Donate Now
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Why Can't I Stop...

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Why Can't I Stop...
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
...looking over my shoulder?

When I ask that, I mean this literally. I have a couple of classes with 2 of the men from the gang that raped me last spring. And every time I walk into the room, I scan to see if they're there or not.
And I can't go 5 minutes without glancing at them to make sure they're still across the room, and not coming over by me. It's becoming noticeable, because half the time I can't hide my flinch or the twisting of my face, the latter of which I try to veil by dropping my head into my hands.

I finally asked my Prof today if Adam (the one who roofied me) had dropped the class or not, because he hadn't been in class for over 2 weeks, at the least.
"Do you know if Adam *surname* dropped this class?" I asked him.
He looked at me sharply, noticing my cringe at speaking his name. (By the way, he knows that something happened to me on another field trip because I spoke to him about it, and that I was uncomfortable with field trips anymore, especially 'cause it is going to be horribly similar to the one where my rape happened.)
He said, "I don't know everybody's names yet, but I'll look, Sara. Are you okay?"
I managed to suppress my flinch somewhat, and stared at the wall, but I was able to mumble, "Yeah; it would just be really awesome if he was NOT on this field trip, if you know what I mean."
"Well, I'll check."
"Thanks," I mumbled (I was surprised I could get my voice to work at ALL) and then made some random conversation, before fleeing.

I think people are starting to realize that more happened than just some insidious, disgusting taunts. At least, not the incompetent peons, but actual important people, like professors.

And honestly, I don't know how I feel about that. I mean, I can't even tell my mother, for crying out loud! And these teachers don't keep things to themselves! They talk to each other constantly!
I just... God, I'm so confused and conflicted about EVERYTHING.

Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd say it's because the people who assaulted you are people you know could assault you again since they are still right near you.

In other words, this is not an unreasonable fear: it's a sound fear, and a smart one. I know it also sucks utterly, to have to still be scared, but when someone hurts you, and no justice is done and that person (or people) is still around, it makes sense to still be scared. Fear is our mind's way, usually, of helping to keep us safe.

So, I don't mean to enable your fear, but I think it's wise you're still being vigilant, and wise you feel scared.

Where does that leave you? Well, we can certainly talk about your options in reporting to the real-deal police again, if you'd like. Or, we can talk about you considering a transfer, which is also an option and would probably make you feel a lot safer (even though I know how moving away from people who have done harm can feel defeating, too). Or, we can brainstorm together for some more creative ways for you to deal with this just as it is.

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I actually considered transferring and looked up a few colleges. Problem is that the college that best fits my needs is doubly expensive (over $6,000), and 5 hours--though still within my state--from my family (not necessarily a bad thing). I actually spoke to a female professor--the only one who believed me when I said I was roofied (she also spoke to the Prof mentioned above)--and told her I was considering transferring, and she was so upset about it.

Also, I spoke to a mental health crisis counselor on my campus, and when I mentioned transferring, she replied almost holier-than-thou-like wit, "If you leave, you're letting THEM win."
I was appalled, and replied with, "That's not the point. Should I stay, allow the close proximity to them ruin my GPA, my CAREER!, as well as my mental and phsyical health so they DON'T WIN, rather than transfer to another college where I feel safe, can focus and concentrate and get good grades? I don't know about you, but that sounds like they win, to me."

She just sniffed, and then said, "It's up to you, I guess."

I was so indignant that I spouted, "Yup, since my life, I guess it is. Thanks," and picked up my bag and left the room. Haven't gone back since. I refuse to be treated like an incompetent wimp.

I don't know what to do. I don't think I can make a police report, because I only have flashes and glimpses of images of their faces, and all I really know is that SOMEONE--several someones raped me, and that it could've been them, or others. I just don't know for sure.
Maybe talking to the Dean would help. God, I hate feeling lost and with no idea what to do or where to go next.

Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry it took me so long to reply.
Oh, and that female Prof also tried to convince me to stay.
But, I mean, I might as well, right? I only have a year and a half left, and it's likely many of my credits won't transfer.

I honestly don't mind change--life is a road with many forks and multiple possibilities/options--but it does get under my skin when I feel like I was forced into that change. But, it's more important to me in having a sound mind and the feeling of safety, than refusing such a big change.

Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm so sorry that counselor talked to you that way. I'm utterly pissed off on your behalf.

Do you want to talk about what making a police report could involve now so that you at least have some sense of that as an option in your decision-making process around it?

I can't tell you the right or wrong thing to do regarding staying or transferring, because there isn't one, there's only what you feel best about and think is going to be the best choice for you. That said, if it were me, and my college security and administration served me this poorly around an assault that happened in a school setting, I'd probably try and strategize around what I could get them to do for me to make amends to make a transfer more workable, if that's something I wanted to explore.

At the same time, it sounds like you have compelling reasons to consider staying, so you might want to try exploring your other options first?

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What other options do I have? Usually I have a broad spectrum of scintillating possibilites blinking like lights inside me, and never have a problem seeing different paths and options... but this horrid assault has made me blind--in this sense at least. And it's so utterly frustrating.
Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, let's first sort this out: do you want to talk about reporting as an option, and what that option could mean and involve at this point in time?

[ 03-01-2011, 07:19 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Definitely. I want to report it--at least their behavior to the Dean, if nothing else. Not sure much else can be done, because I was not tested for Rohypnol, and have no hospital records to prove I was raped because back then, I didn't think I had been.

But, yes, even though I think that, whatever extensive knowledge you have both involving campus reporting and police reporting, I would love to hear what you have to say, and what those options could mean.

Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Let me fill you in a little on my sense of what reporting to the police would be like now and could result in, okay? I'd suggest you go back over this with the rape counselor when you see that person since they're more likely to be clued in on how things go where you are locally, but what I say is a general overview.

Without evidence -- like an exam that was done after your assault or bloodwork -- that means you probably (not absolutely) could not press charges. However, the fact that you reported this to campus security and they did not act accordingly may change that. But if it does not, you could at least file a report and also file a report around the way your campus security acted poorly. You could possibly get an order or protection, which would mean those guys have to stay a certain distance away from you. You would not have to remember everyone involved: whoever you do remember is enough to get started.

Filing a report would mean that if and when (sadly probably more when) any of them assault someone else, your report could back up theirs and result in charges. It might also make you feel a lot better. These guys would also likely get investigated, which would probably make them work harder to stay away from you.

Personally, I don't ever advise anyone report a rape to campus security only because, sickeningly, so many colleges view rape as a PR problem first and formost and SO many campus security systems treat rape poorly, as you have very unfortunately discovered. if and when campus security does not strongly encourage a rape victim to report to the police, we can know they are very much not doing their job.

In terms of reporting to the police and/or the dean, can you give me a better picture of what you reported to campus security and what their actions where again? For whatever it was, do you have any kind of paperwork at all?

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow, that just breaks my heart. Yeah, that's pretty much how the campus police treated it: like it was nothing and that I wasn't roofied, just drunk is all (even though I told them I had 3 sips).
When I made the report, I went with what I knew at the time. That I knew I was roofied, and told the woman police officer what I remembered, the things they said, and when I finally got a copy of the report a couple of months ago, I was APPALLED! She basically put nothing down, entered the WRONG state, and even the wrong Lake! (It occurred on Lake Superior and nowhere even near Lake Michigan, like she wrote.)

I knew when I made the report that she didn't believe me, because I was laughing nervously, but my hands were wringing to the point of acute pain. Or that I was shaking, my eyes moving about the room nervously, and other signals of anxiety from sexual abuse did not register with her. I must've been lying, then.
But, what I did not know is how POORLY she took the report. I listed 6 men making the comments, not "3 or 4" as she put down.
When I got a copy of the report, she wrote down 3 sentences, one of the smallest police reports I've ever seen, and got several details WRONG, not counting what she excluded, dismissed as unimportant!
Looking back, I recognize the look of impatience on her face, and the fact that she kept getting up and sitting down (almost unnoticeably) like she couldn't wait to get out of there, and when she did leave, she blew out of there so fast, I had to find my way out. She just left me there.

So, the report is not only obscenely incorrect, it's missing ALL kinds of very important details and this just leaves me appalled.

They, both the people (one woman, and a week later, a man) I spoke to, completely disregarded the event as nothing important.

I remember I literally left their office crying.

Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Despite the fact that I am livid right now -- as I always am every time I hear a tale like this, and we hear them again and again and again -- this is good that you have paperwork, even if you know it is inaccurate.

So, let me ask you something else: by any chance, would you be willing to consider talking to a laywer about this? I ask that because something like this is potentially a lawsuit, and one that could result in a settlement that would help you transfer somewhere and be able to afford it, get some extra funding for counseling and care you need, and perhaps feel a whole lot better about the double-injustice done you here.

I wish I had words to express how angry I am on your behalf. I know that probably doesn't help you much, but if it does, please know that my hands are shaking typing this, I'm so mad.

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, I didn't mean to upset you.

Someone once said to me I could do a civil lawsuit--which, to my knowledge, is about monetary compensation. And then I was insulted. Like, I don't want MONEY! I want people to know those men are DANGEROUS! I want the campus to take this SERIOUSLY!
But, now, with the knowledge that it's so difficult to go to school, here, and that what the campus did is lawsuit liable (a couple people have told me this), maybe I could get some money so I can get the hell out of here--which is the only way I'd be able to do it.

But, I still feel like slime, even considering it.

Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You didn't upset me. Your campus upset me. Please don't apologize or feel guilty about that. Plus? I'm an activist: I know how to use my anger when it comes up around these things. [Smile]

I would not feel like slime considering any kind of lawsuit. Lawsuits, ideally, are for when injustice has been done and you're seeking to rectify it. So long as you're not seeking something that isn't reasonable or sound, or isn't honest, I don't see any reason to feel bad about considering using the legal system for exactly what it is intended for. And the way I see it, potentially a case could result in you both getting the justice and awareness you want and in you being taken care of the way you should have been in the first place.

So, is that something you want to consider? One suggestion a friend's partner just made to me (I often ask around with cases like yours) is that you contact your local Office for Civil Rights as one inroad.

one thing I think we should make sure we talk about with these options is balancing what you can do actively with what you emotionally feel up to. Doing or not doing any of these things should always bear what you feel you can handle at the time in mind. Whatever that is or is not, it's okay. In other words, I hope you know that with any of this, you don't have to feel stronger than however it is you feel.

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, and I don't have money for a lawyer.

I'm already trying to look for a new place, because one of my roommates is completely unstable, threatening beatings and being voyeuristic. My other roommate (also a male) wants out too, 'cause he's tired of the way this freak is treating me, and treating him. So that means, more Security Deposits and extra rent, if I can't break this lease. And my family is anything but rich.

Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't think money would be an issue with a case like this. Do you want me to look into legal resources near you and which serve around these issues tomorrow? If so, I'm happy to, I just need a zip code.

I'm so sorry that on top of everything you're having creepy housemate issues. [Frown] My hat's off to you for holding up so well with all of this: I hope you're giving yourself credit.

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I feel like I can do this. My problem is I have to rely on people for information and help with the process and through recent experiences, that's not always so easy, because people slack off. (And hey, I completely understand overload, because I slack off, too, at times--but this is IMPORTANT! At least, it is for me. And if the person helping knows it's important, shouldn't they be persistent and on the issue?)

And yes, I feel strong enough to do this.

Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, they SHOULD be persistent and on the issue. You have not been served well, and that is no one's fault but the people who have not served you well. It never fails to be so awful and crappy that when it comes to rape, sometimes you already have to go through something so awful and be terrorized one way, then get mistreated again in trying to seek out help. That's been getting better over the decades, but it is still nothing even close to good, and every time someone is served poorly, they have every right to be angry, because it is ALWAYS inexcusable.

So, if this is an avenue you want to explore, you can post your zip code here or use the "contact us" link below to email me if you feel better about that. You have my word that I will make every effort to find out who we can get you connected to who seems very likely to serve you better than you have been.

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, that would be great. I have no idea where I could even begin, looking for legal resources. I sure as hell can't ask the Legal Office on campus.

I'm starting to realize maybe I am stronger than I previously thought (even though people have been telling me that forever--how could I believe it when I felt so weak and pathetic?) because how could I do half of the things I've pursued regarding this subject when I'm frail?

I've realized I'm anything but helpless. But I still feel so vulnerable... Does any of that make sense?

Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You know, if you'll humor me for a minute, my personal experience and conception of strength is that it has an awful lot to do with exactly how we act and feel when we are most vulnerable. After all, it's pretty easy to be strong when we're not vulnerable: what tests our strength most is usually how it goes when we are.

I'd agree though: in having the exchanges we have, you SOUND a lot stronger and more resilient than it seems like you give yourself credit for, and I'm so, so glad to hear you recognizing that for and in yourself. You've certainly got my admiration and respect.

Later down the road it might be even easier to see; I know that for myself, when I look back it's a lot easier to recognize when I've been a total badass when the chips were down than it ever was when I was in it.

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Aw, you just made me blush. [Razz]

What's weird for me, though, is I've dealt with a lot--a LOT--in my short 23 years (not even 23 yet, either), and while I recognize my strength and confidence with other things, like surviving extreme psychological, emotional, and phsyical abuse by my dad when I was younger, along with severe bullying while in grade school that resulted in a few attacks/beatings, multiple sexual assaults (nothing close to this gang-rape experience, though) as well as MUCH, MUCH more, I've surpassed and survived all of that, I recognize how stong and resilient I was to survive it. (What a run-on sentence!) I certainly know others who would've resorted to drug and alcohol dependence on not even a tenth of what I've been through, and I'm Bi-Polar to boot! (No, I'm not drug or alcohol dependent, and it's a miracle I'm not. Or maybe just luck...)

But regarding this, I feel so pathetically weak. Maybe I'm wrong.

Oh, and Zip Code sent to you.

Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I got it, and I'm on it. I'm about to head off soon for the day, but I'll start researching tomorrow.

You know, let's just say that right now, you are whatever "pathetically weak" is. If that's so? It's okay. If we can't be weak sometimes, or just be hurting or small or fragile we can't be all it is to be human. We all get to be those things sometimes.

But I totally hear you. As someone who has survived a lot herself, I know that it can be a big part of who we become, and personally, while I certainly think there are other ways to get there, I think survivors...well, I think we're all pretty darn awesome. [Smile]

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostMySoul22
Activist
Member # 57033

Icon 1 posted      Profile for LostMySoul22     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, it's getting late--almost 9PM here. (I'm assuming it's about 7PM there, in islands near Seattle. *wink wink*)

I like to think I'm a bit awesome, even though I'm quirky (and somewhat damaged). It makes me feel unique and better about being so weird.

Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So. Let's both head off for the night, and I'll check back in as soon as I have some info for you, but feel free to pop back in if you need/want to keep talking in general. [Smile]

--------------------
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

Posts: 67933 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3