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SoulStrengthSolitude
New Creation in Christ Jesus


Joined: 27 Sep 2006
Posts: 5



PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:38 pm  Reply with quoteBack to top

What a bold way to start out, eh? This is a research final I submitted to my College this week and I choose to do the same here. I hope you will read it and I welcome ANY feedback. This is the sole reason I found you guys and so I thought I'd share it with you. It has been a crazy process in the making, but it was important for me to get this message out there to my classmates, and now to the public. I have erased all the citing but kept the links. It is the closest thing to "My Story" (I had to confine to the assignment's requirements) and I'm not sure there ever will be one. It is not as long as it looks. Regardless, here goes. (Bold = Statistics)


I Am Angry

This is not the typical research paper. The difference is that the research has been done for over the past year, by me, and represents the rawness in experiencing the most frustrating time of my life.

R*pe is about power, control, and anger. Think about the unthinkable. Don't mask the facts about R*pe with myths and stereotypes. The truth is...R*pe is an act of violence. It is an attempt to control and degrade using sex as a weapon. R*pe can happen to anyone - children, students, wives, mothers, working women, grandmothers, the rich and poor, and boys and men. Rapists can be anyone - classmates, co-workers, a neighbor or delivery person, ugly or attractive, outgoing or shy, often a friend or family member. Rapists commit their crime again and again, until they are caught. Rapist will become more comfortable and violent with each successive R*pe. Convicted rapists have a higher chance at re-offending; because they gain knowledge from other criminal master minds and/or they are raped by an inmate, thus feeding the cycle.

* Every two and a half minutes, someone is sexually assaulted somewhere in America.

* Every eight minutes or every 481 seconds or so, there is one completed R*pe somewhere in America

* An American woman has a 25 to 26 percent chance of being raped in her lifetime (1 in 4).

* Black women's sexual violence rate is estimated to be around forty percent by the time they reach age 18.

* Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes. The FBI finds that only one in four rapes are published in the Uniform Crime Reports. The Uniform Crime Reports do not include rapes that end in death, since those are reported as homicides.

* In 2004, there were 209,880 victims of R*pe, attempted R*pe or sexual assaults.

* 1 in 10 R*pe victims are men. Many people do not believe that male R*pe by a female exists. In a survey answered by hundreds of R*pe and sexual assault support agencies, they estimated that 6.3 percent of male R*pe perpetrators are female.

* R*pe is considered a "crime of youth," where fifty to sixty-three percent of reported rapes were of women under age 18, while sixteen to twenty-nine percent were under age 12.

* Most often, a rapist is under the age of 30.

* R*pe victims may be forced through threats or physical means. In about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Anyone may be a victim of R*pe: women, men or children, straight or gay
.

I am angry. One year ago, I locked my door and went to sleep; like we all do on any given night. Unfortunately, this night was like no other before and was one I will never be able to forget. I woke up that night to a co-worker who had undressed himself, crawled into my bed and raped me. What I didn't realize at the time was that he not only raped me physically, he raped my life. In the time it takes to run to a Burger King drive-thru and back, he had broken into my home, where most of us feel safest, and changed my life forever. I woke up that night without a choice of being the same person or living my life as I had known it, ever again.

Most of us, when asked to describe our self-concept, will include our job or that we are a hard worker; that is what we do, we work. After that night, I went from a completely functional person who worked sixty hours a week and went to school at night, to dead inside. To wake up one day, as an adult, and realize that you are no longer in the driver seat of your life and have no control over your capability to perform normal every day tasks, is not only a foreign reality but frightening one. Instead, you are now someone who is unable to simply walk into work, clock in for 8 hours, perform your tasks, and clock out; all because it takes everything you have, to keep up with your body's natural reaction to trauma and to process all that is different in you, and your life. What made it freaky for me, was the unknown. You have absolutely no way of forecasting when you will be back to "normal", nor do you realize at the time that your concept of normal is outdated because you will never be the same. This mental, physical, and emotional process is one you could ever prepare for.

I had a few choices in front of me; my choice was to report the crime. Even though the company I worked for knew what he did, they kept him hired on and I had to quit my job. It was no longer the job that I knew, day in and day out, for over six years. I tried but I couldn't work with him there, especially while we were in the middle of a judicial battle… especially ever. Because I reported it and he was a coworker, people started finding out and taking sides fast. It is a huge wake up call when you see what every single person in your life is really made of; in their values, in their ability to face serious things, and in their moment of truth in choosing to be an honest person or a weak one.

On top of dealing with my personal trauma from the event, everything in my life being different and uglier, losing my job, and the explosion of people's reactions to me being raped, I was experiencing our judicial system. As if I wasn't already thrown for a loop, I started to learn what women are up against, in society and the judicial process. When I reported it, I thought… "That is what you do, right? It is cause and effect; he did a crime and should be punished." It's a good thing I had so much evidence because I learned fast that R*pe and sexual assault is the hardest felony to convict anyone of. It all stems back to how our culture views women and the stigma around "sex" in our society. Organized religions also affect this and both genders are guilty of it.

* R*pe-free societies were characterized by sexual equality in which both genders shared power and were deemed to make important contributions, albeit in different ways, to the welfare of the society").

* "The more egalitarian and integrated the society, the less R*pe".


The court's process and society mesh into one for me. What I have learned in experiencing both has hurt me deeply to my core. I am disgusted and sickened, not just as a victim of a horrific crime, but as a human being. I learned the hard way that most people don't report being raped or assaulted, and why. This is not to say that I would change how I handled it by any means, because I would not. I just wish the world was a prettier place. The whole judicial process ended up being about how the defense could discredit me. Your rapist knowing the tiniest bit of information about you, your life, or anyone in it, is a huge obstacle you are up against in an acquaintance R*pe and a marital R*pe.

* Stranger R*pe and sexual assault is only one of several possible types of sexual violence. Here's the reported percentages according to National Health and Social Life Survey

- Someone with whom the respondent was in love: 46%

- Someone that the respondent knew well: 22%

- Acquaintance: 19%

- Spouse: 9%

- Stranger: 4%


In the 5 months it took to get to end the judicial process, I lost about 90% of the people in my life (not an exaggeration); from my best friends to acquaintances. Some immediately took a rapist's side and some already ran from their own issues in life, so there was no way they wanted to face something as raw and intense as this. Turns out women can be your biggest enemy and you have to watch out for women jurors; so much for girl power. People want to find reasoning for it, so they blame the victim. Lord know, if any of these women realized that I wasn't to blame and didn't bring it on myself, then it would be a random act and that would mean it could happen to them!

The most hurtful of all were the women who were raped before, as they were challenged by me reporting it and by their demons about their own R*pe. Every single woman I knew who had experienced it (not that I had known that they were raped until they found out that I was) turned on me, blamed me, made up vicious lies about me in statements to the judge, and were willing to commit perjury on the stand by misconstruing things about my past and lying about things that had never happened in my life. "They could not believe that I was doing this to him (by reporting it), or that I would 'ruin' his life." And then turned around in the same conversation to say how "f*cked up" they still are from it. These women, along with other coworkers of both sexes, would hold weekly "I hate (my name)" meetings to plot how they were going to take me down in court.

So, everything around me, people, and the judicial process, became about discrediting me. I was accused of everything under the sun and called "crazy", "nuts", "losing it", "pimp", "sl*t", "anyone that knew me knew that I wasn't an honest, trustworthy person", and so on and so on. My whole life became public, including the things about me or my life that were not true and never happened. In fact, most everything was a lie! There was not one thing in my life that was my own, not myself in who I was before that night, not any part of my life... I was the one on trial.

Since then I have lost a few more people. People are not who you think they are; at least not when it truly matters. Most are not willing to face their demons, but in my situation, they showed them to me in the end. It came down to two choices for me: #1. I could stay dead inside. I could turn my cheek to myself like the majority of society by pretending nothing happened. I could choose not to address my pain and risk my potential to be happy by inviting bad people and unhealthy dynamics in; which happens naturally when you do not care enough about yourself. Or #2. I could ensure a full and healthy recovery by facing and accepting it, fight for my life and my health, stand up to fight with truth against statistics, our society, and judicial system, and dive inside myself to face, process, and let go of every ounce of pain. I chose the latter. It takes everything you have to be healthy again, and is a losing battle for a lot of people. It is that huge. I am sick of accommodating others' comfort zones because they don't want to talk about R*pe - what alienates me day in and day out - when I'm the one that actually has to deal with it. Where was my comfort zone that night?

He may have that night and he may have what he made different, BUT I am making sure that he will NEVER have my quality of life or mental health in the end. He does not win. They do not win.


Helpful Links ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ References

Even though I have experienced R*pe, I found these links very helpful. I think that it is very important, for both yourself and your loved ones, to become familiar with information on how to better protect yourself/safety precautions, what your options are if it happens (do you report vs. do you not) , and coping methods/ how to deal with the aftermath of it. It truly does affect your loved ones and not just you.

Because Ab*se, more so sexual, is so taboo, survivors don't tend to discuss it openly, whether it is because they don't tell anyone, pretend it didn't happen, find it too painful to face, and don't have sufficient access to knowledge, not enough support, or an outlet to do so with. I'll be honest with you; I obviously talk openly about it and I still feel bottled up and alone. I cannot imagine how I would be if I didn't accept this process head on in every way. I am truly at a loss for words when I think about all of those people out there that are bottled up, aren't putting two and two together (their behavior attached to the assault), or are just struggling to heal. Please consider your loved ones the next time you hear of R*pe in your life and think about the importance of your reaction and support.

Helpful Links: Please take the time to check them out.
1 http://escapinghades.pandys.org/anger2.html
2 http://www.amptoons.com/blog/arch...1/26/women-who-dont-call-it-R*pe/
3 http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/facts/veterans/fs_managing_stress.html
4 http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.go...s/SMA05-4027/lovedoneforprint.asp
5 http://experts.about.com/q/R*pe-Counseling-1570/index.htm

References:
1 Criminal Profiling: http://www.criminalprofiling.com/R*pe-Prevention_s199.html
2 Live Journal: http://ifritah.livejournal.com/tag/R*pe
3 RAINN: http://www.rainn.org/statistics/definitions.html

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