So often the horror of rape is reduced to the physical act. The moments when one is being physically violated are presented as the trauma, and once that is over, the victim is expected to heal as though this were any other wound that merely needs time to scar over. But this misconception doesn't allow room for the multitudes of ways sexual assault harms victims - from the legal loopholes that revictimize survivors to the confusion surrounding terms of consent to the psychological trauma that may never quite disappear.

This is what almost every television show gets wrong about rape. And this is what Jessica Jones gets exactly right.

The series picks up a year after Jessica (Krysten Ritter) escaped the mind-controlling sociopath Kilgrave. As played by David Tennant, Kilgrave is a handsome, well-dressed and extremely charismatic man. He's not the kind of person who would "need to rape," as apologists are apt to say. And though Kilgrave often uses his powers for personal gain, his favored specialty is violence against women.

Without showing a single rape onscreen, showrunner Melissa Rosenberg captures the atrocity of Kilgrave's actions with a single word: smile. Each time Kilgrave orders Jessica to smile, the threat feels chillingly familiar. It's something every woman has experienced in her life walking down the street. And though cat-calling rarely escalates to a physical or sexual assault, there is always the acute awareness that it could and that you might not be strong to stop it. These are the very real fears Kilgrave taps into. He is the embodiment of misogyny, both casual and determined, and he doesn't even know it.

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When confronted by Jessica about raping her, Kilgrave complains, "I never know if someone is doing what they want or what I tell them to do." He is full of excuses for Jessica's supposed misconception about the nature of their relationship, ducking responsibility at every turn. Yet the one thing he never considers is simply stepping back and listening to what she has to say. Instead, he steamrolls over Jessica's version of events, insisting that she enjoyed her time under his control because he took her to fancy hotels and nice restaurants.

The fact that Kilgrave is seemingly unclear about whether Jessica did or didn't consent doesn't make him any more sympathetic. It makes him more terrifying, because the notion of a man abusing women without full comprehension of his actions is not fantastical. It's bleakly real. And while Kilgrave may not grasp the nature of consent, the show makes it excruciatingly clear that none of Kilgrave's victims consented to what he made them do and what he did to them. Despite this, many of his victims struggle with guilt over having their agency unwillingly taken away - none more so than Jessica.

The trauma Jessica endured from Kilgrave goes far beyond rape. As she explains, he "violated every cell in my body and every thought in my goddamn head," even making her kill for him. Though most survivors aren't struggling with the weight of murder, how Jessica flagellates herself over what happened is powerfully resonant. She isolates herself from everyone, convinced that she is hopelessly broken and only burdens those around her. And that - the shame, the self-loathing, the self-doubt - is often the trauma hardest for survivors to overcome. It can haunt you for years and return long after you thought you had finally moved past the assault. It's why one of Kilgrave's most abhorrent actions was taking the one thing that tethered Jessica when her PTSD began to spiral - the streets where she grew up - and desecrated even that.

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This guilt is a large reason many survivors don't come forward with their stories, but it's not the only one. The show also highlights the need for the police, the legal system and other members of society to believe and support victims, rather than blame them. Because sadly, the fact that Hope (Erin Moriarty) is the one who winds up in jail after being raped and abused by Kilgrave rings true. Every year, victims are arrested after reporting their own rape. Women are repeatedly written off as "crazy" and unreliable narrators of their own story, particularly when their rapists are wealthy, attractive white men, such as Kilgrave.

That's why the small, but crucial decision to have Jessica fight not for vengeance against Kilgrave, but to force the world to believe his victims is so important. The tendency to blame victims for their own assaults is why so few rapes go unreported (68 percent) and unprosecuted. And even if they do make it to court, they rarely result in any jail time (2 percent), creating a cycle that revictimizes rape survivors and shelters the attackers. This sad truth is what eventually drives Jessica to realize there is no possibility for justice within the established legal system, and why she is ultimately forced to resort to more guerilla tactics.

In the end, Jessica does defeat Kilgrave, snapping his neck and preventing him from ever abusing someone again. However, Jessica Jones does not present this as a happy ending. All the issues that plagued Jessica throughout the season do not magically go away after killing Kilgrave. The world still does not believe his victims, despite the mounting number of those who've come forward. Kilgrave's death has not erased Jessica's PTSD, nor has it helped her recognize her own self-worth, a feat that is now probably made harder by the rising body count for which she blames herself.

So no, Jessica didn't save the world or save the city. She only stopped one sadistic man from inflicting any more damage. And while that may not be enough for Jessica, it means everything to the countless survivors who find inspiration in watching how a woman who survived unspeakable trauma managed to persevere.