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Silent No More...Who Do You Tell

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KatyaCA posted 10/1/2018 18:56 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?

The truth is that I can't answer this question. So much damage was done to me due to sexual assault in my youth and the pervasive attitudes of the time, I've lived with those attitudes for so long that I can't erase decades of pain enough to really know how I would have responded if I had received the support and court case I should have received.

I believe my life may have been radically different but I can't be sure.

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.

You are absolutely not alone. I've been feeling similarly and I thought I had dealt with all this long ago but listening to everything and realizing we haven't made progress on this issue in over 30 years takes the heart out of me. I wonder why I am still fighting. What is the point?

[This message edited by KatyaCA at 7:00 PM, October 1st (Monday)]

barcher144 posted 10/1/2018 20:38 PM

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.

You are not alone.

Do you have a plan in place if the suicidal ideation comes back? I have a list of people to call when things get bad. The first few are friends and family... then my therapist... then the suicide hotline. Having this list probably saved my life last November when I really wanted to kill myself.

p.s. I tried to send you a private message but you were at your limit. I'd be happy to talk to you if that would help.

[This message edited by barcher144 at 8:42 PM, October 1st (Monday)]

Jeaniegirl posted 10/1/2018 21:05 PM

I'm one of the people who said I wouldn't post anymore but here I am ....

I've done very little prosecution and much more defense work, usually public defender on a state level and later, appellant lawyer for death row inmates. I have never defended anyone who raped or harmed a grown person or child. I'd take a pass. The ugly pictures I still have in my head from some case reviews.

At one point a NW state was trying to pass a law making the rape of children a death penalty offense. I recall testifying against that law as I KNEW more rapists would kill the children so they couldn't identify them. If they were going to get the death penalty anyway, easier to kill their victim.

It's such a sorry state of affairs when we find ourselves having to discuss this issue but I feel it's necessary. We are in a crisis in this country. I don't know about other countries but I'd assume it's the same. I know many of you are triggering and I am so sorry. The pain is deep. Some of us just got stronger and more determined to fight for others and will continue to do so.

SisterMilkshake posted 10/1/2018 23:26 PM

latebloomer, my dear friend, please take care of yourself. You have been on my mind over the past week and I am so concerned for you. Thank you for all your always kind concern for me. Please, make sure you reach out to friends and family. We care. I care. ((((((latebloomer)))))))

RidingHealingRd posted 10/2/2018 00:40 AM

I wonder if there are any women that haven't had anything happen to them like this, too.

Fortunately, I am one of those women. Nothing like that ever happened to me. I also never encountered any bullying as a child. Sometimes I think it is because I have a strong personality, one that has zero fear of confrontation. I know for certain that I would have immediately blasted the person and reported them. I am sure it helped that I am one of those people that tend to have a "resting Bitch face" that probably screams, "don't f8&K with me"

latebloomer45 posted 10/2/2018 04:33 AM

Had an entire reply and it disappeared....

Barcher, SMS, I am OK. Must clean out my PMs. I seem unresponsive because I am six hours later that ET. So usually I'm asleep when you guys are posting, and vice versa. Don't worry.

I am using exercises therapist recommended for anxiety, good during the day, still have nightmares. Last night (this is gonna sound weird) we had a kind of womb therapy. H held me chest to chest, no shirts, stroked my hair, and said very softly "You are loved. You are safe. Be at peace" until I fell asleep. It helped, had only two nightmares instead of all night long. Helps him too, as he is feeling helpless (along with a shit work situation.) I will make a point to exercise today despite the rain as that helps with the sleep. If you only go out when it's dry you'd be indoors a LOT around here...

I have friends to call, we're all just checking in. Most of us are feeling fragile so trying not to burden each other. One friend and I are meeting in Belgium in five weeks so have that to look forward to. Also planning the American Thanksgiving we have here...you don't have to be American to come, just speak decent English, it was a ton of fun last year. I am the only person who doesn't work at the current shit job my H has so I get to find the house, figure out the food assignments, go order a fresh turkey. (Which I had to order last week, as of course Germany doesn't have Thanksgiving, wanting a big turkey in November is a special order.) German lessons and Bible study. I've enough to keep me sane, or just distracted from the worst of it. Also we went to a Beethoven concert on Sunday and that helped a lot. Music really DOES have charms to soothe the savage breast.

If I ever get more suicidal than "Good God, I hope I don't wake up tomorrow" I do two things: Think of how much it would fuck up my kids, and think of how it will be letting the fuckers win (shades of 9/11, I know, but it helps me). I must stay alive to help be part of the change. It's literally the only thing I can do about my attack.

My trans son posted a #metoo incident on FB which I knew about, but not the details. Both so proud of him and so want to fly back to the U.S. and kick the shit out of his attacker.

Fortunately, I am one of those women. Nothing like that ever happened to me. I also never encountered any bullying as a child. Sometimes I think it is because I have a strong personality, one that has zero fear of confrontation. I know for certain that I would have immediately blasted the person and reported them. I am sure it helped that I am one of those people that tend to have a "resting Bitch face" that probably screams, "don't f8&K with me"

I am truly happy it's never happened to you. But I think you are just fucking LUCKY. See, I have the exact same type of personality. But somebody who had 70 lbs. on me was able to hold me down and rape me, and turned the music up loud BEFORE he pulled me into his room and locked the door, and then held his hand over my mouth and nose, so all that screaming was useless. And I did report, and got shot down. Then the second rape, the drug one, I had no idea that was even a thing. I was literally anesthetized. By the time I was even CLOSE to thinking clearly, more than 24 hours had gone by and I remembered almost NOTHING. So was totally fucked there.

May you be fucking lucky the rest of your life, and be a support to the massive numbers of us who have been a victim.

barcher144 posted 10/2/2018 13:41 PM

Barcher, SMS, I am OK.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you (or anyone else) needs it. I don't know what I am doing, but I will talk to you until you feel better. I have empathy, not sympathy.

wildbananas posted 10/2/2018 13:47 PM

Please feel free to reach out to me if you (or anyone else) needs it.

Same... I understand completely where you are right now. Last week hit me really hard, too.

(((lb)))

ZenMumWalking posted 10/2/2018 16:25 PM

Please feel free to reach out to me if you (or anyone else) needs it.

As I said to you last night, me too - with the added plus of being in the same time zone!

I am glad that you and your H came up with something to help with the nightmares. I hope that it continues to work. I am waiting till my psychiatrist gets back from vacation next week to continue working on this issue.

((((latebloomer))))

marji posted 10/3/2018 17:29 PM

Riding You probably do not mean to, but your post sounds dangerously close to suggesting some responsbility, albeit unwittingly, unknowingly, on the part of the victim. You say you have a certain type of face that probably "helped" you avoid getting attacked, assaulted, raped.

My face was not known to my assailant; I was asleep in a dark room. He came in through the window, got on top of me and threatened with a knife to kill me. It was in the middle of the night.

I suspect lots of rapists pay no attention to faces. Where I live lot of attacks take place in the dark as did mine.

It's great that you have never had the misfortune of being attacked and you may be right--it's because of your strong personality--but I suspect many who have been attacked also have strong personalities--I doubt the attackers know or care.

You say you would have "blasted the person." I wonder what that means? Could you explain? Is that a method we can teach our daughters, sons and grandchildren? Is it a method you have taught yours?

Reporting is an entirely different matter. Theoretically it seems always a doable and certainly well worth the effort. It seems like the totally ethical thing to do. In reality--more complicated. Reporting an mean a loss of employment and therefore income; it an mean a loss of job references and connections. A loss of livelihood. Reporting can have deleterious consequences for family members. Reporting can take chunks of time and money from one's life. It can lead to trauma and more trauma.

Again, you are fortunate to have never had this in your life and you may be right in thinking it's your attitude that's saved the day. Im just not so sure and want to let the rest of us who have been victimized this way off the responsibility hook.

latebloomer45 posted 10/3/2018 17:43 PM

Marj:

Thank you for saying directly what I was too upset to say when I read that post. I do have an outspoken (loud) personality and a great RBF...didn't stop me from getting raped ..twice.

((((Allwhohavesufferedthisshit))))

ZenMumWalking posted 10/3/2018 18:22 PM

You say you have a certain type of face that probably "helped" you avoid getting attacked, assaulted, raped.

And if someone drugs your drink, then it will be impossible to "blast the person", regardless of your type of face or strong personality.

If there is a predator who wants to assault you, it's likely to happen. We cannot protect against every possible contingency (nor should we have to).

RidingHealingRd posted 10/4/2018 02:01 AM

Marji, Latebloomer. Zenmum:
I am so sorry that my post came across as if I was placing responsibility on the victim. That was not my intent at all. I set out to respond to a poster who wondered if any women have been spared such assault and to briefly explain why I thought I may have been spared. I failed miserably. My apology to all of you.

When suggesting that my strong personality and my standing bitch face may have benefited me, I was going on the premise that nearly 85% of sexual assaults are actually not perpetrated by a stranger. I figure (obviously wrongly) if they knew me they would know I don’t back down without a fight. This is not to say that if you are not like this you are then responsible for being victimized. I am also not saying that if you are like the and get victimized that it is your fault. It is merely stating what I believed may have kept me out of harm's way.

I completely understand my personality and stern face would never help me in your situation, Marji, but again my thought process was limited to knowing the assailant. I should have thought about how that would apply had I not know the person. Just reading your story scared me and I am deeply sorry for what happened to you.

You say you would have "blasted the person." I wonder what that means? Could you explain?

Sure, It’s much like verbal self-defense and begins with a strong commanding presence, and the ability to confidently use verbal resistance like yelling and swearing in their face. My speaking out would almost certainly be in the form of blasting the assailant with an ongoing verbal assault. In addition, I would willingly engage in physical defense as well. I believe that this might help me fend off an attack, especially if I knew the assailant… but I could be wrong. Hopefully, I will never find out.

I'll give you an example of a situation that occurred many years ago where I "blasted" this guy...

There was a man in our neighborhood who was convicted and served time in jail for lewd and lascivious behavior. We lived in a large subdivision where the majority of people knew of his conviction. When he drove by I would stare at him in disgust. One day he stopped and wanted to know what my problem was ~ I proceeded to tell him that he was my problem and that I knew exactly what he had done. I told him that if he came near me, or my children I would not hesitate to stick a knife in his heart.
Everyone hated this guy but not one person would say anything to him. I was the only one in the neighborhood that confronted this asshole. I wanted this him to know that I was not afraid of him and that it was best not to f&*k with me (I actually was a bit nervous but kept in contact with the local police). Why did I do this? Actually, a representative of the Megan's Law came to the school to speak with parents and when asked what should parents do, she stated, "Let the person know that you know what they did".
So I did. I also hoped that I would become a tougher target for this predator, someone he would avoid.

I do know that nothing…no job, no amount of money, no loss of reputation would ever keep me from reporting an assault. That's just me and I understand that not everyone reacts the same.

Is this a method you have taught your children?

My children have witnessed the strength of my personality and I believe that they have benefited from that.
There is a program that teaches younger girls a form of verbal self-defense to prevent a physical attack. I read about it online but I did not know of it when my children were younger.

Again, I’m so sorry for any upset my comment may have caused anyone. It was never my intent to place any responsibility on the victim.

[This message edited by RidingHealingRd at 2:51 AM, October 4th (Thursday)]

ZenMumWalking posted 10/4/2018 04:57 AM

And Riding - even if you know the person, if they drugged your drink, none of your personal characteristics would apply. They might not fuck with you in your normal condition, but they could put you in a position where you can't do any of those things. (And people that you know can drug you without your knowledge.)

In addition, you could be put in a position where you are outnumbered by people that you know and thus overpowered. None of your screaming or fighting back will help.

It is easy to say that you would always report no matter what when you are not in that position. You could feel differently for any number of reasons after it has happened.

latebloomer45 posted 10/4/2018 07:51 AM

Thank you for the apology, Riding. I appreciate it.

Trying2copeinMD posted 10/4/2018 12:59 PM

I am horrified. Almost a stunned silence. I haven't been able to read everybody story, because the first page was enough to turn my stomach. Be honest, I kind of clicked on the wrong section when I came here. I saw this thread, and I decided to take a look. I am so disgusted, and I didn't even get past the first page.

I'm sure by now you all can see that I'm a guy. Maybe I'm not even welcome here, because obviously had an experienced anything like this. I'll even be as Brave to say that the story that you're talking about, 36 years later coming out to accuse someone, I honestly thought was a witch Hunt. I thought that it was improbable at best. Who wouldn't report something like that? Now I know.

After reading your stories, I'm honestly ashamed of thinking that. No lie, I was sitting in a Subway eating my foot long sandwich that was so lovingly prepared (lol.. sure!), And I literally had tears falling from my eyes after reading some of these stories. I have a wife, I have a sister, I had a mom. To know that this could have happened to any of them is so incredibly disturbing.

I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry for what you women have had to go through. Words fail me to articulate how badly I feel for each and everyone of you. To have that happen and to sit there in silence must have been Soul crushing.

for any man who is Ever perpetrated this against you, I apologize on their behalf. Their selfishness and total disregard for another human cannot ever be excused. It makes me sick to think that these are people that represent my gender.

Thank you for telling your stories. I hope that more people will start telling their stories, and not being silenced anymore. This shit has to stop! We need to start holding people accountable for their actions, no matter who they are.

I am so very sorry.

lieshurt posted 10/4/2018 14:38 PM

I had no witnesses to testify on my behalf. I had no physical evidence. I did not go to the police. I was between 3 and 6 years old. Three different males assaulted me at different times. My baby sitter's husband, my cousin, and my step-father.

Based on the comments I've read and heard in the media, I should have put my CSI hat on and immediately collected evidence and then called the police. Silly me. I wasn't smart enough at the time to do that. If it happened, I should be able to provide a date, right? I can't. I should at least know the month and year, right? I don't. I do know that for two of them it wasn't cold outside, but I live in Texas, so it's hot most of the year. I should have exposed them, right? I did try to tell my mom. But guess what? My mom knew about my step-father. She knew he had an unhealthy fascination with me. The one person who was supposed to protect me actually offered me up in exchange for what she wanted. And, she always got everything she wanted. So, what else does a child do?

Very few people know about my trauma. It's not something anybody could easily share. I cannot imagine being on TV for the world to hear my story. I don't believe I'm brave enough to do that. I also can't imagine what it's like to get death threats for sharing my story. What kind of world is this that people think it's ok to do that? Victims being victimized again. It's shameful.

Anyhow, thank you for being brave enough to share your stories. Big hugs to you all.

marji posted 10/4/2018 15:50 PM

Appreciate your apology, Riding but also wish you would delve more deeply into this whole matter. Giving a good stern, strong verbal talking to just doesn't do it in face of a knife or gun; it's really hard to talk when the attacker's got his hand over your mouth or harm around your throat. It's even harder when the attacker--ala Cosby--has used drugs, spiked the drink, etc.

While statistics offer that the majority of attacks are not by strangers, non strangers can use the same tactics and strangers. And being strong, trained in the martial arts, and known by the attacker to be really tough doesn't always help. If the attack is lover or husband it can be even more brutal; has even more potential to leave the rape victim dead.

I live in a tough city and the police women on the force are strong both mentally and physically. But you might cringe at some of the horrible things that have been done to them.

And few of us really know whether we'd report in all circumstances. There was a horrible house invasion years ago in Connecticut. Two criminals tied up the husband/father and raped the mother and two daughters. They then told the mother to go to her bank and withdraw money; if she did not follow precise orders her daughters would be killed. She did not call the police. She did as she was told.

If the attacker is part of a gang but leaves the rape victim alive but threatens to kill her children if she reports the attack to the police, she may not want to take that risk.

The stories can get very nasty. So all of us should take precautions where and when we can; we can't rely on our strong personalities or verbal skills. We should all report when we can. And as we try our best to support each other here on SI we should support victims and those who do venture to speak out and work to make society better and safer.

crazyblindsided posted 10/4/2018 15:51 PM

I've been in trigger central because of this. Both times I spoke out were met with defense and victim blaming.

When I came out with my childhood sexual abuse from my half-brother (from dad's first marriage) my dad's family stopped inviting us to family events and invited my brother instead. They also had members call me because well 'a son needs his father' and my dad had decided on his own to cut him out. All I asked is that they respect me by letting me know when he would be at family events. I have since cut my dad's whole side of the family out of my life and have never looked back.

In high school I was gang raped by 2 guy friends and I was heavily intoxicated. I still remember what happened. When I spoke out about this most of my friends ceased all contact with me snd some even said 'I asked for it' and that 'I was a whore.' Pretty hard to be a whore when the only 2 times I had sex for the first time were forced.

So yes what is going on right now is despicable and heinous and those women who support this idiot. YOU ARE DESPICABLE AND HEINOUS TOO!

onlytime posted 10/4/2018 16:29 PM

I originally shared my story on this thread, hoping some people might have a better understanding of the what we go through, but have since deleted it, as the callous and ignorant comments of certain members on SI have left me feeling revictimized.

To those of you who are able to maintain your strength and continue to share your stories - you are brave and I am so proud of all of you.

[This message edited by onlytime at 8:27 PM, October 4th (Thursday)]

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