Whilst reading an article regarding the other day I stumbled across the term “grey rape”. I had never heard of this term before and honestly had no idea what it meant, was it literal?
When I looked it up I found it is a fairly common term which is used to describe acquaintance and date assaults instead of “real rape” which describes stereotypical stranger assaults with high levels of violence.
Considering more than 70% of sexual assault cases are in fact committed by someone that victim knows on a personal level, the majority of rape cases therefore fall into the category of “grey rape” and therefore this should not be a typical ‘grey area’ – but it is.
An article published in Cosmopolitan Magazine in 2007 defines grey rape to be “sex that falls somewhere between consent and denial and is even more confusing than date rape because often both parties are unsure of who wanted what.”
Cosmo Magazine is not the only one to publish articles regarding this new myth, with others depicting that some areas of sexual abuse, such as date rape are less serious than others. In that is being sexually abused by someone you are dating not as bad as being abused by a stranger? You do know them on an intimate level right so can’t be that bad?
Fact: it is.
This new term is dangerous in society as it promotes the myth that sexual assault does not count when it is committed by someone you know, in some cases it is an ‘accident’ and that it is not really sexual assault is alcohol, flirting or other actions are involved.
The failure to recognize that all sexual assault cases are bad is excusing perpetrators from taking accountability and leading to victims feeling at fault.
Stranger or partner, drunk or sober – all forms of sexual assault are a crime and if you have experienced any unwanted sexual contact you deserve to be heard.