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Silent No More...Who Do You Tell

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wildbananas posted 9/23/2018 12:52 PM

This thread is exactly why we don't tell. Myself included.

It's a sad world we live in.

ZenMumWalking posted 9/23/2018 13:20 PM

I also have boys - 3 of them. We have talked a lot about this issue. I consider it part of sex education that I have a duty as a parent to give.

We have discussed differences in how women and men might perceive the same situation. We have talked about consent, and the impossibility of consent when someone is impaired. We have talked about standing up for someone impaired who is being targeted by others.

One thing that they bring up to me is drunken sex when BOTH are drunk. I have tried to drill into them that consent cannot be given if someone is drunk, and that a woman might very well feel violated in that situation. They claim it is not fair - I tell them that it doesn't matter whether it IS fair or whether they THINK it's fair, but that's just how it is. Something that they have to accept, possibly without ever understanding.

We have also discussed at length the whole concept of consent, and that to give themselves the best protection against a false accusation (which I think is much more rare than a lot of people want us to believe, but whatever...) is to only proceed with any further specific act in the case of POSITIVE CONSENT, and always to STOP in the case of 'no'. By 'positive consent', I mean that the other person needs to say it's ok, not just assume it's ok if they aren't saying no.

We have these discussions so that they can protect themselves from a practical level. But we also try to gain an understanding of the different sides of any given situation.

And I hope that my young men become more sensitized to and sensitive about the whole issue.
And that they do not think that it's ok to treat women in these unacceptable ways, or that women who complain of harassment or assault are just hypersensitive and making a big deal over nothing (or worse, just fabricating it out of whole cloth).

zebra25 posted 9/23/2018 13:27 PM

When I was 23 and working at my first job after college as a social worker I was kissed in front of my co-workers by a boss.

He first made a very demeaning and belittling comment to me in front of several people. As I stood there stunned, turning red and blotchy he grabbed me and kissed me. He was the second in command and old enough to be my father.

I remember going to the bathroom and crying. I also remember feeling white hot anger.

I talked to my co-workers about what happened and they all laughed it off. NO ONE would stand up for me if I reported him.

I had just put myself through college and was on my own making very little money. I was afraid of losing my job. I had nowhere to go and nobody to turn to for help.

He continued to make comments to me when nobody was around. His wife also worked with us. He whispered to me that she did not satisfy him.

When I would have to go into his office he would recline his chair back and lay there with an erection.

In staff meetings he would grill me and if I couldn't give him an answer he wanted immediately he would belittle me until I was in tears.

That was 30 years ago. A couple of months ago my psychiatrist suggested I go for counseling. He gave me the name of three trusted counselors for me to pick from. This pig and his wife were two of them.

After a lot of thought I decided to tell the psychiatrist that I would not be choosing him and why. He just said well, that's your choice not to go. I get that he has nothing but my word but he could have at least said something like I'm so sorry that happened. Once again I felt like nobody understood how disgusting that made me feel and how angry because there wasn't a thing I could do about it.

I just wanted to help people and thought I would be working with others that did too.

Thanks for listening.

I'm so sorry for all the trauma you have all experienced. So many kind hearted people here that do not deserve these awful experiences.

Huge hugs to all.

ZenMumWalking posted 9/23/2018 13:39 PM

Pick the wife, tell her everything and then after she says she believes you tell her it was her husband. (my fantasy scenario!)


latebloomer45 posted 9/23/2018 14:25 PM

ZMW, I like the way you think!

Or, just shoot both the fuckers. I'm in a real mood today.

What concerns me the most is I'm also a mother of sons. What if, down the road, they were aspiring for success and some accusation came out of the blue with similar lack of corroborating behavior/victims, no date, no location - no way to prove innocence, and by the time they are grown, "innocent until proven guilty" becomes "guilty until proven innocent."?

The WHOLE POINT is to encourage modern victims to speak up WHEN IT HAPPENS. To change the motherfucking rape culture in the world. It has to start with more of us speaking out. When we do that, not only will sexual assault diminish as perps realize they're not going to get away with it, but as time goes on,these decades old accusations will no longer be a thing. Much more productive to teach your sons that women are not sexual objects who exist for their pleasure than to assume women are liars out to harm your sons.

Less than four percent of all rapists are ever convicted. That's 24 free to continue for every one convicted. TWENTY FOUR.

[This message edited by latebloomer45 at 2:41 PM, September 23rd (Sunday)]

zebra25 posted 9/23/2018 14:27 PM

Thanks Zenmum.

That's an awesome idea. I just don't think I have it in me to go there.

zebra25 posted 9/23/2018 14:44 PM

Latebloomer, I agree with what you said and I so hope today's victims will speak up and be heard.

My close friend and her husband were visiting last year. When they got here we all hugged hello. When her husband hugged me he squeezed me so tightly my breasts were uncomfortably smashed into his chest. I am average size.

What the hell do you do about that? I am a quiet reserved person that lacks self confidence. A lot of why I am this way is due to the hell I lived through growing up.

I mentioned this to someone close to me and they said are you sure he just wasn't happy to see you?

I hug people all the time. This was VERY different.

These things happen and it makes me feel sick.

I really do hope things change.

latebloomer45 posted 9/23/2018 15:30 PM

Had a good conversation on my FB thread detailing the rape. (it shares many details of the one currently in the headlines but he actually managed to rape me.)

Military wife posted-publicly! that her H was going on about "shit from many years ago" and "she should have spoken out at the time"

Whereupon my friend informed her H that three years ago while he was on a tour of duty (Marines, pretty high up), one of his fellow Marines tried to rape HER after dropping by to drop off some housewarming gift supposedly from his fellow Marines. She carries a gun legally and she managed to get it out of her purse and aim it at him. He left.

She never said anything. She decided this man's value to the nation as a Marine was more important than her well being. Didn't want to disrupt her H or distract him when he's in a dangerous part of the world.

But what her husband said cracked her open, she said. And inside of two hours her husband had begun to understand.

Here's to more folks beginning to understand.

marji posted 9/23/2018 15:57 PM

About due process-it only pertains to and is carried out in a court of law; it's a consititutional right of the accused who is facing trial in a court of law. Due process is not a limitation on our right to call out abuse. Due process in law is quite a separate matter. It's what should take place after the accusation has been made. Due process is not to mitigate or silence an accusation. Indeed, if we care about ourselves and other human beings, it is our ethical obligation to call out against those who have abused us or someone else.

If I have been abused by someone who is vying for a public position that requires a character of integrity I have a moral obligation to make that abuse known, to make public the abuse that person has perpetrated on me even if it is 30 years later. It well might be the easiest, least painful, less onerous and safest way, psychologically and physically, to stay silent, it is not the ethical way.

Lieswearmedown posted 9/23/2018 16:47 PM

[edited to add..... it starts at the very beginning. Itís taught to us. itís ingrained is us. When it comes to the topic of sexuality, our bodies, or calling attention to ourselves as sexual even if itís about our body as females, we are taught to be quiet in an unhealthy way]. One of many reasons why we donít tell when we are 14, 15, 16, 17.....

Close your eyes and remember the way you felt sitting in a wooden classroom desk. Feel yourself sliding into it with your books, reaching down to stow something in the bottom, or hanging your bag on the side. Remember trying to make yourself pay attention.

Remember that feeling of slight panic or discomfort when you realized youíd probably felt your period start right then. Remember trying to cross or uncross your legs to determine if you were too late to raise your hand and go to the bathroom without anyone noticing... Would you be able to surreptitiously remove supplies from your back without anyone noticing? With there be a red spot when you stood up? If there was, could you hide it with a sweatshirt? Why did a simple biological process insight such panic and fear and humiliation us? Itís because we were taught to be ashamed of being young women in a sense. We were taught to hide that very natural part of life. How are we taught this? Through taunting and teasing and shaming. Even though your period is a biological process, there is a sexual component to it. Anything in that area becomes fraught with public humiliation possibly. In addition, teenage girls were self-conscious to begin with. Any situation where we call attention to ourselves and give anyone ammunition to embarrass us must be avoided at all costs. Maybe not all of us but many of us were taught to guard our virginity and guard our virtue and guard our reputations. The idea that anyone would equate something sexual with us was scary and the consequences long lasting throughout your high school career. I cannot adequately articulate it, but humiliation over a biological process that has even a remotely sexual component is a reason we donít talk about that stuff when sexual abuse happens to us. We are taught to be quiet about it and not call attention to ourselves when sex is even a tangential component.

The other night, I was sitting down with my husband and going through his old high school yearbook. He was pointing out old classmates and offering up facts about them.... things like ďshe was the salutatorianĒ or he was an asshole who just stopped coming to school after 3 weeksĒ or ďhe had a pet goatĒ...

In surprise he pointed to one girl and said she loved anal in high school. I asked him how he knew that. He said it was the talk among the boys. I pointed out to him that he had no proof of that. Through his own words he explained she probably caught hell at least once a week throughout high school. Itís entirely possible it was all a lie. She made good grades, was nice to everyone as far as he could see, and in a sea of 500 students in his class, mostly kept her head down and to herself. Her friends constantly denied it and stuck up for her. She never said a word. Regardless of the truth in that horrific situation, her high school experience was forever altered by that horrible rumor such that a grown man still remembered 33 years later.

I donít know how to articulate it correctly, but I canít help but think that a horror story like that contributes to why we donít talk about it when someone sexually abuses us.

When these men do the things they do, they depend on that conditioning. They count on us being polite, silent, humiliated, ashamed, protective of our reputations, etc. Sometimes, they count on their own good reputation or standing in the community. Sometimes, they use the perfect family facade they have created to illustrate ďnot Jerry - heís a family man. Look at him and his lovely wife and their adopted children and all their charity work... that young girl saying those things about him must be confused or troubled or looking for attention....Ē Sometimes, they canít imagine someone not wanting to touch them and sometimes they donít care whether we want it or not.

It is the most disgusting to me when women trivialize it. These days, you see it in the news a fair amount. There you are watching a panel of women discuss sexual assault, or date rape, or a boss with happy hands, or kid in college who took it too far and would not take no for an answer despite the fact that no was said clearly, repeatedly, hysterically, and adamantly. To hear another woman say, ďwhat teenage boy hasnít tried to take it farther than he should? So she moved his hands away once but kept kissing him... later she said she was comfortable with kissing but didnít want more... he wasnít sure she meant it so he tried a little more forcefully ... most teenaged boys are going to keep trying.... thatís just how they are...Ē This makes me ill because when they use that argument to defend pinning a girl down and covering her nose and mouth with one hand while trying to forcibly undress her with the other, we are talking about two different things. Period. Those women make me sick and ashamed of them. Itís intellectually and emotionally dishonest and gross. Sometimes we women as a whole need to not only stand against the men and boys who are taught by men to do this (note NOT ALL men and boys do this), but stand against the women who are making excuses for those men and boys. Those women diminish the rest of us. Those women need to be kicked out of the lifeboats because they are weighing it down, drinking up the fresh water supply, and not doing fuckall to help with the rowing. Those women by all rights need to be clinging to the piece of wreckage left behind as the ship is going down. To torture one more metaphor - those women arenít doing jack to help the rest of the women get the children into the lifeboat. They are standing off to the side making excuses why they let a whole bunch of them drown because they didnít want to lose their fucking seats.

[This message edited by Lieswearmedown at 9:08 PM, September 23rd (Sunday)]

ZenMumWalking posted 9/23/2018 17:06 PM

To torture one more metaphor - those women arenít doing jack to help the rest of the women get the children into the lifeboat.

Exactly. It is chilling to think that these women are raising the next generation.

Lieswearmedown posted 9/23/2018 17:26 PM

Edited with permission from moderators: One more thing I want to make perfectly crystal. There are a very few people (blessedly tiny tiny fraction) Iíve is encountered who have described their own treatment of their wives with respect to sex and arguments about sex or using sex as punishment or proof of love and commitment. Speaking only for myself and no one else, I need to say the following:

I donít care what your wife did or didnít do or how embarrassed or humiliated you are if her transgressions are publicly known or not, there is never any excuse for degrading sex, sexual coercion, or sexual humiliation, sexual shaming, cruel names, etc. in a marriage (either a ďgoodĒ marriage or a ďbadĒ marriage). If you know you have to threaten your wife or husband to get laid, scream at them while they are crying and choking back tears and snot, and pleading with you to stop, the marriage is fucking over. If you think you can explain being an abuser away by saying ďshe could always say no and leave. That was an optionĒ, then I would say that youíre using the circumstances of a spouse desperate for forgiveness, desperate to stop the fighting in that moment, or desperate to please you as a weapon because you know the balance of power is now yours in spades. People donít survive that kind of abuse all the time. That is taking a hammer to a marriage that is already damaged and obliterating it. Demeaning and degrading behaviors are sexual abuse when they accompany a demand for sex. You might as well direct your abuse towards a punching bag. Marriages donít come back from that. Hell, I donít know that individuals who conduct themselves that way and believe thatís okay in a marriage come back from that either when and if they ever decide to look closely at what they are capable of.

[This message edited by Lieswearmedown at 6:57 PM, September 26th (Wednesday)]

WhatsRight posted 9/23/2018 20:16 PM

Oh God. This is just to horrifying to imagine.

ZMW, I want so badly to hug you...ALL OF YOU.

I have no words of wisdom...I'm just so very sorry.

Sometimes I wonder what God was thinking when He came up with sex. I know it can be fabulous, but it can be so disgusting and degrading and hurtful and disrespectful. And CRIMINAL!

I will never understand why people want to hurt other people like this.

I'm just so very sorry.

Jeaniegirl posted 9/23/2018 23:32 PM

Sister, I am dealing with something right now.

I live in the country on a quiet, dead end street. Everyone has at least 5 acres of land. Lots of people on this street have been here for years, some are elderly. We've had about 5 new families with children move it. Love it! They liven up the place.

A few weeks ago a message popped up for me from the sex offender registry. I was shocked to see we have a SO now listed on our street. He's two acreages down from me. The house was bought and renovated and new people moved in, an older couple. I waved at them a few times as they were moving in. It's a rental property, the only one on the street.

The SO is their 47 year old son, twice convicted of assault and first degree rape and he has not served ONE day in prison. He got probation the first time after he snatched a 16 year old girl off the street and beat and raped her. He had no prior offenses so he got 10 years probation and required to register all his life as a SO and attend counseling. A few years later, still on probation, he broke into a home and robbed it and the home was occupied by a 70 year old woman. He raped and beat her so badly that she almost died.

AGAIN 10 years probation added on to his existing probation years.

After I found this out, I was watchful. I also informed all of my neighbors as two families have teenage girls. Then I went to the DA, someone I know. He's fairly new to the job and was shocked this man(?) is running around free. He called the Sheriff and he came over and we talked. Now twice a day there is an officer cruising my road, driving slow and turning around in the SO's driveway. He knows he is being watched. About one week after they moved in, Marley dog was barking and woke me up at 2 a.m. and I went outside. That 'creature' was parked in front of my house and yelled at me that he was 'looking for his dog.'

That is why I went to the DA. I do not trust him. He's a violent offender who has NEVER had to pay for his crimes. I told the DA there is no telling how many women he's harmed because some women won't tell or report and this guy does home improvements so you know he's going to homes where women and teens are. We have a former police officer on this street and he's watching too and he's the type that would NOT hesitate to shoot this guy.

Sigh. My street used to be so peaceful. Now we are all on high alert.

barcher144 posted 9/24/2018 09:48 AM

I don't know if the other boys got him off me, I do know they were saying "Mike, WTF are you doing?".

I'll give my (male) perspective on this subject.

The thing that is most depressing to me is how many people will sit back and silently condone sexual assault. It is not always done in private. In the above quote, at least the other boys tried to stop the attack.

When I was in college, a student read aloud in class (it was a weird class) the police report that involved her getting raped by her ex boyfriend. It was detailed, graphic, and horrifying. One part that sticks with me to this day... is that the guy's buddies knew what was happening and cheered him on.

There have been a couple of other public incidents that I know about. The first was with Jameis Winston at Florida State University and a bunch of guys at the University of Minnesota. In both cases, other guys were asked to stop the assault and let it continue. At the University of Minnesota, several guys joined in (i.e., it became a gang rape). Then, they had the gall to complain that they were the victims after the school suspended them. They are literally suing the University of Minnesota for this. Seriously?

[This message edited by barcher144 at 9:50 AM, September 24th (Monday)]

marji posted 9/24/2018 12:58 PM

Thank you, Barcher for putting your thoughts to this; so few men do.

Weatherly posted 9/24/2018 15:48 PM

I wrote out a long post...I was sexually assaulted several times in my early 20s, and I never said anything. I was drinking. I was flirting. I didn't want to ruin their lives, maybe they misunderstood. It was just a kiss, it was just a touch. it was just...

In July this year, I was actually raped by someone I knew. An acquaintance. That was the long thing I wrote out, and deleted because I just can't talk about it right now, yet. I called my husband, who was in CA, he told me to call the police...and tell them what exactly? It wasn't violent, he didn't finish, it would become a he said/ she said, and I'd end up dragged through the mud. Because the guy was tall, in shape, hot, successful, and single. And, I'm a short, fat, married mom who is only cute if I try...I figured nobody would believe this guy was willing to risk jail to rape me, when he could easily have almost any other woman. (if you know me, this is not some attempt to get compliments, it is honestly what ran through my head) The only other person I said anything to was a friend ours It was late. I told hubs I was heading to this friend's house. I went to the door, it was unlocked, he was asleep, and we've always just walked in, so I did and fell asleep on the couch. He woke up the next morning, saw me, asked what happened. And I told him.

I spent the next weekend trying to convince hubs and the friend that we would not be going to the guy's house, to put the guns back in the safe. To put me down, I wasn't going to the police. I screamed at one of them "Oh fine, make your point by using your size against me to make me do what you want." they both stopped after that, and apologized. But I've been told every day since then, by both of them, that if I say the word, they will go beat him up, or they will be with me at the police station. I keep telling them to shut up, but, the support is nice. Why did I tell them? Because I needed to talk to hubs. Because I tell him everything. I needed to talk and cry. Why did I tell the friend? Because he deserved to know why I broke into his house and fell asleep on his sofa? Because I was scared and I didn't want to be alone in my house, I wanted to hide behind somebody bigger than the guy who raped me. I told him because if I was going to use him to hide, he should probably know why. I don't know if that makes sense.

[This message edited by Weatherly at 3:48 PM, September 24th (Monday)]

latebloomer45 posted 9/24/2018 16:09 PM

Weatherly, it's so good to "see" you here on SI. Haven't seen a post from you in a long time.

And I'm so sorry this happened to you too. I understand why you chose not to pursue it. I hope writing it out helped even if you erased it.

Just as a counterpoint, my military wife friend didn't call the police both because the thought the cops would side with the Marine, and because, frankly, she is very attractive and very outgoing (and also VERY Christian, can't have any talk with her that doesn't involve the Lord Jesus Christ), and she thought that would count against her being believed.

So if we're sexy we were asking for it, it we're just cute we must have consented.

The world is so far fucked up. My kids say they aren't having kids. And I'm actually glad.

I posted this earlier (didn't take) but LiesWMD, Marji, I want to thank you for your posts. They helped me a lot.


lieshurt posted 9/24/2018 16:10 PM

Weatherly, I'm so sorry hun. (((hugs)))

DragnHeart posted 9/24/2018 16:12 PM

I was molested as a child then raped later in my twenties. But what sticks out most in my past is being the first girl in my class to wear a bra. Not a sports type bra but an actual bra bra...

Seems that gave the guys a free pass to not just tease/torture me as per usual but to now snap my bra straps.

I recall one boy going for the strap from behind me. He grabbed it, I twisted my arm around my back (I was more flexible back then), grabbed his wrist and I spun around, twisting HIS arm behind his back with his fingers touching the back of his head. I recall screaming that if anyone touched me again I would break their arm.

Everyone, even the girls, laughed.

That was the start of me being called a bitch, and teased non stop into high school that I wasn't a girl to date...

The last job I had my boss always made me uncomfortable. I was hired to work at the second location and run the store, complete the art orders etc. I was capable and experience but he used the "you need more training" to keep me at the main location. His wife also worked at the store. So he would sneak around, making her work the opposite hours as me to be able to come on to me. I finally had enough, took him aside and was flat out straight about what I did, why I was there and if he wanted more he was to get it from his wife not me! Wasn't long afterwards I left. Loved the job. Hated the boss. And it was a family business so no going up the ranks to complain.

I fear for my daughter's. I fear for my son's. I fear for a future since it just seems the works has gone to shit.

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