Diamonds mesmerise me, especially when they are on display under
lights. They look like ice radiating rainbows. That dancing spectrum of
colour makes me think of magical things. Even though diamonds are
flawed they are still considered the most precious of all stones and the
most valuable. When you consider the beauty, the uniqueness and the
value of diamonds it seems appropriate that they would be used as
symbols of love.

A burglar on the other hand sees none of that when he is robbing a
jewellery shop. A burglar’s perception of diamonds is that they are
valuable and easy to take. A burglar is only concerned with getting what
he wants and getting away with it.

My question is this: If a jewellery shop is robbed who is ‘The Bad Guy?’

The shop owner? Should he have predicted the robbery?

The diamond? Should a diamond dim its lights and de-value itself as a
protection mechanism?

The burglar? Does a burglar know that he has no right to steal the
diamonds?

It may seem obvious that the burglar is the bad guy. Of course he knew
what he was doing. He had weighed the benefits of his crime against the
risks, it is only his decision that carries any responsibility.

The shop owner may have regrets about his failure to take stronger
measures to protect his valuable diamonds. However, the robbery is not
the shop owner’s fault and his regrets are pointless. The shop owner
could have protected the diamond by locking it up and never letting
anyone know it existed.

It is totally ridiculous to blame the diamond for the robbery. A diamond
must shine and a diamond has every right to be beautiful and valuable.
The diamond might as well have turned itself back into coal.

I am using this analogy and these questions as a comparison to issues of
incest and rape.

The single most devastating aspect of rape or incest is that the victims will
often blame themselves or wonder if they were in someway responsible.
Victims are often asked whether they encouraged their assailant. Did they
have proper security and locks in their home? Did they dress
provocatively? Did they say or do anything to suggest that they wanted
sex? Were they flirting or leading him on?  Did they say ‘No’ or scream or
fight back?

These questions spin around and around in the minds of the victims and
sometimes these questions continue for a lifetime. Consciously and
logically the victims know that they were in no way responsible, but the
questions continue to eat away at them and the pain and shame go on
and on.

Some rapists and paedophiles may believe that they are being seduced
and see themselves as victims. Men are sexually aroused to a great
degree by what they see, just as I am mesmerized by the spectrum of a
diamond. The difference is in knowing that wanting something does not
give anyone the right to steal it. Rape and incest are thefts. Theft is not
about seduction or provocation.

Young girls, in particular, can be mesmerising. They are sexy, beautiful,
flirtatious and vivacious and they can also represent joy, excitement and
innocence.  Anyone with eyes can be enchanted by a pretty young girl.
They are fascinating creatures and very alluring and they have every
right to be. They are diamonds and by their very nature they are precious
and authentic and have every right to be whom and what they are.  No
one has the right to take that away or change or damage it.

Society has come a long way in the past few decades in its openness and
understanding of sex and sexuality. Sometimes it seems like we are
constantly talking about it, marketing it, analysing, experimenting,
exaggerating, belittling, pursuing and practising it. Gosh, we are
obsessed by it and yet, still so very confused by it.

Sex can be an act of deep love or an act of violence. It can be a spiritual
connection or a sport, it can be a notch on a belt or a stress buster, it can
be a bargaining tool and it can be bought or sold. It can be dirty or sinful
or a great joy, a normal natural animal instinct and a healthy thrilling
bodily function. Men and woman can be aroused by entirely different
stimulations. Some people need a lot of sex and others rarely want it.
Some people have orgasms quickly, others take much longer and others
don’t have them at all.

Sex may be perverted, dangerous, sick and revolting. Many sex acts are
illegal, immoral and taboo. In some cases this is cultural or just subjective.
I’m not about to condemn or preach morality on sex, but I will make one
point that I think should be mandatory: Sex requires consent from all
participants. Sex taken without consent is rape and rape is theft.

Rape-theft is like ‘the taking of a person’s essence’. It can be the theft of
personal space, independence, security, self-esteem, dignity, freedom
and innocence.  In some cases, rape will diminish or retard a person’s
ability to love or to trust. Rape is not just a sex-crime, it is an act of
violence which damages another persons mind, body and soul. It is the
ultimate act of violence.

Pre-Pubescence and Adolescence

I wonder how any of us came through adolescence alive or sane. Our
bodies were doing the most bizarre things: growing breasts, bleeding,
getting hard ons, breaking voices and sprouting hairs. Hormones had us
laughing like maniacs and then sobbing uncontrollably for no reason at
all. The boys wanted to fight and the girls wanted to kiss.

It was embarrassing, too. Insensitive parents would ask to look under our
arms to see if we had any hairs. They would comment on your ‘little rose
buds’ under your tee shirt.  We would hear ourselves referred to as ‘jail
bait’ and overhear uncles tell our parents that it was, ‘time to lock up their
daughters’.The boys took to carrying their bags in front of their privates
and dreaded the vibrating motion of the bus. Boys also began referring to
having ‘a stiffy.’

By the time I reached High School, most of the boys I had known my entire
childhood became completely different creatures. They looked and acted
differently and their attitude to me and the other girls changed
dramatically. They had become stalkers, hunting alone or in packs.  
“Show us ya tits!” one would call out and the rest would laugh. “Want a
root?” or “How ‘bout a finger?” Sometimes we’d be offered lunch money to
have a look at or touch a stiffy.

The boys would brag about how much sex they were getting and who was
easy. Girls lived in dread of being named a ‘go-er’. Nothing destroyed a
girl’s reputation or caused more shame than being referred to as a slut,
mole, rooter, gang-banger or town- bike. Truth had nothing to do with it at
all. Sex had all kinds of names like a naughty, a poke, sink the sausage, a
root or screw. Genitals became willies, rogers, mo-joes, joysticks, pussy,
boxes and tunnels of love.

It seemed to me there were two very distinct differences. The boys wanted
sex and the girls wanted romance.

Getting laid was a ‘badge of honour’ for the boys. ‘Doing it’ made a boy
cool. If he did it with many girls he was even cooler.  No boy over the age
of fourteen would ever admit to being a virgin, so most were forced into
becoming creative and convincing liars. For many this habit continued
throughout adulthood!

The confusing thing for the girls was that they were beating the boys off
with a stick most of the time and trying desperately to keep their virginity.
Our hymen was also known as a cherry. According to our mothers it was a
highly valued asset in husband finding and the symbol of being a ‘good
girl’.

The rest of the time the girls were desperately trying to attract and catch
a boyfriend. Having a steady boyfriend, especially if he gave you a
‘friendship ring’ was the ultimate status symbol of being cool if you were a
girl.

Boys began to fantasise about sex and became obsessive masturbators.
Girls began to daydream about romance and to this day we don’t really
know if they masturbated or not. Boys who didn’t have sex bragged that
they did and girls who did have sex denied that they did.

Girls daydreamed about having pop stars for boyfriends or made up
stories about a much older boyfriend, someone more mature – like
eighteen, who had left school, had a job and usually owned a motor bike
or perhaps a car. Girls imagined that every song on the radio was written
for them and of course they starred in all the movies. Girls wanted to be
pop-stars, actresses, princesses or models.  Boys still just wanted to get
laid.

Being beautiful, being cool or being wanted is everything when you are
young. Being thought of as sexy can make a young girl think she is all of
that, yet to many boys it just means, ‘You want a bit!’ Girls soon learned
that a certain look, a toss of the hair, a smile or an outright act of flirtation
can be a powerful thing. It is a powerful, natural and innocent phase of
development.

It’s at about this age that girls find out they can also manipulate their
fathers and uncles. Looking good and being ‘The sweet thing,’ wins you
admiration, attention, advantages and sometimes gifts. Girls will flirt with
their fathers, uncles and friends of their brother. This is natural.  It’s a
normal healthy phase that children pass through on their way into
adulthood. Every girl deserves the right to pass through this stage with
support and acceptance. Being pretty, being cool, being sexy and flirting
are as natural and necessary to their development as are physical
changes.

Throughout nature we have males and females. In all of the species one
attracts the other. It is simply ‘The nature of the beast’. It is only in the
human world that this behaviour is misconstrued or condemned.

No wonder so many adults are sexually dysfunctional, confused and
uncomfortable with their sexuality. Too few of us were allowed to explore
or grow through our sexuality with support or safety.

Being young, pretty, flirtatious and sexy is only part of it. I mention of it
here, as too often, rape and incest victims blame themselves for being
violated. They often get the message that “They asked for it.”  

If you did not say out loud, “Rape Me!” then you did not ask for it!

As adults, we may be reasonably confused about sex and sexuality but we
should know that we have a responsibility to protect our young. A
flirtatious and attractive child is entitled to believe that adults are not their
predators. It’s time that we stopped blaming victims and addressed the
real issues here. Children should not be expected to make adult
decisions. We must not expect children to have the maturity, experience
or wisdom of an adult. Adults need to be the adults. We, as a society,
need to stop blaming the victims so that the victims will stop blaming
themselves.  

Rape and incest are not about attractiveness or sexuality. They are acts
of violence against an innocent people. The decision, the action and the
blame are entirely on the predator.

Rapists target innocent and defenceless people. Children, old ladies,
men, boys and even animals can be the victims of a sexual crime. A rapist
may be a complete stranger. The act of rape can be cruel and down right
barbaric. Victims can be severely and permanently injured and even
murdered.

Rape and incest are not always physically violent. The predator may be a
family member, a friend or a trusted and respected member of society.
The act itself may also be quite gentle or seem unintentional. He pretends
to be caring, kind and loving. It is within this realm that the insidious and
long-term effects are sometimes blurred and confused. Often, in this
situation, the victim absorbs all of the blame, guilt and shame. The
psychology is really confusing, as hate, revulsion and self-disgust get
mixed in with feelings of love, excitement and response.

This kind of rape is rarely spoken about and indeed quite often not even
considered to be rape. It very definitely is, it is mind and emotional rape.
No blood and no bruising - just guilt, shame and loss of innocence. Incest
usually falls into this category. Many people think of incest as a big bad
stepfather coming home drunk and violently forcing himself on a child.
This is not always the case. Incest is often loving, sexually pleasurable
and exciting to the child. The adult will often reward the child with gifts and
treat them as very special.

The human body is designed to respond to sexual stimulation. A rape or
incest victim may find that they are physically aroused and responsive,
yet their mind is screaming “No!” They want it to stop; they are filled with
fear and a deep sense of something being wrong. At the same, time they
may also feel loved by and trust the rapist. They feel desirable and
attractive and often enjoy the sex and excitement.

This is profoundly confusing to a child and may manifest itself in all kinds
of confused emotions and behaviours in later life. The lines between love
and hate, and pain and pleasure can become quite blurred. Sometimes
victims become rapists themselves. Girls may become women who are
drawn to violence and humiliation in their adult relationships. Sometimes
these children become prostitutes or religious fanatics. Many may
subconsciously provoke violent behaviour as they only feel truly loved by
making up after being abused. Many women living with domestic violence
were incest victims. They may not attracted to ‘nice guys’ and
subconsciously seek out dangerous or unstable men. Many of these men
are, of course, incest victims as well.

I was recently discussing this with a friend of mine and mentioned the
arousal and lubrication some women experienced in some rape cases.  
My point was that the mind is screaming out ‘No’, yet the body appears to
betray the mind by becoming aroused. Psychologically, this is hard to
grasp as the victim somehow feels that she may have encouraged or
enjoyed it. The victim is ashamed to think that their body was saying yes
and they feel betrayed by their own bodies. My friend pointed out that this
is not ‘arousal’ but the body’s ability to protect itself from harm. Like
adrenaline surging through our body when we are under threat, a woman’
s vagina prepares itself when under threat by becoming moist to protect
itself.

The deeper, longer lasting effects of this crime are the psychological and
emotional ones. Being violated in this way robs the victim of personal
power, safety, self-esteem, sexuality, freedom and trust.

The soul of a person longs to love and experience joy. We long to trust
and believe. We need to be admired and respected. Being controlled,
manipulated or violated robs us of all of these things. To have our ability
to love or to be loved taken from us is, above all else, the greatest act of
violence and the most unforgivable.

No one deserves to be violated. We all deserve to feel safe and protected
and we all deserve the right to grow and evolve into happy, healthy
adults. Our homes should be the one place where we can feel safe. Our
parents should be the people whom we trust and depend upon to keep us
safe. Our physical, emotional and psychological make up depends on it.

This is not yours to carry

It is most important to recognise that a sense of shame or guilt may have
been thrust upon you by the wanton act of another person. Carrying that
sense with you for life is a choice that you make. A young victim of incest
or rape is robbed of a very important part of their childhood. They will
never get back the sense of security that they lost, but it is important to
remind yourself that, “This is not yours to carry”. Feeling responsible,
holding onto guilt or anger and feelings of shame are ‘poisons left within
you’. They do not belong within you. Your freedom depends on your
leaving those feelings at the original source.

We often hear that we must forgive in order to recover. Forgiveness does
not mean acceptance in any way. Forgiveness is the ability to let go of the
‘poisons left within you’ by the actions of another, then embracing yourself
for who you truly are.  Forgiveness is removing those who harmed you
and their actions completely from your picture of your life.

Personally, I believe that revenge is sweet. Revenge is taking control of
your life and replacing what has been taken away from you with bigger,
better and brighter feelings of self-esteem, trust and self-worth.

Revenge is letting responsibility lie with the abuser and not carrying it with
you.

Revenge is sweetest when we take back our ability to love and to be
loved.

A diamond must shine. A diamond has every right to be Unique,
Beautiful and Valuable.

Copyright Sonya Green
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