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Author Topic: Reporting abuser
Redskies
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I'd really like to have a conversation about this and get some practical help, if that's ok.

I'd like to report the person who abused me when I was a child. I'm well aware I don't have to, and I don't owe it to anyone, and that it's likely pretty tough and will rake a lot of old muck up. It's just, every few months, I think about reporting again, and I don't think it's ever going to leave me alone. I strongly feel like it's the right thing for me to do.

I have two major reasons. One is that this person is now a serving police officer; I just cannot comfortably live with the fact that someone I know once abused someone is now in a position of power and likely has to deal with abuse situations sometimes. I have no idea what that person is like now, and it's not my job to; I do feel like someone should know that it's in their history and seriously assess whether they're suitable for the job. The other reason is that I know in many ways survivors are not "supposed" to talk about what happened to us, we're not "supposed" to rock the boat; official figures and reports are way, way short of the reality. I want to be part of something that says, no, this s* happens, it's nothing to be ashamed of for those it happened to, and society should damn well care that it happens. I also want to know that I'm free to say whatever I want in the future, if I want to, without having to think that I'm making unsubstantiated and unreported criminal allegations about somebody.

I'm not looking for or expecting any kind of official "justice" or action. I don't imagine there would be any court case anyway, and I'd prefer there wasn't one, just for how long drawn-out and stressful it would be.

I think I need some information from someone who knows about the English legal system and what's likely to happen. I also need someone who knows the likely implications of reporting a serving police officer for something that person did before they joined the force and when they were legally a minor.

I'm asking about those things here because I've had a good number of negative experiences around discussing the abuse, including with people and organisations who should absolutely have known better. (I've had some positive experiences, too, or else I wouldn't still be here today.) The repeated negative experiences make me very wary, and I ask here because I can read for myself the very supportive and wise responses given to everyone here. I've had problems in the past, in the early days with some people not understanding, or not wanting to understand, that I was telling them about abuse, and then in later days flat-out questioning and disbelieving my framing of it as abuse (including from organisations specifically for survivors), seemingly on the grounds of the abuser being related to me and also a minor at the time (5 year age gap). I also suspect many people (though hopefully not among people who deal with survivors) would not take the abuse seriously, as it didn't involve any type of penetration.

I don't want to talk to anyone whose aim is to try to talk me out of it (like at least 3 different organisations so far. It wasn't the right time for me to do it then, but I was perfectly capable of making that decision for myself, and it would've been better for me to find the decision that it was something I wanted to do whenever I was ready in the future.) If someone gives me some information that makes me change my mind, I'm fine with that. I don't think it's right, though, for people to start the conversation with me from the angle of what's <usually> good for people, not knowing who I am and trying to tell me it would be too hard and what would I really get out of it?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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Redskies: I'm not as informed about the UK system in this regard as I should be, so let me see if I can't put out a call and find someone for you who is, okay?

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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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Redskies
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Thank you, Heather. (And I don't think there's any "should" about it, you seem to know heap-loads about so much.)

And, um, just as a check, as a general thing, you don't think I'm being ridiculous here?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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No, I don't.

You're voicing a desire to report so that you can a) help protect other people, especially with this person now having more power by virtue of their position when it comes to work, b) get some sense of resolution and c) speak out, rather than feeling silenced.

These are all very common reasons people report, not anything unusual.

It also sounds like you already know that reporting, especially long after the fact like this, may be very emotionally difficult and not result in much. But you and I both know that just because something might be challenging doesn't mean there's no reason to do it, all by itself.

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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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Heather
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(Did you already talk to someone though Rape Crisis, btw?)

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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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Redskies
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No, I didn't. I was in a different area of the UK when I asked about it, and the places suggested to me were all more specific abuse survivor orgs; I don't know what Rape Crisis resources were available there or not. It's not an org anyone's ever suggested I talk to.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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Oh! Well, I have referred many UK survivors to them and have heard NOTHING but excellent things back. From all I can tell, they are pretty amazing.

They are here: http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/

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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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Heather
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If it helps to know, I can think of several adult victims of child sexual abuse who I know have been served very well through Rape Crisis. One of whom has a history that is probably one of the worst abuse histories I have ever heard, and who had done absolutely no healing and yet, in her 30s, worked with them and made a ton of progress and felt highly supported.

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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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Redskies
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Thanks. I'll try to have a look at them, I read what you say about them having been good, I'm just very untrusting generally now. I never really thought about them, as I guess I never considered a "crisis" description to apply to me. Clearly they operate more broadly.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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They do. They make very clear that they're not just there to serve people right at the time or just after assault or abuse, but at any time.

I also have a supporter of ours pinging a friend she thinks may be able to help.

I just don't want to give you information that isn't right or that I'm not sure will be useful to you.

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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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Redskies
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I'm sorry if I've seemed a bit daft here. Everything and anything I know about any of this stuff I've picked up myself as I've gone along, and I think I've often not had very complete information where I've tried to ask. I first went for help when I was a still legally a minor, and knew at that stage I definitely did not want to report, so did everything I could to ensure I stayed outside of the system and not set off any statutory reporting requirements. Somehow, no-one ever mentioned Rape Crisis as an org that might be appropriate to help me, so I just never really thought about it.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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I don't think you've been daft at all, and this is what we're here for! [Smile]

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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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Redskies
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Thank you [Smile]

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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Still signal-boosting on this, but what I keep getting back is that Rape Crisis would be a good place for you to start, and that you can expect someone at a center to talk you through all of your options like you seem to be asking for.

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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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Heather
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So, going to post a bunch of information from you about all of this that a colleague in the UK sent to me who works in and around these areas:

quote:
As you say Rape Crisis are a good place to start. They work country wide, they have a phone line and they deal with a lot of historic cases. I have not used them myself for years as I work with LGBT and Q young people I have a great net work for there needs. I use GALOP but they only work with LGBTQ people,(contact below if she is). Catherine has a good understanding of the criminal system and good contacts with the police.

Catherine Bewley
Sexual Abuse Caseworker
Galop
2G Leroy House
436 Essex Road
London N1 3QP

Office: 020 7704 6767
Helpline: 020 7704 2040
Fax: 020 7704 6707

If this was a more recent case (London south England based) I would advise the Havens: they see people up to a year after a assault. They can take evidence and store it up to 7 years (cold storage). They will take reports but they only contact the police when/if the person is ready. They do provided full health care for a person after a assault.

http://www.thehavens.co.uk/help/young_people.php

Or I would ring the Sapphire unit the London police who have treated every young person I have gone with kindly, gently and with respect. They also give priority to the victim and try and make every thing as easy as possible but once you go to the police you start losing the right to stop a investigation and can be charged with wasting police time.

http://www.met.police.uk/sapphire/advice.htm

I have emailed Catherine asking for a named contact who is not funded directly to deal with LGBTQ young people. If I learn more I can also ask some lawyers and police officers I work with and can have a informal chat with.

I have also added the Havens (Rape and sexual assault centre) and 56 dean street to find a doc. I use both with young people and they are good. They are also queer friendly. 56 Dean street are based in the middle of Soho. The at lest 50% of there patients are gay men, they also run clinics for Sex workers, Trans people, people into BDSM, HIV positive people and fast track young people. Being a UK sexual health clinic every thing is free to every body (even none UK residents). The records are kept apart from other medical files. So if say you are tested HIV positive their they will not tell your Doctor etc. unless you give permission. Finally the place looks like a posh hotel inside, has free drinks and WIFI (so welcoming).

And then Catherine, whose contact info she included up there, added:
quote:
I’m happy for you to pass on our number and my email if she wants to get in touch. I may not be able to advise, depending on the legal issues involved, hard to tell without more info but I’m happy for her to get in touch. In terms of another organisation, again it’s hard to know what to advise without more info. If it’s legal advice and she is LGBTQ, then Gallop can refer her to Pink Law or a relevant solicitor. My colleagues may know of other relevant organisations with more info. Rape Crisis should be able to answer a question too.
So, looks to me like excellent places to start!

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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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Redskies
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That's a seriously awesome set of resources for anyone with a question like mine. Thank you!

I've done a bit of reading around, including from a link of Rape Crisis England and Wales, to a site that has documents with legal guidance for women. The one for sexula assault reporting was pretty helpful, but it didn't cover offenses on under-13s or offences before 2004. Good to get a general picture, though.

I called my local Rape Crisis helpline. The person I spoke to was at least totally supportive. She couldn't really give me any info, though, and suggested I contact a different local place, which is also titled <Region> Sexual Assault Referral Centre. It seems a bit strange to me, as obviously I don't need any of the medical services, but she did say that they would probably be able to advise well on reporting, and with lots of experience under their belts, likely even reporting a police officer, too.

Maybe this is silly, I don't knoww. I feel a bit, well, almost a fraud, if I used the LGBTQ orgs. I AM B/Q, but, well, people generally simply know about 2 relationships I've had with guys. I'm assumed straight, although I don't like that, and I even go around with a Bi Pride colour pin on my bag; but it feels wrong to me to be really vocal about my orientation. I've mostly lived in "straight world", and I'd prefer not to, but I am aware of the advantages it gives. Plus, what I need the help for now isn't related to anything LGBTQ, my orientation is entirely irrelevant to the abuse I experienced as a kid. I wouldn't want to take the place of someone who really needs it, say someone who the mainstream authorities wouldn't serve well because their abuse happened in a LGBTQ context, someone who really really needs that advocacy.

Also. I'm scared that maybe someone will use my orientation against me, or more particularly, my orientation and open/poly relationship and participation in casual sex. I know they're not supposed to, and that all that should be legally completely irrelevant, but still. Also scared that this guy is a police officer. What if his colleagues use their position to try to "prove" his "innocence" by getting "dirt" on me? Also scared about other questions from my childhood. There was plenty not-ok there, that's for sure, and it's true that I think other stuff has more of an effect on me now, but it doesn't make the effect of the abuse any less true. I'm scared someone will try to roll it all up together and lump it all on, either I'm making a big deal about everything, or that I'm taking damage from the rest and putting it into the abuse. I'm scared that they'll dig around in my childhood and bring up things that I Never intended to come to light with my mother (about her own behaviour), because she's too fragile from her own dreadful childhood and because she's so badly, dangerously ill now. I'm scared they'll use my life records to drag up that I have mental health issues, and either use that against me or put it all in my mother's lap without my consent and probably cause her death with it. Also, I'm scared that when people ask questions, I won't be able to avoid mentioning the guy I used to be in a relationship with, and I'll have to cope with them contacting him to ask questions, when I really, really don't want them to, because I don't trust him and I don't want him Anywhere Near this, and I'm afraid of anything to do with me being put on his plate to give him more reason to remember me and damage my career if he can. Or, I try to tell them Why I don't want them to contact him, and how do I explain to most people who aren't trained in it that I consider the relationship abusive? How do I explain how toxic I find him without sounding unstable, and if I tell them I consider it abusive, won't that just give people a reason to think that I'm just exaggerating about the abuse I actually want to report?

I know these would be questions for people actually knowing about my reporting system, I'm sorry. I'm just scared.

Plus, my mother was hospitalised again. It wouldn't be good for her health for me to do this; but I also think she'd want me to do it while she was still alive so she could add her own evidence. I'm just worried about her health, as talking to anyone official for an hour or more completely uses all her energy and exhausts her. I also don't really want to talk to her about it in advance, as my relationship with my mother is complex, and difficult for me, and I have issues with her being controlling.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Redskies
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Sorry to be a bother... just wondering if I could have a few wise words on the above splurge of worry.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Kachina
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Hi Redskies, I'm sorry but I'm a little unsure on what your actually asking here?

You're not a fraud for using LFBTQ resources - as you've said you are B/Q. And you aren't taking the place of someone who really needs it, YOU really need it too!

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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Redskies
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Sorry. Um, if I can do any better, I just wondered if there was anything constructive/supportive anyone could say about the lump of stuff I said I'm worried about, like the situation with my mother, my general childhood history, the jerk of an ex, the "abuser-is-now-a-police-officer".

Also, there's this small thought in my head that says, "why do you want to make life so hard by reporting this?? And are you so sure it's right to report, he was a mixed-up teen, and you didn't give that much of an indication that what was happening wasn't ok, and it wasn't That major..." Even though I know that thought is wrong. Unfortunately I've had a few experiences that provide support for that wrong thought.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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Well, let's start with that second piece.

Do you think that reporting will make your life harder, rather than easier? Because I think that's a pretty key question. If you don't think this has more benefit to offer you than detriment, then I think it makes a lot of sense to reconsider, since the whole point of doing this was supposed to be about offering you positives.

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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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Redskies
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I think it will make my life harder in some ways. Certainly in the short term, it'll be emotionally and mentally taxing. It will likely cause me some sadness, as I imagine the relationship with my aunt would be irreparable. I have real worries about if how I feel about my childhood gets dragged up and shared either generally, or with either of my parents, particularly my mother, who just couldn't handle it. I'm concerned about an effect on my mother's health generally, and her health being worse is worse for me.

Where that "make life harder" is coming from, though, is really about everyone Else's lives. Including the person who abused me. There's this small thought in my head that maybe it's wrong to disrupt someone else's life for something they did years ago, when they were in a mess themself, and I have no idea who they are now... And feeling like it will make people's lives harder, and feeling bad about that, is a big part of why I want to report. It's kind of a way of demonstrating to myself that I Shouldn't feel bad about this, that this Wasn't my fault, and I Can call it abuse if I want.

I have trouble sometimes, because it was another young person, a teenage person, and often the line in my head between "young people experimenting" and "abuse" gets very, very muddled. It definitely felt like abuse to me. I felt like I had to do what people wanted, and I tried to say no and he made fun of me. I was definitely afraid. I just wonder whether he reasonably could have known that he was doing something wrong. It feels wrong to hurt someone's life if they couldn't reasonably have known they were doing something wrong. I suspect overall I might not have given that many obvious indications that it wasn't ok.

And then I remind myself of a few things. I remember particularly one thing he said to me, I was 11, I think. TRIGGER WARNING (although it wasn't really possible, but still), he once told me that if there was any chance I could be pregnant, I should jump off a cliff.

Now, I kind of thank him for that. I can't think of that without it being brightly clear that the situation was abusive. I know that I'm simply doing what the vast majority of abused people do, doubt ourselves, wonder if we have the "right" to have the same care taken of us as people who were "really" abused. I know that, and yet it's hard sometimes to make all my thoughts align with it.

I know that wasn't really what you asked, Heather, but I think that's really where the "it'll make life harder" stuff is coming from.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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It's okay, that filled me in pretty well.

So, gut feeling: is this something you want to do or not? Like, if you had to make a call on it right this very second, would it be a go or a no-go for you?

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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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Redskies
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Go. Definitely.

This had been kicking around for over 3 years, so the "it won't leave me alone" aspect (thinking about reporting) is a more long-term thing. It just so much feels like the right thing to do. I get feelings like that about things, and I'm nearly always right. I'm just afraid of the possible costs. And I always need to check out my gut feelings, look before I leap, as it were.

I think I would feel good about having done it. I think it would help me to feel strong. I think it would help me to feel like I'd tied up that particular damaging aspect of my life as much as I could.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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Okay. [Smile]

So, how about taking these concerns to one of those resources I found for you where you can talk about them with someone who also has the context of all of this in your country?

And I agree with Kat: LGBTQ services are for LGBTQ people. That's who they're for, that's who providers want to use them. It sounded like that referral was probably a great once, especially given the time she already gave to you through email with me, so I'd suggest going ahead and starting with her.

(P.S. Heterosexism and heterocentrism don't make someone queer not queer nor less queer. Plenty of queer people are assumed to be straight. If being LGBTQ meant only those of us who no one never assumed to be straight or cisgender, well...there'd probably be exactly none of us.)

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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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Redskies
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Yes, that would be a good plan. I just have trouble sometimes with doubting myself around the abuse.

And of course you're right about the LGBTQ services. I'd know what to say to someone saying what I did, but somehow end up thinking and saying the same things myself.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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Well, the kinds of resources we identified here can help you with that. [Smile]

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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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Redskies
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Yes. I meant, I need to feel sure enough in myself when I actually speak to someone. I have the usual doubting-self stuff going on, but also, some experiences have not helped. Years ago on a general helpline, someone did not realise that what I was telling them was abuse. More recently, a general counselor kind of doubted it, and I semi-politely verbally nearly took their head off (because I figured that I likely had more expertise in that area than they did, so was surer that they were wrong). A person on a specific survivor's helpline explicitly questioned and doubted my framing as abuse, due to the other person being a young person at the time, and that really shook and upset me. Those experiences really did not help my own doubts, as they play into my particular sensitive area about why what I experienced "isn't Really abuse, like that other Real abuse".

I also have difficulty generally asking for help from new people. I'm trying to work on it. I guess I was trying to deal with my doubts in a place that felt safe before going back to trying the contacts.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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You know, you don't have to. It's okay to feel all the ways you do.

After all, it's not like trained rape and sexual abuse advocates aren't familiar with denial, self-blaming and people internalizing messed-up messages about abuse.

So, if you do find you have the rare unsupportive experience, you ditch, and know that that's about their lack, not yours. As with any field, everyone isn't totally awesome, but on the whole, those of us who work in this area get all of this.

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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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Redskies
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Small update: I talked to the centre more local to me (directed there by Rape Crisis) and they reckon they can deal with all the different considerations in this situation. I have an appointment to go see them and talk in more depth in a few days. Depending on how well I feel they cover the answers to my questions, I might call the other contact above if I feel like it would be better.

For anyone who's wondering, the info I've got so far is that any police I would speak to would be specially trained in this area, as would police talking to any friends/family. The case would also be specially flagged up from the start as involving a police officer, and so wouldn't have the details included on the central incident report list. I'm hoping to get more info on the detailed implications from the meeting.

Also, the centre said they should be able to provide someone to be with me while I speak to the police.

I know that most people in the field really get this stuff. It's not that I don't trust Them, but that I don't trust people generally to take care of me.

I got passed from pillar to post the last time I inquired about this, in a different part of the UK, so I just felt a bit uneasy about being "passed on" again. I don't mind at all in principle, but it wasn't too good repeatedly without getting to anyone helpful.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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How do you feel about, as you enter these conversations, making a clear statement that you have experienced poor treatment around this before, so feel wary and worried? I feel like putting that out there is a) a way for you to voice your feelings and fears so you can know they're on the table, and b) a heads-up for anyone helping you now to know you are asking for better treatment.

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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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Redskies
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That would seem to be a helpful thing to do. I think I'd already need to have a baseline feeling that whoever I was talking to was an ok person to talk to. I feel positive about the contact I've had with the centre so far, and feel like they've approached with a general rule of "this is going to be a sensitive thing for anybody/everybody". I think I'd feel ok about mentioning it at the start of the meeting.

If I can ask for a personal opinion on something - I'm planning on not telling anybody other than my partner until after I've reported. Obviously that has some implications on a few other people, most notably my mother. I've experienced her being manipulative and controlling about a lot of things, and I don't want to involve anyone else before it's done. I don't think my dad will agree with it, so I don't really want that conversation at all. I think I would just ask my partner to talk to him for me (my partner had good awareness about the issues involved before we met and now generally rocks as an ally for anyone on this, so I'd consider that a good option). I imagine I'd call my mother and let her know as soon as I'm able afterwards, just so any police contact isn't a complete surprise to her. Just checking, it doesn't sound unreasonable to not give any idea to people who it's going to have an effect on?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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I think that in terms of who you disclose to, throughout this and period, what to lead with there is what YOU need in order for this to be as positive for you as possible. I also think that if and when you know anyone in your life will not be supportive of you with this, it's good self-care not to include them, really.

No one "owes" anyone this kind of information, you know? This is yours and about you and what you need. You're a survivor of abuse: this is victim care. Maybe this would be one of those things where putting the shoe on another foot -- visualizing someone like you in this same spot who isn't you -- might help?

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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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Redskies
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That's what I was thinking. I guess I was doing self-care by mentioning it here, so that I never need to doubt myself about it. I think my dad will be "...what the..." and my mum will be "why didn't you Tell me, and I would much rather have been prepared for this, this is very stressful for me too..." And I do have to think twice about my mother, because of how ill she is. I didn't think that I was being unreasonable, but now I know that someone else also doesn't think I'm being unreasonable [Smile]

And, if I can ask something really bluntly. You don't think I'm being unfair or over-the-top to the person I want to report? Sometimes I still doubt that he "deserves" being reported.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
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The thing about reporting is this: it's not on you to decide if charges should be pressed,or if this person did or did not commit a crime.

Reporting is what we do when we know or suspect a crime has been committed. If and when we do, then it's on the justice system to investigate and make their calls about it. Reporting is not a punishment or a sentence or even charges. It's speaking your own truth, that's all, and so long as you are being truthful, it's all good if that's what you want to do.

I don't know that it even makes sense to think about reporting a crime as what the person who did or may have committed it "deserves" makes any sense for that reason. Get what I mean? reporting really isn't about them, it's about the person or people (or property, whatever) to whom or where a crime was or may have been committed.

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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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Heather
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I'm wondering if an analogy may help.

Let's look at, say, two different crime situations. In both, someone has clearly robbed my house.

In one of those situations, many things of value and need were taken from me, graffiti was left, maybe my dogs were even let out, etc. Let's say I can talk to said robber, and they basically don't take any responsibility, maybe even swear at me, say they feel entitled to my stuff, etc.

In another, I come and find the robber still in there, because they're sleeping on my couch and what they took was some food. In talking to them, it turns out they were homeless and hungry, and they feel terrible.

Both are crimes, and I would be within my rights to report either. While in either case, reporting isn't about what they deserve, I might choose not to report the second case because I recognize a very different situation from the first, and maybe feel strongly that person would not have committed the crime were they not so desperate. Plus, they didn't really do me harm.

But either way, reporting still isn't really about what they "deserve," but about how *I* feel about it, what harm they did me, and what I feel their intentions were, etc. And either way, I think someone who chose to report either of those situations would still be well within their rights.

(That was a little more floaty and obtuse than it sounded in my head, but maybe it'll still help, so I'll leave it.)

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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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