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Does This Count As Rape?

Published: March 14, 2010
Dear TeenHealthFX,
so confused.. does it count as rape if I was okay with having sex at first but then he hit me and I asked him to please stop? he told me to shut the f-ck up cause I'm a whore and I deserve to be beat and he was "teaching me a lesson" and that he owns me so he can do whatever he wants with me.. it's happened more than a few times and I think he could be more dangerous because last time he beat me he got out his switch and put it against my neck and told me not to tell or he'd "cut up my little throat" I have a feeling he isn't just bluffing..
Signed: Does This Count As Rape?

Dear Does This Count As Rape?,


If during any kind of sexual activity a person tells his/her partner to stop, then that person’s partner needs to listen to the words being spoken and stop what he/she is doing. It is okay to change your mind about how far you want to go, what you want to participate in, or anything else and to voice that change of opinion. And it is absolutely okay to ask your partner to stop if at any point you are feeling any physical pain or discomfort. It is also completely appropriate eto expect your partner to listen to you if you tell him/her to stop. Ideally sex should be about two people making a healthy connection with one another in a physical and emotional way. Respect and care should certainly be a part of the process – so if someone says, “stop,” “no,” or clearly indicates in any way that they want things to stop, that needs to be respected.

If a person thinks that he/she has been sexually assaulted it is important to speak to a trusted adult (such as a parent) right away, and to report what happened to the proper authorities. You can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE or use RAINN’s Online Hotline for help and guidance if you have been raped or are unsure if your situation constitutes rape.

While FX hopes that this answers your question about rape, we also want to point out the serious concern we have about several of the other dynamics going on in this relationship. From what you have told us, this person:

·         Continues to have sex with you despite your telling him to stop.

·         Speaks to you in a hostile, belittling manner in terms of telling you to shut up, calling you a “whore,” and saying that you deserve to be beaten.

·         Uses physical violence in terms of hitting you.

·         Threatens harm in terms of telling you he might cut your throat.

·         Acts in an overly controlling manner in terms of saying he “owns” you.

These behaviors leave FX extremely concerned about your emotional well-being and physical safety. This person sounds angry, dangerous, impulsive, and controlling. There is clearly some severe violence going on in this relationship on several different levels. FX thinks that it is incredibly important for you to tell your parents about what is going on in the relationship and then to have you and your family speak to a professional about how to end this relationship and cut ties with this person in a way where you will be safe. FX also thinks it is important for you to participate in some individual counseling so that you can be better educated about what constitutes an abusive relationship (so that you can avoid them in the future), as well as to work through any ways in which you may have been emotionally affected by the abuse you have endured thus far.     

To learn more about what constitutes violence in a dating relationship, as well as to get a list of dating violence hotlines and resources, please read our Hot Topic on Safer Dating Practices. Again, speak to your parents about what is going on and enlist the help of someone trained in dealing with dating violence to help ensure that this relationship is ended in a way where you are safe from any further emotional or physical harm from this person.

Signed: TeenHealthFX