Archive for sexual assault

Rape survivor to TPC: "Say something and be barraged with accusations"


rape victim it could be you Awhile back, our own David Garber posted this: Rape: Unspeakable Crime, But Not Speaking Is Also Not Responsible. Under that post is a comment by one of our regular readers/commenters, flan59 . She has graciously given her permission to post that comment here. She was raped by a "bad guy with a gun." Her words are electrifying, terrifying, brave, and deserving of a post of their own. Verbatim:

It's fear. At least in my case it was. Paralyzing fear. Of everything. It was over and I wanted to forget it happened.

I have always felt guilty and have worried that my attacker went on to rape others. It is the shame I live with every day... not the attempted I fought off my rapist successfully....who had a gun, by the way...

... and still, my boss yelled at me for sleeping with my window open as if the attack was my fault. even me...asleep in my own bed...gets the lecture...I should have known better...sleeping with my own window open...what was I thinking? So you can imagine how a woman who was date raped feels...

Say something and be barraged with accusations...that is what women who are raped deal with.

And it seems the guy threatened them. That is why incest victims don't speak out either.

Flan followed up with an email:

By the way - all of the gun rhetoric and blaming the victim talk that is all over the news and social media has caused flashbacks and I am now in treatment for PTSD. My PTSD is caused by other traumas too - entire childhood with a verbally abusive alcoholic father - losing my twin brother Paul at 16 to schizophrenia - and then at 48 to lung cancer. I have lost several jobs recently because of it and am in serious debt, further sending me into my black hole.

I have found a great therapist and psychiatrist and have been in treatment for the last month or so. It was a good thing I started when I did because I lost my nephew in Jan and my sister-in-law two weeks ago, both under very tragic circumstances.

It seems the bad shit will never end. Then I hear the horror stories from my friends who have "Pauls" of their own who are getting incarcerated, victimized, becoming homeless, and dying from suicide or by cops - and it is all too much. I am so glad I got into therapy because I didn't know how much more of this I could take.

This needs no further commentary. Thank you, Flan, for allowing TPC to share your story, your feelings, your pain, and above all, your courage.

Note: Headline edited.


"Redemption, salvation of 'mankind' linked to how we treat the female gender"



Can there be redemption when unspeakable atrocities and deadly legislation against women continue with impunity? It's hard to fathom sometimes. Between the horrifying kidnapping of the Nigerian students and the uptick in the War on Women here in the United States (How many women's health clinics have been shut down now? How many rapes go unreported, mocked, or ignored?), it looks like we're caught in gridlock at the intersection of Regression and Hostility.

Redemption has to be earned. Redemption takes effort, empathy, and education. And more.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

The kidnapping of girls happens to be in the news right now because of Boko Haram's abduction of Nigerian schoolchildren. Yet there are multiple horror stories reflecting how women live around the globe. ("Boko Haram chose its victims for a reason -- to stop progress," Opinion, May 12)

Women are forced to wed to settle a feud, are victims of "honor killings" in some societies, face sexual assault on U.S. college campuses and in the military, are routinely denied opportunities for education, have more difficulty being paid as much as men and are the victims of restrictions on reproductive healthcare.

It is commendable that now we have female presidents, lawmakers and chief executives of major corporations, but for the great majority of women around the world, it is a constant battle for basic rights — just to be alive, to get an education, keep a good job, obtain decent pay and make our own reproductive choices.

We have the tendency to overlook some of these issues because they are part of an ethnic or religious culture. Let's instead demand the freedom to live, to have reproductive care and to have access to education and jobs. None of us is free until all of us are.

Donna Handy

Santa Barbara


Much, much more depends on girls than the world realizes or often cares to admit. The tragedy of the Nigerian female students kidnapped by Boko Haram should make it obvious that nothing less than the redemption — and dare I say, salvation — of "mankind" is linked to how we treat the female gender.

Indeed, bring back our girls. Let them learn. Let them lead. For it is quite apparent that two of the greatest perceived threats to the terrorist mind-set are the educated girl and the liberated woman.

Stan Seidel

Rancho Palos Verdes


Leymah Gbowee's piece on the courage and heroism of Africa's women — as they worked, not fought, for rights, including the return of more than 300 young women kidnapped by Boko Haram — contrasts with an ongoing cowardice that is displayed by men around the world. ("The heroic women of Nigeria are standing up to Boko Haram," Opinion, May 13)

All women are beset by men's sexism, and America is no different, with men sexually assaulting and raping women on and off school campuses. The world's major religions play a very supportive (and cowardly) role by claiming some creator as a male and refusing women their rights as equal human beings, simply because men can physically overpower them.

It's all so cowardly.

Julie-Beth Adele

Long Beach


There's So Much Wrong With This Middle School Sex Abuse Scandal


Middle School Kids

Okay, buckle your seat belts and set your rage meters to stun. Here's what's going on in West Virginia. It's not just the waters that are polluted there; it's the Board of Education in Mingo County. Ready?

Two girls, both seventh-graders at the Burch Middle School back in 2012, claimed two boys restrained and groped them on a school bus and in a school computer lab. In addition one of the girls said one of the boys sexually assaulted her on a school trip to Charleston.

Embarrassed and scared, the reluctant girls reported the incidents. According to Raw Story:

Every action taken by (the) defendants [the school administration and school department] was either to minimalize the allegations against the boys and/or to protect the alleged male juvenile perpetrators,” according to the filing, signed by Assistant Attorney General J. Robert Leslie.

The 32-page complaint says one victim was most recently disciplined for her complaints in late April after speaking to state police, who were attempting to investigate the matter

Okay, so one girl has been disciplined for speaking with the police. That's bad enough. But what about the other girl?

Administrators moved one girl to the seventh grade because one of the boys was in her eighth-grade classes, the filing claims while the boy stayed in his age-appropriate classes.

So one girl gets held back a year in school as punishment for reporting a sexual attack and the other received alternative school discipline. Oh, and what about the boys, the accused perpetrators of this sexual assault? They got a one day suspension from school and an additional day of in-school suspension, whatever that is. Most likely, detention. Anyone remember Breakfast Club?

Now the topper. I hope you're ready for this -- the harshest punishment the school could mete out: The two boys were also denied ice cream during a break in standardized testing. Oh, the inhumanity.

How does something like this happen? It could have anything to do with this:

Both boys are students whose relatives are employees of the school system, the complaint claims.

Schools are meant to be safe havens for students to learn, to grow and to mold themselves into responsible adults down the road. Here in West Virginia, all three of those have been corrupted. There's a lot of blame to go around here. The accused if found guilty, and everyone involved with the school and the school system in Mingo County.

Everyone deserves their day in court, and so do the accused boys. But to punish and humiliate the alleged victims in this case as opposed to handling this in a timely manner is inexcusable. There should be some heads rolling in West Virginia. Justice is waiting, and those watching are growing impatient and angry. The administrators are setting victims of sexual assaults back with their "who cares" attitude.


Rape: Unspeakable Crime, But Not Speaking Is Also Not Responsible



Raw Story:

An Arizona high school student has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting up to 18 girls and threatening to kill victims and witnesses, the Pinal County Sheriff’s office said.Tyler Kost, 18, was being held without bond after being arrested on Thursday, suspected of assaults on high school students between early 2011 and last month, the sheriff’s office said.

One of the alleged victims was 13 years old, it said.

Kost is accused of 18 assaults, so chances are this isn't going to be defended by a "he said, she said" defense or even it was just a "misunderstanding". This is a serial attacking that was going on. But did it have to be?

“Tyler Kost was a predator who threatened, harassed, stalked and then either forcibly sexually abused or sexually assaulted his victims,” Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement.

But it makes you wonder how many of these heinous attacks could have been prevented. It's a lot to place any blame on victims for the crimes inflicted upon them. But what about the attacks and brutality committed on those who were assaulted after others became victims themselves?

What is a victim's responsibility?

I've never been raped, so I can only imagine the nightmarish trauma. What follows is sideline speculation. And it's out of genuine concern for others that I have to ask why didn't anyone of these victims report the attacker? It's implied that they feared for their safety. I get it. But if they had spoken up to authorities, any of them, there's a chance that the victims who followed them might never have become victims at all.

Why is it our society fears retribution? Is it poor police procedures? Is it the stigma we assign so greatly to rape and sexual assault victims as opposed to the criminals who commit these crimes? Is it sexism? Embarrassment?

Whatever it is, there's real questions here and a bit of blame on all of us for not making it easier for victims to get through a traumatic experience with the most protection possible, so serial crimes like this don't happen. Eighteen victims. Doesn't it make you wonder what would have been had victims 1-17 spoken up?

We need to do something. Our society is to blame here. Not the 18 total victims. We have to change our thinking and stand up, be strong and support those who've had wrong done to them. It's important to make it easier for the victims to feel comfortable enough to share all the truth with the authorities. Silence just leads to further victimization.