something you don’t want to do. Even if you happen to be married to this person.

If you say no, then it is rape. If he wears you down, it is rape.  If he uses any sort of religious scripture to tell you that you have to give into him, it is rape. If he uses violence or threats of violence, it is rape. It is abuse and it violates the vows you took to love, honor and cherish each other.  You always have the right to change your mind, even in the middle of whatever you are doing. You have that right, and he has an obligation to respect that right.

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