imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - json version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

On The Many Ways We Deal With Rapists

by Because We Must Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 at 2:35 PM

‎"When I first started out as a rape crisis advocate I did not think there was any hope for justice beyond reporting to the police, and even though I could criticize them as an institution for evils like violence and corruption, I figured they would still help a victim in need. I was proven horribly wrong enough times that I had to change my position. My rage and disappointment and disgust required me to change my position."

(TW: Discussion of rape, confronting rapists, and law enforcement)

Deciding on how I was going to deal with my rapist has made me feel like an adult in a way nothing ever has.

It was a cold night when we walked to his house to a planned, sit-down monologue of sorts. I had my friends with me; he had his roommate standing off in the corner of the room with him. I told him, only occasionally meeting his eyes, of the absolute pain and destruction he caused when he violently took advantage of me. I told him I hated him. He agreed not to contact me or speak to me in public. I felt simultaneously shaken and firm, clear and disoriented, sitting mere feet away from the man who had become the abstract evil of the earth that ruined part of me forever.

I didn’t have a model guiding me or a book to read with instructions or anything else that would suggest this was a good idea (although now I know that http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2010/04/13/nancy-schwartzman-on-confronting-your-rapist/" target="_blank">I am not alone in http://sherights.com/2011/08/31/on-confronting-my-rapist/" target="_blank">accomplishing this feat). Some friends and my family shook their heads in worry, or suggested that what I was doing was really “nothing at all” and that if I cared about myself or others, I’d report to the police/bash his skull in/make a public mockery of him for as long as we lived in the same town. I had mulled over what would be effective and get me the closure I needed to move on. When I made my decision to confront him directly, and got the support to do so, I accomplished something more profound than I can grasp at this moment. I held him personally accountable.

While this worked for me in my situation and given my personality and history, I come to this knowing that respect for a diversity of tactics is vital when creating communities of support and justice for victims and survivors. These are hard lessons to learn. When I first started out as a rape crisis advocate I did not think there was any hope for justice beyond reporting to the police, and even though I could criticize them as an institution for evils like violence and corruption, I figured they would still help a victim in need. I was proven horribly wrong enough times that I had to change my position. My rage and disappointment and disgust required me to change my position.http://www.becausewemust.org/on-the-many-ways-we-deal-with-rapists-trigger-warning/restorative_justice3/" rel="attachment wp-att-2250">http://www.becausewemust.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/restorative_justice3-248x144.jpg" alt="" width="248" height="144" />

The police, in general, http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/nov/25/rape-police-payne-victims" target="_blank">fail victims and survivors who experience sexual violence. In my experience as an advocate, I have seen patrol officers and detectives harshly question and interrogate survivors, imply that they were at fault or are making it all up, http://www.examiner.com/child-abuse-awareness-in-national/do-baltimore-police-ignore-rape-reports" target="_blank">not follow up on leads in the course of their investigation, dismiss or refuse to collect certain evidence, and say, “it was a he said/she said” more times than I can count. Some victims and survivors don't "qualify" in the minds of patrol officers or detectives because they're not white, or they were drunk, or  they're queer, or use drugs, or live in Section 8. District Attorney’s can also choose not to pursue certain (most) cases, and various bureaucratic and administrative red tape and loopholes along the way make it very hard for victims of violent sexual crimes to receive the justice they’ve been taught to pursue in the criminal justice system.

I hope this description does a few things: it can help explain why some survivors choose NOT to consent to evidence collection kits, or seek help from authorities, or “report his ass to the police”. When I made the choice to not report this crime to law enforcement, I did so knowing the system and its players inside and out. I made the best call for my situation according to my experience. There are many people seeking some kind of response to the awful violence they have endured who DO NOT know how the police work, or how Law and Order: SVU has sold them an impossible reality, and may be pressured by others around them to let “the authorities take care of it”. Some others still may KNOW the horrible failings and corruptions within the criminal justice system and still seek redress in those ways, because those choices make sense for them. It is never helpful to pressure victims out of seeking answers from law enforcement because of our political commitments in criticizing the police state. It is horrifying and insulting to call survivors "sellouts" or "sympathizers" because they might consider or cooperate with law enforcement after sexual assault. Remember that some do not even get the choice; this process is initiated for them and without their control.

Attempting to help people after this shift in how I viewed the police required me to learn yet another, harder lesson: that I should respect what others need in times of crisis and inform, but not attempt to persuade. It takes respect that accountability and revenge might be what some survivors need immediately or publicly, but that some go through these processes for different reasons. Some may feel comfortable or uncomfortable with violent solutions suggested by their peers and loved ones, and http://sparkleallday.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/so-much-bullshit-but-we-wont-give-in/" target="_blank">some pursue violent redress on their own. Some might begin the criminal justice process or some other arbitration process and decide to opt out, because god knows the stress and pressure from months of pursuing some unlikely goal of justice through these confusing and hostile systems is enough to make anyone reconsider.http://radfag.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/envisioning-justice-remembering-your-own-power/">http://radfag.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/rlmstudio.jpg" alt="" width="337" height="243" /> Some might pursue communal responses, or initiate a social ostracization process, or may continue on through life seeking no outward punishment or atonement from their attacker. These are each valid and difficult choices, and best left up to those making them.

As advocates we can educate others about the traps within the criminal justice process, help our communities build better and more responsible alternatives, but should ultimately respect that there are reasons people care for themselves in ways that might not make sense (and may never make sense) to you and me. As an advocate and survivor, making connections between what I know professionally and what I’ve experienced personally is surreal and insightful. I share this with you now in hopes that it helps survivors across communities, and especially those in radical ones, and those who support their efforts to seek justice and healing.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Mormon Perspective on #BundyRanch, U.S. Federal Government, and Divinity of Constitution A22 2:10PM

Livestreamer @PMBeers interviews Bundy Ranch supporters during BLM stand-off A22 8:13AM

Will Hundreds of Years of Contract Law be Eradicated in Santa Ana Court? A22 12:32AM

John Johnson A21 10:25AM

Los Angeles Joins Nationwide March Against Mainstream Media #MAMSM A20 3:04PM

Has KPFK's GM Duncan just dis-appeared? A20 12:35PM

Michael Ruppert dead. A18 6:17PM

Pacifica voting in secret with no accountability? Is this part of KPFK ? A18 3:39PM

Kassim Alhimidi convicted of murder A17 8:33PM

Members of Bundy Family Explain Bundy Ranch Stand-Off With Bureau of Land Management (BLM) A17 1:03AM

Here's some interesting privatization connections in regards to the LAUSD District 1 race A15 4:25PM

Rock, Rap & Speakout vs Poverty, Prisons & War A13 3:16PM

Report Back: 4th Annual Hahamongna Walkabout A13 2:33PM

Pacifica Exe Director position is in confusion still putting KPFK at risk A10 3:52PM

Bernard Duncan, prior GM of KPFK is still in play A08 5:01PM

San Diego May Dai Workers Film Festival A06 5:11PM

Southern California Joins Worldwide Wave Of Action A05 2:31AM

Pacifica board members named here, who attempted ousting ED A04 1:06PM

LA Weekly promotes a slanted view of Pacifica/ KPFK A04 10:36AM

More Info about Pacifica, which holds KPFK's license, etc. A03 2:08PM

Listen to KPFK's staff talking to Pacifica Exe Director M29 7:31PM

Pacifica IS also KPFK, so let's not ignore what going on M29 5:42PM

Reported excerpts of Pacifica's - and that's KPFK's - incidents happening - update M29 5:14PM

Repost from Counterpunch re Pacifica - KPFK too involved M29 2:10PM

Forever intertwined: KPFK, WBAI, Gary Null ? M28 4:10PM

Why is KPFK still failing to thrive ? M28 3:32PM

GLOBAL DAY of ACTION for the Indonesian Rainforests! M27 3:06PM

Opponents of SB County Jail's Letter Ban to Share Progress, Next Steps M27 9:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Crushing defeat for BDS at San Diego State University A24 7:00AM

Re-feudalization A24 4:42AM

Kiev Declares War A24 12:46AM

Israel Wants Temple Mount Control A24 12:44AM

American Oligarchs: Thieving Koch Brothers A23 3:05PM

PLO/Hamas Detente? A23 12:49PM

Well, the #MyNYPD hashtag sure backfired quickly A23 9:07AM

US Threatens Russia A23 12:48AM

Outrageous Pro-Kiev Op-Ed A23 12:46AM

Propaganda alert: US and UN object to the holding of presidential elections in Syria A22 10:45AM

Cold War 2.0 A22 12:51AM

Marwan Barghouti on Sham Peace Talks A22 12:50AM

F*ck One Democratic state A21 10:55PM

Uranium Madhouse unleashes The Duchess of Malfi in Hollywood A21 8:48PM

Major BDS Donor Owned Shares of Caterpillar While Campaigning for Divestment A21 8:23PM

There Is A Petition For Single Payer Health Insurance A21 2:10PM

Proposal: Piketty and Saez Meme Project A21 1:24PM

The Great Shakespeare On Animal And Plant Rights A21 12:40PM

Kropotkin Prison A21 4:58AM

The Earth a Common Treasury for All A21 3:38AM

Kiev Breaks Easter Truce A21 12:44AM

Unacceptable State-Sponsored Murder A21 12:43AM

"Believing without Seeing" A20 4:13PM

Trolling ...what is that ? A20 1:01PM

Canada Targets Russia A20 11:45AM

Russia Bashing Continues A20 12:45AM

Koch Brothers-Style Free Society A20 12:43AM

Arythmie du capital A19 5:33AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy