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Silent No More...Who Do You Tell

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Charity411 posted 9/28/2018 12:07 PM

Yesterday's testimony triggered me in a big way. In the 1980s I worked for Smith Barney in NYC. I was in my 20s. I had moved to NY and gave myself 2 weeks to find a job, and if not I'd go back home.

Right from the start I knew I was facing a whole new world. When Human Resources sent me up to the trading floor to interview with the boss, the guys on the trading desk were holding up score cards about my body.

I got the job. One of the first days I was sitting at a typewriter working and I felt hands running down my neck and down my shirt. It was my boss. Several weeks later he pinned me against the wall in an empty elevator and molested me.

Not long after that he pulled me down onto his lap at the trading desk and in front of the whole trading floor told me I would make Asst. Vice President if I fucked him.

I didn't report him. Instead I found another job. I knew if I reported him I'd be blackballed on Wall Street, because his brother was on the Board at Smith Barney. When I told the three salesmen I assisted that I was leaving they tried to get me to stay, but they all knew why I couldn't.

After watching yesterdays hearing, all the guilt of not reporting it came back to haunt me. I pretty much didn't sleep last night. But after thinking about it, why should I harbor all that guilt alone. The three guys I worked with all knew what this guy was doing to me, and had seen it over and over again with other women. And not one of them ever reported it either.

WhatsRight posted 9/28/2018 12:49 PM

I think it is very much ironic that it is so understandable why people do not report things like this...

However, sadly, in my opinion the only way for this to really stop would be for it not to be so “acceptable” and “unreported”.

If anytime a group of people knew that a boss or someone was behaving that way, they would turn him in and screw him over as far as his employment goes, then it would be less prevalent.

I certainly understand why people don’t report it. But I believe that if society in general would be less permissive about those types of intrusions – to say the least – that the perpetrators would not be so certain that they can get away with it.

When I notice changes in society, instead of being completely focused on and fearful of whoever may seem to be a leader for bad behaviors – I tend to worry more about the people who are the followers – who accept the bad behavior.

Because even when someone who is a ring leader of bad behavior is gone… those people that followed are still there looking for the next deviant leader.

MrsWalloped posted 9/28/2018 12:52 PM

even if that POS gets the job.

This isn’t going to be a popular opinion, but here goes anyway.

I don’t think this is fair. And I think we do all women a disservice if we automatically say that just because someone accuses someone, they are guilty without any proof or witnesses or corroboration. Many times that’s what actually happens and it happened to me that way too. But as a society, we don’t just accuse people and then they are guilty. We don’t work that way.

My heart goes out to her. I cried for her. I believe her. And yet I believe him too. I believe she was assualted. Maybe I’m wrong but I also believe it was someone else and not him. I want justice for her, for all of us. But making him the scapegoat for that isn’t the answer. And sometimes there is no justice. She’s so brave for coming forward. But I also know that just because someone says that somebody did something doesn’t mean they’re actually guilty of it. We can’t just say that because someone accused someone they’re automatically guilty.

I’m not a political person and this isn’t a political post. This is about laws. If she misremembered the dates and people and if it wasn’t him, then yes, he’s a victim too and it’s unfair to him.

I pray for her and and I pray for him. Most of all I pray for all of us who’ve gone through this but didn’t have a voice and weren’t able to come forward.

Jeaniegirl posted 9/28/2018 13:10 PM

The good old boys in any situation usually outnumber victims and win. Victims are penalized over and over and over again. That is reality. One has to wonder if the good old boys care about their wives, daughters and granddaughters. I think not.

[This message edited by Jeaniegirl at 1:10 PM, September 28th (Friday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 9/28/2018 13:15 PM

Another normal, regular, forgettable and unexceptional night for EVERYONE else because they did not experience a trauma. A night that traumatized a girl for life, she remembers. It is typical that some details will be vague for a victim. But, the essential detail will not ever be forgotten. She will never forget who assaulted her. She knew who he was before it happened, she knows exactly who attacked her. I believe her.

ETA: the word "forgettable"

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 2:32 PM, September 28th (Friday)]

Newlease posted 9/28/2018 13:22 PM

But as a society, we don’t just accuse people and then they are guilty. We don’t work that way.

So slow things down and have a full investigation by law enforcement. They may still not be able to determine the facts of what happened, but what is the harm in doing the investigation? I would think an innocent person would welcome a thorough investigation.

Personally I didn't believe he was innocent. He was belligerent and condescending. He reminds me of other wealthy, powerful, entitled people I know. And that has zero to do with politics.


ZenMumWalking posted 9/28/2018 13:45 PM

Aaaaaaand another self-entitled abuser asshole gets away with it again.

MrsWalloped, victims don't get therapy and name their abuser years before this situation comes up because it didn't happen. It did happen, and it happened with the abuser that she named. She KNEW him, it's not like it happened with a stranger. Why is that so difficult for you to believe?

Why would she name him as her abuser if he was not? She has a lot to lose and nothing to gain. And this is not the first time she named him, she had named him years before.

Sadly, this is exactly one of the reasons that makes reporting so difficult. Being doubted, even though WE know what happened to us when we were being violated. It sounds like you have not had a similar experience. That is a good thing. At the same time, it seems that would contribute to what seems to me as a lack of understanding. And if you did have a similar experience, and it was perpetrated by someone you know, you know that you weren't making it up or mistaken about it.

Why should the abuser remember things differently, or not remember at all? Because it is so normal for them that it doesn't make any meaningful impression. And let's not forget that there are important reasons for the abuser to lie.

We remember trauma with a different part of our brain than other things, like what we ate for breakfast last Tuesday. It gets fixed in a special place in our mind and does not go away. Similar to the trauma that brought us to this web site in the first place - we might be able to move past it, but that is not the same as forgetting.

I am shaking as I type this. I was in tears watching. Nothing. Has. Changed.

MrsWalloped posted 9/28/2018 14:00 PM


You’re getting into the politics of this and I am not going there.

My point was that we need to be careful not to automatically presume someone is guilty just because someone says so. They might be guilty. Or they may not. And it’s not fair that creeps and abusers can get away with it because we live in a country that has laws that we follow. All 3 of my DD’s have been assaulted at some point. I’ve been assaulted. And I still wouldn’t trade this country’s laws for one where instead I can accuse anyone of anything and they’re automatically guilty just because I said so.

My BH is a good man. He has integrity and a strict moral code. He’s lived his life with honor and respect for all. In Yiddish he’s what’s known as a mentsch. Throughout his career he’s had many women working for him and with him. Some were lower level and some were senior executives. If an employee unjustly accused my husband of sexual assault, then belligerent and angry wouldn’t even come close to describing how he’d respond. He be outraged and livid. His sense of self and personal integrity is not just being challenged, but he’d be accused of being the lowest kind of worm possible, just above child predators. He’d be furious and he’d defend himself vigorously and aggressively and I would cheer him on and support him every step of the way.

stubbornft posted 9/28/2018 14:10 PM

Mrs. Walloped you think it was not him even though she said she was 100% certain it was him?

marji posted 9/28/2018 14:11 PM

Mrs. Walloped Rape and attempted rape is about the only crime where anyone suggests a witness in addition to the victim.

I call police to say my purse has been stolen. They do not ask for an additional witness. I am the witness.

If I call to say my purse has been stolen they do not ask for further evidence.

There is normally no video of the rape and most often no additional witnesses. I was raped in my own apartment at knife point. Just me and the rapist were the only witnesses to the rape. My dog was there; he did not speak. I did not make a recording.

I was raped more than 30 years ago. I do not remember the date; I do not remember the month. I do know the approximate year and I know the address because it was in my own home.

I was raped another time. Many years ago. I do not remember the date but it was in the warmer months since I was able to get out of the place and it wasn't freezing cold. I do not remember the address.

The guy in this situation was not facing prison. He was not on trial. There are such procedures. This is about a job interview.

I doubt that someone about whom there is such a cloud would be hired for the type of job this guy wants.

You say this is about laws but this whole matter is not about laws. This is about an appointment for a position established by the U.S. Constitution. This man isn't facing prison. He isn't currently facing any criminal charge at all. Perhaps a thorough investigation by very skilled criminal investigators could establish something beyond what we know or have heard already but that's not what this is about.

What we saw yesterday and still hearing about today is not about the law but a political process. Just so many of us are relating as women who typically have been inhibited from speaking out about abuse.

Women have been taught to be afraid to speak out--we won't be believed; we'll be asked for proof, for evidence, for witnesses beside ourselves. We have not spoken out because we thought it would be more trouble, more harmful than staying quiet and "getting on" with our lives,

I reported one rape. The police were courteous but said realistically they wouldn't be able to find him till one day he got careless and then he'd get caught. I did not report the second one. I thought there might be dire consequences and I might be permanently silenced.

She was really speaking for all of us when she agreed to speak at all.
And you're right. No one is "guilty" "just because" someone says they are. But because someone does remember and because they and maybe only one or two others know the truth doesn't mean the person said to have done a very bad thing didn't.

Getting to the truth in a criminal case can take many weeks of investigation and preparation; a criminal trial can take weeks. The Simpson trial is an example. The Cosby another.

No other witnesses were allowed here because this was not a criminal trial. It was a very bizarre type of interview--the call back interview if you will. And really. Would we want having someone who was accused of such a deed--and others later on--working with us if there were other people around who were very capable but about whom there were no such doubts?

And about his anger, petulance, sarcasm and refusal to answer directly to direct questions--some think those types of reactions are out of place for the type of job he's applied for.

[This message edited by marji at 2:24 PM, September 28th (Friday)]

ZenMumWalking posted 9/28/2018 14:11 PM

My point was that we need to be careful not to automatically presume someone is guilty just because someone says so.

The rate of false reporting of sexual assault is quite low, pretty much for the reasons outlined here.

And when someone DOES report, it's not like the police go out and arrest the person, toss them in prison and throw away the key. There SHOULD be an investigation. Not police who say things like 'it's a family matter' or 'boys will be boys' or 'this good-looking guy wouldn't need to force someone to sleep with him'.

So if someone tells me they were assaulted I believe them. Making up stories like this is just not that common.

marji posted 9/28/2018 14:43 PM

My point was that we need to be careful not to automatically presume someone is guilty just because someone says so.

She didn't "just say so." She spoke at length and has been speaking for a long time now about what happened. I think most of us who heard heard more than someone "just" saying so. There's also the book and memoir by his friend. When asked about that he refused to respond in a simple direct way. So this is not just about a situation of "just because someone says so."

But then rare is that case. People who do speak up give details. The details she gave were hard to listen to. Frightening. The additional details given by other people, not about that event, but about others, also add to the picture. And I doubt that any of us "automatically presume" anything. I think most of us are thoughtful, caring, intelligent people. We've listened and read; we've watched.

There are some people who feel they just can never be sure about other people; that there can always be doubt if they themselves did not witness. I sat on a jury with someone like that many years ago. It was murder trial. There were many witnesses. The victim was a 10 year old girl who had been killed by a bullet coming in her window from a nearby apartment. There were witnesses who knew the accused.

There were 9 or 12 of us on the jury--long time ago and I don't remember the number. We listened to testimony and we were sequested for safety for two days. One of the jury finally admitted that he did not believe he had the right to judge another human being; he said he couldn't be sure the witnesses were telling the truth or knew the truth. He said only God could know the real truth.

Of course he should never have been on a jury panel and when the judge learned of this person's position he called a mistrial.

latebloomer45 posted 9/28/2018 15:13 PM

First, Mrs. Walloped, I think the guy is a POS even if it WASN'T him. And I DO believe her, she told others years ago. And others have come forward and are being ignored. But that's getting very close to breaking guidelines, so I will stop there.

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.

Barcher, I just wanted to say I think you are both right and wrong. I think there are 3 types of sexual abuser.

1. Guy who attacks random women or his employees. Or drugged drinks/planned.

2. Drunk/stoned guy, like my first attacker, who I think probably thinks I consented, or has convinced himself he didn't harm me, either because he drank so much or because he didn't get reported. I did quit fighting once he was actually in me, I was afraid of his hand keeping me from breathing and once he's actually gotten PIV it seemed like the wisest course of action. (from my alligator brain, I won't pretend I was clearly thinking the situation through.)

Those two types might be 5%. I don't know.

3. All of the other stuff, the brushing or patting of the breast or thigh or ass, the subway grab, the dirty talk, the "you'd be prettier if you smiled", the guy who thinks he can tell complete strangers on the street that they are beautiful (or that they are fat, it goes both ways.).....those guys, I put at a solid 25%. Or more. And they are ABSOLUTELY part of the problem. And I will acknowledge that times are changing, the number will decrease as the dinosaurs pass on. But it's not just a few men.

And Barcher, I, too, plan to say "BARCHER SAYS FUCK OFF" to the next guy who gives me any shit whatsoever.

barcher144 posted 9/28/2018 16:00 PM

Barcher, I just wanted to say I think you are both right and wrong. I think there are 3 types of sexual abuser.

1. Guy who attacks random women or his employees. Or drugged drinks/planned.

2. Drunk/stoned guy, like my first attacker...

Those two types might be 5%. I don't know.

3. All of the other stuff, the brushing or patting of the breast or thigh or ass, the subway grab, the dirty talk...

those guys, I put at a solid 25%.

I honestly have no clue what fraction of guys do this. If it is 25%+, then I am even more depressed now than before.

The point of my post is that the guys that do it... almost certainly do it often and repeatedly.

And Barcher, I, too, plan to say "BARCHER SAYS FUCK OFF" to the next guy who gives me any shit whatsoever.

You don't have to invoke my name, but thank you.

p.s. I'll be honest with you all. In looking back at my life, I am disappointed that I have not done more on this issue. I have been aware of a few sexual assaults in my life and I did not report them (mostly because the victims requested that I not).

marji posted 9/28/2018 16:14 PM

The topic of betrayal by a partner/spouse vs. rape has come up on SI before. It's not uncommon for some of us to say we had been raped meaning we would not have been having relations with our partners or spouses if we had known what they were doing in secret; if we had known abut their double life. Having had both experiences all I can say is that they are different; but I cannot help but wonder if some of the male entitlement lies beneath both types.

My H would never have forced himself on anyone but he lied and betrayed for over ten years and twice weekly. I had no idea he was living a double life but surely would not have had lived with him the way we did had I known. How much different in morals, in substance is there? An open question--and who does one tell about this type of violation?

ZenMumWalking posted 9/28/2018 16:25 PM

barcher - I believe it is up to the victim to decide whether to report or not. There is support that you can give in other ways: be there to listen, let her know you believe her, ask what you can do for her, go with her to dr appointments (std tests, pregnancy/abortion, whatever), let her know hotline numbers, suggesting counseling, etc.

I hope that some day society will treat these occurrences like the crimes that they are and treat the victims as respectfully as they deserve to be, without shaming or minimizing the traumatic impact. And treat these crimes like other crimes, where there is no insinuation that the victim was somehow complicit or to blame for the attack.

In the case of DS's rape, the police here have been fantastic. (You can read more about this on my DS rape thread some pages down.) But he has told very few people about it. Me, I told WH for him because he asked me to, 2 ICs, a few friends. He has not even told his brothers. He does not feel like he can go out into the world and say 'this happened to me'. It's not like getting mugged - who has any problem admitting they were mugged??

He chose to report right away and I am so glad that he did. Had he not, I would have still tried to encourage it, but would not have taken the initiative away from him to do that myself. It's a personal decision for each victim.

Candyman66 posted 9/28/2018 18:12 PM

OK I'll probably go to hell on this one but here goes. Look at his testimony FROM YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE!! When was the last time you Lady's have seen this kind of behavior. Some of you saw this on D day did you not? Attack - its all your fault why I had my affair, all red faced and angry,Gaslight - some judicious tears while lying to your face? Am I right/ If not I'll go away and leave this thread but I think you all have very probably seen this before.

I believe her simply because I have seen this many times before. It's called "the good ole boy system" for a reason. I believe her because I could never understand why a respectable woman would sacrifice basically her whole life and her family for any reason other than the truth. She has (surprise) already gotten death threats.

I believe her just because I do.


Candyman66 posted 9/28/2018 18:22 PM

Damn I do the "You look prettier if you smile" thing. I do have a reason though. It has been scientifically proven that even if your attempt to smile is a grotesque caricature of a smile if you leave it on your face for just a few minutes it WILL give you a psychological boost, and usually you will start laughing even if you are in a bad mood when it starts. I also give random compliments.

Hell I always thought that made me a nice guy. When I give a complement it is always a hit and run. meaning I walk up and quietly say what I meant to say then I say have a nice day and walk away. I never harass and am ALWAYS polite.

OH well I guess I'm one of the dinosaurs that are going to die off.

Snapdragon posted 9/28/2018 19:23 PM

This shit has been pervasive in my life ages.

From 5th grade getting my bra strap snapped by the boys and snickering about growing breasts. Yeah, just was a girl going through puberty needs.

The creepy 10th grade teacher "dropping" his pencil by my desk so he could gawk at my legs and try to look up my short cheerleader skirt.

My boyfriend's friends making dirty comments out of his earshot. I said something once and he accused me of "doing something" to lead on his friend. Lesson learned.

Being called a cute nickname by one of my bf's older friends (I was excited to be accepted by a senior!) only to discover it was actually slang for to some sexual act. Dang, that hurt and was humiliating.

My cheater father molesting my older teen sister during one of our first visitations after the divorce (I was 12, she was 16). No more visitations. Dad and OWife moved 1500 miles away. Sister went to counseling. But it was NEVER discussed. To this day it is not discussed.

My mother didn't want me to have a boyfriend. She wanted me to "date around". Well, in my small town, that meant you were a slut! You either had a boyfriend or you didn't. You didn't go to the dances and parties and social stuff with different boys as your date. (this was the late 70s, early 80s)

At 16, my step-father offered to teach me what I needed to know to "please" my boyfriend. I never bothered to tell my mom. They were on the skids anyway and divorce was imminent. I was afraid I would be blamed somehow. He started confiding in my about their marriage and sex life. I wanted to crawl into a hole. He never touched me, though.

Boys pushing and pushing for more despite me removing their hands from various parts of my body, them grabbing my hand and putting it on their erect penis (clothed) and declaring how much I turned them on and just couldn't "leave them like that". The pressure, the guilting, the sense of entitlement. Eventually being called a DT (dick tease). A girl was a slut if she had sex and a DT if she didn't.

At 17, a neighbor that was very much a father figure trying to kiss me. Again, I never told my mother. Again, I feared I would be blamed as leading him on.

At 18, a handsy, frequently drunken boss where I was a waitress. Oh, I was "just so sensitive and he didn't mean anything!" when he would hug me and smell my neck and moan.

Yeah, the teen years were enlightening about men. Why would a man 2, 3, or 4 x my age think that shit was ok? Why would a man in a position of fatherly support even have such thoughts about a teenage girl? It's just so gross.

Being groped on dance floors. Hooted at from cars (does that work?) Getting suggestive comments just walking along the sidewalk downtown. I have never dress suggestively! It's not my style. But, even if I did - not appropriate. I'm sure the same guys would be angry if a guy did that to his sister, mother, aunt, etc.

Assumptions that if I invite you to my house that automatically means there will be sex.

My husband's friends making sexual advancements toward me. I was told I was misinterpreting everything. "He didn't really mean that", and the oh-so-fun "wow, you think awfully highly of yourself!", etc.

Things have been better in the professional world (at least mine). Most men are gentlemen. But, the ones that just couldn't help themselves from leering made me consider my wardrobe in advance before I knew I'd be around them. I used to know to always wear loose pants, flat shoes, a turtle neck, scarf and blazer and my hair up in a bun at certain committee meetings because of ONE cretin. Sad, huh? I should be able to wear a professional dress and heals and leave my long hair down without hungry looks.

I work in a university setting. This topic is being HIGHLY dealt with these days. Policies are being reviewed. Reporting systems are being reviewed and revamped. Education is being ramped up to all levels. I'm grateful for this!! But, let's be honest. Some in positions of power (men and women) take liberties when they know you NEED that job!! Hopefully, our new education and policies will help.

ZenMumWalking posted 9/28/2018 19:24 PM

It has been scientifically proven that even if your attempt to smile is a grotesque caricature of a smile if you leave it on your face for just a few minutes it WILL give you a psychological boost, and usually you will start laughing even if you are in a bad mood when it starts.

This is true, but

I do the "You look prettier if you smile" thing.

I would re-think this for a number of reasons:

1. It is not polite to comment on someone's appearance.

2. Why do you think the person you are saying this to should be motivated to look 'prettier' in your opinion?

3. Do you say this to men as well or only women, that's a red flag to me.

4. Have you even considered why the person might not be smiling? Maybe their spouse just died, or they have a sick child, or they just lost their job, or they are in financial dire straits and their electricity is getting cut off, or ... Who are you to be telling them to smile?

When I give a complement it is always a hit and run. meaning I walk up and quietly say what I meant to say then I say have a nice day and walk away.

Again, is this to both women AND men? And you are doing this to strangers? I wouldn't find this complimentary, I would find it creepy.

You don't have to be a 'dinosaur'. The fact that you're here posting about it shows that you are willing to listen.

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