Shifting the Rape Script: "Coming Out" Online as a Rape Victim



Publication Details

Loney-Howes, R. (2018). Shifting the Rape Script: "Coming Out" Online as a Rape Victim. Frontiers: a journal of women studies, 39 (2), 26-57.


The experience of being raped and the associated trauma is often conceptualized as "unspeakable" in that it cannot be put into a comprehensible language.1 Yet the very notion that rape is something unspeakable serves to normalize rules governing the permissibility of speaking about rape, tacitly enforcing the shame that surrounds sexual violence and maintaining victim-survivors' silence. The unspeakability of rape is also perpetuated by the criminal justice system through its power to define what is and is not rape, thereby denying those whose experience falls outside legal definitions the recognition and permission to claim their experience as rape.

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