Rough Draft- Rape: One of the Most Challenging Crimes to Prosecute

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So I have been working really hard on my Rape paper for my Psych and Law class. The rough draft is due this Wednesday. I have a full draft done and wanted to post it because, one I am proud of tackling such a tough subject, and two because I think it’s an interesting paper that talks about something relevant in our society right now. So, if you take the time to read this paper, I would welcome any feedback to make the paper better for a final draft. Thanks in advance, XOXO Anna!

*I put all my block quotes in the block quotes button at top because the formatting was strange without that.*

Rape: One of The Most Challenging Crimes to Prosecute

Introduction

One of the most challenging prosecutions, both criminally and psychologically, in today’s courts is the question of rape. The very definition of the crime varies from state to state. The issue is further composited by the evidence and a prosecutors confidence that is sufficient to sway a jury. Ironically, when fight or flight instincts kick in, no one talks about the freeze instinct, thus leaving no physical evidence behind. If a trial comes out of a reported rape, the question of “who really is on trial” arises. Victims often become objects of intense scrutiny, having their character, motivation, and possibly their sexual history questioned. When on trial, the focus should not be questioning the victim’s character, but rather questioning the perpetrator’s character. Solutions to rape are not clear-cut. Some possible solutions could be addressing the definition of rape, making it universal across the country, having education on rape and consent at a younger age, and having psychologists as expert witnesses explaining why a victim might freeze over fighting when questioned on the stand. Rape ranks as one of the most challenging crimes to prosecute in today’s courts: the absence of a unilateral definition of the crime, the too frequent lack of compelling physical evidence to prosecute, and the likely attack on the character and integrity of the victim, all contribute to the difficulty of bringing this crime to trial.

Part 1

When someone is raped, how do they know they have been raped, legally speaking? Living in New York versus Connecticut, two people could experience rape, yet the legal definition is different in each state. Connecticut, for example, does not have the word “rape” in their definition. Connecticut’s laws on rape are defined using the term “sexual assault” (Attorney S.N., 2005). Using the terms “rape” and “sexual assault” interchangeably is confusing to a victim. Some states define sexual assault as everything but penetration, but if one lives in Connecticut, sexual assault includes penetration. In Georgia, a man cannot be raped because they definition is gender specific. Some of the definitions are old fashioned based on gender stereotypes of men being the aggressors and the women being the victims. These definitions were so outdated that if one were married in some states their husband could rape them and legally it would not be considered rape because the definition goes back to when women were the property of men (Deisen & Diesen, 2010). This is why definitions are important. Someone who has been raped might not come forward because they might feel that what happened to them does not meet the criteria, or they might think they were only sexually assaulted- which has a connotation of being a lesser crime than rape- based on the state’s definition. Definitions also challenge the prosecution. If what happened to a person does not meet legal definitions then the case cannot be taken. With legal definitions, there are two types of definitions, ones based on consent and ones based on violence,

“Rape has been commonly viewed as a crime involving assault with a sexual dimension, in which the violent force is the punishable component . . . modern rape laws are based on non-consent . . . indicating that the crime is viewed as an offense against personal integrity” (Deisen & Diesen, 2010, pp. 331-332).

The rape laws involving the definition of the use of force or threat implies that the woman is accessible until there is violence, and evidence is left, meaning the crime has officially occurred. Most rapes are assumed to be violent, and when they are not, the second problem arises- lack of physical evidence. When there is a lack of physical evidence then there is a lack of confidence in the victim reporting the crime.

Lack of physical evidence is one of the reasons rape cases can be so difficult to prosecute. Most rape victims are raped by someone they know, which increases the shock in the victim, and could lead to the victim having a “freeze” response. Most people, when talking about traumatic events, mention the “fight or flight” instinct but often forget the third response of “freeze.” This is where psychology comes into play to explain why there are many rapes that are not violent. Neuroscience is the best way to explain what happens when a person is attacked. Essentially the pre-frontal cortex is incapacitated and the person is relying on survival instincts and habits. James W. Hopper, PhD., wrote an article for the Washington Post explaining the neuroscience behind trauma explaining that, “Freezing occurs when the amygdala – a crucial structure in the brain’s fear circuitry – detects an attack and signals the brainstem to inhibit movement. It happens in a flash, automatically and beyond conscious control.” During this instinctual reaction, the pre-frontal cortex is overloaded with stress hormones, inhibiting rational thinking. This author makes a great point when mentioning that humans evolved as prey. Humans were not always the most dominant species, and so, humans have prey like instincts to survive a predator. When someone gets raped the three survival instincts kick in- fight, flight, or freeze- and that is how one rape might have left no marks and another rape could leave the victim covered in bruises. Police often believe a woman who reports the rape immediately and has physical evidence, leading to a stronger case for the prosecutor, making them more inclined to take the case. Women often wait to report rapes due to the trauma, causing emotions of deep humiliation, shame, and self-hatred. Often after such a psychologically detrimental attack the women may not feel strong enough, psychologically, to report the rape, or might fear not being believed by the police.

Police play a huge role in rape cases. Prosecutors may not take cases they believe to be too challenging to prosecute, but the police are the ones who determine whether the claim is unfounded, which means, “A complaint is considered founded when it meets state or federal crime standards; therefore, unfounded claims are claims that are not considered true crimes” (Mennicke, Anderson, Oehme, & Kennedy, 2014, pp. 814- 815). Society has many stereotypes about rapes and rape victims, so it is extremely important to make sure officers do not fall into the false beliefs out there, and yet most do, which often proposes a challenge. A study done in Florida with 148 officers on attitudes towards victims and rape resulted in,

“Most officers (79.7%) only provided a partial definition of rape, leaving out at least one of the four key components. In addition, most officers (80.9%) reported that the rate of false rape claims was much higher than current best estimates (2%–8%; Lonsway et al., 2009). These two findings taken together suggest that law enforcement officers still hold stereotypic and harmful attitudes” (Mennicke, Anderson, Oehme, & Kennedy, 2014, pp. 824).

The fact that officers leave out parts of rape definitions and believe that false rape reports are higher than they actually are, indicates a problem for victims. If police officers are having biased or stereotyped beliefs then that is going to affect their ability to handle a rape case. Police, using the training they have for dealing with other crimes, might come off as insensitive to a victim, or ask questions that make the victim feel as if it is their fault they got raped. Cops often are not trained in psychology, and may not have had the correct training to understand a victim’s reaction to rape, so when cops see a victim who is emotionless while describing the rape they might assume the victim is lying- “Cops learn to interview victims based on interrogation practices, which emphasize establishing a timeline and key facts” (Ruiz, 2013). Reasons victims do not report their rape not only can come from not knowing whether what happened to them legally is a crime, but also from the simple fear of police not believing them or making them feel guilty for a crime committed against them. Some “lucky” victims have their case taken to trial, but what really goes into the decision making on the prosecutors end? “Some studies suggest that prosecutors attempt to predict how the background, behavior, and motivation of the suspect and victim will be interpreted and evaluated by other decision makers, and especially by potential jurors” (Beichner, & Spohn, 2012, pp. 4). Not only do prosecutors look at the legal facts of the case -seriousness of the crime, amount of physical evidence, responsibility of the defendant- they look at the victim and make sure the victim has a “good image,” and if all the boxes are checked off that gives them confidence in prosecuting the case, that is when prosecutors take the case.

“CJS personnel often prosecute cases in which they believe the victim will make a credible witness. Therefore, a case might not be prosecuted if officials do not think that the victim will make a credible witness even if they believe that a rape occurred” (Patterson, 2011, pp. 1350).

Prosecutors also fall into stereotyping like cops. Our society has this image of rape being a stranger jumping out from a hidden place and attacking a victim with a weapon, and if a rape case that comes to the law enforcement or prosecutor does not line up with that “real rape” case scenario there is often hesitancy, “Because simple rape cases are not considered real rapes, such victim characteristics would play a more important role in determining the outcome of these cases” (Beichner, & Spohn, 2012, pp. 6). Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners play a role in the justice system as well, and the nurses often witness the treatment of victims from law enforcement, and they

“described police, medical systems, and legal system as wielding power to revictimize rape victims. In fact, SANEs felt that rape victims were particularly traumatized when members of such systems engaged in victim- blaming behavior or questioning, did not believe them, pressured them to recount the events multiple times to multiple people, failed to give them adequate information, or refused them help or treatment” (Maier, 2012, pp. 297).

The nurses who care for the victims even witness the harsh behavior that can come from the criminal justice system.

Part 2

Solutions to rape are far from simple. There are many parts to the solution to rape that will be discussed because rape is such a complex issue -criminally, mentally, and psychologically speaking.

Definitions of rape, as mentioned, are not universal. Each state has their own definition and statute of limitation. Why does rape have a statute of limitation when rape is the second most heinous crime that can be committed against another human, following murder, which has no statute of limitation (Giacalone, 2013).

“The crime of rape is not considered the most heinous crime (number 2) . . . but some, including myself would disagree. When someone is murdered, the pain and suffering lives on with the family and not the victim. Often rape is a crime that leaves the victim violated, their life and relationships in ruin and sometimes emotionally distraught. Sometimes the victim takes her own life because of it” (Giacalone, 2013, pp. 189).

Seeing that rape is such a monstrous crime, the definition and statute of limitations need to be changed. Bill Fitzpatrick, New York District Attorney of Onondaga County says,

“In terms of atrocity, in terms of the breaking of the social contract by the defendant, in terms of the impact on the victim, does it really matter to her at the end of the day if it was a penis or some kind of foreign object? . . . In my judgment, no” (Cowan, 2016).

By having a universal definition of rape, sexual assault, and all other sex crimes, people can avoid the confusion, and victims can be more confident coming forward, knowing that the definition does not discriminate against gender, object used, or what body part was penetrated. Adding to those standards, rapes, whether there was a weapon or not, should be treated equally by the law. Just because one rape did not involve a weapon does not take away from the fact that the rape was a horrifyingly traumatic experience for the victim. Along with a definition change, the statute of limitations should be abolished. Having a statute of limitations on a crime that violates the very soul of a human being is adding injury to insult at best and at worst just plain insulting.

Changes should not only be made in the law, but also in the preventative care. Instead of focusing all the efforts on after the crime has occurred, efforts should be put forth to educate the youth better. When teenagers are taught sex education in school, they should also be taught about consent and body language. Not all victims scream, struggle, or say no. Some victims freeze, dissociate. That should be part of the sex education taught. The younger generations should learn not only about STD’s and safe sex, that only skims the basics of having a healthy sex life. A healthy sex life requires two consenting people that are of legal age. Teaching teenagers in sex education about the psychology of rape and consent would be beneficial in preventing this crime from taking place.

“Enthusiastic consent essentially means that both people want to have sex with one another…If a person is unconscious, unresponsive, or not providing any sign of a ‘yes,’ then it definitely means no. No one is entitled to sex, Stamoulis states, and ‘even during sexual activity, you should check in with a partner if you feel that their interest has waned’” (Bushak, 2017).

When talking about rape,  another problem must be addressed that is considered “taboo” to talk about, which is porn. These days men and women are exposed to hypersexual images in our culture and are further exposed to pornography at such young ages, that it impacts their brains development in their sexual tastes, that our culture has become desensitized to rape, and

“regular exposure to pornography increased risk of sexual deviancy (including lower age of first intercourse and excessive masturbation), increased belief in the ‘rape myth’ (that women cause rape and rapists are normal), and was associated with negative attitudes regarding intimate relationships (e.g., rejecting the need for courtship and viewing persons as sexual objects)” (Anonymous, 2010).

Most people do not like to talk about porn, and think porn is harmless, but,

“this study showed the strong link between men’s viewing pornography and behavioral intent to commit sexual assault. Furthermore, when men view sadomasochistic and rape pornography, their danger to females increases concurrently. Using these two types of pornography makes men significantly more likely to report intent to rape, stronger beliefs in rape myths, a decreased willingness to intervene in a potential sexual assault, and a lower sense of efficacy about intervening in a potential sexual assault situation” (Foubert, Brosi, & Bannon, 2011, pp. 227).

Along with adding in consent education, education about porn and the harmful effects should be another addition to sex education in high school. If the younger generation has a well-rounded sex education, that goes into all the complexes of human sexuality, there will be more informed people that will hopefully be respectful of those around them.

Educating the criminal justice system is needed as well as educating the youth. As mentioned earlier, cops and lawyers might not be well versed in psychological knowledge, and thus treat victims skeptically or not give victims the chance to get justice, letting a criminal go. All police should be trained at the basic level in how to respond to a rape victim because detectives might not be a responding officer to the crime, and if a responding officer does not know how to create a safe environment to get the information needed, then that can affect the entirety of the case. Detectives should have more in-depth training, and there ideally should be a special victims unit in police departments, where those detectives are highly trained in rape psychology.

“[A] victim will attempt to avoid reminders of the rape or the offender for a long period of time following the rape. Therefore, a detective who questions a victim in a forceful, blaming manner is likely to resemble the offender, creating an uncomfortable and intimidating interview environment” (Patterson, 2011, pp. 1367-1368).

If someone is to help a rape victim, they must understand the psychology of rape for victims and perpetrators. Victims lose credibility because they report late, yet most victims have signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and thus, they avoid any reminder of the traumatic experience, leading them to report late. The detectives that handle rape cases must have education in psychology, rape, and trauma, whether it is a class that they sign up for before they become a cop, or whether a psychologist comes into the department to teach the cops over the course of a couple weeks to months depending on how extensive the material is.

Along with educating the police, lawyers should have at least the very basic psychological knowledge of rapes, and how rape can impact a victim, so they know why a victim they originally might think would not be credible would actually be credible if presented in a psychological perspective. This is where the use of psychological expert witnesses come into play. In rape cases, there should always be a psychological expert witness to testify to explain the neuroscience behind trauma and the extent to which rape myths are rampant and should be excluded from people’s minds because it is not legally nor logically relevant to why a person might rape. Expert witnesses in rape cases are not limited to just testifying, they can even help the prosecutor evaluate the case and come up with strategies, help with voice dire questions, aiding in jury selection, and helping to prepare the victim if they are going on the stand (Lonsway, 2005).  It is important for people -police, lawyers, civilians, victims, and jurors- to understand the neuroscience behind trauma so that rape myths can be challenged head on in the courtroom. Mentioned earlier, the three survival instincts were described – fight, flight or freeze. People know of animals that play dead, like opossums. They go into a state called tonic immobility, and humans go into that state as well, usually during rapes and sexual assaults.

“One such response is tonic immobility . . . the body is literally paralyzed by fear – unable to move, speak, or cry out. The body goes rigid. Hands may go numb . . . Some people describe feeling ‘like a rag doll’ as the perpetrator did whatever he wanted . . . Sadly, many investigators and prosecutors still do not know some or all of these brain-based responses.” (Hopper, 2015).

Expert witnesses should be assigned to rape cases, and be included as part of the criminal justice “team” that is involved in rape cases, that way the victim can have hard science on their side as evidence.

The criminal justice system is in place for a reason, so why is it that college campuses have started taking on the responsibility of the police when it comes to rapes and sexual assaults? The idea may have started out positive, but in reality, the schools are more about protecting their image (and star athletes) than protecting the victim (The Hunting Ground, 2017). “So now colleges are conducting trials, often presided over by professors and administrators who know little about law or criminal investigations . . . The process is inherently unreliable and error-prone” (Rubenfeld, 2014). Having schools have rape trials has many problems being, the “judges” are biased because they work for the school and protect the school first, they do not have the legal knowledge that is necessary to conduct a fair trial, and because of those factors rapists walk among the campus raping other girls as they please.

“Rape on campus is substantially enabled by the fact that rapists almost always get away with their crimes. College punishments — sensitivity training, a one-semester suspension — are slaps on the wrist. Even expulsion is radically deficient. It leaves serial rapists free to rape elsewhere, while their crimes are kept private under confidentiality rules. If college rape trials become a substitute for criminal prosecution, they will paradoxically help rapists avoid the punishment they deserve and require in order for rape to be deterred” (Rudenfeld, 2014).

With campuses handling rape cases, it leaves rapists at large to rape again, and it essentially protects the rapists, which means having cases go to the proper authorities would be the best for the safety of the campus.

Conclusion

Rape is one of the most complex crimes to prosecute because of the psychological nature involved. There are no easy solutions to the problem, but if steps are taken to change the culture, definitions, education, then maybe one-day rapes will go down. Having universal definitions for the different sex crimes with no statute of limitations would make reporting the crimes less confusing, and victims might feel more confident that what happened to them is a crime. If teenagers have a well-rounded sex education, that is one preventative measure that can be taken against rapes to hopefully reduce the crime. Cops and lawyers having education in the psychology of rape and the traumatic reactions will have a huge impact on how they treat victims and more importantly, see victims. Having the police handle rape cases instead of college campuses would be more beneficial because cops are supposed to be impartial, whereas the school might have their best interest at heart instead of the victims. Finally, having an expert witness in rapes and trauma alongside them would be beneficial so we have all perspectives involved – investigative, legal, and psychological- would help improve the problem with rapes being one of the most challenging crimes to prosecute.

Reference List

A. (2010, March 31). National Review: Getting Serious On Pornography. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125382361

Attorney, S. N. (2005). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from https://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/rpt/2005- R-0857.htm

Beichner, D., & Spohn, C. (2012). Modeling the effects of victim behavior and moral character on prosecutors’ charging decisions in sexual assault cases. Violence and Victims, 27(1), 3-24. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.27.1.3

Bushak, L. (2016, June 17). After Brock Turner, How Should We Teach Boys Not To Rape? Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.medicaldaily.com/brock-turner-rape- consensual-sex-education-389909

Cowan, S. (2016, June 29). See How Your State Legally Defines Rape (or Does not). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/06/29/state-rape-laws

Deisen, C., & Diesen, E. F. (2010). Sex crime legislation: Proactive and anti-therapeutic effects. International Journal Of Law And Psychiatry, 33(5-6), 329-335. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2010.09.018

Foubert, J. D., Brosi, M. W., & Bannon, R. S. (2011). Pornography viewing among fraternity men: Effects on bystander intervention, rape myth acceptance and behavioral intent to commit sexual assault. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 18(4), 212-231. doi: 10.1080/10720162.2011.625552

Giacalone, J. L. (2013). The criminal investigative function: a guide for new investigators. Flushing, NY: Looseleaf Law Publications.

Hopper, J. W. (2015, June 23). Why many rape victims do not fight or yell. Retrieved April 13, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/06/23/why- many-rape-victims-dont-fight-or-yell/?utm_term=.d08c30e6a1b4

Lonsway, K. A. (2005). The Use of Expert Witnesses in Cases Involving Sexual Assault. Retrieved April 14, 2017, from http://www.ncdsv.org/images/ useexpertwitnessessexassaultcases.pdf

Maier, S. L. (2012). Sexual assault nurse examiners’ perceptions of the revictimization of rape victims. Journal Of Interpersonal Violence, 27(2), 287-315. doi: 10.1177/0886260511416476

Mennicke, A., Anderson, D., Oehme, K., & Kennedy, S. (2014). Law enforcement officers’ perceptions of rape and rape victims: A multimethod study. Violence And Victims, 29(5), 814-827. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D- 13- 00017

Patterson, D. (2011). The impact of detectives’ manner of questioning on rape victims’ disclosure. Violence Against Women, 17(11), 1349-1373. doi: 10.1177/1077801211434725

Rubenfeld, J. (2014, November 15). Mishandling Rape. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from https:// http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/opinion/sunday/mishandling-rape.html

Ruiz, R. (2013, June 19). Why Do not Cops Believe Rape Victims? Brain Science Explains. Retrieved April 13, 2017, from  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2013/06 why_cops_don_t_believe_rape_victims_and_how_brain_science_can_solve_the.html

The Hunting Ground (2017).The Hunting Ground Book. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http:// thehuntinggroundfilm.com/2016/05/the-hunting-ground-book/

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I’ve Been MIA

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I know I’ve been MIA. I haven’t been on for many reasons. One being school, and the second reason I will reveal next week. School has been keeping me quite busy. I am writing a paper on Rape for my Psychology and Law class. I am writing about how rape is one of the most challenging crimes to prosecute in today’s society. I am very excited and passionate about my paper.

Through doing research and reading articles for my paper I feel much more informed than I was when I was sexually assaulted and then raped two times. I truly wish I had the knowledge I have now, so I could go back and make sure I didn’t shower, or wait too long to report. I also have gotten quite angry, thinking back to when I did report. I could tell the officer who was taking down my statement and interviewing me for Monster didn’t take anything I said seriously or thought I was lying. I hated that feeling. The worst part was weeks later when he called me to tell me the DA didn’t want to take my case, and that Monster said he didn’t rape me. As if my rapist saying he didn’t rape me equivalated his innocence. That officer took my rapist’s side. The second rape that I reported was for Owen. The initial report wasn’t with the officer who I would be getting a formal interview from, but the first officer wanted to take down as much information to pass along to the officer I would be meeting with. The officer I eventually met with seemed kind, sensitive, and understanding. I really had hope. This officer seemed to, at the beginning, want to investigate the case. Of course, once we did the recorded phone call, and Owen denied everything and attempted to gaslight me, the officer said he would call me with more information. He never called. I called, he said he didn’t have anything and that he would call me. Again, he never called back. Another officer lets me down. I only hope that my rapists don’t go on to rape other women. I hope my sexual assaulter, Peter, doesn’t go on to assault other women, though I would think that Peter would be. I regret not reporting Peter because I personally feel like he had done that before to other women and that I wasn’t the first.

The first part of my paper I am addressing the problems that make rape difficult to prosecute, such as different definitions in each state for rape and sexual assault, the fact that victims are the ones that are often questioned on their character rather than the suspect, and the lack of physical evidence in rape cases. The second half of the paper is on trying to offer solutions to the issues. I think rape should have a universal definition across the country, and sexual assault should have a universal definition across the country. There should be education at a younger age about rape. I think the first time rape was really talked about and explained was in college, possibly high school. When kids have sex-ed they should also learn about consent and rape. Then, police should be trained, or have a forensic psychologist or neuropsychologist present in interviews so that the psychologist can explain the victim’s behavior instead of the cops just assuming the victim is lying.

I’ve only gotten my introduction done so far, but next week is spring break and I will be working on the paper all week.

XOXO Anna

The Story with Peter

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I never really have talked about Peter on here. I’ve mentioned him sometimes, but never really talked about what happened to me. He is why my life took an unimaginable turn. I never thought that anything bad could really happen to me, not like sexual assault. When I went off to college I was optimistic and hopeful. I thought I would maybe finally get a boyfriend and enjoy my classes. I never imagined that the happy, innocent, good girl I was would be taken away from me. I will never be able to get that girl back, and that’s okay. I’ve improved over the past three years. I’ve also changed in many ways that I have wanted to.

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I’ve written about Monster and Owen, but not about Peter. I think it’s because I have the most shame and guilt surrounding him. I have tried to tell Cody about what Peter did and what happened, but Cody stops me before I get five minutes into it because he can’t hear it. It hurts him too much to think that Peter assaulted me from midnight until eight in the morning. I have wanted to talk about Peter and what happened for a while now, but never had the courage. I don’t blame Cody for not being able to hear my story, but I would still like to tell it, and this is the only way I know how.

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So warning, this could be triggering. If you’re not comfortable hearing this, then stop reading. If you’re okay with reading about this, then continue.

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February 26th, 2013

That day I went to Intro to Dramatic Writing. I talked to Peter about the movies that were on his computer and how I hadn’t seen any of them. He said I could come over to his place that night to watch them. He also said there would probably be weed and alcohol. I thanked him for the warning and said it would be fine.

I went back to the dorms and asked Ethan if I could go. It was our one month anniversary, and I really hoped that he would say no and want to spend time with me. He had work to do though, like always, and said that I could go as long as Peter knew I had a boyfriend. I texted Peter and told him, and he said, no problem because he had a girlfriend.

Peter was an hour late. I had been hanging out in Ethan’s room until Peter got there. I remember Ethan thinking it was douchey of him to be late. I remember my stomach growling as I walked to Peter’s car. I hadn’t really eaten that day. When I get to the car there’s another guy in there. It’s Peter’s roommate. I sit in the back seat in the middle. I remember not knowing where we were driving because it was dark and I didn’t know the town well.

We got to Peter’s apartment. He set up the movie on the TV and his roommate gets the weed ready to smoke. His roommate takes a hit, and passes it to Peter. Peter takes a hit and passes it to me. I didn’t know what to do, so Peter instructed me. I didn’t get much of the hit I tried. Peter lit the lighter the second time, and he told me to inhale, inhale, hold, hold, hold…and breathe. I got a real big hit off that. I was never one to relax. I didn’t really feel the affects during the first movie we watched which was Rise of the Guardians. Near the end Peter helped me take another hit. I was feeling the affects near the end of the movie. A friend of theirs came over at the end of that movie. I can’t remember his name, but if I saw him I would recognize him. They put on The Hobbit. I was so high I couldn’t really pay attention to the movie. Alcohol was mentioned, and they were out. I got excited about that. I wanted some alcohol, I wanted to feel cool. Peter started getting ready to go out. I sat there, and Peter asked, “Well aren’t you going to put on your boots?” I put them on and we headed to the car.

We stopped for gas at Parkers gas station on MLK. We then went to Parker’s Market on Drayton to get the alcohol. We stopped. We passed a police officer I remember, because I knew we were high and it was illegal, and that made me nervous as we walked in the store. We browsed, and Peter was looking around at the beer and asked what I liked. I told him I hadn’t drank anything except for Budlight at a senior high school party. Peter got Miller’s lite for me, and I can’t remember what he got for himself, but it was stronger. I mentioned I was hungry and Peter said I could grab something if I wanted. I grabbed Nacho Dorito’s. Peter paid, and I carried the bag to the car.

I opened the Dorito’s and Peter took some and we drove back to his place. The friend was gone, The Hobbit still playing, and the roommate saying he was going to bed because he had an 8 AM. I also had an 8 AM and it was midnight. I knew I wasn’t going to be going to that class. So we put on Hotel Transylvania and I tried Peter’s beer and decided to go with the Miller Lite. Maybe we took another hit, I can’t remember. But I finished one beer and so did Peter. He got up for another, I asked for another. I was sitting on a couch and didn’t know I was already drunk. I drank the second and so did Peter. He got another, and we split it.

Some how relationships were mentioned. I told Peter that Ethan was my first relationship and I had no idea what I was doing or if I was doing anything right. Peter asked me further about it and I told him Ethan never wanted to do anything and Peter couldn’t believe that. He told me I was pretty, and cute, and sexy. I had never been told that by a guy and couldn’t believe an older cuter guy was saying that about me. Ethan said I was pretty but sexy? No. I told Peter I was clueless and I started feeling spinny and I couldn’t really comprehend what Peter was telling me. Like part of me knew what he was saying but I wasn’t in the mind set to interpret what he was saying. He was telling me that I should bite Ethan’s lip when we kiss, and I didn’t really get that. Peter demonstrated on me. I was shocked but I was like okay…

Peter then told me to do it to him. I was shy and said I couldn’t. Peter said I could, and put his hand on my face and kissed me, and so I bite his lip and Peter said, “Good, you got it.”

We continued talking. I told him I didn’t really feel anything with Ethan when I was on top making out. Peter said it was because I was a Sub. He said he was a Dom. I didn’t understand those terms back then. He said I was submissive and that was why I wasn’t getting anything out of making out with Ethan. Peter got on me and kissed me. I felt something. Peter said, “yeah you’re a submissive.” Peter said something about choking and I didn’t get it so he put his hand out to demonstrate and I remember squirming, but Peter said, “Stay still I am not going to hurt you.” He put his hand around my neck and gently tightened a bit. I kind of liked that. So Peter got on me again, and kissed me and “choked” me. He then bit my ear. That was interesting…

I knew this all was not supposed to be happening. I couldn’t believe this older guy thought I was cute. He even told me, “If you were my girlfriend I would make time for you.” Peter was over me and pinned me down, and I liked that and he was saying I was definitely a submissive. He continued demonstrating. He said I was wet when he felt my body up and down. I got nervous and felt embarrassed about that I remember. Peter said it was good, it meant I was enjoying myself or something like that. Peter then asked, “Has anyone ever gone down on you?” I replied, “No” shyly. He unzipped my shorts and said “is this okay?” and I shrugged nervously and pulled them off. He came back up and was kissing me while feeling me down there. He was getting hard. He slipped his finger in my underwear and fingered me. It kinda hurt at first but then felt good. He then went down on me. I had never felt anything like that. It was strange, I was nervous and scared. I remember he looked up at me while doing it. “I want to try some things to see if you like them,” he said and he did a lot of things down there. I won’t go into detail because I personally don’t want to recount that. He put my underwear back on. We continued watching the movie. I asked to be pinned down again to see if I did really actually like it. He did. He said he could “pin me against a wall to see if I liked that” and I said “I don’t know.” He continued making out with me and he then put on Brave when Hotel Transylvania ended. Eventually I was pinned against the wall. I felt like I was on a storming ship, everything was spinning even though I couldn’t move my arms or legs because Peter’s arms and body held me tight against the wall. I was so out of it. I remember wondering if I was going to puke.

We eventually went back to the couch, and I was falling asleep or so out of it I don’t really remember anything. Peter was hard, and he was like, “You’re doing that to me.” I couldn’t believe that. He felt my underwear again and was like, “You’re so wet.” He liked that. Then more stuff happened, like making out. He showed me different positions, and I only remember that because I remember being upside down at one point but I barely remember that. He asked if I had ever seen a penis before. I hadn’t. He pulled his out and was stroking it. He asked if I had ever given a hand job and I said no. He said it was easy and I was like I don’t know. He grabbed my hand and put it on his penis and put his hand over mine, guiding it. He eventually took his hand away and I stopped and was going to pull my hand away but he said to continue. I did for a second and stopped. He asked if I’d ever given a blow job, and I said no. He asked if I wanted to, and I said no. He said, “Okay, but if you ever want lessons, just call me and I’ll show you everything you need to know.”

Eventually we went to his room. I laid in his bed. He started kissing me again. I remember him having his shirt off and having a tattoo of a tiger head on the back of his right shoulder. He went down on me again in the bed room. He took my shirt off. Kissed my neck and chest. He said, “I want to see something,” and he pulled my bra down and sucked my nipple, and said, “Yeah yours are sensitive too.” I remember feeling very violated after that. He continued doing stuff. Eventually we passed out at 8 AM. I didn’t wake up until like 4 PM.

I told Ethan that stuff happened with Peter when I saw him later that evening. Ethan thought I cheated. I thought I cheated. At the time I didn’t know what sexual assault or rape was. Only when I told a friend what happened did he tell me I was sexually assaulted. That was hard to hear. Peter forever changed my life. I was always the good girl. I was into relationships, not smoking, not drinking, not partying. After Peter I felt tainted, like trash, I felt disgusted and ashamed with myself. It took me months to understand that I didn’t want Peter to do that even thought it felt physically pleasuring. I was so confused by that. I felt guilty. Ethan and I eventually broke up.

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The reason I was so hesitant to share this was because I’ve already gotten so many opinions and comments from people about what I’ve gone through. I’ve gotten blamed, and had people say not so great things about me. But I am sharing this because I believe what happened to me was wrong. Peter was older and knew what he was doing. I even remember having one of the doctors at the school health clinic warn me that older guys loved to take advantage of the freshman girls. I remember thinking that it couldn’t happen to me. But it did. It changed my life forever.

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I started drinking, and partying and hooking up thinking I wasn’t worth anything but sex. I wasn’t anything but an object. I still think of myself like that sometimes, but it’s not as often. It will be three years since Peter assaulted me this February 26th. I’ve come so far since that incident. I never thought I would be going to a Criminal Justice school. I never thought I would be in a healthy relationship. I never thought anyone could love me. I didn’t think I was ever going to be okay. But three years later and I’m doing much better. Yes I was raped by Monster and raped by Owen, but I am doing alright given all that I’ve been through.

XOXO Anna

Betrayal

So I went on Facebook, just to see what all my old friends have been up to. I saw a post from Peter, the guy who sexually assaulted me in freshman year. Also got notified by instagram that he made one and to follow him. Bleh! So I check Peter’s page, and I see the mutual friends tab, saying we have mutual friends. I knew we did because he went to my school and was in performing arts with some people I knew. I click on it and find that Eric is friends with him.

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Like what?! Why?! How can he be so indecent as to friend someone who sexually assaulted me. Eric was the one who told me I should report it back in freshman year after he read my statement. So what the hell happened? I think I posted about how Eric and his roommate dragged Ethan to a club where Peter DJ’s at and Ethan got drunk because of how pissed he was and how he wanted to beat Peter up for what he did to me. Of course, Ethan being the guy he is would never act violently, but he wanted to punch him that night when he was drunk he told me. Eric has become the biggest douche.

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Seriously how can people change so dramatically? I am at a loss…

XOXO Anna

Had a bad night

Last night I decided to watch two movies. One, too embarrassing to admit, and the other, To Write Love On Her Arms. Well, as you can guess it was kind of triggering. I mean, great movie, but I was crying through out the movie. It definitely gave me urges to self-harm but at the end it passed. But lots of Owen things came up last night.

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I am honestly humiliated about it. Still. I am still utterly humiliated and ashamed of what Owen did. With Monster, it’s been so long that I’ve accepted it. Same with Peter. Owen is still very fresh. I just feel shitty most of the time. I am scared to socialize and be normal. I’m afraid of a guy hitting on me.

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All that makes me mad. Very mad. With therapy, time and treatment I’ll heal, but damn, it’s going to be one painful recovery.

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XOXO Anna

Fifty Shades Of Grey…more like Fifty Shades Of Abuse

Everyone has been talking about this. They were raging about the movie. I wanted to know what all the hype was about.

I remember in high school a friend told me about these books and how great they were. I finally read the first book in my freshman year of college, right after Peter sexually assaulted me. I remember going through the book highlighting things that Peter did/said to me. I highlighted similar behavior/dynamics. I grabbed the second book in my sophomore year and started doing the same, but the book honestly was boring me and it wasn’t good. Nor was the first, but I was really curious about Christian’s backstory. I finally watched the movie tonight because every article I read is talking about how it’s depicting abuse and glamorizing it. I’m sure lots of people will have different things to say on this topic, but I’m going to say what it was like for me to watch that movie. First off, if you have been sexually assaulted, raped, in an abusive relationship, I caution you. Please be in a good state of mind if you decide to watch it, it can be highly triggering. For me, the first half of the movie didn’t seem too abusive. Yes, Christian was being stalkerish and controlling but I didn’t think it was too bad. Then there was the spanking scene, and then it spiraled down from there. The second half of the movie definitely was triggering for me, though during the whole movie, the dynamic between Christian and Ana was very triggering for me because of my past relationship dynamics. It was so strange to watch a movie and say to myself, “I can relate to this. I was that naive girl once. I remember when I used to think that way. I remember thinking to myself it wasn’t bad or abusive.” I can honestly say, that I just finished the movie maybe fifteen minutes ago and I still feel sick to my stomach. I feel gross, violated, and I feel like I need a friend here to just hug me and tell me everything’s okay. I kind of figured the movie could be triggering, but I wanted to know why people were getting so angry over this film and now I can relate to their thoughts and opinions. It’s true that Christian Grey is manipulative, abusive, and controlling. It is also true that Christian Grey is hurt, alone, ashamed, and scared. What’s really sad, is that this film and book series tells society that victims of abuse turn into manipulative people, and that what is happening in this film/book series is romance and a love story. That kind of makes me shudder and not want to date anyone if that’s what people think romance is. Can someone tell me how what the movie/books portray is romantic?

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What are your thoughts on Fifty Shades Of Grey? I’d actually like to hear thoughts and opinions. XOXO Anna

Talked to Ethan last night…

Here is how the conversation went…

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A: Hey can we talk? I know you know I’m leaving but I wanna talk to you before I leave

E: Okay yeah. Because apparently we ignore each other in public…But we can talk sometime

A: I wanted to say hi to you but I didn’t know what to say. I thought someone got word to you that I was kinda waiting for your move

E: ….I said hi that one time in front of CVS and you just walked past so I figured we weren’t talking.

A: Sorry I nodded, I was rushing because I was late for a meeting. We are talking. I mean, if you want to. I just thought since we aren’t ever going to really see each other again, we could like hang. Watch tv or I could make dinner. I don’t want to leave with us on awkward terms. I want to leave with us being friends. We’ve been through so much, and I just want us to be good before i’m gone.

E: I totally agree with you there. But when we do hang out, I just want good vibes, nothing else. This quarter has been all kinds of mixed signals and stuff. We’ll have plenty of good things to talk about and maybe nerd out too

A: no shit sherlock god what did u expect? also I do not take kindly to you calling me crazy/wreckless/stupid. my decision to leave is none of the above. I’m saying all this now because i do want to end on good vibes. My decision to leave is for my health and safety. You don’t know what i’ve been through and you cannot judge, so i would appreciate an apology for saying such inaccurate things because it really hurt me to hear and thats why i didn’t acknowledge you because i was hurting bad

E: okay, I’m sorry. I don’t understand all of what you’ve been going through this quarter.

all I knew is that there is some distance now

A:Thank you. Maybe i’ll tell you but I did need some distance from you and i figured you needed some too with the gf and all. I tried to respect boundaries and such. But i look forward to hanging out like old times! 🙂

E: same. And we shouldn’t bring this stuff up when we do. we could get lunch or something like we used to

A: what do you mean stuff? And can we chill at my place, i feel safer here. We could watch supernatural and talk or something.

E: stuff like being offended at each other for not talking and wondering why and all these miscommunications and things that add up and stress us out

A: ok

E: and I’d like to hear about your film and we can talk stories etc. I saw the pictures on Facebook lol 

A: Ok cool

E: Okay see you later

A: bye

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So that was our conversation last night on Facebook. I don’t know what to think. I’m REALLY nervous about this because I plan on telling him why I’m leaving. All the reasons…meaning Owen too. But I also am still a bit upset at Ethan because one of his friends texted me, “He did say that you are being crazy and a wreck with choices you make in life and the situations you get yourself into. He told me he’s at the point where he doesn’t care about you and that’s why he doesn’t talk to you.”

I got that text before I started the conversation with Ethan. So was Ethan’s friend lying? Does Ethan really not care? If so, then why is he up to talking to me? SO MANY QUESTIONS! Ethan is forever going to be a stupid enigma.

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XOXO Anna