She knew I could tell with one glance, one look, one simple instant. It was her eyes. Despite the thick makeup, they were still dark-rimmed., haunted, and sad. Most of all though, they were familiar. The fact that we were in front of hundreds of strangers changed nothing at all. I'd spent a summer with those same eyes-scared, lost, confused-staring back at me. I would have known them anywhere.
In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens.
I draw a line down the middle of a chalkboard, sketching a male symbol on one side and a female symbol on the other. Then I ask just the men: What steps do you guys take, on a daily basis, to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they've been asked a trick question. The silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter. Occasionally, a young a guy will raise his hand and say, 'I stay out of prison.' This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, 'Nothing. I don't think about it.' Then I ask women the same question. What steps do you take on a daily basis to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? Women throughout the audience immediately start raising their hands. As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine. Here are some of their answers: Hold my keys as a potential weapon. Look in the back seat of the car before getting in. Carry a cell phone. Don't go jogging at night. Lock all the windows when I sleep, even on hot summer nights. Be careful not to drink too much. Don't put my drink down and come back to it; make sure I see it being poured. Own a big dog. Carry Mace or pepper spray. Have an unlisted phone number. Have a man's voice on my answering machine. Park in well-lit areas. Don't use parking garages. Don't get on elevators with only one man, or with a group of men. Vary my route home from work. Watch what I wear. Don't use highway rest areas. Use a home alarm system. Don't wear headphones when jogging. Avoid forests or wooded areas, even in the daytime. Don't take a first-floor apartment. Go out in groups. Own a firearm. Meet men on first dates in public places. Make sure to have a car or cab fare. Don't make eye contact with men on the street. Make assertive eye contact with men on the street.
[Referring to rape] It already is bigger than everything else. It lives in front of me, behind me, next to me, inside me every single day. My schedule is dictated by it, my habits by it, my music by it.
You cannot make yourself have a flashback, nor will you have one unless you are emotionally ready to remember something. Once remembered, the memory can help you to face more of the truth. You can then express your pent-up feelings about the memory and continue on your path to recovery. Think of the flashback as a clue to the next piece of work. No matter how painful, try to view it as a positive indication that you are now ready and willing to remember.
In my mind, I built stairways. At the end of the stairways, I imagined rooms. These were high, airy places with big windows and a cool breeze moving through. I imagined one room opening brightly onto another room until I'd built a house, a place with hallways and more staircases. I built many houses, one after another, and those gave rise to a city -- a calm, sparkling city near the ocean, a place like Vancouver. I put myself there, and that's where I lived, in the wide-open sky of my mind. I made friends and read books and went running on a footpath in a jewel-green park along the harbour. I ate pancakes drizzled in syrup and took baths and watched sunlight pour through trees. This wasn't longing, and it wasn't insanity. It was relief. It got me through.
The thing that most people didn't understand, if they weren't in his line if work, was that a rape victim and a victim of a fatal accident were both gone forever. The difference was that the rape victim still had to go through the motions of being alive.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted and you have been blamed, or fear that you may be blamed, I just want you to understand this: You are not to blame. There is nothing you did to make someone hurt you, nor is there anything you could have done differently to prevent or stop it.
Over half a million women are raped in this country every year, and only a fraction of them report it because they're too ashamed. It’s a really screwed up world, but its not your fault, and what happened to you, it doesn't make you the monster.
The shame, embarrassment, feeling of low self-worth, and scores of "labels" we give ourselves are not fitting. I am beginning to see how I had no control over the situation. He was a big man, I was a little boy.
I should meet many people who do not know anyone personally who has been raped or molested as a child. But I can't remember seeing a newspaper without a rape or molestation charge in it somewhere, and when I ask groups how many people know someone personally with a history of molestation, almost always, every hand in the room goes up.
He pulled my skirt up. I began to worry. Everyone knew he had broken in girls before and I didn't want it to happen to me. I said, 'No. Get off, please.' He pulled me down the alley and pushed me to the ground. As I lay on my back worrying about my new blue coat, he pushed his fingers up between my legs — and rammed himself into me. I was crying. His lips were pressed against mine but I was motionless, like a small corpse. He grunted and I knew it was over. He got up, I just lay there on the ground, my tights round my ankles. The clock was striking twelve. As he walked away, he turned and said, 'I've always wanted to do it to you. I like your mouth'. When I got in, my mum said, 'Tracey, what's wrong with you?' I showed her my coat, the dirt and the stains, and told her 'I'm not a virgin any more.' She didn't call the police or make any fuss. She just washed my coat and everything carried on as normal, as though nothing had happened. But for me, my childhood was over, I had become conscious of my physicality, aware of my presence and open to the ugly truths of the world. At the age of thirteen, I realised that there was a danger in innocence and beauty, and I could not live with both. (describing childhood rape)
Incest, rape and abuse is rampant everywhere, even in our churches, but society is silent. It is a silent epidemic. One in three women will experience a sexual assault in her lifetime and one in six males, yet we don't speak of it, even in our churches!
In all the interviews I have done, I cannot remember one offender who did not admit privately to more victims than those for whom he had been caught. On the contrary, most offenders had been charged with and/or convicted of from one to three victims. In the interviews I have done, they have admitted to roughly 10 to 1,250 victims. What was truly frightening was that all the offenders had been reported before by children, and the reports had been ignored.
Like Jocelyn, Survivors often think: * That’s just the way I am * I’m not lovable, that’s why I keep having disastrous relationships * I’m not very clever, that’s why I didn’t do well at school * I’m a loner * I’m a weak person * I’m not very nice * I was a difficult child Many survivors find it difficult to accept that being sexually abused as a child can continue to affect them many years later. It may seem too fantastic, or too frightening an idea to believe. David Finkelhor, an American researcher, has tried to explain how sexual abuse affects a child and leads to long-term problems. He suggests four ways in which childhood sexual abuse causes problems: 1 Traumatic Sexualization 2 Stigmatization 3 Betrayal 4 Powerlessness
There are two types of memory frequently experienced by individuals who have had overwhelming trauma that has been suppressed psychologically or chemically. The first is general memory, experienced as an adult, in which there is a natural recall of early events. The other is the memory that is often associated with post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS). The person suddenly smells, sees and feels as though he or she is actually living the event that took place months or years earlier. Many soldiers who survived horrifying combat experiences have PTSS. This has frequently been discussed in terms of Vietnam veterans who suddenly mentally find themselves in the jungle, hiding from the enemy or assaulting people they see as a threat. The fact that they have not been in Vietnam for decades and that they are experiencing the flashbacks in shopping malls, at home or at work does not change what they are mentally reliving. But PTSS has existed for centuries and has affected men, women and children in the midst of all wars, horrifying natural disasters and other traumatic experiences. This includes physical and sexual abuse when growing up. the PTSS Cheryl was experiencing more and more frequently, in which she found herself seeing, feeling and re-experiencing events from her childhood and adolescence had become overwhelming. She knew she needed to get help.
And there’s one other matter I must raise. The epidemic of domestic sexual violence that lacerates the soul of South Africa is mirrored in the pattern of grotesque raping in areas of outright conflict from Darfur to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in areas of contested electoral turbulence from Kenya to Zimbabwe. Inevitably, a certain percentage of the rapes transmits the AIDS virus. We don’t know how high that percentage is. We know only that women are subjected to the most dreadful double jeopardy. The point must also be made that there’s no such thing as the enjoyment of good health for women who live in constant fear of rape. Countless strong women survive the sexual assaults that occur in the millions every year, but every rape leaves a scar; no one ever fully heals. This business of discrimination against and oppression of women is the world’s most poisonous curse. Nowhere is it felt with greater catastrophic force than in the AIDS pandemic. This audience knows the statistics full well: you’ve chronicled them, you’ve measured them, the epidemiologists amongst you have disaggregated them. What has to happen, with one unified voice, is that the scientific community tells the political community that it must understand one incontrovertible fact of health: bringing an end to sexual violence is a vital component in bringing an end to AIDS. The brave groups of women who dare to speak up on the ground, in country after country, should not have to wage this fight in despairing and lonely isolation. They should hear the voices of scientific thunder. You understand the connections between violence against women and vulnerability to the virus. No one can challenge your understanding. Use it, I beg you, use it.
That's what you men are always doing; it's so barbarously naive. You feel one of your loose desires for some woman, and because you desire her strongly you immediately accuse her of luring you on, of deliberately provoking and inviting the desire.
It wasn't a sign of weakness to tell what happened to me. I feel guilt no longer, only regret. The other emotions are coming around too. How much further do I need to go? I'm not sure, but there is comfort in the fact that I am in the hands of expert guides, both in the doctor's office and at home with Sue.
The town was more than ready to accept the window dressing that hid the ugly truth of Joe's guilt. Some shared the secrets and kept the silence. Others would not have believed if they had been told. They would not have wanted to know. As those who saw and ignored the smoke from the crematoria of Hitler's Germany, they did not want to know that their world was not as it seemed.
One is that if women’s sexuality in Africa wasn’t under assault, if women were able to say no, if women weren’t subject to predatory attacks by men, or predatory behavior generally, then you would have a disease in Africa called AIDS. But you wouldn’t have a pandemic.
In the specific case of the use of the term false memory to describe errors in details in laboratory tasks (e.g., in word-learning tasks), the media and public are set up all too easily to interpret such research as relevant to false memories of abuse because the term is used in the public domain to refer to contested memories of abuse. Because the term false memory is inextricably tied in the public to a social movement that questions the veracity of memories for childhood sexual abuse, the use of the term in scientific research that evaluates memory errors for details (not whole events) must be evaluated in this light." From: What's in a Name for Memory Errors? Implications and Ethical Issues Arising From the Use of the Term False Memory for Errors in Memory for Details, Journal: Ethics & Behavior 14(3) pages 201-233, 2004
I think I just said it, but I think it’s worth repeating. They gave me hope that there is good in the world out there. There really is. It really does exist. Regardless of how bad things can be, and how down on your luck you can be, or how bad your trust is broken when it comes to warming up to people and all that stuff, I know that there’s people out there that genuinely wanna help. Putting yourself in that position is a huge step, and it’s a very risky and fragile step, but it’s also a step that needs to be taken because there is help. And you can get through something like this. You really can. - Jim, from "To the Survivors
Bit by bit, Dr. Driscoll helped me to peel away the layers of protection I had built up over the years. The process was not that unlike the peeling of an onion, which also makes us cry. It has been a painful journey, and I don't now when it will end, when I can say, OK, it's over. Maybe never. Maybe sooner than I know. I recently told Dr. Driscoll that I feel the beginnings of feeling OK, that this is the right path.
In 1996 Dorothy Mackey wrote an Op-ed piece, Violence from comrades a fact of life for military women. ABC News 20/ 20 did a segment on rape in the military. By November four women came forward at Aberdeen Proving Ground, in Maryland, about a pattern of rape by drill sergeants. In 1997 the military finds three black drill sergeants to scapegoat. They were sent to prison and this left the commanding generals and colonels untouched to retire quietly. The Army appointed a panel to investigate sexual harassment. One of the panelists was the sergeant Major of the Army, Eugene McKinney. On hearing his nomination, former associates and one officer came forward with charges of sexual coercion and misconduct. In 1998 he was acquitted of all charges after women spoke (of how they were being stigmatized, their careers stopped, and their characters questioned. A Congressional panel studied military investigative practices. In 1998, the Court of Appeals ruled against Dorothy Mackay. She had been outspoken on media and highly visible. There is an old Arabic saying When the hen crows cut off her head.This court finds that Col. Milam and Lt. Col. Elmore were acting in the scope of their duties in 1991-1992 when Capt. Mackey alleged they harassed, intimidated and assaulted her. A legislative remedy was asked for and she appealed to the Supreme Court. Of course the Supreme Court refused to hear the case in 1999, as it always has under the feres doctrine. Her case was cited to block the suit of one of the Aberdeen survivors as well!
Well before she became famous — or infamous, depending on where you cast your vote — Loftus's findings on memory distortion were clearly commodifiable. In the 1970s and 1980s she provided assistance to defense attorneys eager to prove to juries that eyewitness accounts are not the same as camcorders. "I've helped a lot of people," she says. Some of those people: the Hillside Strangler, the Menendez brothers, Oliver North, Ted Bundy. "Ted Bundy?" I ask, when she tells this to me. Loftus laughs. "This was before we knew he was Bundy. He hadn't been accused of murder yet." "How can you be so confident the people you're representing are really innocent?" I ask. She doesn't directly answer. She says, "In court, I go by the evidence.... Outside of court, I'm human and entitled to my human feelings. "What, I wonder are her human feelings about the letter from a child-abuse survivor who wrote, "Let me tell you what false memory syndrome does to people like me, as if you care. It makes us into liars. False memory syndrome is so much more chic than child abuse.... But there are children who tonight while you sleep are being raped, and beaten. These children may never tell because 'no one will believe them.'" "Plenty of "Plenty of people will believe them," says Loftus. Pshaw! She has a raucous laugh and a voice with a bit of wheedle in it. She is strange, I think, a little loose inside. She veers between the professional and the personal with an alarming alacrity," she could easily have been talking about herself.
I think it is important to recognize one’s power, one’s capacities, and one’s dreams. We were actually talking about this in the last men’s group we had. We were talking about these dreams they had as kids and how they just disappeared. They just seemed like they couldn’t even be followed anymore. So for me that’s a loss of power. That’s a loss of their power; their own belief that they control their world. But they need to understand that their actions matter." - Chris
Young girls frequently report that their early sexual experiences were coerced. In a study in South Africa, 30 percent of girls report that their first sexual intercourse was forced. In rural Malawi, 55 percent of adolescent girls surveyed report that they were often forced to have sex.
A plain, brown paper-wrapped package came in the mail recently. Upon opening it, I saw that it was a patchwork quilt about four feet by five feet. Many little scraps of cloth, carefully joined by loving hands. Two squares have suggestions of a black cassock and Roman white collar. The maker of the quilt states, In its variety, I feel it denotes confusion and the world mixed up. There are dark spots for the dark times and bright squares, so, hopefully, some good and brightness will come in the future. The other pieces of cloth were of happy times, mothers and children, peaceful settings, happy things. A note inside stated that she felt we were scraps,—the scraps that the abusive priests treated us like. They would use us as a scrap is used and then simply toss us aside. I was moved to tears. Holding it in my hands, I could almost feel others' pain and suffering, as I touched each panel. It is a magnificent work, worthy of a prize. I was deeply humbled by the receipt of the quilt. This woman got it; she really got it. This woman got it; she really got it. She has a deeper understanding of what we have gone through. It is rare.
A man of the mouth, formerly the most oral of surgeons, Henry had the habit of giving his lady patients laughing gas, putting them out, then fiercely fucking them, while tugging on their wisdom teeth. His getting caught was a slip of the tongue, so to speak. While he was buried deep in a muff, some sharp thing slipped, and his prize patient, Mrs Mavis Gilette, woke to find a harpoon hole in her cheek and her lost licker languishing on the floor.
How often do we hear from the local diocesan people—the bishop, the communications director, the victim assistance coordinator, and others—that this abuse is not restricted to clergy, but, rather, it is a societal problem? It does occur outside in the public realm. When was the last time you heard of a sex offender not being held accountable for his actions once caught? The Church treated the abuse as a sin only and nothing more. Out in society, sex offenders are not moved to another community quietly. But protest that priests are 'no worse' than other groups or than men in general is a dire indictment of the profession. It is surprising that this attitude is championed by the Church authorities. Although the extent of the problem will continue to be debated, sexual abuse by Catholic priests is a fact. The reason why priests, publicly dedicated to celibate service, abuse is a question that cries out for explanation. Sexual activity of any adult with a minor is a criminal offense. By virtue of the requirement of celibacy, sexual activity with anyone is proscribed for priests. These factors have been constant and well-known by all Church authorities (Sipe 227−228).
In court the next morning I sat at a table in the judge’s chambers. On the other side of the table, close enough for me to reach across and touch him, sat Ted Bundy. He’s adorable, I thought, surprised at my first impression, because I’d pictured him in my mind as brooding, dark, intense disdain (p. 83). (Loftus testified as a defense expert for Ted Bundy in 1976, Bundy was found guilty of aggravated kidnapping)
We propose that use of the term false memory to describe errors in memory for details directly contributes to removing the social context of abuse from research on memory for trauma. As the term false memories has increasingly been used to describe errors in details, the scientific weight of the term has increased. In turn, we see that the term false memories is treated as a construct supported by scientific fact, whereas other terms associated with questions about the veracity of abuse memories have been treated as suspect. For example, recovered memories often appears in quotations, whereas false memories does not (Campbell, 2003).The quotation marks suggest that one term is questioned, whereas the other is accepted as fact. Accepting false memories of abuse as fact reflects the subtle assimilation of the term into the cognitive literature, where the term is used increasingly to describe intrusions of semantically related words into lists of related words. The term, rooted in the controversy over the accuracy of abuse memories recalled during psychotherapy (Schacter, 1999), implies generalization of errors in details to memory for abuse—experienced largely by women and children (Campbell, 2003)." from: What's in a Name for Memory Errors? Implications and Ethical Issues Arising From the Use of the Term False Memory for Errors in Memory for Details, Journal: Ethics & Behavior
Joe knew that for some, really for most, the derivations of belladonna that blurred their vision and caused their hearts to race would, as well, hasten their forgetting of detail. They would not recall, not readily, any sense of pain or shame or doubt or threat of danger.  There were always children to be used. Members were obliged to offer their children, although not necessarily every child in a family was used. Some were found to be not suited for the rigor. Some were left alone so that if the involved children in a family were to attempt to tell, siblings could not corroborate their experience.
The thought had occurred to me as I was flying to Salt Lake City earlier that day that Ted Bundy might offer to let me stay in his apartment (p. 74). (Loftus testified as a defense expert for Ted Bundy in 1976)
FORGET FERES DOCTRINE And the military has immunity! Yes! The feres doctrine! It states the Government is not liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act for injuries to servicemen where injuries arise out of or are in the course of activity incident to service (U.S. Supreme Court 1950). Federal law and our Supreme Court shield acts of rape and sexual brutality in the military as proven by its subsequent ruling on a 2001 case that denied a plaintiffs right to file a civil suit against her accusers. Yet when women report the crime, it is handled internally Commanders are given the discretion to resolve complaints. The report may not go beyond his office. Many times he's part of the problem or a sympathizer with the offender. This certainly was my case! Our Supreme Court ruled as recently as 2001 that rape is an injury incident to the course of activity in the service! THE HEINOUS CRIME OF RAPE IS ACCEPTABLE AND CONDONED BY OUR SUPREME COURT! WOMEN ARE FAIR GAME FOR RAPE AND HARRASSMENT, ACCORDING TO OUR SUPREME COURT! CONGRESS IS NO BETTER! NO LAWS ARE PASSED TO PROTECT US IN THE MILITARY AGAINST THE STATUTE OF LIMITATION FOR THE FELONY OF RAPE!
Treating Abuse Today (Tat), 3(4), pp. 26-33 Freyd: I see what you're saying but people in psychology don't have a uniform agreement on this issue of the depth of -- I guess the term that was used at the conference was -- "robust repression." TAT: Well, Pamela, there's a whole lot of evidence that people dissociate traumatic things. What's interesting to me is how the concept of "dissociation" is side-stepped in favor of "repression." I don't think it's as much about repression as it is about traumatic amnesia and dissociation. That has been documented in a variety of trauma survivors. Army psychiatrists in the Second World War, for instance, documented that following battles, many soldiers had amnesia for the battles. Often, the memories wouldn't break through until much later when they were in psychotherapy. Freyd: But I think I mentioned Dr. Loren Pankratz. He is a psychologist who was studying veterans for post-traumatic stress in a Veterans Administration Hospital in Portland. They found some people who were admitted to Veteran's hospitals for postrraumatic stress in Vietnam who didn't serve in Vietnam. They found at least one patient who was being treated who wasn't even a veteran. Without external validation, we just can't know -- TAT: -- Well, we have external validation in some of our cases. Freyd: In this field you're going to find people who have all levels of belief, understanding, experience with the area of repression. As I said before it's not an area in which there's any kind of uniform agreement in the field. The full notion of repression has a meaning within a psychoanalytic framework and it's got a meaning to people in everyday use and everyday language. What there is evidence for is that any kind of memory is reconstructed and reinterpreted. It has not been shown to be anything else. Memories are reconstructed and reinterpreted from fragments. Some memories are true and some memories are confabulated and some are downright false. TAT: It is certainly possible for in offender to dissociate a memory. It's possible that some of the people who call you could have done or witnessed some of the things they've been accused of -- maybe in an alcoholic black-out or in a dissociative state -- and truly not remember. I think that's very possible. Freyd: I would say that virtually anything is possible. But when the stories include murdering babies and breeding babies and some of the rather bizarre things that come up, it's mighty puzzling. TAT: I've treated adults with dissociative disorders who were both victimized and victimizers. I've seen previously repressed memories of my clients' earlier sexual offenses coming back to them in therapy. You guys seem to be saying, be skeptical if the person claims to have forgotten previously, especially if it is about something horrible. Should we be equally skeptical if someone says "I'm remembering that I perpetrated and I didn't remember before. It's been repressed for years and now it's surfacing because of therapy." I ask you, should we have the same degree of skepticism for this type of delayed-memory that you have for the other kind? Freyd: Does that happen? TAT: Oh, yes. A lot.
It’s estimated that $55 million dollars is spent on aftercare in Kenya alone every year. This model is not practical or sustainable and does nothing to address the growing epidemic of sexual violence. It’s crucial to get the world community to recognize self-defense as a viable means to prevention and begin a dialogue about how every single young or old woman can learn these simple life-saving techniques.
Studies conducted in a city in Zimbabwe found that half of reported rape cases involve girls less than 15 years of age and that girls are most vulnerable to sexual abuse by male relatives, neighbors and school teachers.