Monday, May 26, 2014

Women are not Objects!

Once again I have not written anything in a while on this blog.  I am writing now because of recent events that are boiling in me and bubbling up and over to the point I am having an emotional hangover.

What I am about to write about makes me very emotional, and it can cause a lot of anger and upsetting emotions in others, but I am doing it anyways because I feel the need to let others know they are not alone.

1 in 3 American women will be sexually abused during their lifetime. (George Mason University, Worldwide Sexual Assault Statistics, 2005)

One in four college women report surviving rape (15 percent) or attempted rape (12 percent) since their fourteenth birthday. (Warsaw, R. I Never Called it Rape. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994)

In the year 2000, 246,000 women survived rape and sexual assault. This computes to 28 women every hour. (Rennison, C. M. "National Crime Victimization Survey, Criminal Victimization 2001: Changes from 2000-2001 with Trends 1993-2001," Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 187007, 2002.)

  •  8% of men admit committing acts that meet the legal definition of rape or attempted rape. Of these men who committed rape, 84% said that what they did was definitely not rape. 
    (Warsaw, R. I Never Called it Rape. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994)
  • 35% of men report at least some degree of likelihood of raping if they could be assured they wouldn't be caught or punished.
     (Malamuth, N. M. "Rape Proclivity Among Males." Journal of Social Issues 37 (1981): 138-57.)

    Now that I have shown you some statistics I am going to go forward with my own stories.

    I have recently been trying to work through my own demons, and why I have such trouble with relationships.  I have felt like I will always be alone.  So I started writing down (due to a suggestion from a professional) all the bad experiences I have had with men including rape, domestic violence or the threatening of either.  I am going to share some of that with you now.

    When I was a sophomore in high school one of my acquaintances and I were asked by a teacher to reorganize a small room in the school where a lot of supplies belonging to the school were kept.  The Acquaintance was a young man that was pretty well liked by my peers. We went and were a bit overwhelmed by the job at hand. So we started to just talk and kind of do nothing we were supposed to do.  Eventually he told me he liked me. I was a bit surprised and told him I did not feel the same way. He became upset and cornered me against the wall. He put his hand between my legs, and told me I liked it. I was completely frozen.  A math teacher walked in on this, and accused me of being a slut. I tried to explain, but he would not listen, and only sent me to the Vice Principals office.  I was lucky enough that the Vice Principal really liked me, and thought I had potential ans he put it.  He believed me and the boy got into a bit of trouble (not nearly enough in my opinion now), and I was assigned a new math teacher.  sadly most of my friends did not believe he did that to me.  This was my first experience with an assault from a male.  Also my first experience with peers not wanting to believe in a sexual assault which is a whole different subject I will write about at a different time. 

    My second experience was with a bad boyfriend who had a cocaine problem, and also was very abusive. There are so many experiences with this one man I could write a whole essay on him.  I however have one experience that stands out more than any other. This is something that I usually do not tell very many people until they are very close to me. I am going to tell it now because I think it is one of the hardest experiences of my life and it still gives me nightmares, and I know there are woman out there with similar experiences and if it helps just one other person than it is a good thing.  MY boyfriend at the time had such a bad coke problem that he ran out of money one day. Which happened rarely, but on occasion. So he said he had worked something out with his dealer, and we had to go to his house.  When we got there they talked for a few minutes, and than my boyfriend said he would be back in a few hours, and I was to stay put.  His dealer insisted I sit on the sofa with him, and than tried to put the moves on me. I resisted him for a bit, but than he pushed me down into the sofa and ripped the shirt i was wearing after that I froze. I cried through the whole thing while he raped me.  A friend found out what was going on and came to get me. They were too late to stop what was happening, but they did get me out of there, and explained that my boyfriend had sold me off for a few hours so he could get some coke.  I was sold for a little bag of white powder, and that man claimed to love me.

    The next experience I will tell you about was on my 21st birthday. I was homeless at the time, and these two guys I knew said they were going to buy me some vodka and we would hang out.  We went to an abandoned building that was a popular hang out for the homeless I knew in that area. We all drank the vodka and laughed and talked, and than one of them started to kiss me at first i kissed him back because I kind of liked him.   I than told him to stop, and from there it went from bad to worse. The other man hanging out with us took off when I started saying No.  I was raped on my 21st birthday. 

    After this I was with a lot of abusive boyfriends who did not sexually assault me but they beat me.  I even was beaten one night while i was pregnant with my daughter. 

    I was married for a time, and there was a lot of mental abuse there although they will never admit or apologize for any of it.  There was the lies and deceit and they also deny all of that as well no matter how I caught them in it. 

    Years later while I was separated and dating someone else who was not exactly the best guy either.  I went to go see a movie by myself because I needed some alone time. On the walk home i took a small short cut that I had taken many times.  A man stopped and asked me if I had a dollar, and I sad no. He than grabbed me, ripped my jacket off, and threw me too the ground. He told me to stay there, and he told me if I did not let him fuck me he would stab me with his knife.  When he was finished with me he grabbed my jacket and left with it. I ran home and I think either my roommate or my ex husband (who lived beneath me called the police). The police were so awful to me that i did not tell them about the rape and simply told them about the assault and that my jacket was stolen and it had my wallet in it. When they had me speak to a detective I had pretty much clammed up altogether.  The officers who had come kept asking me if I was sure he was white. They asked me that question at least 4 times. They also took me back to the scene of the crime, and were laughing about my description while i was in the back of the police car. I became afraid to even speak at all. There was no female officer, and no one who treated me like I was important at all.  These police officers treated me like i was trash. 

    The last incident i am going to tell you about was with a man I had been with longer than any other.  The first few years were really great. We had our arguments but he showed me love and affection. He bragged about me. He stood up for me. I was completely in love with him. He however had some mental illness, and a serious addiction problem.  Just before we moved to Vermont I started to wonder if our relationship was worth it because he was starting to fall off the wagon. He dropped out of school, and was seriously depressed. I wanted to move and had wanted too for some time. We were living in Albany, NY and i did not like it there or felt safe there.  So we moved to Vermont. I told him I wanted to move and it was his choice to come with me or not. He chose to come with me (surprisingly), and we made the move.  He got a job pretty quickly and it first it seemed he was feeling better and doing better, but eventually he lost the job and started drinking on and off. He became abusive both mentally and physically. I tried to help him. and at one time we even went to counseling together. I still to this day feel like we made a mistake in the counselor we chose as he seemed tocoddle my boyfriend, and I constantly was made ot feel like I was the bad guy in all of it. My boyfriend would lie to him and when i called him out on it the counselor would say things like "Well we all perceive things differently".   Well after a situation where he ended up in the hospital claiming he was going to kill himself (one of his tactics to get me to do what he wanted) I broke it off with him. I told him he could live in the extra bedroom until he could find a place of his own.  A few months later he walked around my house with a knife talking gibberish. The police were called, and when they came in my boyfriend assaulted them, and even hit one of the officers with a metal table.  It took 6 police officers to carry him out of the house. I went and got a restraining order the next day.  I ended up with some PTSD, and my therapist at the time tried EMDR treatment which did not work that well for me. In fact i got really manic for some time, and things only became worse when he got out of jail.  He came to the house I think a week after he got out and begged to come in. I felt bad for him it was winter and it was cold out and he looked awful.  At first he seemed fine and normal and he came back for a few days and we talked about how we could not be together and he said he was getting a place with some people he had met etc...  He started to act weird though and claimed I was his girlfriend again. He did not want me to go anywhere, and I knew things were not good. I however was convinced by another person who knew he was there to just tell him to go away for a few days because we were having a party. Which did work for those few days.  When he came back he was much worse and I could no longer handle the situation. He refused to let me leave the house. he even tied my hands for some time, and he raped me several times.  I finally told someone else besides the first person, and they called the police.  They came and got him. They took a lot of stuff from the house, and I was taken to the hospital. We never went to trial because his lawyers kept putting it off, and eventually someone I was not friends with anymore changed their story, and my lawyers felt that they could no longer trust the jury as it would be my word against hers. So instead we made a deal and the only way to make a deal with a rapist in Vermont is to drop the rape charges.  So he only got assault, and for breaking a restraining order. He was given 3 1/2 years. His time is almost up now.

    This is why I am scared to death, and this is why I do not trust men.  The past few days I have read so many incidents of women being sexually assaulted, threatened, or abused by men in one way or another. We have been telling our stories on the Internet. No one seems to be listening to us.  

    I saw something yesterday and again today about how if you had a plate of cookies and you were told that some of them were poisoned but you did not know which ones why would you eat any of them?  That is what it is like more and more for women.  We know some of you are good, but we cannot tell usually until it is too late. So now we are afraid of all of you. 

    So men when you hear other men say nasty things about women or talk about them as objects instead of as people. Stop them and tell them they are wrong, and not to talk about women that way no matter how we are dressed, or how much we drink, or any other reason they come up with for doing it.

    Women please no no matter what you do it is not your fault! These things are never your fault. We have the right to say NO! We have the right to be human beings and to give our bodies when we want to and not when someone else wants us too.