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A serious discussion about abuse?

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Kaoru
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0 posted 07-14-2009 06:10 PM       View Profile for Kaoru   Email Kaoru   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kaoru


So, I recently became aware that a friend of mind was sexually assaulted about a week ago. Apparently, she was pretty intoxicated so when she told her other friends and her family what happened they didn't really take her seriously.

Basically, she was taken advantage of, and she told me she had expressed her disinterest in the guy a few times before she couldn't care adequately for herself. She said she told him she felt uncomfortable and she also said no more than a few times.

In my honest opinion, I feel that a woman (or man!) can say yes a million times when they're drunk, but the minute they say no, even if it's just once, the man(or woman) should back off completely.

Also, as far as I know, when a person is intoxicated they are unable to give informed consent to anyone, so that's considered what? Date rape?

Any comments on this one? I'm not sure how to help aside from being a comfort and I'm also not sure how to emphasize to her family how serious this really is. They think she's crying wolf. That makes me sick to my stomach.
brneyedgrly
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1 posted 07-14-2009 08:42 PM       View Profile for brneyedgrly   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for brneyedgrly


if i may, kaoru...

i am not claiming to be an expert or anything, but i've worked at a sexual assault center for the past 7 years...here's what i know...

i agree, as well as the law, that when someone says 'no' that is it...no means no...even more so when you are intoxicated.

and you're right...an intoxicated person cannot give true consent.  however, it would not be considered a 'date rape' due to the alcohol.  a 'date rape' is when drugs that incapacitate are used to enable an easier assault...they are usually slipped into a beverage without the victim's knowledge.

since a week has passed, it will do no good to go to the emergency room for an evidence collection kit...that time frame is 72 hrs after the assault... but you should urge her to be checked by a doctor for any std's...
she could file a police report if she wanted to pursue it legally, however, the truth is that the case wouldn't probably go anywhere without the evidence kit being done.

it makes me sad that her family doesn't believe her and is not being supportive...but, here's the good part...you believe her and can be a great strength for her...my recommendation is to find her local SA center to see what services they offer.  a rape victim is very susceptible to developing 'rape trauma syndrome' which is the exact same thing as PTSD.  a common reaction of a victim is to want to act as if and carry on as if nothing out of the ordinary happened.

anyway...hope this helps...good luck

~shellie

don't wait for the storms to end~
learn how to dance in the rain...

Bob K
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2 posted 07-15-2009 07:13 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Kaoru,

     I have heard this or variation of this from several women over the years.  It's always in confidence, so they have no reason to lie to me.  They have various degrees of belief in the story themselves because of the situations they have taken place in.  I suspect that they're generally true, and it sounds as though your friend's story is true.  Shellie is offering excellent information and advice.  She may want to discuss with her counsellor whether she wants to speak to the man involved or perhaps bring him into some of the sessions, though the latter course may prove very difficult.  Also his perception of the events may be different than hers.

     I believe your friend's version is accurate, by the way.

     Rape, not being particularly a sexual crime, is hard to defend against.  You have probably heard that it is a crime of violence.  I think this is probably true.  I think it is also possibly a crime about assertion of power, so it is often blamed on the victim.  It is a way of re-victimizing, a sort of two for the price of one.  How pretty or how old the victim is can make a difference, but isn't necessarily the deciding factor.

     One of the factors that I have heard brought up frequently by folks who've been raped is alcohol.  I did a lot of therapy with folks with drinking issues, so you must understand that my sample was stacked in that direction.  I suspect that drinking or drugs however is a common factor in the cases where rape comes up  of counsellors who did not see such a high ratio of drug and alcohol folks.  We sometimes talk about these things, though not about confidential stuff, which is off the table.

     In addition to the number of rapes that happen to victims while they are high on alcohol, I believe alcohol tends to disinhibit potential rapists as well.  This is not a good combination for either party.  There is also the situation of folks who drink and "pass out."

     "Passing out" means essentially that the brain is not putting events into memory that lasts longer that about five minutes.  Longer-term memory is temporarily not functioning, and the person can loose hours or days of memory, not knowing where they've been or who they've been with for the time in between.  There are comic stories about this sort of thing, but most of the folks that I've dealt with who've had the experience have not reported anything comic about it.

     For that reason, I would suggest that your friend limit the amount of drinking she does to one or possibly two standard sized drinks a night, no more, and that she limit those she dates to those who do the same.  She should try that for a month and talk to you to see if her dating life is any different.  Heck, if her life is any different, period.  Perhaps this might make a difference.

     She needs to get connected to counseling or therapy.  I'm terribly sorry that such a wretched thing happened to her, and I'm more than sorry that people don't believe her.  The events were real, she is real and her suffering is real, and if she can talk it over with s good counselor or a group, she will experience her recovery as real as well.  If her parents have been treating her as though she's been crying wolf, she may even experience herself as more real than before.

Very sincerely yours,

Bob Kaven
brneyedgrly
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nowhere and everywhere


3 posted 07-15-2009 09:52 PM       View Profile for brneyedgrly   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for brneyedgrly

~bob...

first of all, i think you gave some really great information about drugs and alcohol

if i may clarify a few things though...and i mean no disrespect to a senior member : )

sexual assault (SA) centers will not see abusers...only victims.  it has to be a safe place for them to come.  

yes...an abuser will most definitely have a different perception from the victim...that's his (her) problem...

yes...SA is about power and control (not sex) using violence to whatever degree...the very act of it being forced is violence.

actually...SA is only hard to defend against if an evidence kit collects DNA...but the sad truth is that an accusation of SA will not even make it to court without it.  so, if someone finds him(her)self facing these types of charges...well, what do you think?

the saddest part of this is that we see perps (official term   ) every month go through the court system, DNA evidence and all, and either plead to a lesser charge (offered by the lazy? poor? state's attorneys office) or walk free...

depending on the case, it can actually be hard to get a good conviction.  it is extremely damaging for victims when perps go free.  and all the time we see new victims from the ones who do.  

and i've never been aware of a case where age or looks have made a difference despite what the movies show us.

thanks,

shellie
Kaoru
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4 posted 07-15-2009 10:01 PM       View Profile for Kaoru   Email Kaoru   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kaoru

Yes, I have heard about how difficult it is to bring SA to court and actually put someone away for it. I am sure that's why a lot of people don't report it at all.

My friend has had on again off again days, some days she seems to be doing fine and well, others she is anxious and depressed. It really is a difficult thing to witness, but I am there mostly every day since she told me to be a support.

I suggested that she get counseling. It seems to me that it would do a world of good. She can learn to accept what happened and move forward, and she can also learn to note warning signs and know how to keep herself away from a situation.

Anyone, and I mean anyone, who drinks at all has gotten really drunk at least once in their lives, and unfortunately, sometimes it puts them in a really bad spot.

Thank you for your replies. All very helpful and informative.
Bob K
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5 posted 07-15-2009 11:23 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Kaoru,

          It's the fact that others deny your friend's reality that bothers me most.  Or the importance of it, or the significance of it.

Yours, Bob Kaven
Kaoru
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6 posted 07-16-2009 12:56 AM       View Profile for Kaoru   Email Kaoru   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kaoru

That bothers me, also. I can't for the life of me understand why people would be so quick to disbelieve in what she says.

She needs support, and it's sad that I am the one that gives it to her and not her closer friends or family.
Penwing
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7 posted 07-27-2009 08:15 PM       View Profile for Penwing   Email Penwing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Penwing

my thoughts and prayers go out on this one and the way that people sre handling this makes me sick i would have more to say but previous posts have taken the words clean out of my mouth
  
        best wishes
            ,Penwing
 
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