Is it a sin if I was raped?

Rape is far different from giving yourself to another. Rape falls into another category altogether and requires much healing to become whole again.

Dear REAP Team,

Is it a sin if you were raped? I have been told that it is because you had a chance to protect yourself so it is your own fault, but then I was told that it isn’t a sin because it wasn’t your choice. And if you were raped, do you lose your virginity?

Sincerely,
Totally Confused and Wondering

Dear Totally Confused and Wondering,

When someone is raped, by definition, this means they have not given consent to have sex. If consent is not given, then the individual is not at fault—the perpetrator (rapist) is choosing to act without permission from the other. It is true that sometimes individuals can put themselves in situations where they are tempting to members of the opposite sex, however, when “no” is said, or permission is not given or communicated—no matter what the victim is wearing or any external circumstances—it is rape. Rape is sinful to those choosing to commit it, not to the victim.

Also, it must be made clear that virginity has to be given; it can’t be taken away from someone. Therefore, in instances of rape, one has not lost their virginity. In the eyes of God, they are as pure as they were before the rape. As Mary Beth Bonacci clearly states, “Rape cannot be equated with (consentual) sex any more than breaking and entering can be equated with hospitality.” Rape is a violent crime and causes a great deal of destruction. Because of this, it is imperative that anyone who has been raped seeks help immediately—from parents, a priest, a Christian therapist—someone with spiritual wisdom. Without counseling, victims sometimes become either sexually promiscuous or sexually repressed. If sex truly is as valued, cherished and beautiful as chastity describes, then the violation seems much more profound. Becoming more promiscuous gives the victim the illusion that “sex isn’t that big of a deal.” Also, without healing, a rape from the past can cause a great deal of harm in marital bonding and future relationships. If you know someone who has been raped, please encourage them to receive counseling right away. If you need help finding a good, Christian counselor for such a person, let us know.

For more information on healing from sexual abuse, go to this excellent website - Desert Stream