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dated rape
Old 04-09-2007, 09:23 PM   #1
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dated rape

about 25 years ago, my dear friend was date-raped by another old friend of ours. she never told anyone--not even her husband who she met after the fact--sharing this pain with no one until she told me a year or two ago.

the rapist is a really nice guy who has gone beyond the call of duty to help his friends. i was stunned when she told me. i am certain that this guy, who i know has a conscience, is living with regret and it seems to me that she has been psychologically damaged by keeping this pain inside her.

she has avoided him for all these years, though she did show up in the last 1/2 hour of our reunion two years ago. the first time the two were in the same room together since the rape. she was very nervous about being there but managed to do ok & he wound up leaving earlier than most of us.

we might all be together again later this year in new york for our 50th birthday party. i feel certain that if i confronted the guy that he would apologize to our friend. i also feel that would help my dear friend to begin to heal.

but she has forbidden me to talk to our friend (or anyone--so you guys don't count) about this. doing nothing makes me feel like i am watching her drown. what would you do?
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-09-2007, 09:26 PM   #2
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Re: dated rape

Listen to her since she trusts you. Hug her. Stay out of the rest of the drama. She would probably benefit from a counselor specializing in this area. "Nice guys" can be rapists too.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-09-2007, 09:40 PM   #3
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Re: dated rape

Yep. Listen to her, be supportive, and help her explore options if she is interested. I would not go further than that. I would cetainly not raise it with the alleged perpetrator.

There's a good chance that the guy views things very differently from the way she remembers it. (If there was alcohol involved, it is nearly a certainty). She's been thinking about this for a long time--I don't think an apology is likely to make a big difference in helping her get past this.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-09-2007, 09:46 PM   #4
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Re: dated rape

There is probably a rape crisis line you could call and discuss this situation with.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-09-2007, 09:47 PM   #5
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Re: dated rape

This is a no win for you. Be a good friend to her.

As for him... I'm sure the prison guards at auschwitz were nice guys the rest of their lives too. Some things are unforgivable.

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Re: dated rape
Old 04-09-2007, 10:16 PM   #6
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Re: dated rape

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum


but she has forbidden me to talk to our friend
Respect her wishes. She told you about the incident because she trusts you, so be there for her but be careful with creativity.
Of course I don't know any of the parties here, but I'm going to guess that a brokered apology has a 70% chance of going very wrong.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-09-2007, 10:30 PM   #7
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Re: dated rape

interesting. i wasn't expecting such quick consensus. i've tried more than once to get her to seek professional help. for this and for when her mom was dying. our mom's both had alzheimer's and died two months apart. i couldn't be there to help her because i already had my hands full. she never even contacted the alzheimer's association for help. i had to help her long distance. it was terrible. she never even had the assistance of hospice at the end. as smart as she was when we were growing up, she does not handle life very well.

my feeling is that this has festered long enough. i don't see any good out of keeping silent. i've always felt that exposure leads to resolve. and yet, maybe the group is right, that i don't have the right to interfere. i don't like no win situations. i will have a hard time not saying anything if we three wind up together at our birthday party.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-09-2007, 11:05 PM   #8
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Re: dated rape

While I think the consensus opinion that leting sleeping dogs lie is the safe thing to do. I am not really sure it is the right thing to do. Although ultimately it is your friends decision.
If they are both close of friends of yours and there is unmistakable air of tension between the two of them, I'd push one more time.

Perhaps an approach telling the girl lets call her Jesse and the guy Joe, that you intend to tell Joe, that there is some serious unresolved issues between the two of them. You hope that with Joe knowing this he will take the initiative to sort through them. Now if Jesse begs you not to do this obviously you have to respect her wish, cause no means no.

Remember you have only heard her side of the story. I think there is a good possibility with line between aggressive sex and date rape being blurry, not menition the standards of today are different than those of the early 80s, that Joe isn't aware that Jesse believes she was raped. .

Best case Joe apologies to Jesse and she forgives him. Worst case, well I'm sure a TV movie script writer can figure out quite a few ugly scenarios.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-09-2007, 11:13 PM   #9
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Re: dated rape

I will go with the consensus.... don't confront him with the information... he might not wish to appologize if he thinks he did nothing wrong..

Also, she might be the kind of person who need to keep her 'pain'... and does not want to talk with anybody but you... it seems she has still not told her husband... yes, she would probably do better if she got some counseling.. but maybe not...

Just be her friend and respect her wishes... it is her life..
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-10-2007, 12:58 AM   #10
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Re: dated rape

Also, consider that maybe she just wanted you to listen to her/support her emotionally when she is uncomfortable around him. You feel like taking action to fix it for her, but likely she didn't want that at all, just a shoulder to cry on.

Now that you know, she is free to confront him/publicly humiliate him herself if she chooses and at least one person will have her back and believe her. But, actually if you intervene and challenge him for her, you are taking some of her power away from her.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-10-2007, 01:11 AM   #11
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Re: dated rape

She is seeking a counselor, you. Don't betray her trust. If she opens up more she might be able to work through her feelings with you. If she thinks she was raped then she probably already has some issues with trust and if you betray her, as she sees it, it will drive a huge wedge between her and you (her counselor).
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-10-2007, 01:40 AM   #12
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Re: dated rape

i agree with the group too..

for now, see her telling you as a huge step for her and let her talk about it or not - for you it is new and something that is just sinking in.

however, given the distance and lack of resolution - i would be concerned about that and help her find ways to"untie the knot" - that is one way thich naht hanh explains it - that if you don't untie the knots in our lives they will only tighten and this old knot seems to linger and cause her much suffering...

i don't really think you always need the other party involved to find resolution - it depends on her personality too - but since people are friends/acquainted - that definitely complicates things.

i have found out similar things about people i thought i "knew" - i think this is why we need much much better and more open communication with kids, teens, and girls/women, boys/men in particular about this subject.

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Re: dated rape
Old 04-10-2007, 06:26 AM   #13
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Re: dated rape

As with the others, be her friend, be there for her but don't go beyond what she wants you to do. Calling a rape center for information on how you can help her might be a good idea, especially if she won't seek counseling on her own.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-10-2007, 07:15 AM   #14
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Re: dated rape

As a victim of rape, I'm begging you to support her and her wishes and do not try to interfere. I'm sure he has a different idea of what happened, but that doesn't mean you should break her confidence.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-10-2007, 07:27 AM   #15
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Re: dated rape

I worked on a runaway help line for teenagers and we had a lot of resources. I would suggest you find one; speak with them and if they advise you have your friend contact the help line. That is about the best you can do.

I'm not trained in rape crisis counciling and this is what needed. If a friend of mine had a physical ailment I would advise him to go to a doctor; why - I'm not a doctor and am not qualified to give medical advise. This is a similar situation.

Thanks for being a good friend to her.

When I was a teenager a girlfriend of mine was walking home from school and was pulled off the street and raped by two guys. It is difficult for a male to imagine the vilolation.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-10-2007, 07:48 AM   #16
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Re: dated rape

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
we might all be together again later this year in new york for our 50th birthday party. i feel certain that if i confronted the guy that he would apologize to our friend. i also feel that would help my dear friend to begin to heal.
Please don't do that. It''s highly likely to backfire. I'm with Outtahere. Ask a professional in this area. Your job as a friend is to be supportive and that includes guiding your friend to the resources she needs, but getting into a conflict situation with the rapist is not going to help. Remember, the assault happened many years ago. It's too late to play the white knight to rescue your damsel in distress.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-10-2007, 09:10 AM   #17
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Re: dated rape

I don't know if this fits, but it might. I dated a woman who was "date-raped" by a guy who she knew pretty well. Since there was alcohol involved, and she remembered little, the guy was not charged.

I was the FIRST man she dated AFTER the incident (2 years later). We dated for a couple months before she confided in me. I will not go into details, but the effect on her psyche was horrific. However, I felt compelled to help her get past it and trust men again, as she was only 22. In the end, she moved away, and we broke it off, but I kept in tocuh with her for a few years.

She ended up marrying someone and had 3 kids, and her life is full and satisfying. A little part of me is proud because I beleive I helped a human being recover.

That being said, I would stay out of this lady's affairs, and be a supportive friend.............
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-10-2007, 12:59 PM   #18
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Re: dated rape

point of clarity. the raped is still my very dear friend. the raper was a mutual friend of ours (we had a pretty close knit group of 20-30 or more of us growing up). the raped was always closer to me than the raper. unknown to me, the raper was always jealous of my relationship with the raped. to complicate it even more, the raper & i "experimented" together with sex (at about age 15) before i really knew quite what i was doing (too bad, he would have had a much better time). the rape would occur about 10 years after that.

so while i am currently only in contact with the raped, i do feel intimately close to them both. in these days, the raped & myself would only normally have contact with the raper during reunions. i actually would like to have a relationship with the raper (as i said, he otherwise really is a very nice guy--and i am enjoying much the relationships i've re-established since our 30th h.s. reunion), but i would not be willing to jeopardize my relationship with the raped for that.

due to the complication of this rather odd triangle--especially in learning of the jealousy--i feel somewhat responsible for the alleged rape. even though i was over a 1,000 miles & years away at the time, it might have been rooted in my earlier sexual encounter with the raper and nourished by his jealousy of my relationship with the raped. both of them have been married for many years already. i did not tell my friend about my relationship with the raper as to protect his privacy. but perhaps telling her at least that might offer another perspective outside of random victim.

while i realize i have only her side of the story (& mine), i can not get the third side of the story without breaching a trust. her story did seem to make sense in that i found no inconsistancies in it. though she has had over 20 years to perfect that story, so of course, i have no sure way of knowing without talking to the raper.

my friend does play the victim in life, holding onto pain like a prized possession. she used to be such a happy, funny person growing up. during a later operation she lost her ability to have children and she carries that pain with her daily. i think she carries the pain of this rape with her too. it almost always takes great effort to cheer her up during conversations. as much as i will always love her, i find our time together worthy but exhausting, so much so that i limit my exposure to that.

i would hope at this point of life that the worst anyone would be seeking is a modicum of peace. but i do like the idea of not taking away her power. not her power for revenge, but the power she might find over her own life, over how she views her past & if there is any such thing, over her destiny. i would only want her to find that power, not to take it away. but it seems to me that sometimes that power is right behind a door that person just can not open. and if someone would help them open that door, just a little bit, they could make that power theirs. maybe you can not even open the door for them. maybe just show them to the door. i don't know.

pain often accompanies growth. but holding onto pain, how do you grow from that? i can hardly handle the occassional boil in my own life without a quick lance. just imagine living continually in that. in my own life all i have to do is pop it. but here i have to bite my tongue.

how odd that the longer i get in the tooth, the shorter i get in the tongue.
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-10-2007, 02:27 PM   #19
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Re: dated rape

Lazy,

Don't beat yourself up on this... it is her pain, don't make it yours also.. be there as support, not another victim...

And (from what I read), if it was 10 years later, your encounter more than likely played NO role in the rape... there had to be much more happening than a thought of an encounter between 15yos...

I am sure that a lot of the date rapists are 'nice to be around'.... if they were not, then they would not be getting the dates for them to rape..
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Re: dated rape
Old 04-10-2007, 04:25 PM   #20
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Re: dated rape

I've known a couple of rape victims. I also recommend not taking any action about the aggressor. I can only see that going badly.

No, I can't imagine that your previous experience with him had anything to do with the rape. I don't think you can hope to have a friendship with both parties in this situation.

As for the victim, I think she needs to talk to another victim who has better dealt with it than she has so far. Somebody who truly understands and has managed to deal with it.

Rage, revenge and power issues are common symptoms I've noticed of rape victims. I think the worst thing to do is to take power from them. The rest they have to work out with peer support or professional help, but it seem professional help is often not sought or not wanted. I'd hope to find her an understanding friend, but not to force one on her.
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