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Silent No More...Who Do You Tell

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thebighurt posted 9/27/2018 11:24 AM

It has taken me several days to read through this total thread. At first I told myself how horrible it was that Sister, Jeaniegirl, ZMW had faced all these assaults, and also told myself, as WR did, "I'm so glad I never had any of these experiences of being assaulted... touched... raped! because there was never a physical sexual assault".

As I continued reading and found that posters considered other things that happened to them to be a form of the same assaults, memories stirred... such as several times in 7th grade that the male student sitting behind me in the back corner of the classroom used to reach out and pull on my bra straps or back to snap it and laugh quietly. I was angry and upset, but usually the person who disrupted the class by saying something was the person who got in trouble, no matter the situation, so I stayed silent. I believe the boy who sat across from him and witnessed it spoke to him outside the class, because I had noticed him looking on when I looked back at the perpetrator to tell him to stop, because it stopped soon after.

That student is now an older man with a public record of many kinds of crimes, including sex crimes (and has children with a number of women, some of whom were victims, some wives, according to his first ex-wife, who was pregnant with their only child when they M - that didn't last long and she is now disgusted and embarrassed that she ever had anything to do with him). So, as some said here, these "pranksters" sometimes continue until they are convicted sex criminals. He comes from a good family and has a brother who is a respected professional in the area, so it isn't always that they come from "that kind" of a home.

Once, when xpos and I went to a party at a bar, an ugly, reprehensible little man who knew HIM asked me to dance. I said, "No, thank you." xpos told me I was being rude and to go dance with him. Well, he forced a kiss on me while we were out there, but he was holding me so close I could not get away like I was trying to do. When I got back to xpos, he was laughing. I told him I couldn't stand that little creep and what happened, he laughed harder, saying he had seen it.

Then to the hardest one to think about brought up by this thread: Two teenage boys who were well known to my family came to the house and asked to see something on our property. My brother near their age was not at home, so my mother asked me to show them. As soon as we got past a hedgerow and stone wall, out of sight of the house, each of them grabbed a wrist and forced me to the ground. I started kicking and yelling at them to stop. They told me that is was ok, that they just wanted to f*** me. That frightened me more and I said NO and kicked and twisted my wrists to get free of their grip. They let go and I ran home, straight to my room and onto my bed, crying - never telling anyone about this until just now.

I am far from a violent person, but found solace and hope for women in the posters who either fought back and defended themselves or vowed to do so if they she ever found herself in such a situation in the future. I felt so strongly about someone around the time of the events that brought me here that, when I was told he would like to give me a hug, I told a good friend that, if he did try that, I would knee him in the crotch. She urged me not to do that, that she didn't want me to be arrested because she believed he would press charges if he did that. Fortunately, he didn't come near me.

Along the same vein of the last paragraph, I would like to suggest a YouTube you can watch - one that brought me great joy and HOPE for the future of our young women. If you google "waitress body slams groper" you will see it - but if you watch one that will likely also come up with "the kind of story we need right now" with Seth Meyers, you will see the background - and result. That is the best part and a lot of what makes me hopeful about the future and people doing the right thing.

Thank you for starting this, SMS, and I am so sorry you experienced the things that made you feel the need, as well as to all the others who posted here, including men. I hope all found some relief, solace and healing in putting it here.

waitedwaytoolong posted 9/27/2018 17:53 PM

As a human, and as a father of girls, I find these stories horrific. For everyone that gets talked about, 99 get seared into a woman brain in the dark and changes them forever.

Hopefully at some point it will come to an end.

Lionne posted 9/27/2018 18:12 PM

I haven't been back to the thread, I know I will be massively upset by the stories. But please, my dear sisters and brothers, know I'm so sorry these things have happened to you. And proud of your courage.

I did experience a small incident. I've NEVER spoken it out loud to anyone before last night, I told my sister. It was just a horrible remark said in passing while I was bent over a table talking to a colleague. Btw, I was 6 months pregnant, when the pig of a principal walked behind me and said, "what a view!" Small thing, right? Especially in light of stories I'm hearing.

But my reaction was the same as many. Shame, humiliation, embarrassment. For what? For having that SAID to me. What do I have to be ashamed of?!


And a friend just told me her daughter is being cat called in seventh grade. The school told her it was just boys being boys.

I'd have muzzled my boys if they did anything like that.


Phoenix1 posted 9/27/2018 19:02 PM

I wasn't sure if I was going to respond or not. Mainly because I just really don't think about the past. It hasn't really impacted me aside from the immediate aftermath, and I just think of it as just another chapter of my past. But here goes nothing. *sigh*

When I was around 6-7 years old my brothers and I went to a babysitter's house after school until my mother got off work. So a few hours in the afternoons. The babysitter was an older woman who had a teenage son at home, a son in college, and an adult daughter already married and out of the house.

The older son, Bill, was home from college at one point. The mother had asked me to go down to her basement to get something. That's where the boys' bedrooms were, as well as a bathroom, among a general rec room and storage. As I was looking for whatever it was I was to retrieve, Bill called my name. He was in the bathroom with the door open. Naive little me responded to his call. He was sitting on the toilet masturbating. With his erection at full staff he tried to get me to "just touch it, it won't hurt you." I didn't know what to think, but even at that age I knew this was wrong. I turned around and went back upstairs. Never said a word about it.

Around that same age, my older brothers and I would regularly pitch tents in our backyard during summer months and sleep outside. On one of those occasions one of their male friends was with us. Not an unusual occurrence.

At one point my brothers left the tent (for whatever reason, don't remember). Their friend, Russell, and I were alone. He exposed himself, masturbated to an erection and tried to convince me to let him "put it inside" me, and using the ultra cheesy phrases, "Come on, it's just like putting a car in a garage or a hot dog in a bun." Yes, I still remember those words very clearly.

Now even at 6-7 I knew this was wrong. I didn't even know what sex was at that age, but I knew what he was trying to coerce me into doing was wrong. I came up with some excuse not to sleep in the tent that night and went inside. Never told anyone, but I made sure I was never alone with Russell ever again.

Then we moved to a different state a year or so later. I was simply relieved to be away from "them." In my mind, it was over and done with and I would never see those perverts again.

Fast forward to 18 yrs old. I was going to college and living in an apartment with a roommate. My roommate was at work one afternoon and I was there alone. We were on the second floor of the complex and lived next door to three young Navy pilots (it was near a Naval base).

As I sat there doing whatever it was I was doing, the lights suddenly went out. Me being me, ever the practical person, I figured a breaker must have tripped. The electric panel was in the back of the building. I went downstairs and was just entering the breezeway between two buildings and saw a man walking toward me. It's an apartment complex and people walk around all the time. No alarm bells. We continued to walk toward each other and, once he was directly in front of me, he grabbed both my breasts very, very hard. It took me by such surprise I screamed, which echoed in the breezeway. He let go and ran off. I was shaking like a leaf.

I went back upstairs in a daze, not quite sure what had just happened. Instead of going to my apartment I went to the Navy boys' apartment (they had become friends). Two of the three of them were home. One saw the look on my face and asked what was wrong as he quickly ushered me inside. I told him and the second pilot ran out to look for the guy. A short time later the third pilot roommate got home and he took off looking for the perp. They scoured the very large complex while the third pilot stayed with me trying to get me calmed down.

They never found him and it was reported to the apartment management who proceeded to step up security. A short time later they discovered that an individual was breaking into vacant apartment units to sleep/live, and they assumed it was this guy who was never caught.

This was back in the day for PTSD was a real thing so what followed made no sense to me. However, any time I was at a grocery store, walking in an aisle, and a single male was walking toward me, my panic mode would be triggered. Anxiety, shaking, fear. It was almost crippling. I would have to quickly turn around and get away from the "lone male." I now know it was PTSD. I thought I was just nuts at the time. I knew it was related to the incident, but not exactly how it connected. I decided that I needed to confront my fears and, over the course of a couple of years the PTSD went away and I could once again walk stress free through grocery stores.

I told my parents about the apartment incident shortly after it happened. My father's response? "Well, at least it wasn't any worse than it was and I am somewhat glad you experienced it so you know there are bad people in the world that you need to watch out for. It was a good life lesson!"
Gee, thanks dad.

None of these incidents affect me today, which is good. Nothing triggers me. But I did talk to my own daughters as they grew up about speaking up if anything ever happened to them. I finally told my dad about the early incidents not too long ago. He said if I had told him back then he probably would have killed both boys so it was a good thing we moved away. I've never had a good relationship with my dad so going to him over the years was just not anything I would have done. He knew nothing of my personal life as I grew up, and knows very little even now (he's in his 80s).

For better or worse, that's my experience with inappropriate behavior in my youth. I will say that I DO remember every detail of every incident, and we are talking almost a half century ago for the early ones.

I will add that the very first time a boy tried to kiss me (Junior High School), I punched him in the face in an instantaneous response. We were both shocked, and the BF/GF gig died on the vine that moment.

[This message edited by Phoenix1 at 7:09 PM, September 27th (Thursday)]

marji posted 9/27/2018 19:36 PM

Sister M You were triggered to create this thread. Thank you. I just watched what triggered you--I cried through her testimony. She told; she knew who to tell; she was telling the whole world. I was thinking how brave she was. And how now, hopefully, things were changing and girls, young women, old women would no longer be afraid or ashamed, embarrassed, concerned about offending, feeling hopeless or helpless in face of abuse.

Cephastion posted 9/27/2018 19:36 PM

One word...SCREAM.

Revisiting this tonight, I wanted to share that in my opinion, one of the very best thing to do short of physical self-defense when someone is crossing lines and boundaries is to cross theirs in turn.

As I understand it, rapists and molesters are pulling power plays and/or often subtle manipulation tactics like any predator might to a seemingly weaker "prey" for them to get their jollies off on having "Mastered" or conned into doing their bidding and getting their way.

But screaming typically SHATTERS all of that secrecy and alienation and hiddenness of the thing that they are doing or trying to pull off.

It not only very likely summons more help and awareness to the situation, but the simple SHOCK and effect of a woman screaming "bloody murder" could also very possibly or likely change the mood and mindset from one of sensuality/arousal on the part of the predator to one of fear of discovery and/or self-preservation or shame.

It breaks the spell and subtlety of the thing and removes all doubt that there is a clear violation and crime in progress.

Some of us Texans (of which I am one, by the way) cannot IMAGINE the thought of not coming to the aid of such a dire distress call and helping the victim of such a horrible atrocity as that...probably to the great permanent detriment of the offender in question.

Alternatively, hit the F**ker in the throat or gig him in his lusty freaking eyeballs to give him something ELSE to "think" about!

As for the supposedly milder or less clear violations of space and respect like some of the more recent posts that were voiced, just a very blunt and undeniably obvious "NO!" or something like it would be very much in order to make boundaries and the supposedly "soft" or "accidental" violation of those boundaries understood without excuse or any further "confusion" on the matter by the perpetrator or those around who might serve as witnesses to the matter.

Of course, I guess I'm thinking mostly all about prevention or immediate in-process responses here and not about what to do after the horror has already occurred...

It almost seems like telling someone with an actual real track record of actually and truly CARING for the honor and safety of other souls is a good place to go with sharing such details. And it seems like women lawyers have a good idea of how to not minimize the crime of sexual assault, too.

[This message edited by Cephastion at 7:46 PM, September 27th (Thursday)]

ZenMumWalking posted 9/27/2018 19:46 PM

One word...SCREAM

Would that it were that simple.

For my first rape, I was face down with him on top of me, I could barely breathe much less scream. Plus we were in an apartment, not sure whethere anyone would have heard anyway or if so whether they would have come or called for help.

In the second rape, I was even more blind-sided. I was in an isolated area at work. I was punched in the face. While trying to figure out what was going on I had a penis shoved in my mouth and then after my attempt at self-defense my nose was pinched. During the other part of this attack, I was being choked/strangled. And after it was all over I was ashamed and humiliated and just wanted to get out of there and forget everything.

In some cases, it can be very dangerous to scream. Sometimes it is better to submit - the alternative might be murder. The victim should not be criticized for not having screamed.

I agree that screaming can be a form of defense. But it is not a panacea.

Cephastion posted 9/27/2018 20:15 PM

In some cases, it can be very dangerous to scream. Sometimes it is better to submit - the alternative might be murder. The victim should not be criticized for not having screamed.

Let me assure you all that no criticism in any way is intended whatsoever on MY part towards ANY WOMAN who is in such a horrific experience as this.

I only wish to explain that I think that sometimes the fear of possible discovery or confrontation or just the shrill cry of a high pitched scream can change the "mood" all on its own in some situations whether anyone's around to actually hear it and help or not.

My own wife kinda froze up and then succumbed/submitted out of fear having the same "lesser of two outcomes/evils" mentality when she was very suddenly caught off guard by a date-rapist POS.

I wish that the whole WORLD would effectively scream "bloody murder" at the thought of dismissing, excusing, or minimizing such horrors.

The IDEA...that somehow a girl or lady not being dressed a certain way...should in ANY WAY excuse RAPE...

Should we then say that because the baby infant had no diaper on so THAT's why the poor thing got violated?

I guess maybe I should get murdered because I looked like I was an easy kill, instead of looking like I just got out of prison or wasn't wearing a police uniform or somesuch!

Do the movie theater screens have to be replaced everytime an actress is shown without clothes on or acts in a seductive/sensual way because very often the male moviegoers can't help but hump the screens and all the ladies that happen to also be in attendance at the time??

Do museums have a problem with their paintings getting holes in them or being ripped off of the walls and abused because the subjects in them happened to be nude?

I don't even hear about it being particularly common with actual live STRIPPERS and the like--although admittedly I'm not that tuned in to all of the dark realities of that particular world, so correct me if I'm wrong there, but in any case, there simply IS NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE AND RAPE or violating the sanctity of a lady and her femininity against her will.

I should say the same thing about violating boys as well, actually.

But there again, you don't ever have someone saying to the young lad that he "shouldn't have been running around in such provocative attire or smiling" at his would-be molester, now do you?

[This message edited by Cephastion at 8:23 PM, September 27th (Thursday)]

Butforthegrace posted 9/27/2018 20:40 PM

To the women on this thread, there are decent men out there, even decent men in their 20's. When I was in college, it happened 3 times that I was with a woman, partying, drinking, exchanging kisses and such, hopeful of getting laid. But by the end of the night it was clear she was highly intoxicated, to the point where I couldn't know if I was getting a "yes". In each case, I put her in one of my oversized t-shirts, put her in my bed, and slept on either the floor or the couch depending on my living circumstances at the time.

I had friends tell me I was "stupid" or "a chump" for doing this, but I know it was the right thing to do.

And I think it goes without saying but I never, ever, jammed my fingers/nose/pencil/etc. into private parts of a girl or woman as described, nor stalked anybody, nor forced myself on anybody. It's just not in me to do that. I think there are other men like me.

ZenMumWalking posted 9/27/2018 20:45 PM

I think there are other men like me.

Of course there are, no one is saying that there are not.

Sadly though, there is such a pervasive culture of disbelief and lack of followup for sexual assaults to the point that many victims never tell anyone. And all you need to do is turn on the television (or read this thread) to see why.

WhatsRight posted 9/27/2018 23:32 PM

Wow Phoenix...

It's so amazing the things that something else can trigger a memory about.

After reading your most recent post, a memory popped into my mind that has not surfaced for probably 30 years.

I was at college in the early 70s. I was BEYOND naïve and innocent.

When I was a freshman or a sophomore at a very small Christian college in an extremely small town, I was walking from the campus the 3 to 4 blocks to the post office downtown.

A car drove past me and a man leaned over toward the passenger side and asked me if I knew where a certain street was. Of course I knew because the town was so very small. I told him exactly how to get there, then turned around and continued walking. He passed me by, then turned the car around to speak with me again. He said he just wasn't sure he understood my directions… Or something along those lines.

It was only then that I noticed that his pants were unzipped and he was masturbating - but obviously not effectively, because he had no erection. This was literally the first time I had ever seen a man's penis. When I saw that, I just turned and begin to walk back toward the campus where I felt I would be safer. Because I begin to walk in the opposite direction that he was driving, he had to drive down the road and turn his vehicle around… Which he did. I hid behind some bushes as he drove past, and I ran like hell back to the campus.

I ran into a male friend – he was a very kind and compassionate guy that I knew pretty well. He could tell by the look of horror In my eyes that something was very wrong. He repeatedly asked me, "what's wrong? What happened?" I couldn't respond. I just stayed close to him.

So, this happened before noon, because it was a Saturday and the post office in that small town is closed at noon. And from that time until the time when I had to be back in my dorm at 11 o'clock, I stayed with him. I followed him wherever he went all day long, and he welcomed my company, and although he never pressed me for what happened, he comforted and protected me all day.

I guess I have never considered that experience as sexual abuse, since the man never touched me. But now I can remember vividly the fear and horror that I felt.

But more importantly, although I have not thought of it in a very long time, I will NEVER forget the love and kindness my friend showed me by excepting my silence and my presence with him that day.

DragnHeart posted 9/28/2018 04:22 AM

Was it back on the Oprah show that a woman said when a guy tried to rape her she peed on him. Stopped him in his tracks.

I look back now at the rape I endured and think, yep I could have peed on him. Better yet I could have throat punched him.

sewardak posted 9/28/2018 05:22 AM

and I froze. also a very common thing to do when being raped.
and Im tired of explaining why i didn't scream.

Butforthegrace posted 9/28/2018 07:13 AM

Sadly though, there is such a pervasive culture of disbelief and lack of followup for sexual assaults to the point that many victims never tell anyone.

Yes, I'm aware of this, and it's so sad.

barcher144 posted 9/28/2018 07:23 AM

and I froze. also a very common thing to do when being raped.

I am not a psychologist, but I probably should be after all of the therapy that I have done over the last two years.

If I recall correctly, this is exceptionally common in sexual assault cases. There is literally something that the brain does to shut down and protect itself from the trauma.

This came up in the story that I described above at the University of Minnesota (i.e., the gang rape). Apparently, she asked the guys to stop when the second/third/fourth guys joined in (she doesn't remember very well because of the obvious trauma that was going on)... but she was basically non-responsive as the fifth+ guys joined in.

and Im tired of explaining why i didn't scream.

Please do me a favor and tell anyone and everyone to go fuck themselves if they ask for you to explain in the future (for my benefit, if nothing else). You are the victim... you don't have to explain your actions at all.

sewardak posted 9/28/2018 07:27 AM

I will do that Barcher, i will!

barcher144 posted 9/28/2018 07:29 AM

I think there are other men like me.

I am one.

I'd like to think, in fact, that there are a lot of men like us.

The problem (and perhaps I am naive that it is this small) is that a small fraction of men can do a lot of damage to a lot of women very easily.

Let's say that only 5% of men act like this. Well, do you think that they commit sexual assault 20 times each? I think that's reasonable... or close to it.

Anyway, do the math... if 1 in 20 men commit 20 sexual assaults each... about every woman is sexually assaulted, sooner or later.

silverhopes posted 9/28/2018 09:31 AM

Woke up feeling sick and angry. This is one more thing that angers me today:

How, when a survivor is brave enough to talk about what happened, folks will urge the survivor to "be careful" about who s/he tells, because it could have bad consequences for the abuser and could ruin the abuser's life.

I hate people.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 9:32 AM, September 28th (Friday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 9/28/2018 11:08 AM

((((slverhopes)))) I have been sick and in tears for most of yesterday. The abuser being portrayed as victim is grotesque and I can't abide.

latebloomer45 posted 9/28/2018 12:00 PM

Sister, I've been praying for you and for me all day. That we find a way to get through this, to work for a better world, even if that POS gets the job.

(((SMS and all of us)))

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