Evaluating “grey rape”

Beth Caplin ponders the question of “gray rape” and the relationship context.

Sarahbeth Caplin

rapI’ve been intrigued by a recent article in the Washington Post by Laura Gianino, who wrote about her sexual assault and was verbally assaulted by internet trolls in return. Her story is all too familiar – plenty of assault survivors know the pain of not being believed by people who weren’t there when the assault took place – but the comment section was filled with sentiments like “You are absolutely right that it’s unconscionable when women are harassed for speaking up – but you are the wrong person to be making this point, because what happened to you wasn’t rape.”

You can read Gianino’s account of her assault here. Now, I have my own judgments about what happened to her – and as an assault survivor myself, I am very sensitive to how people use the emotionally-charged word “rape” – but the point of this post isn’t to pass…

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