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Silent No More...Who Do You Tell

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Jeaniegirl posted 10/1/2018 12:51 PM

double post
sorry

[This message edited by Jeaniegirl at 12:57 PM, October 1st (Monday)]

Weatherly posted 10/1/2018 13:39 PM

Next time anyone wonders "why didn't they say anything then?" I present to you this thread, and the comments on all the news articles lately. "Well, I'm just saying, you can't ruin someone's life without proof."
"whatever happened to due process?"
"Well, she didn't remember every detail, she couldn't have been that traumatized."
"You need proof."

What "proof" do you want? Should girls being raped fight until they are injured so they have proof? Should women being raped make sure the guy finishes so there is proof? If you were on a jury, what would convince you beyond a reasonable doubt? If it was a stranger, how do we know it wasn't a case of mistaken identity? If it was a known person, how do we know it wasn't consensual then she changed her mind?

Because all I'm reading sounds like "Only violent, completed rape of women with impeccable pasts, who immediately run to the hospital to be traumatized all over again, should ever have a chance of being believed, lest we ruin some poor boys' life."

annanew posted 10/1/2018 13:42 PM

Back in 2008 or 2009 I told SI about something that happened to me, shortly after it happened. I guess I had a casual tone... it's a defense mechanism. SIers who responded chastised me for not reporting it. Not reporting it, btw, to the police force in an African country, as a tourist. The police there would not have given two shits about it, and I stand by that even today. Anyway SIers at the time said I was responsible for subsequent assaults that might be carried out by this person.

I'm very glad the culture around all this is changing. It really hurt to hear responses like that. I shut down for a long time.

Are there false claims? Sure. And everyone does need to be careful about it. I'm no fan of hysterical mobs. But I think what we're seeing now is a necessary part of change. I hope it will encourage young people today to more easily know when something is happening to them that is wrong, and not let shame get in the way. And to document it in some way, even if they can't bring themselves to report it. Hopefully people will be able to report more and more over time.

If a few innocent people have their careers or reputations ruined during this massive socio-cultural shift, I feel like that's an acceptable cost. I've always been a Woody Allen fan and I think the claim against him is false (false memory put there by mom). I have reasons other than being a fan for believing this. But hey I'm totally prepared for the art and name of Woody Allen to be tarnished forever in exchange for having this important historical moment. In fact I welcome it. I don't want things to be this way long-term, with word outweighing evidence. But I don't think that's a real risk, to be honest. We're just in the middle of a titanic shift.

wildbananas posted 10/1/2018 13:52 PM

Weatherly - speaking as someone whose assault has been minimized/dismissed her entire life, thank you.

sewardak posted 10/1/2018 13:57 PM

I'll just add - I had witnesses before it happened and proof and was not taken seriously because it was my word against his for being consensual. i guess i had to show up with bruises and tears - you know, actual proof.

WornDown posted 10/1/2018 14:38 PM

But it should be the job of the police to investigate allegations and not just sweep them under the rug, as has been done in the many stories related here. And it should be their job to protect victims who report too, not just throw them back to the wolves. This seems to have been done more in the DV arena than for sexual assault, stranger or otherwise.

For the members who are reporting their assaults here, are you believing our stories? Do we not deserve to be treated with dignity and respect? Do our experiences merit less than your full compassion for the victims and anger at the system that makes it so difficult to disclose?

Did I say to ignore them? No. Did I say to not treat anyone with less than dignity and respect? No.

What I said was this: Before you believe an allegation made against someone, you should have more than just an allegation.

By all means, take the allegation seriously. That does not mean believe blindly.

The rhetoric being used these days, and on this thread, puts people in a box: Either believe - without question - a claim of assault, or you are a misogynist.

As for this case, I recommend you read the memo by Rachel Mitchell. In it, she describes all the inconsistencies in the accusation and the lack of any evidence. And before you go and say she's a paid shill for the Republicans, remember this: She's been prosecuting rapes/assaults of women for almost 25 years. I highly doubt she's suddenly going to become an advocate for rapists.

And, this sentiment?

If a few innocent people have their careers or reputations ruined during this massive socio-cultural shift, I feel like that's an acceptable cost.

Well, if we falsely accuse some people, or thrash those who want actual evidence of a crime before reaching for the torches and pitchforks...oh well. Too bad. All for "the cause"

Of course, it's an acceptable cost - as long as it's not you.

MamaDragon posted 10/1/2018 15:04 PM

Age 16 - First date EVER, date raped. Told my male buddies who took justice into their own hands. Did not tell an adult bc I was afraid I'd be labeled a "BAD" girl and get in trouble with my parents.

Ages 16 - 18 - groped, butt smacked, rubbed up against - kissed against my will, "just normal BOYS being BOYS". Learned to wear pointy cowboy boots & to defend myself after attempting to tell a teacher the first few times and had her say "what did you do to provoke it?" (Nothing btw)

Age 21 - Working my first professional office job. Dressed in jeans, sweater, no make up and hair in a pony tail - (down day at work). Went to get a drink out of the machine, and a man as old or older than my Dad pushed me up against the machine and Kissed me within an inch of my life - I was caged by his body and the machine and all I could think of was "Don't cry, stay still - escape!". Told my FEMALE boss. Her response "YOU must have done something to entice him, what were you wearing". After I told her what I was wearing - well you must have been flirting. Um, ok so saying Hi, how are you is now flirting. This time, I told my Dad - who knew this guy...and my Dad called the guys boss - (civil Service employees btw) and within a week the old guy was retired.

That last time is the only time I ever told someone and had something done. Now I don't hesitate to put people in their place - and if something happens, I will shout it from the mountain tops. I guess I found my inner bitch. took me long enough!

ZenMumWalking posted 10/1/2018 15:11 PM

What I said was this: Before you believe an allegation made against someone, you should have more than just an allegation.

So if a female friend or relative of yours came to you with a story like one of our stories, you would be asking for 'more' before you believe them? Wow.

eta:

The rhetoric being used these days, and on this thread, puts people in a box: Either believe - without question - a claim of assault, or you are a misogynist.

This is a bit over the top. No one is saying this and in fact several of the stories shared here are from male victims/survivors who are in the same boat.

It is not about misogyny, it is about sexual assaults. Big difference.

[This message edited by ZenMumWalking at 3:16 PM, October 1st (Monday)]

PlanC posted 10/1/2018 15:17 PM

The protections afforded citizens embedded in our Constitution and common law are a key factor separating us from totalitarian regimes. Due process, statutes of limitations ensuring that matters can be fairly adjudicated while recollections are fresh, handling violations by minors differently than adults, and presumptions of innocence are core aspects of this dividing line. Weakening them paves the way for America’s decline into a “banana republic” (whether leftist or right-leaning) and should be opposed by all. America provides both criminal and civil remedies and fora to prosecute claims against assailants. These place the burden of coming forward and proof on the alleged victim. That can lead to unfair results. But a world where defendants have no protections could be even worse.


ZenMumWalking posted 10/1/2018 15:39 PM

These place the burden of coming forward and proof on the alleged victim.

This whole thread is about the difficulties and roadblocks that we face in coming forward. Part of that is that there are so many cases where victims are either explicitly told that their report makes no difference or the reporting culture is uncomfortable for other reasons (what were you wearing, etc.). For anything to go to a criminal (or even civil) trial, supporting PROOF should come from a POLICE INVESTIGATION. How is that so unreasonable? Have you ever heard of a rape trial where the prosecution has one witness, ie the victim? No. Why not? Because they don't happen. That doesn't mean that the attack didn't happen, just that it doesn't move forward to trial.

If you saw someone that you know vandalizing your car - bashing out the windows, slashing the tires, keying it with the words 'fucking asshole' all over it - presumably you would report it to the police. And what you would like to happen in response to that would be an actual investigation and not a bunch of questions like 'are you sure that's who it was' or 'well ARE you a fucking asshole' or 'how many people have you been a fucking asshole to' or 'what did you do to make someone do that' or 'it's a question of he said/he said, nothing we can do about it'..... well I am pretty sure that you will not be very happy about that situation, and anyone would be able to understand your desire to take some form of justice in your own hands even though there is not any proof other than your own word, your experience, that this person did it. Maybe that form would be going over and beating the crap out of him. Maybe it would take the form of posting on social media that this is what happened. You should be silenced or not believed due to lack of proof?

In the current case, I don't think that anyone is talking about prison, or even getting/not getting a particular job. So the whole 'innocent until proven guilty' concept does not even apply. No one is talking about locking him up and throwing away the key based on ('alleged') trauma that he perpetrated on one victim. But I DO wonder why we have to handle our rapists with kid gloves and be sensitive to their feelings when we know what they did to us.

WornDown posted 10/1/2018 15:40 PM

This is a bit over the top. No one is saying this and in fact several of the stories shared here are from male victims/survivors who are in the same boat.

It is not about misogyny,


Sure...

So I think that WornDown is making our point for us. Setting the bar impossibly high keeps us quiet and 'in our place'.

WE are all in this fight either on the side of womanhood (however that is described) or on the side of hate and oppression.

What "proof" do you want?
Because all I'm reading sounds like "Only violent, completed rape of women with impeccable pasts, who immediately run to the hospital to be traumatized all over again, should ever have a chance of being believed, lest we ruin some poor boys' life."

ZenMumWalking posted 10/1/2018 15:58 PM

So I think that WornDown is making our point for us. Setting the bar impossibly high keeps us quiet and 'in our place'.

Says nothing about women, I interpret 'us' as being victims of sexual assault.

WE are all in this fight either on the side of womanhood (however that is described) or on the side of hate and oppression.

Sexual assault happens more commonly against women than against men. I agree that here 'womanhood' would be more appropriately replaced by 'sexual assault victims'. I think that the minimization of sexual assault against women is not per se misogynistic, but rather due to a gross lack of understanding of gender politics and how they manifest themselves in today's world.

What "proof" do you want?
Because all I'm reading sounds like "Only violent, completed rape of women with impeccable pasts, who immediately run to the hospital to be traumatized all over again, should ever have a chance of being believed, lest we ruin some poor boys' life."

I interpret this to mean sexual assaults against women, sexual assaults against men also occur (my own son was raped about 10 months ago). The typical story that we hear here is that sexual assault victims are not believed, they have to be perfect. Men who are assaulted by other men are more likely to be believed, while men assaulted by women are probably closer to the situation of women assaulted by men (maybe even worse). Since fewer women than men are in positions of power, the 'ruin some poor girl's life' situation is less likely to occur.

You can see that the situations are the same, but not symmetric.

When someone tells me the story of their assault, I believe them. I don't worry about the 'other side'. I don't believe that there IS another side. This is based on my personal experience, perhaps you have had a different experience in your sexual assaults.

I also find it interesting that you only chose to address 'misogynistic' and not:

So if a female friend or relative of yours came to you with a story like one of our stories, you would be asking for 'more' before you believe them?

WornDown posted 10/1/2018 16:14 PM

When someone tells me the story of their assault, I believe them. I don't worry about the 'other side'. I don't believe that there IS another side. This is based on my personal experience, perhaps you have had a different experience in your sexual assaults.

Nice. Way to stay classy.

Like I said - the choice is either we agree with you, or we are rapists/rapist supporters. Thanks for proving my point.

I also find it interesting that you only chose to address 'misogynistic' and not:

Well, I wouldn't exactly be in a place to be objective about it, now would I? If some random person came up to me and told me they were attacked, but couldn't remember where, when, how, or who...yeah, I'd be a bit skeptical.

And, like MrsWalloped, I'm out.

[This message edited by WornDown at 4:15 PM, October 1st (Monday)]

KatyaCA posted 10/1/2018 16:25 PM

I am glad I read this entire thread before posting. About halfway through I too was going to share my experiences with being raped, sexually assaulted and with unwanted sexual advances. Now that this has turned into the very debate the OP asked it not to be, I don't feel very comfortable sharing my specifics. That said, I get it a thousand times ladies. I was first raped at the age of 12. My father beat the shit out of me when I got home late due to that rape. He was screaming and calling me a whore because I had been out late (with the person he sent me out with who offered me up to a biker for drugs). Etc... I never told. I did try to call the police later. They asked me what I had done to encourage the man. I hung up the payphone. I realized then I could trust no one.

Who on earth wants to be shamed, grilled and disbelieved for sharing their pain? Yeah, none of us.

I have been having major triggers all week and my H is glued to the issue and just wants to talk and talk about it. It sends my anxiety through the roof. He just doesn't get it either.

[This message edited by KatyaCA at 4:27 PM, October 1st (Monday)]

ZenMumWalking posted 10/1/2018 16:35 PM

Who on earth wants to be shamed, grilled and disbelieved for sharing their pain? Yeah, none of us.

Exactly. Which makes it all the more believable when someone DOES have the courage to step up and tell/report.

[This message edited by ZenMumWalking at 4:35 PM, October 1st (Monday)]

KatyaCA posted 10/1/2018 16:52 PM

Even when women do report there is a lack of priority to even investigate sex crimes. Currently there are tens of thousands of rape kits backlogged in evidence that haven't been tested. The claim is not enough money. The truth is it is not a priority.

Take also into account how few cases that are reported ending up with conviction where the offender does jail time and I can well understand why many women choose not to put themselves through the grinding nightmare it is to PROVE you were raped. For what? So the offender can get probation? 3 months in jail because we don't want to ruin his reputation? I've read 3 articles this week alone on rapists who were convicted and served no jail time whatsoever. One raped a 5 year old child.

I was first raped in 1982 and we are not much farther along now in how we deal with rape then we were then. It feels futile. It depresses me to the point of giving up and self harm. It is stunning in showing how little we care for the rights of any woman to the autonomy over her own body.

Even the men on this thread. I am what I am and I am a good guy even if you tell me I am doing wrong I will keep doing what I feel good doing even if you tell me it makes women uncomfortable or it sexualizes them because I don't intend to sexualize them so my intent is more important than how she feels. WTF?

ZenMumWalking posted 10/1/2018 16:56 PM

Nice. Way to stay classy.

A classic example of if you can't refute the argument attack the person.

In this discussion (not in the tv case specifics, but the general context of the meaning of this thread as I interpret it), I am seeing a confounding of 2 things: belief and proof (up to the standard in a court).

Unless I have missed it, I don't see anyone saying that alleged attackers should not be granted the same priveleges IN COURT as any other person accused of a crime.

What we have here over and over and over again is that it is so difficult to even get it that far due to a number of factors that make reporting difficult or even useless. The very presence of these difficulties presents a very compelling case to believe a report of a sexual assault.

Can someone be lying about it? Yes. Is it very much more likely than not that they are being truthful? Emphatically yes.

KatyaCA posted 10/1/2018 17:02 PM

BTW - His behavior on the stand was so typically wayward it boggles my mind how others don't see it.

Attack, deflect, gaslight, indignant outrage. Notice not one apology to her for being a victim and telling her he is sorry she was attacked but it was not him that attacked her. Not one ounce of compassion...nope. He is the victim.

This is a job interview. It does not meet the same standards of legal criteria as a criminal court proceeding. His going off alone calls into question whether his temperament is compatible with the position he is seeking.

Loukas posted 10/1/2018 17:46 PM

Just a general question to whoever wishes to answer. If you were believed and supported by those close to you and the authorities. The necessary steps were completed and taken for your case to be brought to trial. Then the accused was found not guilty for whatever reason, would you still feel heard and believed?

latebloomer45 posted 10/1/2018 18:35 PM

This thread is a reminder to all of us survivors out there that we need a place to tell our stories, so thank you for your courage in speaking up SisterMilkshake.

I took a break for a couple of days, I'm having a really hard time, I never knew so much pain was still within me. I'm in Germany and finding an English speaking therapist is DIFFICULT. Rape hotlines have two plus hour wait times. The social worker from my U.S. church made time for me to talk about how to handle my triggering.

Came back to this thread stronger, hoping to help, telling people that I hear them, I understand, and

ARRRRRRRRGHHHHHHH

It has turned into the same fucking debate you can get anywhere else on the Internet. Plus, as KaytaCa said "good guys" defending behavior we have told them harms women even as they claim to care.

It seems the main players have said they will leave the thread.

Can anyone else who wants to skirt the rules of this site or pretend this thing is a courtroom trial or defend their "good guy" status PLEASE START ANOTHER POST? KatyaCa has already said that those posts have made her unwilling to share. THINK ABOUT IT.

UNWILLING TO SHARE BECAUSE YOU HIJACKED THE THREAD.

How many people aren't posting AT ALL because of the thread jack? I weep thinking about it.

I know you meant well (at least I will assume so), but there are SO FUCKING FEW places that we can tell our story and be heard and yet be anonymous. Not all of us can find or afford therapy right now, as I said, crisis hotlines are overwhelmed.

I've seriously been having suicidal ideation this week. (Better now.) I need all the support I can get. And I am completely sure I am not alone.

For the love of God, if you care at all about your fellow SI'ers, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do what OP SMS asked:

This post is not political, please don't make it so. This is about why we don't tell and asking who do we tell.

To do otherwise is just salt in the wound.

Don't come back to defend yourself one last time. Don't even come back to apologize, just let this thread be a place of sharing pain and support.

Thank you.

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