Abusers on the State Sex Offender Registry

Possible Triggers

The last 24-hours have been amazingly crazy. I just dog sat at my mom’s house. I was very apprehensive about doing so, as my abusers mom lives down the street, and I saw my abuser last week by my mom’s house. I was there Friday night to Sunday afternoon. No sign of K, which is a very good thing.

Saturday night, I was contemplating all that has gone on with K. I guess being there brought a lot up for me, which is, I assume, to be expected. I found out a few days ago that K’s case went in front of a grand jury but they found no reason to press charges against her. They even mentioned my statement, but chalked it up to “kids experimenting” just because she was my age. Makes me sick to think back at that. If it were just experimentation, would I be so traumatized? Hmmm, I think not!

Anyway, I was so upset that she wasn’t at least charged as a sex offender. I mean, she admitted she had a sexual relationship with a student. So I decided to go onto the state sex offender website just to see. What I found shocked me. I searched for K’s name, nothing. I then decided to search for my other abusers name. I started out with J’s, nothing again.

So I searched my other ex-boyfriend. And… HIS PICTURE CAME UP! He was charged back in 2009 for “Rape Using Force” against a 27-year-old female. My heart sunk. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I tried to contact my friends and support but wasn’t having much luck. THIS was another guy that I was told raped me. Just one I never dealt with or addressed or even admitted it happened. I am still stunned. It brought back so many memories and so much confusion.

I brushed this “rape” off to the side because I didn’t feel anyone would ever think it was rape or that it was bad enough to have anything even done. I know that’s horrible of me to say, but I have made statements about past abuse of two of my abusers already and nothing came of them. Two have not been reported and I don’t know if I could ever go about doing that again.

This abuser was my boyfriend for 3 months until he decided it was too much and just wanted to be f-buddies. Every time we went over to his house, it was to have sex or “do homework” as my parents thought.

One day, he dropped me off at my house with a friend. He said he needed to use the bathroom, so I very hesitantly said yes. I didn’t want any guys in my house after what J had done to me 6 months prior. He went to the bathroom and then started advancing me to have a quickie. I kept telling him no, that I didn’t wanna do it in my mom’s house, and resisting. I was pinned between him and my bed. Kept resisting and telling him no, but after his persistence, I stopped saying no. He lifted my skirt, did his thing, as I lay there upset that I let it happen again. He finished and left.

Of course I felt like shit and was confused, but I stopped saying no. I never once thought that me saying no, even once should have had him stop. I am told differently now. In light of the new information I have, it has me questioning everything that happened between me and this guy.

So here is the scenario that keeps running through my head. This guy contacted me back in 2009. He wanted to meet up with me and apologized for being a jerk. He said he just got out of the military and was dishonorably discharged because of some crap that was going on. I didn’t think to ask as I hadn’t heard from him in over 4 years and was newly married with a baby and didn’t want to bring my past into my present.

Now I want to know why he contacted me back then. My friend says it was to cover his own ass. None of it makes sense to me. Plus, he has two Facebook accounts. I didn’t think sex offenders were allowed to be on social media. Obviously I will report him on Facebook, as that is against their rules, but what else do I do? Do I do anything?

I have been fighting the urge to send him a message asking him why he contacted me, and such, to find out more information, but why would I want to talk to someone who hurt me? What if it makes things worse? As much info as I want to know, I know you can never get information out of a liar.

I just think this is such a crazy time in my life. Between my ex and his idiocy, and K and JR, it is a lot to take in. I am glad that he was changed and is a sex offender for raping that woman. Now it will come to my own processes of how I handle my own abuse from him (far more than the little blip I mentioned here). I will take this new information as a good thing and “run with it” to help my healing.

Was I Raped? Too bad Rapists don’t read this stuff.

The exact definition of “rape,” “sexual assault,” “sexual abuse” and similar terms differs by state. The wording can get confusing, since states often use different words to mean the same thing or use the same words to describe different things. So, for a precise legal definition, you need to check the law in your state. But here are some general guidelines based on the definitions used by the U.S. Justice Department. Please note that these definitions are a bit graphic, which is inevitable when describing crimes this violent.

Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object.

Rape victims may be forced through threats or physical means. In about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Anyone may be a victim of rape: women, men or children, straight or gay.
Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling. (But, be aware: Some states use this term interchangeably with rape.)

So, how can you figure if what happened was rape? There are a few questions to consider.

There are three main considerations in judging whether or not a sexual act is consensual (which means that both people are old enough to consent, have the capacity to consent, and agreed to the sexual contact) or is a crime.

Are the participants old enough to consent? Each state sets an “age of consent,” which is the minimum age someone must be to have sex. People below this age are considered children and cannot legally agree to have sex. In other words, even if the child or teenager says yes, the law says no.

In most states, the age of consent is 16 or 18. In some states, the age of consent varies according to the age difference between the participants. Generally, “I thought she was 18” is not considered a legal excuse — it’s up to you to make sure your partner is old enough to legally take part.

Because laws are different in every state, it is important to find out the law in your state. You can call your local crisis center or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE to find out more about the laws in your state.

Do both people have the capacity to consent? States also define who has the mental and legal capacity to consent. Those with diminished capacity — for example, some people with disabilities, some elderly people and people who have been drugged or are unconscious — may not have the legal ability to agree to have sex.

These categories and definitions vary widely by state, so it is important to check the law in your state. You can call your local crisis center or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE to find out more about the laws in your state.

Did both participants agree to take part? Did someone use physical force to make you have sexual contact with him/her? Has someone threatened you to make you have intercourse with them? If so, it is rape.
It doesn’t matter if you think your partner means yes, or if you’ve already started having sex — “No” also means “Stop.” If you proceed despite your partner’s expressed instruction to stop, you have not only violated basic codes of morality and decency, you may have also committed a crime under the laws of your state (check your state’s laws for specifics).
Common Questions

I didn’t resist physically – does that mean it isn’t rape?

People respond to an assault in different ways. Just because you didn’t resist physically doesn’t mean it wasn’t rape — in fact, many victims make the good judgment that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent. Lack of consent can be express (saying “no”) or it can be implied from the circumstances (for example, if you were under the statutory age of consent, or if you had a mental defect, or if you were afraid to object because the perpetrator threatened you with serious physical injury).

I used to date the person who assaulted me – does that mean it isn’t rape?

Rape can occur when the offender and the victim have a pre-existing relationship (sometimes called “date rape” or “acquaintance rape”), or even when the offender is the victim’s spouse. It does not matter whether the other person is an ex-boyfriend or a complete stranger, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve had sex in the past. If it is nonconsensual this time, it is rape. (But be aware that a few states still have limitations on when spousal rape is a crime.)

http://rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/was-it-rape

Freezing During Rape is Normal

This is all well worth reading! The last part especially. I have been going back and forth in my head and beating myself up tonight. So, when I read this, it definitely helped me with that. The whole FREEZING thing gets to me all the time. How could he see it not as rape? Hmmm. Well, if you need a little help in that department, its a good read. If you’ve never been a rape victim, this is very educational. I know A LOT of people who need to read this. Mostly Family!

Freezing and paralysis during rape
from Resurrection After Rape by Matt Atkinson, LCSW

http://www.resurrectionafterrape.org/

“I just lay there and took it!”

At first, few rape victims can tolerate alternate explanations for their rapes. For example, you may habitually tell yourself “I should have fought more,” without considering the possibility that you might have been harmed even worse had you done so. Because rape is about power and control, a rapist will use a level of aggression that exceeds any resistance in order to maintain that control. Furthermore, during a traumatic assault the body’s sympathetic nervous system takes over, instinctively regulating your behaviors for the sake of survival. That means your conscious mind stops choosing what to do, and your physical systems grab control, producing one of three basic responses: fight, flee, or freeze.

All three instincts have helpful and harmful aspects about them; they may either increase or decrease your safety. But contrary to what we see in movies and what we read in booklets promoted by the self-defense industry, the “fight instinct” is actually rather rare in both men and women. By far the most common instinct is the “freeze instinct,” in which the body becomes very still, rigid, and silent. This is called “tonic immobility,” and is a simple survival behavior. During rape, temporary paralysis is very common (it occurs in up to 88% of rape victims during the assault, according to studies) and entirely normal, and probably even quite healthy. (source: Heidt, J. M., Marx, B. P., & Forsyth, J. P. (2005). Tonic immobility and childhood sexual abuse: Evaluating the sequela of rape-induced paralysis. Behaviour Research and Therapy,43,1157–1171.)

However, until someone explains to a survivor that this instinct is normal and appropriate, she will often spend years criticizing herself (“What’s the matter with me? I just laid there! I’m such a fool! Why didn’t I fight, or at least scream?”), and even lawyers and juries can be misled into lenience toward rapists whose victims are inaccurately described as “passive.” This behavior is not “passive;” it is a biologically-driven form of resistance! But this fact is so rarely understood that rape victims often multiply their own sense of guilt and shame because of the freeze instinct. One study even found that the link between this “temporary paralysis” during rape and later feelings of guilt and self-blame are directly related to increased depression, anxiety, and PTSD later.

This is why it is so crucial that rape survivors receive basic education about the body’s adaptations to trauma, so that you can understand and accept these behaviors as normal, rather than as failure. “This is a biologically hard-wired response that just kicks in, typically when there’s extreme fear coupled with physical restraint,” states one study of victims’ temporary paralysis during rape. Jennifer Heidt, commenting on a study she helped organize, wrote, “if we can help to show them [in therapy] that they weren’t letting this happen to themselves, that this is an unlearned response, that they were incapable of changing it, that they were incapable of fighting back, then we can help deal with that guilt.” (source: Finn, Robert. “Involuntary paralysis common during rape – Legal and TX Implications.” OB/GYN News, Jan. 15, 2003. http://findarticles.com/p/articles…)

It can also be difficult to separate the issues of “compliance” with “consent.” In most rapes where the victim is conscious, there is some degree of forced compliance with the rapist, simply as a reasonable way to protect herself from further harm. Although this is a very normal form of self-preservation, it can also produce one hell of a stuck point afterward:

• “The fact that I stopped struggling when he ordered me to means I am guilty of permitting the rape.”
• “I removed my underpants when he told me to. That means I participated or led him on about sex.”
• “I kept quiet and never screamed. Does that mean I wasn’t really raped?”
• “My whole body froze and I couldn’t move.”
• “They always say ‘no means no.’ But I never said the word ‘no’ because I was paralyzed with fear.”
• “I can’t remember how I got into the closet [where the rape happened]…If I put myself there, it must mean I helped him rape me.”

When a person is mugged, they instinctively freeze and will typically say to the attacker, “Take whatever you want.” They will compliantly hand over wallets, purses, watches, anything demanded of them, in a desperate, terrified hope that the assault will end without further injury or death. And nobody questions this cooperation; police even advise it as the correct course of action. People will support you and assure you that you did the right thing. Nobody blames you for carrying money by saying, well, didn’t you realize that would only lead a robber on?” Nobody would blame you for all the times you willingly spent money by implying that this means you “have a history of giving it away, so aren’t you just ‘crying robbery’ now?” Nobody would claim that the incident was probably just a cash transaction that “got out of hand” or you regretted later.

Yet when the violent assault becomes sexual, many people implausibly lose all their insights about the importance of cooperation to reduce harm. Suddenly, the guilty questions begin: “Why didn’t I fight back? What if I had resisted more? Why did I stay quiet? Why did I freeze? Why did I take off something I wore when he ordered me to?”

These stuck points exist because of the gap between what we want to believe (“I would never ‘let’ anyone rape me”) and what the rape itself seems to prove (“I must have failed to prevent rape. Or worse yet, I must have permitted it!”). It may seem like an unusual statement, but analyzing your stuck points is really a form of forgiving yourself for whatever actions you had to do to survive, and for whatever it’s taken to cope since, and for whatever misguided self-blame you have felt in spite of the facts. When Shannon* wrote the words “I’m sorry, little girl” in her story, it was written after she had finished writing and reading it aloud, and she had recognized the many forms of resistance she had used. The comment was her apology to herself for spending the next three years crucifying herself. She discovered during her “stuck point” work that she was neither weak nor willing, and that her younger self had never deserved the heaps of blame and guilt she had carried.