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Silent No More...Who Do You Tell

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Candyman66 posted 9/29/2018 12:10 PM

Lady's I have copied and pasted this post from the BM thread. I hope I havent broken any rules but since it is my own post I hope not. I think it belongs on both posts. If I get into trouble over it ok I will take it because about this I cannot be silent.

The really sad part is for all the sexual destruction this causes for the women in these cases for the men it REALLY isn't about the sex at all. It is about the ability to misuse what ever power they have. This is all about POWER and who has it and who doesn't.
To destroy someone else's life to just show what kind of power they think they have. That just sick and these men should be confined to a F'ing mental institution!!! Or jail, jail will work I think but then I would be putting my values as a man instead of listening to what the wounded women think.

Lady's I am so sorry that there are so many sick men in positions of power (no matter how little) and Yes I will listen to what you need and I WILL be a warrior on YOUR side of this fight!! And fight it will be. Why? Because WE (I almost said you but then that it INCLUDES ME) and every other male that is alive and breathing. WE are all in this fight either on the side of womanhood (however that is described) or on the side of hate and oppression.

The fight is on, there are NO SIDELINES, If you are alive YOU are in this fight just make sure you can live with the side you chose.

JMO and I'm really sorry for whoever doesn't chose the side of the Lady's because that would mean that YOU would be OK with it if you saw it being done to YOUR Mom!

barcher144 posted 9/29/2018 12:25 PM

Well implicit here is that she doesn't look nice the other days.

I disagree... meaning, there is nothing implicitly stated about the other days.

I would say this on days when she is intentionally trying to look nice. Ergo, it is meant to be validating.

And, I would never imply anything sexual. I probably wouldn't say it if the outfit was sexy rather than professional (e.g., for example, if she was showing a lot of cleavage).

Also, using your logic, it'd be okay for me to say something like "You look terrible today!" because that would imply that she looks good on other days?

But that aside, why not just say 'that's a nice suit' instead, rather than commenting more specifically on how she looks in it? Here, you might also be complimenting her taste, showing a value beyond personal appearance.

Well, personally, I don't find it to be a compliment when some says something to me like "I like your shirt." I mean, they compliment the shirt as far as I am concerned.

I have literally had this argument with my STBXW, who never compliments me. She will say something like "I like your shirt" but that does not feel validating to me.

I'm pointing out that complimenting a woman based on her appearance reinforces the culture that women are valued based on looks and not for other characteristics.

I disagree again. In large part because I don't think that I say such things to strangers. I would only say such things to someone that I know and who implicitly knows that I value her for reasons other than her appearance.

Compliment the barista because they made you a great tasting coffee. Compliment the dry cleaner clerk because they are so efficient at getting you your stuff. Compliment the cashier at the check-out counter for their patience when they are so busy. There are LOTS of opportunities to 'be nice' and give compliments to random strangers without commenting on their appearance.

I do all of this too. Well, except for the barista bit... I don't like coffee.

p.s. Now that I think about it... I will compliment men on their appearance. For example, if a dude shows up wearing a jacket and tie, I'll comment that he looks good.

ZenMumWalking posted 9/29/2018 12:27 PM

You are right Candyman, it is all about power, wielded in a sexual context.

Thank you for this post.

barcher144 posted 9/29/2018 12:58 PM

p.s. ZMW: Thank you for providing your perspective... I appreciate and it is definitely something that I will consider going forward. I want to be nice... I don't want to offend someone trying to do that, you know?

ZenMumWalking posted 9/29/2018 13:14 PM

Also, using your logic, it'd be okay for me to say something like "You look terrible today!" because that would imply that she looks good on other days?

Um, no, the whole point is that it is not polite to comment at all on someone's appearance. If someone asks you how they look you should respond. Intimate partners can (and should if it makes them feel good) compliment each other on their appearance. Otherwise, it really is not good manners to comment on a person's appearance (man or woman).

I would only say such things to someone that I know and who implicitly knows that I value her for reasons other than her appearance.

Why the need to add appearance into the mix then? Especially since you don't treat men in the same way. This is a type of sexism that contributes to the objectification of women. I am certain that is not what you mean by it, but I think it is helpful to try to gain an understanding of this type of communication.

p.s. ZMW: Thank you for providing your perspective

No charge - just try to get me to shut up!!

PlanC posted 9/29/2018 13:46 PM

Interesting. I will occasionally compliment people on appearance or apparelógenerally women but sometimes men. It would never have occurred to me that such would be viewed as akin to assault. Do all women on this thread share this view?

[This message edited by PlanC at 1:58 PM, September 29th (Saturday)]

barcher144 posted 9/29/2018 14:47 PM

It would never have occurred to me that such would be viewed as akin to assault.

Nothing here to suggest it's akin to assault. Specifically: Otherwise, it really is not good manners to comment on a person's appearance (man or woman).

There is a huge jump from "manners" to "assault."

[This message edited by barcher144 at 3:46 PM, September 29th (Saturday)]

silverhopes posted 9/29/2018 15:57 PM

OK, now that I've calmed down some, I had some thoughts around this:

I'm not saying she is lying, but come on - she told an emotional story with absolutely no corroborating evidence and all the people she said were there said it never happened, but y'all are just positive "he did it?"

You're not saying she's lying, but you don't seem to be leaving much room for her to be truthful either.

What we saw was a woman put up on the stand, in front of everyone, and have to divulge for everyone's perusal something deeply traumatic to her (for a moment, try to imagine that she is telling the truth, and how this whole process might feel like for her from that perspective). She didn't look smug or like she was sticking anything to him; she looked terrified. Her voice shook. It is really easy for a lot of us here to put ourselves in her shoes.

This is stuff a lot of us have had to deal with too. Due process is a joke. I can't think of any other crimes where instead of the defendant being scrutinized, it's the accuser. Only in cases of sexual assault do you see this.

She took a polygraph. Why didn't he? She said she had evidence. Why haven't they done a more thorough investigation?

And the testimonies of anyone else who was there are going to be problematic. It would go against their own interests to corroborate her recollections if that's the truth. It would show all of them in a very bad way. So why would they? Haven't we learned here just how far a person will go to preserve their own self-image, even when they've caused someone horrible, abusive damage? I don't know any SIers personally, but I believe them. I believe you guys when you say what happened to you. Why wouldn't I believe her?

I was hoping for just ONE verifiable, supporting piece of evidence to corroborate her story, and I'd have been there with the role. But...nothing.

Give it time. Either there will be a proper investigation and evidence will be processed, or once again we'll see a sexual assault case get botched, with the victim having to rebuild her entire life while her assailant, as per usual (ask any of us here if any of our assailants ever faced consequences; the stats support us on this), gets off scot-free.

The woman is receiving death threats. Why the hell would she want to come forward at all? She has nothing to gain and everything to lose. All that put together makes me very compelled to believe her.

Sexual assault will continue to be a serious problem unless we stop being afraid to lay down some serious consequences. Being afraid of incarcerating an innocent person is a legitimate fear - but when the fear immobilizes us, when we put that fear above the safety of so many women whose well-being has been compromised repeatedly... Why do we weigh one so highly above the other? What makes the pain of sexual assault so much more acceptable to society than the pain of a mistaken accusation? The latter, while harmful, can be undone - though difficult, a person can have a chance at restoring their name*. The former, the assault itself, can't be undone: what's worse, it can be repeated over and over again, if there are no consequences for it.
*edit: after reading the other thread, I take that back. I was wrong. False accusations CAN ruin lives in a way that can't be undone. I'm sorry for ever minimizing what false accusations can do. I have no excuse for that.

I find comparing the victimization of being falsely accused and the victimization of being sexually assaulted to be like comparing apples to oranges. I wouldn't usually compare the two. But when every conversation about sexual assault survivors seeking justice gets derailed into how victimizing false accusations are, well... Then, I will compare them. Being sexually assaulted is worse. I've been falsely accused of some very messed up stuff by my own husband. Sexual assault is worse. It stays with you. And the way you're treated afterward is a secondary assault. Look up what happens when an assault survivor develops PTSD. Look at the symptoms we have to live with. Really feel just how deep and damaging it is, and then see if we should be so quick to find that kind of pain acceptable.

And then tell me what you would do to stop sexual assault from happening. And how you would improve due process so that more victims can see justice. I'm talking about the ones who do report, who "do everything right" by society's unreasonably high standards, and are shot down by the system anyway.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 5:24 AM, October 3rd (Wednesday)]

ZenMumWalking posted 9/29/2018 16:15 PM

@PlanC - I never said that these comments constitute an assault, sexual or otherwise, just that they constitute bad manners. The thread went off on a slight tangent for a bit.

And how you would improve due process so that more victims can see justice. I'm talking about the ones who do report, who "do everything right", and are shot down by the system anyway.

I wasn't one of the ones who 'did everything right' - neither of my attacks made it into the justice system. Like a lot of others here, it got shot down before it could go very far.

My own boyfriend didn't believe that I was raped by a gay man, much less a gay man that I knew well enough to share an apartment with. The police thought that a gay man wouldn't need to 'sleep with' a woman so I never made a report.

After such a negative experience, I really didn't want to have anything to do with the police for my second one. The fear of everyone at work finding out about it (little did naive me know at the time that this was not his first time around the block), that I would be looked down on for 'sleeping with the boss' and not getting what I want so reporting because of that, of this following me in my career forever. And hey - I only had to spend 2 days in the hospital after that, no big deal right?

If I had it to do over again, would I report? I can't say that I am sure I would. Saying the words out loud is agonizing. Feeling judged and humiliated. Even if I knew that I would be taken seriously and my story (I hesitate to use the word 'allegation' even though I guess technically that's what it is) would be investigated, would I be prepared for what comes after? Being interviewed about my sex life and social life? Probably getting fired? Standing up against a powerful man talking over me?

I hope that I would feel able to report. Perhaps with an advocate with me. But I am sure that the process would not be comfortable or pleasant, no matter how far it goes or doesn't go.

[This message edited by ZenMumWalking at 4:17 PM, September 29th (Saturday)]

silverhopes posted 9/29/2018 16:26 PM

I wasn't one of the ones who 'did everything right' - neither of my attacks made it into the justice system. Like a lot of others here, it got shot down before it could go very far.


I think you did everything right. You did what you needed to and survived. If anyone did anything wrong, it was your assailants.

I used that phrase in quotes because it seems there's an expectation in society about what "the right victim" looks like, or the one who "does everything right". I still have no idea what that is or who she is. Was it you who said earlier that the bar is set so high to prove our case or get justice that it's almost meant to keep us silent and in our place? I agree with you completely.

Honestly, looking at what happens to the survivors who do go through the criminal justice system, seeing how much worse off a number of them wind up being, is imo a perfectly legitimate reason why so many of us don't report. That's asking us to walk into a lion's open mouth - we KNOW we will be assaulted again, this time by the system and its entire cast of players. Why, especially when we're barely surviving the first assault, would we do that?

I will not judge the survivors who didn't speak. I will judge society for not being safe enough for them to do so.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 4:27 PM, September 29th (Saturday)]

ZenMumWalking posted 9/29/2018 16:31 PM

Thanks silverhopes, that means a lot to me.

Adlham posted 9/29/2018 16:34 PM

Do you have any idea what it was like for victims to report in the 80's?

Because I do.

"It's a family matter."

"Well, if you really want to make a report, you're going to have to wait until Monday, then go downtown and make a statement to the DA and honey, are you sure you want to go through all that?"

And I know that I am not the only person who got treated like that.

ZenMumWalking posted 9/29/2018 16:36 PM

Yes, my 2 attacks were early 80's. And apparently because one of my attackers was gay I was unrapeable. Like it couldn't have even happened.

[This message edited by ZenMumWalking at 4:37 PM, September 29th (Saturday)]

onlytime posted 9/29/2018 17:11 PM

Insensitive and callous comments by certain members of SI have triggered me and I no longer feel safe having my story out there so I have deleted it. Sorry SMS.

[This message edited by onlytime at 1:39 PM, October 4th (Thursday)]

ZenMumWalking posted 9/29/2018 17:33 PM

According to the FBI, the rate of false sexual assault reports is the same as those of other crimes (eg, robbery, theft, etc).

It might seem to be more prevalent than it really is because we tend to hear about it when it happens, whereas we do NOT hear about all the true reports. And those true reports do not even represent all instances since sexual assault is notoriously under-reported.

It's like hearing about an airplane crash. We pretty much hear about every airplane crash, but we don't hear about all the thousands of flights each day that are completely uneventful. This would tend to make us think that plane crashes occur at a greater rate than they actually do.

40YOSL posted 9/29/2018 18:45 PM

Mrs Walloped after reading through the opinions on this thread your response was one of the most disturbing.

I believe her. And yet I believe him too. I believe she was assualted. Maybe Iím wrong but I also believe it was someone else and not him.

The reason I found your post disturbing is that in another of your posts you said you were assaulted by your cousin when you were 13. This is younger than this woman was when she was assaulted. I must now ask you if youíre certain it was your cousin and not someone else such as a neighbor boy? How well do you remember the incident? I realize you know your cousin well but this woman knew the person she is accusing and also his best friend who leaped on top of him allowing her to escape. She recognized BOTH of them. Why would your memory be so much better than her's? She was in a much more dangerous situation than you so I would think her memories would be more vivid.

As to comparing the accused irate reaction to what you believe your husbandís reaction would be, I would think Walloped would welcome and in fact demand a FBI investigation as a method to clear his name. I know I would also be irate but knowing I was innocent I would demand the investigation rather than have this cloud over my name. I would also request SWORN testimony from my friend that the incident didnít occur. A letter that isnít sworn to under penalty of perjury isnít worth the paper it is printed on. The accused has not done that.

My initial reaction when I first heard of the accusation was that the incident happened when they were teens and teens can do stupid things when that young and drunk. I didnít feel the incident should disqualify him for the position. I expected him to say he had no recollection of the incident and but I also expected him to say there were a few times when he was young that he did drink to excess and not recall everything that had happened. I expected he would then apologize to her if in fact her recollection is correct and say he is not that person today.

Instead there are statements by the accused as to his demeanor when he was young that seemingly do not agree with other peopleís recollections such as his roommate. If he has given false or misleading testimony THIS I believe should ABSOLUTELY disqualify him for the position! We should not allow a person who has given false testimony to hold the job he is applying for.

There needs to be an independent FBI investigation and ANYONE found to be actually lying in a sworn statement should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

[This message edited by 40YOSL at 12:29 AM, October 1st (Monday)]

MrsWalloped posted 9/29/2018 20:38 PM

I must now ask you

Oh, must you?
if youíre certain it was your cousin and not someone else such as a neighbor boy? How well do you remember the incident? Why would your memory be so much better than Dr Fordís?

Who said you should believe me? Do you really think I care one bit if you do or donít? But Iíll say this, if I also said my sister, two other cousins, one girl and one boy, plus two of my cousinís friends were all there too, and I got the dates wrong, the location wrong, my own age wrong, and every single other person I said was there not only said they werenít but also said they were never even at any play date with me ever, then why would you believe me? Because I said so? Well, yes. But I believe the standard must be different between saying I was assaulted and accusing someone of a horrendous crime.

But the funny thing is, I do believe her, like I said. I believe she was assaulted. And as I also said, I may be wrong but I also believe him. It is very possible.

I also said my opinion was not going to be popular. Iím entitled to it. Your view is no better or worse than mine. You donít need to agree with me or even like what I said. But thereís absolutely no reason to call me out like you did and be offensive just to score some point.

silverhopes posted 9/29/2018 21:26 PM

Did anyone else deal with ghost sensations after being assaulted? Is that an unusual hell or a common one?

Sometimes I can feel them touching me. I've resorted to self harm from time to time to make the sensations stop. I triggered badly last year after seeing one of my assailants (the man from the halfway house who was twice my age) at my therapy center - as he's done before, he harassed me, even though I've told him in no uncertain terms that I never want him to talk to me again. Once again, I reported it to my caseworker, and this one actually bothered to talk to his caseworker. I don't know if anything was done. A time before this last one, I was told that he had to be in the center at certain hours for check-in, so to avoid him, I would have to schedule my appointments for later in the day. It rankled me so much, having to change my schedule and life around him - just one more way his needs were prioritized over mine.

Anyway, after the latest time, I came home unable to stop seeing his disgusting eyes looking at me. I began to burn my skin - put out matches and incense in certain places on me. I wanted to burn him and my other abusers out of me (because, of course, once the ghost sensations about him started, all the other abusers' ghost sensations started too).

I still have the ghost sensations. Haven't self-harmed in over a year. I do drink sometimes, and it helps me not feel them anymore.

It's affected my sexuality. My sense of self. There have been times where I was disgusted with myself for being a woman, for having woman parts. There are still times where I wish those parts would disappear so I wouldn't have any parts at all.

So many times where I couldn't kiss Mr Silver without remembering that assailant "slobbering down my throat" Or couldn't receive physical affection from him in public because of another of my abusers (one of the ones in my family) being around to see it, or because I felt like I was exposing too much of myself to the eyes of strangers. Strangely it felt like getting assaulted again. Or maybe those were my memories interfering with our intimacy. It angered Mr Silver so many times...

What are some of the ways it stayed with you, too? Did anyone else suffer horrific aftereffects, after being assaulted? How long did it stay with you.

It affects me everyday.

looking forward posted 9/30/2018 12:46 PM

Just read a very interesting article in one of the major American newspapers online.
Theme: I just tracked down my rapist's wife...do I expose him? Then I thought about her....

Author decided not to.
So, who do we tell?

sewardak posted 9/30/2018 13:11 PM

i told. she deserved to know who she was married to.

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