During The Attack

Most people when asked what they would do if someone tried to rape them would probably say that they would fight and then run away. It has been proved that this rarely happens. Of course everyone is different, but most common reaction is to freeze and not be able to do anything. The freeze reaction, strongly linked to survival, happens for a number of reasons:

Shock and Disbelief

Nobody expects to be raped. When it happens, most peoples’ reaction is “This can’t be happening to me”.


Whilst most people are in no doubt at the time of assault, that they are in real danger of being mutilated or killed, this may be difficult for someone hearing about the attack afterwards, to understand. Sometimes the attacker makes verbal threats, but often he does not need to. His intentions are perfectly clear and a victim feels the best way to survive is to comply. This is NOT consent, but survival under extreme circumstances.


During an assault most people experience feelings of total powerlessness, a feeling of helplessness, that there is nothing you can do about the situation – you felt trapped and your attacker was in complete control. It is obvious, when taking these factors into account that, for most people, not to fight back is the best option at the time. If you do not fight you are most likely to survive, this is NOT consent