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www.Quotes-Watchtower.co.uk

Rape is Not Fornication - See also Rape is Fornication

15 years after the Watchtower published the article that stated rape victims are fornicators, if they do not scream, they make an about turn and start saying the opposite.  This change in policy appears to have been driven by the congregational members writing to the Watchtower with their objections.

How many Jehovah Witness rape victims faced the possibility of being disfellowshipping during those 15 years before the change of policy is anyone’s guess.  But however many there were it is too many.

Below you can see how the Watchtower change their policy without ever saying sorry for their past draconian laws.

Aid to Bible Understanding (1969, 1971) p. 1371+, 601

 

RAPE

is defined as unlawful sexual intercourse without the woman's consent, effected by force, duress, intimidation...

FORNICATION:

Sex relations by mutual agreement between two persons not married to each other.

[Emphasis Added]

Awake! 1980 July 8 pp.5-6 The Growing Terror of Rape

How Most Victims React

Understandably, a woman faced with the threat of rape may be terrified. In fact, two Boston College professors, after interviews with 80 rape victims, noted: "The primary reaction of almost all women to the rape was fear." And the problem is that such fear can be paralyzing.

The illustration was given by a rape victim: "Did you ever see a rabbit stuck in the glare of your headlights when you were going down a road at night? Transfixed-like it knew it was going to get it-that's what happened."

Often coupled with the fear is confusion and uncertainty. For example, a 19-year-old explained: "I never physically fought him off in any way, partly because I was frightened, mostly because in my naïveté I thought a girl has to do what she's told. . . . I was overwhelmingly confused and defenseless against the whole suddenness."

She reacted as many others have under similar circumstances. She submitted. Few are prepared to resist-to resist for all they are worth. Elizabeth R. Dobell, writing in the magazine Seventeen, made the surprising revelation: "In only one of the 4,057 rape cases reported in New York City in 1974 was there an act of resistance. . . . Profound terror in the face of physical threats simply renders most women helpless."

[Emphasis Added]

Watchtower 1983 March 15 pp.30-1 Honor Godly Marriage!

Defining "Fornication"

What do we understand here by "fornication"? The Greek word in this text is porneia.

[…]

[Footnotes]

[…]

A male or a female who is forcibly raped would not be guilty of porneia.

[Emphasis Added]

Awake! 1984 June 8 p.28 From Our Readers

[…]

I was deeply disturbed by the article "They Resisted Rapists." I am very upset that anyone would even consider a victim of rape guilty of fornication. The scripture at Deuteronomy that you quote only requires that the woman scream, not fight to the death!
C. W., Indiana

[…]

Your article "They Resisted Rapists" disturbed me very much. I was raped by a man who attacked me with a knife. I could only scream once because of being choked and having a large hand pressed against my mouth. I fought until I was unconscious. Because I survived, it disturbs me that it is fornication on my part. You say to show a rapist respect. These men show no respect for their victim. They don't care that they are shattering a woman, leaving in her memory horror for the rest of her life. Unless you have personally experienced the horror of this crime, you can never truly understand.
A. G., Massachusetts

For the victim to be considered guilty of fornication there would need to be proof of willing consent. Apparently the requirement of Deuteronomy 22:25-27 for the woman to resist by screaming would clear her from any suspicion of such consent on her part.

[Emphasis Added]

Awake! 1986 September 22 p.28 From Our Readers

Resisting Rape

Thank you for your article "Now You Are Going to Die!" (May 22, 1986) I might note some concerns about the advice given, however. Some rapists are very angry and sadistic in their approach and come armed with weapons and the intent to use them if there is the least provocation. Our Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault suggests resistance, but if the woman is paralyzed by fear or her instincts tell her not to resist, we recognize that as appropriate. We would rather have someone live through the experience than be killed or seriously mutilated.
P. R., United States

The Bible does support the thought that a woman attacked by a rapist should scream and resist. True, the woman has to respond according to her assessment of the danger to her life, and we believe that is covered in the advice given in the box on page 23 (May 22, 1986). It should be kept in mind that submitting to rape gives no guarantee that the victim will not be beaten or killed afterward. See the article "They Resisted Rapists" in our issue of February 22, 1984.-ED.

[Emphasis Added]

Awake! 1993 March 8 pp.4-5 The Reality of Rape

Rape myths create a false sense of security. In other words, if you can find some fault in the victim's behavior-she dressed in tight clothing or she went out alone at night or she really wanted to have sexual relations-you or your loved ones will be safe if that conduct is avoided; therefore you will never be raped. The alternative, that rape is a senseless act of violence that can happen to anybody, regardless of how she is dressed, is too terrifying to accept.

One woman, raped by someone she thought of as "nice, respectable," pleads: "The worst possible thing you can do is believe it won't happen to you."

Rape Myths and Realities

The following are some of the long-held misconceptions about rape that serve to blame the victim and to perpetuate attitudes that encourage the perpetrators:

Myth: Rape happens only when a woman is attacked by a stranger.

Fact: The majority of women who are raped are assaulted by someone they know and had trusted. One study found that 84 percent of victims knew their attackers and that 57 percent of the rapes happened on dates. One out of 7 married women will be raped by her own husband. Rapes are violent and emotionally traumatic whether the attacker is a stranger, a spouse, or a date.

Myth: It's rape only if a woman afterward shows evidence of resistance, such as bruises.

Fact: Whether they physically resisted or not, few women show visible evidence, such as bruises or cuts.

Myth: A rape victim bears part of the blame unless she actively resists.

Fact: Rape by definition takes place when force or the threat of force is used to gain sexual penetration, of any kind whatsoever, against a person's will. It is the rapist's use of force against an unwilling victim that makes him a rapist. Thus, a rape victim is not guilty of fornication. Like an incest victim, she may be forced to submit to an act she doesn't want because of the perceived power held over her by another person. When a woman is forced to submit to a rapist out of terror or disorientation, it does not mean that she consents to the act. Consent is based on choice without threat and is active, not passive.

Myth: Rape is an act of passion.

Fact: Rape is an act of violence. Men rape, not solely for sex, but to feel power over another person.

Myth: A woman can tease or lead a man on to the point that he can no longer control his sexual urges.

Fact: Men who rape do not have a stronger sex drive than other men have. Rather, one third of all rapists were unable to complete the sex act. In most cases rapes are planned acts, not spontaneous urges. Both stranger and acquaintance rapists usually set up their victims-the stranger by stalking the victim until she is alone, the acquaintance by arranging a situation where she is isolated.

Myth: Women lie about rape to get revenge on a man or because they feel guilty about having sex.

Fact: False reports of rape occur at the same rate as for any other violent crime: 2 percent. On the other hand, researchers agree that rape is grossly underreported.

Myth: A woman can "ask" to be raped by wearing provocative clothing, drinking alcohol, letting a man pay her way, or going to his home.

Fact: Using bad judgment, being naive or ignorant, does not mean that a woman deserves to be raped. Rapists bear sole responsibility for the rape.

[Footnotes]

"The crime is not about the act of 'sex' but rather the sexual act is the tool that the perpetrator uses to commit a violent crime."-Wanda Keyes-Robinson, division chief, Sexual Offense Unit, Baltimore City, Maryland.

[Emphasis Added]

Awake! 1993 March 8 p.7 How to Prevent Rape

[Box on page 7]

Profile of a Potential Rapist

    · Emotionally abuses you by insulting you, ignoring your views, or getting angry or annoyed when you make a suggestion.

    · Tries to control elements of your life, such as how you dress and who your friends are. Wants to make all the decisions on a date, such as where to eat or what movie to see.

    · Gets jealous for no reason.

    · Talks down about women in general.

    · Gets drunk or "high" and tries to get you to do the same.

    · Pressures you to be alone with him or to have sex.

    · Won't let you share expenses on a date and gets angry if you offer to pay.

    · Is physically violent even in subtle ways, such as grabbing or pushing.

    · Intimidates you by sitting too close, blocking your way, touching when you've said not to, or talking as if he knows you better than he actually does.

    · Can't handle frustration without getting angry.

    · Doesn't view you as an equal.

    · Enjoys weapons and likes being cruel to animals, children, or people he can bully.

From I Never Called It Rape, by Robin Warshaw.

[Emphasis Added]

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