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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Did he do something wrong?

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Author Topic: Did he do something wrong?
sarbear17
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I'm new here so I have no idea if I'm posting this right, so we'll see.
This is probably going to be pretty lengthy, sorry! And thanks in advance to those who take the time to read!
I'm 17, and while I was at work a guy came up to me and introduced himself, he seemed nice. He asked for my number and I gave it to him. The next day we texted back and forth for hours, and I finally asked him how old he was because he had already asked how old I was when he asked for my number. He was 27! I kinda knew things weren't right, and I was stupid to be talking to a 27 year old. But he always seemed to know the right things to say. He made me feel good about myself. Anyways, one night after about a month of talking to him nonstop I was stressing really bad, everyone in my house was fighting, and my best friend had just tried to kill herself. Aaron seemed to be the only one I could talk to. He asked if I wanted to meet up and talk about stuff, and I said yeah. We met at a park about 5 minutes from my house at about 9 at night. We talked about different stuff, and things went really well until my mom texted me and asked where I was. I told him I had to go, and got up from the table and started walking to my car as I was thanking him for being there for me. He grabbed my arm and told me I couldn't leave yet, and pulled me back to the table. He kissed me on the forehead and told me everything was going to be ok. I didn't find that a big deal, I actually found it sort of sweet, I thanked him and started to get up again. He took me by the arm and pulled me back again, and pinned me up against the table. He started kissing me all over, head, neck, chest and I asked him to stop. He didn't and kept going. He then pulled my shirt up and started touching my breast. And he slipped his hand down my shorts and started touching me down there. I was yelling and trying to get away, and trying to get to my phone, but he was twice the size of me. I managed to get one hand free and I started hitting him. I don't know what made him let go, maybe he was finished. I got up and ran to my car and drove away as fast as I could.
He has texted me a few times since that night, just saying what's up, how are you like nothing happend. But I'm not so sure I can blame him for what happend. All my friends warned me something like this would happen, but I didn't listen. And I voluntarily met up with him that night. I didn't volunteer myself to what happend, but I did volunteer to meet up with him. And I didn't stop him and tell him no the first time he kissed me, so I think what he did was wrong, but it was my fault. I could've prevented everything, but I didn't. Help??

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Sara

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Heather
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You said no, several times. You yelled. You tried to get away. What else exactly is it you think you could have done here? You say you could have prevented this, but from where I'm sitting, you did all you could and someone forced you to do what they wanted to do to you anyway. You're not responsible for that.

Because you volunteered to meet with him does not mean you volunteered to have him do all of that to you. If I show up somewhere to get dinner, and someone comes into a restaurant with a gun and shoots at me and others, that doesn't mean I chose to be shot at because I went to a restaurant where that happened willingly.

So, why wouldn't you blame him for what he did? If YOU had done exactly what he did to you to someone else, whose fault do you think it would be? Would it be the fault of the person you attached? If so, why?

You ask in the title of the post if he did something wrong, and the answer is very simple: he did. Not you, him. You didn't hurt or try to hurt anyone. That was all him.

[ 08-24-2008, 02:22 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sarbear17
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I could've been smart enough to not meet up with him at all. I mean, now I realize how stupid I was, at the time I didn't...

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Sara

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Heather
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If you had known he was going to do this, you likely would NOT have gone.

But, see: you didn't. He didn't offer to assault you: he offered to give you emotional support, and you took him at his word.

Certainly, there are sometimes things we can do to keep ourselves safer. By all means, you could have not been alone with this person you didn't know very well and who no one else could vouch for. But that still doesn't make ANYONE but HIM responsible for what he did against your will.

Again: if YOU had done what he did to someone else, do you feel that that person you victimized would be the one responsible? if so, how? How would their trusting you, taking you at your word, and them coming to you having no idea about your intentions make THEM responsible if you had assaulted them?

And again, if I go to a restaurant that claims to serve food and not a spray of bullets, am I responsible for being shot when someone starts shooting because I decided to go out to dinner, knowing that it is ALWAYS possible something like that could happen in a restaurant?

[ 08-24-2008, 03:00 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sarbear17
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I understand, No I wouldn't feel that person would be in the wrong, but doesn't ANY blame get put on the victim? I mean, I feel like I brought it upon myself, like I walked myself into that situation and somehow got what I deserved for being so stupid.

And no, you wouldn't be responsible in that situation..

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Sara

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September
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No. Here's the thing: If you are victimized, then the person who did this to you is to blame. Not you. You did not ask for what happened, and when his intentions became clear, you protested. You said No, you yelled, you tried to get away. You were very obviously not asking for this.

And you were not being stupid. Here's a guy you've known for a little while, who you've been talking to you and felt you connected with, and who offered to support you when you were having a crappy time. Taking him up on that offer was not stupid, or somehow deserving of punishment. All of that was completely fine and okay.

What wasn't fine or okay, by any stretch of the imagination, was the fact that he took advantage of you and did things you clearly did not want.

We should not have to expect that anyone we meet may be out to hurt us, and having some faith that a person that's relatively new to us won't victimize us should not be something worthy of punishment. The person to blame here is that guy. It's NOT you.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Heather
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Blame for the rape?

Unless that person ASKED to be raped (in which case, by definition, it wouldn't be rape anyway), then no.

Rape isn't like other kinds of situations, because it is defined explicitly as something which one person does to another without the other ones consent and against the other ones will.

Do you bear some responsibility for putting yourself in a situation you did not 100% know was safe? I suppose, but since so often none of us can know if anything we do is 100% safe, that'd make us all responsible for a whole lot of things it doesn't seem sage to hold us responsible for. I also don't see ANY situation where anyone deserves to be raped or sexually assaulted, and I can't imagine you'd say that if this happened to someone else they "got what they deserved." If so, I'd seriously consider that opinion. My guess is you are putting that on yourself when you wouldn't put it on others because so much blame is put on victims to take it OFF the people who are actually responsible, so we can tend to internalize those mixed-up messages penned primarily by people who ARE responsible but want to shirk their responsibility.

For example, my fathers parents, their friends and his little brother went on a drive when I was little and got killed due to a drunk driver. Anyone who drives a car knows it is nothing close to 100% safe and that driving presents a lot of dangers. But I don't think that makes them in any way responsible for getting killed because some idiot was driving a semi drunk and they decided to do something --driving -- they knew always presents possible risks of death or injury.

I also sound add that I think self-blame sometimes happens because it can be really tough to face up to the fact that to some degree, we are always at risk, and that we have just found out we can't control things as well as we perhaps thought we could. If we are alone with anyone, at any time, in any situation, we basically are at risk of being abused in some way (and they are at those same risks). We can certainly -- again -- do things to decrease those risks, and there are some things we can look out for to help prevent those situations but a) they don't work all the time, and b) sometimes we just cannot see things like this coming. In some ways, that can be so horrific a thing to realize that it almost feels better to think this stuff is our fault so we can hang on to the illusion that we CAN have complete control over being harmed.

Trouble is, that's just not true.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sarbear17
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Your advice sounds like something I would tell someone if they were in my situation. The thing is it just feels different since I am the victim. I don't know..I can't stop thinking about that night. It's always in my head. I just feel like I maybe could've prevented what happend a little more then I did...But thank you so much for talking to me about it. I need the reassurance that maybe it wasn't totally my fault because I just feel like dirty nasty, you know?
Thank you!!

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Sara

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Heather
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I get it. I felt like that for a considerable period of time, but it's also something I found started to fall away pretty quickly once I stopped self-blaming and basically just accepted that something very ugly happened to me (because someone purposefully did something very ugly to me and just did not care how it impacted me) and that aside of what I did do, there was not likely anything I could have done to prevent it.

I'll give you that personally, that was likely an easier truth for me than it is for some people: after all, I'd been exposed to situations in which people were victimized from the first moments of my life I could remember. I know it's a much longer road for many other people.

All the same, even if we do play pretend and fantasize that you could have done something else or did do something else, the truth of the matter is that what has happened has already happened. At this point, it's just all about how you deal with it and what you do to get yourself to a place where you can heal.

Have you been able to talk to anyone in-person about this at all yet?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sarbear17
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I just don't know how much longer I can put the blame on myself. I'm beating myself up inside emotionally. I just really feel it's my fault..
But yeah I totally understand where your coming from.
I've told a few close friends, but that was through texting. I just told them because I wasn't sure if I was molested, raped, or just harrassed. I wanted to know if it was a big enough deal to bring to the attention of my parents. A guy from work, (who I like) could tell something was wrong the other night when I was thinking about it a lot, he knew about Aaron, and told me over and over that I was getting myself into a dangerous situation and asked and told me to quit talking to him. I told him I had met up with Aaron, and that was all I could say. He asked what happend, and I tried to tell him but I couldn't get it out. I would just mumble and stutter. I really tried to tell him, I just couldn't. He knows something happend, but he doesn't know what. He's the only one that I came close to telling in person.

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Sara

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Heather
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Well, I obviously vote for today being the last day you DO put blame on yourself. [Smile] If nothing else, you might consider asking yourself how, exactly, it's helped you in any way or how it might help you in the future to think that way. Sometimes, again, it can also help to put the shoe on the other foot: with women raped or assaulted every handful of minutes, was it all of their fault? If they told you their stories and they sounded like yours, whose fault would you think it was? If theirs, how could you earnestly not have the people who attacked them bearing the responsibility FOR attacking them? Why do they somehow get a free pass?

Sometimes it really can help to just say it out loud to someone supportive. This person at work sounds like a potentially safe person to do that with: for all you know, he may be asking because that guy has a history of attacking women, so he might even know or strongly suspect what happened already.

That doesn't mean you have to do that before you feel ready to, just that it might be a goal to look towards and a place where you know you could probably get some in-person support.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sarbear17
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They shouldn't get a free pass. That makes perfect sense. Thank you =]
I feel like I really can trust him, I mean he is 21, but I like him.
He told me yesterday how when he was 19 he tried to get custody of his 3 year old niece because his brother raped her. At the age of THREE. How could anyone rape their daughter? And how could anyone rape a 3 year old? I thought it was just awful...And I think he told me that because he knew something like that had happend to me, hoping I would tell him then. But I just got up and walked out of the room because I started tearing up and I didn't want him to know that something like that did happen...

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Sara

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September
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You don't have to tell him right away. How soon we're able to talk about something like this varies from person to person, and it's best to just take things at your own pace. If you want, you can just let him know that you do appreciate his help and do want to talk about what happened, but just aren't ready yet. It sounds like he'd be someone who can understand that and support you in that.

If and when you do feel ready to talk and work through what happened, you might also consider getting some counseling. If that's something you'd be interested in, you can let us know and we'll help you find a suitable place.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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sarbear17
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Thank you so much for everyones help!
I really do appreciate it!

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Sara

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