Rape vs. death: which is worse?

Disclaimer: Before I begin, I just want to stress that I am NOT downplaying the seriousness of rape, nor am I invalidating the experiences of people who have been raped or sexually assaulted in the past. I have relatives who have been raped, so I fully recognise that it is a horrible crime, and under no circumstances is it okay to force one's will upon anyone in this way.

I have decided to go anonymous for this myTake, as I foresee it to bring to light an extremely controversial and sensitive topic that many people will not agree with.

To start with, I have noticed a trend of certain people arguing that they would rather die than be raped, or that rape is worse than murder or physical assault. I once even came across a poll where the majority of voters (especially female) perceived rape as worse than castration. These views all point towards a general trend that sees rape as being uniquely damaging. I can understand and empathise with this view, as there are indeed clear psychological, and sometimes physical, repercussions of rape. Victims can develop PTSD, anxiety, depression and eating disorders as a result of their experience. It can make them feel as if the life has been completely sucked out of them, they cannot live anymore due to the pain that being raped has introduced into their lives.

On the other hand, I have an issue with this, as it makes the automatic assumption that someone's fate is better off with them being DEAD, as in a complete end to their existence, instead of living past the incident. This, and the additional idea that castration, the permanent removal of the genitals - compromising the victim's ability to experience sexual pleasure for the rest of their life, is not as bad as non-consensual sex.

Rape vs. death: which is worse?

Mentalities such as this make the deterministic assumption that rape is an intrinsically traumatic and bleak experience for every single victim who goes through it, where they're 'better off dead' or will cope better if they had their genitals mutilated instead. When in fact, people's experiences with rape and the aftermath are vastly different. For some, it could drive them to suicide, but for others it could have very little effect if at all, with them leading a perfectly normal life after being raped. At times, some people don't even realise that what they've experienced was actually rape by it's true definition (in which there are a lot of grey areas), so therefore may not be as affected as those who consciously knew they were being raped.

My mother is a prime example of this, she was raped multiple times when she was a teenager by her stepfather, however she has told me that it made her a stronger person, and she didn't allow what was done to her make her weak and powerless - she felt that letting it consume her would mean her rapist would have won, holding a firm grasp on her ability to live her life normally. Hence it somewhat bothers me on a personal level, the idea that some people suggest that my mother should die, rather than living the successful life that she does now despite the fact she was raped multiple times.

I also believe that the reason so many people see rape as so severe is because it is a act of violation and control combined with sex, something which is still considered rather taboo in our society. This means that the idea of someone taking something so intimate and forbidden away from someone is perceived as utterly unfathomable. Sex is something that should be given, not taken. This could possibly feed into the psychological trauma that the rape victim feels.

To sum up, I just want you to reflect.

If someone broke into your house right now, armed with a chainsaw, gave you an ultimatum between being hacked to death or to have sex with him, which would you realistically choose? I know this seems morbid and twisted, but just think. How is it possible to say something that you've never experienced before is worse than death?

Once you end a life it's over. No chance to heal or continue to live their lives. As bad as rape is, there's still a chance for recovery and moving on from the trauma. I understand that for many rape victims the reality of their predicament leaves them feeling like they'd rather die. I fully sympathise with this. However, this is not always how it is, many others remark being grateful for the fact they had been given a chance to live on afterwards.

At the end of the day, every individual has different coping mechanisms, therefore meaning that rape is not worse than death in every single case.


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What Guys Said 11

  • Rape... cuz you gotta live with it...
    Dead people don't have any worries...
    *mic drop*

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  • Don't fear the reaper.

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  • Death isn't a big deal. Problem solved. Rape is worse.

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  • This is easy: Death. Because D before R in the alphabet.

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  • Rape vs. death: which is worse? This is the saddest question I have read in a while now. I have several things to say, sadly, all true. People can get PTSD, anxiety, depression and all these thing from anything, like war, or simply turned down for a date. The idea of a permanent alteration of a life, like castration, or oophorectomy is nothing compared to a temporary struggle. I mean rape is a moment removing organs, is permanent. And death. Death is never a solution, nor an escape. In truth death is merely the final. If its suicide it the last failure. Why am I so harsh on suicides its simple, you just became someone else’s problem and left behind all the chances in life. If your dead you can’t accomplish your dreams, you can’t start a family. Play with your kinds in the front lawn. All those experiences, the joy, the anger, the sadness, it’s over. And you failed.
    So I assume you were asking woman because you said “or to have sex with HIM” men are far more likely to be raped by a woman than a man. But rape is rape and it about power, not pleasure. With no other option rape I live, that’s it. I can heal. It may take years, I may never fully heal, but the possibility to heal is in life.

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  • Girls make too big of a deal of it sometimes

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  • Rape is. Because death is inevitable. Everyone is going to go through it. Rape should never happen to anyone. But that is just my opinion.

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    • That's a very valid point.

  • Great take. So true.

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  • It's obvious death is worse than rape, it's also reflected in the legal system the sentence for rape is lower than that of murder for a reason.

    That said rape is the only crime where your inside is violated, you most personal parts, and often is also combined with violence or threats of violence, so it's worse than violence alone for sure.

    However, no matter how bad rape is, life is better still, then some say victims of rape commit suicide so clearly they think death is not worse... well not really, they needed psychiatric help and didn't get it in time that's something completely different. Besides the suicide rate of rape victims are less then 100%, that alone indicates a difference since 100% of murder victims are death obviously.

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    • Obvious? How is it obvious? It's obvious to me that death is better.

      At least in death you won't come away wondering if it was your fault. If you could have done anything to change what happened. Why did they pick you?

      With death you have none of these.
      Victims of rape commit suicide because they feel they cannot go on. They hate what their life has become. They feel out of control, they have no control, and the only thing they do control is whether or not they live. Life has become hell for them, so they leave it.

      Rape is not better than death. Rape is taking control and choice away from you. It's tearing you apart.
      Death is granting you peace.

      It's obvious which one is better to me.

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    • @truecollors I haven't been raped (by the way, one R otherwise you're talking about music) but I've been close to. No, I don't want to die, but at the time of writing that comment, if my experience had been worse and actually BEEN rape, I probably wouldn't have been nearly stable enough to write that comment. I likely would have gone ahead and killed myself.
      Sucks saying that, but I can't see it as anything but truth.

      But now I agree with you wholly. And kinda wish I hadn't written that comment because it was a bullshit thing to say, even if it's what I felt. You live and learn.

    • @BaileyisDarcy no ones perfect, well, I know I'm not anyway, and thank you for choosing to better yourself.

  • Imagine someone being in your house with a chainsaw. Imagine a lot of things. Do you even understand what you are saying? You can't put something like this hypothetical terms. Must be so easy for you to just imagine everything, isn't it?

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    • Yes, I know for sure that I'd not want my life taken away from me in any circumstances. That's why it's easy for me to choose. Obviously the same can't be said about everyone else.

  • Rape is truly awful. Death is quite clearly worse.

    A character was essentially raped on Game of Thrones last season and it caused quite the stir among some fans and they declared they were done watching the show because of it yet beloved characters are permanently killed all the time and they keep watching. I don't really get it. It's baffling how many people have this completely backwards.

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What Girls Said 8

  • I think it depends on what kind of a person you are - what you can handle and what you can't.

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  • If I were made to choose between a painful death and rape, then I would choose rape. I don't want to die and considering I'm doing somewhat well at moving past a recent sexual assault, I don't think I'd be too badly messed up by it.

    But, between death itself and rape. In a general sense.
    If we aren't talking 'pick one' then death is better.

    Hey, life is a shitty thing to start with. It sucks and I haven't even got to the hard bit of bills and voting and partners and responsibilities and jobs and money and guh. So not looking forward to my eighteenth.

    Add to all that the psychological and possibly physical damage that rape would bring and fuck. Not many people know what happen to me, and the ones that do have personal experience with it themselves so they try to forget. But I see the look my councillor gives me whenever it's brought up and I hate it. I hate being pitied. I can't stand it. I hate to imagine that look on a larger scale. If my friends ever found out what happened, I don't think I'd get a moment of peace. Considering the pity looks I got over my Nans death, yeah. They'd be all over trying to make me feel better.

    I can imagine what I'd be like emotionally. I'd be a wreck. The loss of control over that part of my life, which really at the moment feels like the only thing I have control over, would wreck me. It would wreck me.
    I'm still getting over a sexual assault that happened months ago. It doesn't help that I have to see the guy everytime I visit mum.
    Just imagine how long it would take to get over a rape.

    I commend your mother. She's a strong arse woman and it's great that she got past what happened to her and was the bigger woman about it. But some people aren't that strong.

    For those people. For those people death is the better alternative.

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    • I don't think you are right, all those girls needs, is true love and care and maybe some psychotherapy and they can still find beauty in life. Rape is bad but it's not worse than Auschwitz and the bulk of prisoners wanted to live on, whatever problems girls feel today it is not because of the rape but because of general bad mental and emotional health - many are too unhappy to begin with, that's the problem.

  • You only discuss rape and murder as a physical sense but not realising at an energetic level, there is a loss felt or something forcibly taken from a person without their consentual. The emotional impact is devastating. Both acts can't be compared. But you are trying to make people choose if they had to go through it.

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    • without their consent

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    • Yeah, I'm making them choose because so many people have it set in their minds that rape is so much worse for every single person who goes through it. Instead of blindly stating that dying is not as bad as non-consensual sex.

    • people dont really know where their mind went... Psssh.

  • I'm a huge believer in the power to overcome, so I am going to chose rape. The human spirit is as resilient as the human body is, and capable of moving beyond things that damage our psyche. Everyone here has lived through plenty. If you are reading this, you are a testament to survival. What you are going through can make you bitter, or it can make you better. You choose.

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  • I would rather die, because then you don't have to live with the pain. You'll feel a lot of pain at first - when you get murdered - but then it will stop forever. Besides, I already don't wish to live, so of course I would choose death.

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    • (I just realized I didn't really answer the question correctly. Rape is WORSE than death in my opinion.)

  • Death comes to all of us. Being raped isn't inevitable but changes someone's life tremendously. You can't compare the two whatsoever.

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  • Rape, you have to live th

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    • With it, every night thinking I was you, thinking that everything would be ok in your life. But it has to happen again, makes you lose all self worth and confidence. Make you lose everything, your house, your fiancé and whatever you build, wherever you build your life up. Its gonna be destroyed by that one person. It starts anywhere, your house, the alley...

  • Then how come so many victims of rape commit suicide, if death is worse?

    You can't compare the two. This entire mytake is unnecessary.

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    • You clearly didn't read the whole thing did you? I clearly said that a lot of rape victims commit suicide.

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    • Which is whyyyyyyyy this entire mytake is still unnecessary.

    • Lol fair enough. Sorry for wasting your time :)

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