Sexual Assault Multiple episodes, little to no justice

ArEllCeeBee

New Here
Hi. I've been here before but it's been so long, I've forgotten both my user name and my password. So I created a new account. This is tearing me up inside, and I needed to discuss it. If anything needs to be edited or covered up, moderators are welcome.

I have been sexually abused at various points in my life by multiple perpetrators. The first time it happened, I was 5 years old. The man, not related to the family in any way, abused me on several occasions. I told my parents, and they did the right thing. They believed me and called the police. I testified in court, and that man went to prison. This story got the ending it should have gotten.

BUT....

I was 6 and just coming off of this incident when a 12-year-old uncle came into my room just after I'd gone to bed. He used the excuse of coming in to kiss me good night, which is not something he did routinely. His hand went somewhere it shouldn't have gone, and then he asked me not to tell anybody. This happened only once. I have long excused it on the grounds that he was a child himself and probably didn't know better. It later came to light that he and all of his siblings, including my mother, had been abused by their own uncle. The truth is, if he had enough awareness to ask me not to tell anybody, then he knew he was doing wrong. But he probably didn't know the full extent of *why* it was wrong, and I'm still inclined to excuse it. Whether or not he is to blame, though, it still had an effect on me.

My mother has been married a total of 9 times, with live-in boyfriends between marriages, so I had revolving-door father figures. When I myself was 12, one of those step-fathers began sexually abusing me, and did it repeatedly. That marriage soon ended. I didn't tell my mother until after they were separated, because he had threatened me with his wrath if I did say anything. Not only did my mother do nothing with this information--didn't call the police, didn't bring it up in court, nothing--but knowing full well what he had done to me, she also actually considered remarrying him when I was 15. Yes, she was a victim of her uncle too. Could she have possibly thought, this is just something that happens in families, and nothing to make a big deal over?

The year I was 14, my mother having remarried my biological father, both grandfathers once apiece touched me inappropriately. My father's father was very old and immobile, and he made a grab for me as I was helping him to turn over in bed. I, along with my mother when I told her, attributed this to a doddering old man who didn't know what he was doing. It turned out that he had a reputation for this kind of thing. I was most likely the last young girl he touched like that, but I was certainly not the first. That same year, my mother's father touched me inappropriately and afterward claimed he was testing me. Congratulations, I had passed and shown myself to be a "good girl" by resisting rather than letting him. He was long dead before I told anybody.

When I was 15, some time after my mother nearly re-exposed me to my step-father, I was sexually attacked by a stranger. The police were called, reports were made, evidence was gathered, but we moved away before it went to court. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that with the victim no longer present to testify, the case was probably thrown out.

Once during my 20's, while I was separated from my first husband, I was assaulted by his then-roommate. Life had already taught me that I couldn't stop this from happening, and besides, back then, women were being taught to be passive or else he may hurt her. So, I pretended I was asleep and hoped he'd get bored and go away. The result was that the police told me I didn't put up enough of a fight to make it a [email protected] Since I was no longer underage, they didn't charge him with anything at all.

During my 30's, my oldest child's then-boyfriend wouldn't take no for an answer, and forced me. I called the police, and when they questioned him, he told them it was consensual. Despite photos of the bruising on my upper arms where he held me down, the police decided they couldn't prove I had no, and they didn't charge him either.

I am now in my 50's. My husband is a bus driver. A few months ago, I went with him on one of his runs. At the end of the route, I was alone on the bus with a passenger whose behavior had been "off" from the beginning, but we weren't expecting this. Hubby stepped off the bus briefly, to assist other passengers. The one I was alone with, knowing I was the driver's wife, then exposed himself to me and asked me a lewd question. I immediately yelled for my hubby, who was back on the bus in an instant. But by then, the passenger had gone to the rear of the bus and had his back turned. All hubby saw was that the passenger's shirt was off. He didn't see what else had been exposed. He says he has frequently seen homeless and/or mentally disturbed passengers take their shirts off while riding the bus, and that's all he thought it was. Although I had tried my best to communicate what happened, hubby didn't realize the full extent of it. He and a security guard immediately escorted that passenger off premises, and a supervisor made sure he will never ride one of their buses again. Hubby now says it's almost a good thing he didn't know the whole story, because if he had, then HE would have been the one to go to jail, for what he would have done to that passenger.

I understand my husband's point of view, but this most recent incident has triggered a lot of old, very ugly memories. I can't help but notice that only one time has this type of behavior resulted in the justice it deserved. From age 6 onward, every single perpetrator who did this to me has gotten away with it. And to put it mildly, I don't like that very much.
 
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Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry all that happened to you.

I struggle with this too. Had a number of people do a number of things to me too.

I don't know what country you are in and if there is or is not a limit for reporting. But, do you want to report those? Do you want to pursue justice?

Or is there another way for you to feel justice internally?
 

ArEllCeeBee

New Here
I'm in the USA. Most of the perpetrators are dead now, so there won't be any use reporting them to anybody. The stranger when I was 15, ex's former roommate, and oldest child's former boyfriend, all of them *were* reported. The only reason any action at all was taken on the stranger was because I was still underage. If I hadn't been, then I would have gotten the same treatment I got as an adult.

I guess I can say the bus passenger didn't *entirely* get away with it, because he was escorted off property and will be permanently banned from that bus service.

Look at the pattern of the childhood/teenage incidents. The only ones who ever had the police called on them at all, were those unrelated to me. With family, as my step-father, uncle, and grandfathers, there was no police involvement of any kind. As for the incidents as an adult, when the police were called, they did nothing.

Sometimes I have the impression it's only called "abuse" when it happens to somebody else. When it happens to me, it's perfectly fine and nothing to report.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Sometimes I have the impression it's only called "abuse" when it happens to somebody else. When it happens to me, it's perfectly fine and nothing to report.
That's not true.
Is there another way of measuring whether something is abuse or believed to be abuse rather than looking at convictions?

In the UK, rape convictions are 1.7% of cases that get to court. Appalling. Doesn't mean the abuse didn't happen. Just means the criminal justice system is set up in a way that it is not equitable, as it allows these miscarriages of justice to routinely happen.

I now know what happened to me was abuse. And no one will ever be convicted for anything. I never reported. I doubt I ever will. I have had to work with my therapist about that and seeing how I can give validation to myself about what happened. Still a work in progress.....

Is there a way of working through your feelings about it? Coming to terms with the injustice somehow?
 

Friday

Moderator
Sometimes I have the impression it's only called "abuse" when it happens to somebody else.
Then you probably haven’t looked up conviction rates for Rape/sexual assault recently. They’ve taken a HUGE surge upward in recent years … from 2% to 3%. Although it seems we’re currently at about 2.5% Only 25 out of every 1,000 go to trial and conviction. About Sexual Assault | RAINN

The vast majority of rapes are never reported (Only 310 : 1,000 are reported to police // 2/3s od rapes and assaults go unreported) & of those that are reported, the vast majority never have charges filed.

It’s not just you. It’s 97.5% of people who’ve been raped/sexually assaulted in the US.
 
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Mee

MyPTSD Pro
I think a lot of people will be able to share common feelings with you @ArEllCeeBee . Like you- some of my instances have been reported- and only one was prosecuted and that for acts not done to me.

Personally I think the fact we treat adult victims so differently from child victims in believability is partly indicative of the victim blaming endemic where so many of us have a ‘just world fallacy’ .

Like you an adult incident really unsettled me - when my childhood experiences had ‘shaped my outlook’ undeniably- and to a considerable extent but not left me with PTSD. Your husband sounds supportive and if you are like me that’s a little reassuring.
 

PlainJane

Moderator
@ArEllCeeBee
Welcome back! I edited your original post and removed the trigger warning as we don’t use them here.

Individual Responsibility

All members are expected to manage their own emotional and psychological regulation. In the event that a member consistently engages in disruptive behavior and does not progress towards self-regulation, that member will either be temporarily or permanently removed from the community.

MyPTSD does not use trigger warnings. Mind reading what could be a trigger for another is a negative thinking style, a problem all PTSD sufferers need to correct at some level. Whilst some view its use as a courtesy, it is impossible to know what will, or will not, trigger another person, regardless the graphic detail contained. After all, this is a space where those affected can discuss trauma and its consequences.
 

katz

MyPTSD Pro
I have also had multiple people, multiple times for multiple years. It is very difficult to deal with these when there are so many. I tried to tell once and the family erupted at me. Then I was treated as an outcast and it felt like I was being traumatized all over again.

I'm in my 50's now and have never tried to tell any of my stories to anyone else. As the years have gone on, I have read lot of books about trauma and how to deal with it. And yet, if I ask myself what it is I "really want" - I find that all I want is to be listened to and comforted. Like the little child inside me.

I can't even reach out to my present husband. :( When I spoke to him about all the present day pressures that we are all dealing with - he made it clear that "when you're upset, the worst thing to do is to talk about it." I was devastated when he said this.

Sadly, I have decided to hold it all in. I came to the realization that this was "my load to carry". I still have one more of my abusers that has not passed away. When that happens, I will see how I feel. For now, I just drag along day to day.
 
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