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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Raped and unsure how to proceed

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Author Topic: Raped and unsure how to proceed
PinkPenguin06
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Hi.

Right now I'm just looking for input from all possible sources regarding how I should handle it. I know the decision is ultimately up to me, but I'm just looking for advice.

The situation was as follows:
I am a freshman in college, and suffered from a very hard break up earlier this year. Only within the past 2 weeks have I been able to go out to parties with my friends. This past friday, I met a guy at a party and we were dancing and he felt me all over and directed me to feel him as well. That wasn't an issue. I was really impartial to that. I didn't particularly WANT that but I didn't discourage it because I simply didn't care. However, the next night I saw him at a formal ball my school was holding. I went over to say hi because my friend was over saying hello to him. He asked me if I'd had fun at the party the night before and I responded that I had. Then he slipped his hand around my waist and directed me out of the building. Due to my unfamiliarity with the location I wasn't quite sure of where he was taking me, but I didn't see the harm in going along with him. What he ended up doing was taking me outside behind a dumpster and pulling up my dress and feeling me. Then he pushed me down into the snow and wanted me to perform oral sex on him. I told him "no" specifically 3 times, however he kept insisting and he had his hand on my shoulder. I did for a bit but it wasn't very enjoyable. I then begged him if we could go somewhere else because it was freezing outside (in Vermont... and I was in my strapless dress). I told him I didn't care he could do anything as long as we got out of the cold. The closest place was my dorm and I actually ended up bringing him back to my room. I still didn't think the experience was that negative at this point. However, over the course of the next hour he made me perform oral sex on him repetedly, and had sex with me in various positions even when I told him he was hurting me and he should stop. He slapped me and cholked me at various times, and called me names like "bitch" and "whore". Afterwards, we went back to the dance. On the way, he told me that he was from a respectible family and also that we hadn't had sex because he considers sex more intimate... (implying that I shouldn't tell anyone). The worst part was my reaction. My initial reaction when this happened wasn't hatred. I asked him if he'd see me again. This has to do with an acute fear of people leaving me, but this reaction upsets me the most. The following day he sent me an email that said he was "sorry for hurting my feelings" and "sorry for being rude to me" (which was no where near the heart of the matter), which just seemed very assuming to me. And manipulative. That day I went to the health center and had an anonymous test conducted to collect evidence, and took the morning after pill, and everything. I am just wavering on various issues: whether it was rape or a situation that got out of hand (because I was the one who brought him into my room, and I can't tell whether the initial "no" but following through was changing my mind or submitting.) It was very demening but it wasn't anything scarring as far as I can tell.

My issue is that I don't know how to proceed: I truly do not want to charge him and I really feel like I don't want him to know I even consider this rape (and I don't know why I feel like that). I truly have an issue with negatively affecting his future. I don't want him to be affected long-term if this was simply a mistake that got out of hand, and even in general. I believe punishments should be short term and should NOT have long reaching consequences (based on my own punishments for mistakes I've made this past year). I do want him to recognize it, but I really have an aversion to confronting him about it.

I guess I'm just looking for any input you could give me. Thanks so much.

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JamsessionVT
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Where are you in Vermont, Penguin? I can help point you out to some help centers if you want them if I know where you are (I live in Shelburne, which is a few miles outside of Burlington.)

I am so sorry this has happened to you. I understand not being sure what to think, not wanting to confront him, all of it. But the fact is, he DID rape you. You said no to oral sex, and he forced himself on you. Whether or not you consented in order to get out of the cold, you told him to stop later and he didn't. That's rape.

I know this is hard for you, but coming from someone who also has been sexually harassed and abused, I hope you'll understand where I'm coming from. I truly, truly believe you should report this guy. I know how confusing it is, and how you aren't sure which direction to proceed in, but chances are if this guy took advantage of you, he'd do it again. Anyone who does something like this SHOULD be affected. It's easy to blame yourself for something like this, but from reading your post I don't believe it was your fault. He has a responsibility for his actions.

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Abbie
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Ecofem
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I'm so sorry to hear about this, PinkPenguin. It's not your fault and you're not alone. What this guy did was horrible: the forced sex, calling you names, and choking you even. The whole "from a respectable family" line is completely bs and the follow-up email was sort of a way cover his ***, but obviously also is totally crap. Inviting him to your room does NOT make it ok to do what he had done; you had said no at first and then repeatedly told him you were in pain. I'm glad you went to the health center-- it's not easy, but important, and you did that.

First, I recommend you stay away from this guy-- he is dangerous, has hurt you, and has and probably will continue to hurt others. Are there some in-person friends you can reach out to? What about your campus counseling services? Regardless of what you do legally, I think it's really important to get support and talk about this. What happened was traumatic and something important to get help with so it doesn't stay inside and get harder to deal with in time. This is just one post, but other people will be here with more advice and support. Thanks for coming to talk to us-- we're here for you.

edit: Jam was here first. [Smile]

[ 02-27-2007, 07:54 AM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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Heather
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First and foremost, pinkpenguin, good for you for voicing this and asking for help. That in and of itself is not an easy thing to do. Same for getting that rape kit done: always very difficult, and you did it.

quote:
I believe punishments should be short term and should NOT have long reaching consequences (based on my own punishments for mistakes I've made this past year).
One of the tricky things with a crime against another person, especially a rape, is that no matter what, it has long-reaching consequences, and the unfairness of that is that the person who will suffer them is you, not him. Even when a rapist does get charged, does serve time (which is pathetically rare, and sentences are short, when they exist at all), whatever legal consequences he suffers will be far shorter than the amount of time it'll take the person raped (if there has only been one) to heal and deal. I don't know what mistakes you made this year, but I'm guessing you didn't rape anyone or do them some other form of harm that may likely be a large issue with a person's relationships, sexuality and self-worth and esteem for years and years, and to some degree, for a lifetime.

The scars from rape often take a while to get a foothold (and often within the first few days or weeks, shock does a nice job of creating a buffer), I'm afraid, and often, they have real legs, and infect parts of our lives we'd never have predicted. [Frown]

How do you feel about going to the police, asking for a rape advocate, and asking about your options? You can often do that without naming names, and that's one way to realy get an idea of what choices you have so that you can decide what choice to make.

How about a friend? Is there maybe one friend for you at school who you can tell about this, maybe bring with you to the police, etc.?

Just one quick reminder: if you decide to report DO do it via the police, not a school reporting system. Unfortunately, school reporting systems are notorious for excusing rapes, not sharing info with police, usually simply to keep their campuses looking safe than they are to keep their tutitions rolling in. [Frown]

[ 02-27-2007, 09:39 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather
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Found these for you, penguin, btw, in case you're more comfortable asking someone about your options by phone who isn't associated with the police: http://www.stoprapevermont.org/ and http://www.vtnetwork.org/

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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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PinkPenguin06
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Thank you so much for your support and advice. I set up a meeting to discuss my options with the college dean tomorrow. I'm still very hesitant and the whole thing makes me sick to my stomach to actively think about but I know it's necessary. It's just kind of a shock. I'm very worried about the whole thing.
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Heather
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Of course.

However, I, again, cannot encourage you enough NOT to handle this within the school administration. Here's a piece specific to problems with that in Vermont, even: http://www.vermontwoman.com/articles/0806/sexual_assault.shtml

Really, reporting within a school is often a lose-lose for a victim. Colleges just all too often do a TERRIBLE job regarding rape, and it's often an arena where blame-the-victim is more highlighted than ever. Offenders are VERY selectively charged, punished, or even given suspensions: this has routinely been a very real problem with students who rape who are of a finscal benefit to colleges: those connected with families, or whose athletic or academic achievements are needed for the school's own gain. Many colleges who say they report cases to the police have later been found not to have done so in many or even most cases.

The offender very rarely is punished in ANY way, and the victim is often even more exposed.

So, I'd really suggest you contact one of the agencies I referred you to or just go to the police to discuss options.

[ 02-28-2007, 06:53 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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Ecofem
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Good luck! You're taking all the "right" steps, which can be so hard to do, so major props for that. I must agree with Heather about reporting it to the local versus campus police due to often crappy university policies on this stuff. Remember, whatever they may tell you, it's not your fault and we believe you. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow and hoping for the best. <3
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PinkPenguin06
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I'd like to see what the Dean mentions to me as for my options, but I will keep this article in mind. The thing is I'm not quite sure the extent to which he should be punished so I think having different options is good...

I'm still very unsure. I'm sorry.

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Beppie
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You know, a better place to go to learn about your options would be a confidential hotline. It is quite possible that if you do this through your school administration, you will NOT get a clear, unbiased view of what your options are. Follow this link, and then click on the link to "contact your local program"-- that has a PDF file with a list of confidential hotlines you can call. These people will tell you about your options, and they won't have protecting the reputation of the college utmost in their minds. Rather, they will be trying to help YOU.

If it's options you want, then please, please, go to an unbiased source.

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Ecofem
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Hey PinkPenguin, how are things going for you? How did that meeting with the Dean go? How are you feeling? Just wanted to drop a line because I've been thinking of you. [Smile]
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sxyboi
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EDITED: again, innapropriate and won't be tolerated. Find yourself something else to do.

[ 03-05-2007, 08:56 AM: Message edited by: JamsessionVT ]

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