Sue me, I waited to tell anyone about my sexual assault for years- waited even longer to report it. I really shouldn’t have to explain this, so let me make this quick.
Trigger warning: this article contains details of sexual assault.
“You are fucked up, you need to go get help you’re gonna scream rape with someone that you lived with for a year five years after? I’m not buying it, you need to take responsibility for your own actions. Do not message me again until you go get help. You need to leave everyone alone go deal with your own shit if you thought he raped you you should have had him arrested the day it happened, you don’t come back five years later talking shit.” -from a real charmer. Ouch.
Thanks for inspiring this entry though.
The above quote was thrown at me this morning. This is what survivors face when they speak out, especially when breaking it to people that knows survivor and perpetrator. Nice right? I mean, sure if you’re friends with the guy, or you are a colleague of his- this is a MAJOR conflict of interest. Probably hard to hear. Hell, imagine how it’s been for me all this time. With that said:
There are so many reasons why a victim of sexual assault might not ever speak out. Equally, there are many reasons as to why a victim of sexual assault might wait days, months or even years to report a sexual assault. Victims face being demonized by people who support the perpetrator. Victims might face loosing relationships if they knew and had mutual friends with the perpetrator. Victims face having their sanity called into question. If the perpetrator has a large fan base, this can be particularly intimidating. Rapists rarely even receive the punishment that they deserve. I shouldn’t have to explain this.
It took me 4 1/2 years to report. My perpetrator has a fan base of thousands around the world. I traveled with this person for almost 9 months with a couple other people. Starting in February. None of us knew each other well. All of us thought it would be an adventure. I was raped with in one month of meeting this guy in person. I don’t need to make excuses. I never told the others what happened. I never told anyone we met on the road. I was numb after it happened but no one knew why. Whats worse is that he continued having sex with me. I already told him “no” the first time. He obviously wasn’t the person I had agreed to go traveling with. What would happen if I didn’t comply further? I shouldn’t have to explain this.
In the beginning- the first day that I met him in person- I was very particular to tell him that I just wanted to be friends, I did not want to be in a relationship. I turned down every single advance he threw at me. I was confident and sure of myself. He caught me off guard when he refused to take “no” for an answer that particular March day. I wasn’t the same after that. Everything was blurry. It was like I was hypnotized by his violation and manipulation. I resented him. I hated him. I wanted to hurt him but I took it out on myself silently instead. He told everyone we were in a relationship and I just stayed fucking silent. I hated him. I hated him. He became more and more controlling of me over the coarse of our travels. He started thinking he was a reincarnation of Jesus, that he was god.
By December I got away. I went home. I told him that I wasn’t going to do this anymore. He sent me a text message a couple of weeks later saying he loved me and that he was going to be boarding a plane to come and see me the next morning. First of all, who does that? Drop in unannounced to see someone that is trying to stay as far from you as possible, by plane no less? I told him not to waste his money, not to come. There was no way in hell I’d want to see him ever again. The next day, he asked me to pick him up at the airport. He actually flew out here against my demand not to, and expected me to pick him up. So, I asked a friend to come with me, I met him at the terminal and drove to a random neighborhood downtown. I told him to get out. I left him on the side of the fucking road. He ended up staying with a mutual friend who was a business partner of his. He still managed to manipulate his way into staying with me and he attempted to sexually assault me further. He told me to “take his seed” (unbelievable, right?) because it would help me to see things more clearly (Yes, he wanted me to suck his dick and swallow to help me gain enlightenment). I told him to leave. I never saw him after that. And that “phrase” is one that still makes me wretch to this day- it is burned into the back of my eyeballs and crawls around through my ears and inside my brain like fucking maggots. I could scream.
So yeah, between the thousands of followers (some REALLY intense), all of his manic ideas, I wasn’t about to tell anyone. I was paranoid that he was more powerful than what he’d already proved. I was paranoid he’d come out to my state again and do something even worse. He already proved that he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer first with being in a relationship with me, then with sex and finally by “coming to visit” and flying across states just to see me, when I made it clear I didn’t want to see him. So yeah, I think I had a right to stay quiet until I felt strong enough to speak out, and again, I shouldn’t have to explain this.
Last year he came back to my state in the middle of February expecting to see me. He texted me on Valentines day telling me I was “loved”, asking if he could call me. I ignored it. But physically I was sick. I knew that he knew where my dad lived, so I called my dad and warned him that this person might show up to try and find me. I was disgusted, angry and paranoid.
Worse yet, I began hearing rumors over the years that there were other women he’d sexually assaulted that year. That was my worst fear. So yes, I finally spoke up. It’s easier to speak up knowing that someone else has. It makes you feel seen. Makes you feel heard. I want to gain closure by hearing what he did to them and knowing that I did something so that he might never be able to do something to someone else against their will ever again. So, no- I am not “choosing to escalate an incident that happened 5 years ago”. I just finally am not afraid to speak out anymore. I shouldn’t have to explain this.
I still haven’t told my close family and friends. And yet 70 of my friends and family members on Facebook follow his work. Some occasionally share his work. From celebrities, my favorite musicians, right down to my own friends and my aunt. Seeing that on my timeline never ceases to send me into some type of shock. It’s an exhausting, involved and disgusting story to tell, and it takes every ounce of me to hold it in just like it takes every ounce of me to share it.
I felt voiceless against him for a long time. To those of you that knew me back then, that know and support him- sue me for taking my time to speak up. When you have an actual conscience, and you aren’t a sociopath, it can be incredibly stressful to know that you could potentially ruin someones life by reporting what they did to you. This vile dark secret that perpetrator and victim both share- that they imposed on you. I didn’t ask for this. It can be taxing when you were both violated by this person and then that you hold this dirtiest secret- he is a sex offender. It is confusing. It can be incredibly hard to tell people what happened. Hell, I was even worried that people knowing this little secret of his might drive him to suicide and that it would be my fault; yet his actions drove me to self injury, PTSD, suicidal idealization, boozing, recklessness, late night emergency room stays and therapy- he didn’t think about how it would turn my life inside out, he just wanted to get off. When I mentioned this worry to the Detective, he kindly reminded me that nothing like that should hold me back- after all, it wasn’t my fault he raped me. Shouldn’t have to explain this.
The shame of what happened takes a while to become empowerment. And empowerment itself is shaky. On top of that, the justice system is knowingly intimidating. So don’t judge a victim for stepping up to the plate on their own time. You have no idea what they’ve been through. One more time for the people in the back- I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO EXPLAIN THIS. There is no excuse. I did nothing wrong and I am confident in that.
So if this is a conflict of interest to you whether you are a friend of his, possibly a colleague or maybe you ARE him (sup, fucker)… I have 3 words for you: DON’T RAPE PEOPLE. It will make everyone’s lives easier. Maybe you won’t tear everyone’s lives apart that way. When will the perpetrator have to explain himself? When?