The Military Protects Rapists.

My Duty to Speak

M.T FLorida

I joined the Air Force at age 18, in 1981. I after basic and technical school I arrived at MacDill AFB. I was the first woman in my career field assigned to my shop and was not accepted at all.

My first roll call I was told that I would not be there long as I had no business invaded this man’s career field. I was told that I would be carried out in a body bag, commit suicide, go AWOL, or be put in a straight jacket before they were done with me.

Within a couple weeks I was attacked at the barracks (not raped) and suffered a head injury which my attacker did this in front of a group of people and never was charged. While in the hospital one of the supervisors started to befriend me. He built my trust up. At a party off…

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I was Afraid of Him and I didn’t Know Why

Testimony by Leah

How do I begin to tell my story? It has been 5 and a half years since the beginning of my story took place, and I still don’t know how to begin. You never think you could be abused and violated by a friend so badly, but you can. Friends can rape friends. And that is exactly what happened to me.

I decided to go to party at my friend’s house with a couple of my girl friends, and was ensured a safe ride home by one who was not going to drink. After what I remember to only be two or three glasses of white wine, I walked into my friend’s bedroom to check on him. He and I had known each other for one year and in the course of that year we had gotten very close…so close that he had developed feelings for me. I had told him a few times that the feelings were not reciprocated in that way and that I valued our friendship but did not want to date him. I have to admit, there were times when hanging out with friends that our fun conversations led to flirting back and forth. I felt bad about that after hearing that he had feelings for me, and tried to go on with our friendship without the awkward drama. But here we were, together in his room. That is the last thing I remember before having my clothes ripped off.

I had blacked out. Perhaps it was the wine or the shock of what was happening or a combination of the two, but I cannot for the life of me remember what happened from the time I got into his room to the time I was naked on the bed. He was forceful and far from kind. It was excruciatingly painful…I was a virgin. He was so determined to get into me that he had no care for my body. I was pushed up against the wall, hitting it with my head. He wielded my body to and fro, trying to get in while on top, bottom, or with his finger…any way just to get the job done. The horror of these bits and pieces of memories went on for hours, until suddenly out of nowhere I felt aware of my surroundings and what was happening to me. It was almost as if I had sobered up the second he finally got in me. I shrieked in horror at what was happening, told him to get off of me, and ran to the bathroom completely naked (luckily he had one connected to his room). As I sat in pain on the toilet seat I started saying over and over, “what have I done?” After I wiped and saw the blood, I really freaked out and told my “friend” that I needed to go home. He tried to get me to stay with him but I was dressing faster than I ever had before in my life. My girl friend then drove me home.

He had got his revenge in a horrific way. I lay awake the whole night in shock and disbelief. I was bruised from head to toe. My inner thighs were so sore that I could barely get up the stairs without wincing. I had hickies on my breasts, lips, and neck that were so purple I had to wear turtle necks (it was September) and layers of makeup. I had nightmares every night. It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up and the last thing I thought of before I went to bed. My “friend” made an effort to wait for me outside my classes, take me to lunch, and text me almost every day. I was afraid of him and didn’t know why! When I got out of my classes early I would bolt in the opposite direction and not text him back. He was trying to make me believe he was still my friend, and that he hadn’t raped me. Every time he was around I forced a happy face and tried to ignore my short breaths and shaking.

His presence was so horrible that 3 months later I packed my bags and moved 2.5 hours away. I was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and didn’t know it.

It’s been a long road, but I now know (and believe) the truth of what happened that night. My old “friend’s” name is filed in his town’s police department. I learned a lot from what happened to me. I want to share with girls/women out there that they do not need to blame themselves for having sex when drunk. Alcohol is the number one form of date rape, and Hollywood does a disgustingly good job making women feel like no wrong is committed when alcohol and sex combine. The truth is that it’s not sex, it’s a crime even if you don’t say, “no”.

From Victim, to Survivor, to Thriver

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Testimony By Aime Hutton

My name is Aime Hutton, I am in Calgary Alberta, Canada.  I have a story that I would like to share with you.  I am a survior to thrivor from dating abuse/stalking in university.  Thank you for this opportunity to share my story.  Knowing that we are not alone.

My story is that we met in first year university while living away from home on campus.  He was sweet, and loving caring.  Then things got strange.  I noticed that he was wanting to know where I was all the time.  He got jealous when I was watching movies with actors in it that I found attractive.  And he also had a temper.  One night he and I were invited to another part of campus my boyfriend got angry at our friend and threw his keys at our friend.  Our friend said “Don’t throw things!”, he then looked at me then back at my boyfriend, and said “Don’t throw things ever.”  There were other times when I was scared of him, and hid on campus trying to get away from him.

The night I will never forget though is when we were out with a group of friends dancing at the pub.  I was down on the dance floor having fun with others.  I looked up to the balcony (where my boyfriend was), and waved at him to come and join us.  I got glared at and with his hand actions he demanded that I come to him at once.  I finished dancing to the song then went to see him.  He just stared at me, and said to me “You know that I can’t dance.”  He was angry, as we walked back to the dorms he was muttering under his breath.  My stomach was doing flip flops.  Once back in the dorm, by my bedroom he spun me around and backed me up against the wall.  Slamming his hands up by my face on the wall, he said to me “I love you, I don’t want to be with anyone else but you.”  He leaned in and put his hands on my cheeks, he kissed me and slid his hands down to my neck and squeezed.  Luckily he let go quickly.  I couldn’t move, or yell out.  I was able to end our relationship inbetween 1 and 2 of university.  Although I was still friends with others who were friends with him.

Then he also stalked me for the remaining years of university.  He would show up in places on campus where I was.  I felt like I was walking on egg shells when on campus.  I walked everywhere with the walk safe program at night.  And there was one night in the fourth year of university when my friends who I lived with on campus had him over for supper.  I stayed in my bedroom all night.  Didn’t even come out for supper.  My one room mate stuck her head in my room and said to me that it’s been 3 years, get over it already.

It took years to heal, with counselling and also personal development courses.

What am I doing now?  I am the Canadian Ambassador for the Freedom and Empowerment Teen Campaign.  A global campaign to support, educate, and empower those who have been through dating violence and domestic abuse.  As the Teen Ambassador speaking to the next generation and other caring adults with education and awareness about the waring signs of abuse, and the different kinds of abuse.  One of the keys to help stop the cycle of abuse is with education.

How Everything I Knew Was Wrong

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Testimony by Eli Shadow-Walker

“Let’s just look at it practically. Is reporting a sexual assault in a BDSM context likely to work? No, absent serious injuries or hospitalization, or video evidence, history shows that prosecutions are uphill battles, even for relatively privileged people within BDSM communities. So if it’s not all that likely to actually produce a conviction, the notion that we should pressure victims into the criminal justice system is busted. It’s a derail, a way of throwing up a hurdle and washing hands of the allegation. Until the system is fixed (if it can be), we can’t count on it to save us from having to figure out how to deal with rape and abuse in BDSM communities ourselves.”-[Feministe][http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/06/20/20993/]

Trigger warnings: details of sexual assault, frank discussion of sexual acts.

It’s coming up one the one year mark since I was sexually assaulted by a man who I was in a polyamorous relationship with.

Truth be told, I don’t really know how to begin this piece of writing. I still feel nauseous and cry every time I have flashbacks, I still shake (shaking pretty hard right now, as a matter of fact) and descend into panic mode despite the anxiety medication when I see his face or hear his name, and I still clench my jaw at night despite the muscle relaxants and the year of trauma counseling I’ve gone through. It’s hard to deal with. At times, it feels like I’m entirely alone. I’ve hermited and kept myself cooped up for fear of getting emotionally invested with anyone as a friend, let alone as a lover.

In one year’s time, I watched my entire world crumble to dust. I stood in silence as the first responding officer told me that in court, I would “sound like a vindictive ex-girlfriend” and that anything I had to say would “never stand up;” he told me that it wasn’t even worth trying despite him giving me the personal information on the assailant I needed in case I needed to file a restraining order. I sat in silence as two officers who both took my individual police reports promised to call me back, promised to let me know if they spoke to him, never contacted me again. I watched the rumor mill chew me up and spit me out again and again, watching him parade his innocence because he “showed the police [my] fetlife” and they left him alone. I had someone who I called a friend tell me that being assaulted was “what I needed” to find myself. I had someone I called a friend tell me that they “told me so” and laugh as I sat stifling tears on their living room couch. I had someone actively pursue the man who assaulted me immediately after I spoke up about what happened simply to spit in my face. I watched as I was publicly humiliated on his facebook by his friends, claiming I was “projecting” and that I was “psychotic.” I had someone attempt to use the assault as a furthering of their own agenda against a different individual with claims of “24/7 support,” despite suddenly stopping their responses to my texts and calls out of absolutely nowhere. An emotional conversation with someone trustworthy led me to discover he had given me herpes 1, despite his claim he was “completely clean” and, in my ignorance and naivete, I had trusted him on his word. No matter how I explained that the contraction of this disease was not through casual means, I was told I was dramatizing the situation. I had someone go so far as to tell me I couldn’t associate the assault and the contraction of the disease because of how common herpes 1 is, despite my knowledge of how I contracted it during one of the many assaults. I even went so far as to ask the man who assaulted me why he did it, despite how much I knew it was a Bad Idea (capitalization intentional). He never responded to that question, but he sure responded to everything (anything) else.

For a while, it really felt as if the whole world wanted nothing more to do with me, that I was meant to be forgotten and scoffed at. At one point, I wanted nothing more than to hide away forever, perhaps die and be done with it. I felt I couldn’t handle what I had gone through. The concept of having to go through this and not have the community respond as largely and as floridly as it so claimed it would in the face of abusers felt like the ultimate betrayal. I felt that the place I had grown up in didn’t care about me in the least, that it wasn’t worth trying anymore. I grew jaded and angry and bitter to the city at large. Hadn’t I done everything right? I did what I had been told to do by one of the educators in the community the very first day I entered the scene: file a police report. Talk to the police. They will help. The community will fall into place behind you when you have a court case. We don’t support abusers. I filed two police reports and never heard back from the police. I spoke up about being assaulted and the local kink community response was, in my perspective, indifference with a dash of smug superiority.

I decided to seek help from a counselor after the first flashback. Talking to her, explaining everything from the very beginning, intially felt like I was willingly subjecting myself to torture. I cried after (and often during) every session, begging to know why it was that everything I had been taught and everything that had been preached to me as a self-titled “BDSM newbie” had been wrong. Absolutely nothing had gone according to the formula I had been presented in 2009 at my first munch. The world, as I knew it, felt like it had been ripped out from under my feet like a rotting rug or carpet. The pain didn’t lessen for a good six months. It helped that the counselor was willing to work with me on previous physical and emotional trauma as well. I began to see the things that had attracted me to him, and more importantly him to me. All of my inner workings came to light in ways I hadn’t considered before. Some might say I needed the help. Truthfully, I agree.

In that year, I learned more and more about the assailant as people came out of the woodwork to speak to me. For instance, the ex-wife and son that he kept hidden from everyone else. The abuse in his previous marriage. The “Captain’s Chest,” where he kept his mutilation porn and snuff films featuring women. The restraining order preventing him from seeing his child, ever. The deep, extreme involvement in the Fourth Reich that hadn’t disappeared (despite what he told me). The coverup of the swastika tattoo on his back. His violent criminal history. His record of mental health issues (it didn’t take me long to realize I was lucky to be alive). The vast, vast community outside of the kink world who knew him, who knew OF him…and who weren’t surprised.

After one year, I can’t understand why the community I participate(d) in largely allows no room for growth. The overwhelming poison of a small community with a larger-than-life adulation for gossip and for word-of-mouth as opposed to facts and consideration for age and life experiences grew to a level of toxicity I felt was fatal. I’m only 22. I grew up in this community and in this city. This is the city that watched me flourish and find my niche. This is the place where I finally, after years of abuse and a sheltered upbringing, had the opportunity to find who I was, and who I am today. Why is it so hard to accept that someone who isn’t liked, isn’t popular, and is certainly outspoken, was sexually assaulted? Why is it so easy to believe that this never happened? It happened. It definitely happened. *One year ago, this man insisted on groping me through and under my jeans when I had a vicious yeast infection that kept me from even going to the bathroom without serious pain meds. This man insisted on trying to penetrate me anally despite my constant reminder and protests that anal sex and penetration was strictly reserved for my primary. This man held me down and pushed on areas of my body that had been told were strictly off limits, and despite my screaming and protests of “No, stop, stop please,” insisted on hurting me to the point that I was unable to breathe and lost consciousness from the searing pain. This man forced me to drink his blood by biting his cheek open and kissing me, spreading his blood all over my face and lips. This man demanded – and took- sex from me when I told him I wasn’t interested, wasn’t feeling it, and when I told him we needed to talk rather than just fuck. 

*None of what happened between us was in scene. None of what happened between us had been negotiated with my primary.

Oh, my wonderful primary. I can still see the anger seething in his eyes. He doesn’t say much, but I know that what happened hurt him too. He smiles, pretends outwardly that nothing’s up, but I know his physicality. I know the way he moves. He is angry. He rages inside. He’s come with me to counseling before (after all, this affects us both) so I know he’s not going to do anything stupid or dramatic, but if you know him…you can feel the anger rolling from him when we talk about the assault. We’ve been together for four years. This didn’t break us. If anything, it brought us closer together. Our combined rage, hurt, and overwhelming passion to ensure that this information is spread to those who matter has created between us a bond we will share for the rest of our lives. I love him deeply, and he, me.

Everything I knew one year ago was wrong. But.In one year’s time, I made wonderful new friends. I strengthened existing friendships with picnics, blackberry picking and pictures on the riverbank. I learned what it was to truly, deeply value the rush of cool water with the contrast of the blazing summer sun. I told my story privately, one person at a time, showing them the reports and the medical results. I found amidst the chaos and confusion a small group of people who, despite barely knowing me from Adam, were willing to trust me and listen to the story I had to tell. I found old friends who understood what it was to grow up and to be hurt, to experience trauma no matter my age. I found old friends who I had never considered close who were willing to walk the shadow path with me and to help me break free of the emotional and spiritual bonds that kept me rooted in the pain. I found a Family who supported me no matter what happened, who understood my flaws and my issues, and *loved me anyway.*

In one year’s time, I found a group of amazing, beautiful people who see me as I am. I discovered amazing friends who practice what they preach and stick to their guns no matter what confronts them. I found individuals who are able to admit they are wrong with grace and dignity and retain the ability to change themselves as life changes around them. The more I say “I found,” I beg you: read “they found me.” For without them, I could not have come so far and made it through the initial struggle of learning to accept myself. Hell, I’m still working on learning to love myself.

But that’s this year’s work.

If you’ve read all of this, I congratulate you for being able to follow my rambling and for putting up with my self-exposure. If you are hurting, if you have been assaulted, *please* get help. File the police report (no, you don’t have to have the offender arrested) so that you have documentation that what happened to you, happened. Be aware that the most help you will likely get in case of sexual assault (and often rape) is just a report on file. Your community may not support you, you may feel lost and alone and hurt and angry. You have every right to feel that way. There are trauma counselors waiting to speak to you and to help you through this time of pain.Through all of this though, remember that you are NOT alone. You are NOT the only one, and without YOU the world wouldn’t be the place it is today.

There are hundreds of thousands of other men and women (yes, both) out there who are hurting in a similar fashion.. They are silent because others have told them to stay silent out of fear of “drama,” out of “outing” someone or  the potential of libel. The problem is that simply handing our case to law enforcement doesn’t work specifically because we are kinky, and our consent is something that the law refuses to acknowledge because to them we cannot put  ourselves in harm’s way. It is illegal, for the most part. There are so very, very few cases of sexual assault in the context of BDSM that are prosecuted simply because it is next to impossible to prove consent to harm. The scant few cases that have been prosecuted have only been so because they had hospital documentation from life-threatening injuries or video tapes. With the recent fire at the NCSF headquarters and the complete destruction of the case files there, I felt it more prudent than ever to speak up. To speak out. Sure, putting this all out there like this leaves me completely vulnerable to ridicule and gossip. Shoot, I have no idea if anyone will read this, save for the man who assaulted me. I admit it, I’m scared. Writing this scares me. Posting this scares me even more.  But here it is, and here you are.

The Catholic Taliban – Part 2

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From the Page Administrator

 

Today I was walking down the street outside the clinic and an anti-choice protestor walked up to me, grabbed my volunteer sign, threw it on the ground, and then threatened to hit me with it. For a moment there I thought she might try to strangle me with her rosaries. You know… like Jesus would do.

I know what you’re thinking: why didn’t you call the police?

Well here’s the thing – in Sacramento, CA the police are anti-choice, and they are OK with the harassment of women and children at the clinic. After all, many of the clients are in poverty, so why would the police care about protecting them?

My sainted boyfriend came up with a great tool for me to combat harassment. He suggested that when a protestor is verbally abusing me, to videotape the whole thing. I tried this trick today, and it worked like a charm. Every time a protestor started to verbally harass me, I took out my phone and filmed them. Knowing that their abuse was being committed to film seemed to deter them from harassing me for more than 20 seconds.

I wish I could deal with these petulant protestors the way I deal with my cat when he misbehaves; by squirting them in the face with water from a squirt bottle. Then perhaps, they might learn how to behave like civilized human beings, or at the very least they might learn how to be as civilized as my cat is.

Man’s Inhumanity to Women

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Testimony By Alie

the first time i was raped i was 12. i didn’t even know what he was doing to me ( i grew up very sheltered ) he was the 19 year old live in boyfriend of my best friends sister. he offered to drive me home after a sleep over, he forced himself on me in his car. he actually got mad b/c i had bled on the seat :/ he fed me the usual bullshit “if you tell anyone, you will get in trouble” and “your parents will stop loving you” so i kept it to myself. i immediately turned to self mutilation and drugs , just to ease the pain i was feeling. this led to drug abuse for the next 20 years and countless suicide attempts. fast forward to my late 20’s, i was raped again, by someone i thought was a friend. this “friend” raped & tortured me for several hours and im pretty sure he left b/c he thought he had killed me ( i was unconscious towards the end ) when i came to, i was literally covered from head to toe with vicious black & blue bite marks, my face swollen beyond recognition, clumps of hair missing and small stab wounds. i went to the local hospital but they denied me care simply b/c i had no insurance and no money. ( i did see a triage nurse and he had to leave the room to compose himself after seeing my injuries ) this led to even more drugs and more suicide attempts. i completely shut down. i was so alone ( all my family lives out of the country ) and i didnt know what to do. i relocated to a different city to start over. i quit all the drugs cold turkey and looked into free counseling thru the county. i even met a wonderful man that didn’t judge me for what i had been thru.now its 6 years after the last rape and i am getting professional help ( i have ptsd, severe anxiety, and bipolar disorder ) and with the support of my loving husband i am finally able to not see myself as a victim but a survivor