Sexual Assault Unsure how to define this - 2 years of um coerced sex

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Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
So, my story is CSA/DV as a kid, ran away to different places, ended up in England, ended up in some situation that I'm not sure how to define. And it hasn't really bugged me that I can't define it until now cos I was just like "meh yah. Bunch of non consensual sex with a bunch of dudes". But my last T didn't really get it. She got individual times, but didn't get the surrounding weirdness. I've not seen anyone else describe a similar thing here, but I dunno if I've just missed it. Best I've described it is:
So there's a group of 8 guys in (England) (with other ones coming and going but yah, whatever) who are mostly "directed" (wrong word, I'll fix it later) by a guy A in his 40s (multiple fake IDs with different dates of birth, but probs 40s). He would usually pick one girl and tell the other guys who they could sleep with and when because the girl he picked would have to bring a friend to be allowed in. He would start off treating the girl he picked really well then would start treating her badly, it was usually someone vulnerable so they'd already be quite attached. He'd let other guys sleep with her too.

There was also a group of women in their late 20s+ who had been involved with the guys for a long time. This group was quite mixed, some women would have picked one guy as their "boyfriend" to hope to be left alone, or would encourage guys to go for newer girls for the same reason. Other women in this group would feel protective of the newer girls and try to get them to run. But by the time most people met these women the guys would already all know their faces so they'd be too deep in anyway unless they had left the city.

It would start off in As house, he would have whatever girl he picked and would invite one other guy at a time for the other one. Neither girl really got a say in it, because it had already been arranged. The girls could negotiate to swap guys with each other but both girls were gonna have to sleep with someone. Most of the time the guys didn't really care what way it went. At the start the girls would fight and argue and try to get out or try to convince A for the keys but it didn't work so they kind of gave up. After the first visit to As all the guys had met the girls on the last day so they could leave and that was it over.

After that the girls started getting approached by these men while out in public (supermarkets, clubs, walks, whatever), it started off with the men trying to convince the girls to go back to theirs. One girl said yes, and one said no. When this girl said no A would get called and treat the girl who said yes badly, so that girl would say that it was better to just start saying yes, cos it was happening anyway. One girl kept saying no though and kept fighting back so violence started escalating for both girls. The men stopped trying to convince either girl and started threatening and just dragging the girls to the nearest one of the guys houses. As this went on, more and more guys knew of the girls and were able to act the same way so frequency kept increasing.

Blahblahblah. That's the end.
But that lead people to say sex trafficking, which I also don't think totally fits because I didn't see or suspect money was exchanging hands, and when I decided to leave England nobody tried to stop me.

I dunno why it matters, it just frustrates me that I'm always like "kinda that, but not because..." So anyone have anything similar? Or know how to define it? Or whatever.

Disclaimer: I'll probably post this then immediately regret it, not let myself delete it so totally ignore it until I grow some balls. I appreciate replies, I just suck :laugh:
 

Justmehere

Sponsor
I’m so sorry for what you went through. I’m glad you got out of this horrible situation.

This link might be helpful: Sexual Assault - Are you wondering if you were raped? read this first.

My take? In my opinion, you were raped.

The part about being able to leave doesn’t change if you were raped or not. If you didn’t consent, you didn’t consent. If you don’t have a choice to say no, you don’t have a choice to say yes.

Some victims of rape stay with the rapist for awhile, that doesn’t make it not rape. Trauma bonding can make it much harder actually to leave an abusive situation than one that isn’t. You also might have possibly gotten caught in a trauma reenactment cycle.

Money doesn’t have to change hands for it to be trafficking.
The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation. Dead Link Removed
Being traded for sexual exploitation alone, even without money changing hands, is generally sex trafficking.
 
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Friday

Moderator
That’s pretty normal behavior inside of certain kinds of criminal organizations.... and you’re right. It’s an incredibly difficult thing to describe... both, I think, because it plays off the complicated interplay of relationships, and because it’s not exactly studied? So there’s not a nice neat word to describe it?

My caveat here is that I’m absolutely certain this type of arrangement could exist outside of crime. It’s just that the ones I’m familiar with there’s always been a backdrop of organized crime, gun running/ smuggling/ trafficking, gang activity, etc. The stage is that everyone is already living outside the law, which takes conventional rules and throws them out the window. But how each of those groups rewrites the laws inside their own group? A) Varies. & B) If an outsider is coming in taking notes it’s usually some branch of law enforcement looking for the biggest probable offences, rather than the wide swath of murkier “lesser” offences inherent in the local culture. If an agency is going after a cartel, rebels in the hills, outlaw biker gang, arms dealers, human traffickers, street gangs, etc... they make note of how that group treats women, or families, etc. of their members in order to blend in... but their attempt is to take them down for “big ticket” items. Even though there are hundreds if not thousands of other crimes people spend years in prison for if they happened anywhere else. Including but not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, trafficking, coerced many things, extorted many things, domestic violence, assault, assault with intent, etc. Even wholly voluntary relationships are often -not always, but often- existing under the threat of death (of yourself or loved ones) should any of the groups rules even be pushed against, much less broken.
 
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Sideways

Moderator
I don’t really know how to write this without it sounding invalidating - I hope that’s not the message you get from it though.

Simplify for a moment: business man works hard at marketing with current and prospective clients, and takes them out to dinner and to shows and gives them cool stuff like “I just had to end up with these great ringside tickets to...”. And stuff.

All those things have value to the clients, they strengthen the business relationships. They are part of what is being traded - “I’m a great person to do business with, stick with me and I’ll make our business partnership worth your while.”

That’s how people do business. Both legitimately, and illegitimately.

These women? Were being traded. They are part of the “business” relationship going on in the background. They are the equivalent of ringside tickets. They are something that will sweeten the relationship between the organisers and the people being “offered” these women. Whatever the underlying purpose of that relationship.

It’s exploitation. It’s trading using sexual exploitation.

Both human trafficking and sexual trafficking are defined around the concept of exploitation. It is quite different, and far more expansive, than the common notion of sexual slavery being confined to holding people captive, and having ‘customers’ pay money for sex, or buying a human slave outright.

Human and sexual trafficking are also both framed around ‘exploitation’ rather than “Did money change hands?”.

From what you’ve described, the women were being used (ie. exploited) quite deliberately as part of a larger business going on, trade that extended beyond any one single sexual encounter.

If you were to say, “The women I have described were being sexually trafficked” - IMO that would be an entirely accurate description of what was being done to them.

And at that point? Consent doesn’t enter into it. They’re the ones being traded, they aren’t the people doing business, they aren’t the ones in control of what’s going on. They are the ones being controlled. Being exploited.

I think that perhaps it would be minimising their experience to suggest it was something less.

And if you are (or have been) minimising your traumatic experience? That’s okay. It’s how we survive. Until we’re ready to move forward with our healing to acceptance. Acceptance is something we do slowly, and with lots of support, so take good care of yourself.
 
So, my most damaging trauma is also "undefinable". And I struggle with it a LOT.

There is no "category" for it that fits.

I spent years and years and years with trauma therapists trying to work out what kind of sexual abuse it was because none of the categories fit. And it troubles and disturbs me.

Cos somehow, with a neat label it would a) be validated and b) easier to store neatly in a corner of my mind and c) I would know other people that had gone through the same thing.

Everytime I've described this to a trauma T, they've been like "Ehhhhhhh.... Oh f*ck... Ummm..... Yeah, shit..."

And we've had to just describe it in a really long-winded, complicated way, because we never found a neat label for it.

And I still haven't... 20 years after starting trauma therapy, I've still not got a label for this... and it *still* bugs me.

It's something I've not talked about on the forum at all, because the thought of getting into a discussion and people giving me their opinions on what it was and what it wasn't fills me with dread and makes me dissociate completely, straight away.

It's not an option for me. Can't handle it.

So I just live with the shitty undefined stuff.

Other abuse, that was complicated, but *less* complicated, I ended up eventually finding labels for with my T's... but it took a long time and a lot of unpacking and going over it and trying things out to find out what fit.

Perps will do the weirdest stuff... They don't care whether it's got a label or whether it's on some diagnostics list... So the crap they come up with often doesn't tick any of the standard boxes.

As for your situation, I agree with what everoyne's written above.

I do think it was a type of sexual trafficking, a type without money explicitly being exchanged.

And I think there are lots of situations like that, that are massively coerced but where people are utterly free to "leave".

If you think of your own family, there's people going through major DV, but choosing to stay. There is NOTHING preventing them from leaving, but they choose to stay. That doesn't make it any less DV.

Also, I think people like those gangs and DV perps... They know how to "pick" their victims... They choose people who are vulnerable and confused and scared... The type of people where a little bit of coercion is all it takes to "make them stay".

I think to them it doesn't matter if you eventually left... There's so many more girls they can find and the hassle of actually "preventing" anyone from leaving probably isn't worth the stress and trouble that would entail.

I think you'd be surprised by the statistics of how many coerced situations like that include "theoretically being able to physically leave a situation". I don't know the statistics, but I'd guess it is 90% or more.

All of my childhood abuse was stuff I could've walked away from. I just didn't know where to walk *to*. And I had gotten used to it, so it seemed normal to me... so I didn't know whether it was worth leaving. And I didn't know if anywhere else would be better either.

I guess movies depict stuff like this with people "locked up 24/7 and unable to leave" to portray to audiences that someone is trapped and has zero options of leaving. But I think IRL being trapped is usually not that literal...
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
Sounds like how cults operate. It is probably one of the most insidious and damaging experience for anyone let alone a child. It is so horrific but yet it has moments of normalcy that just confuse the hell out of everybody except the perpetrators. I am so sorry you had this experience.
 

JadeB.

MyPTSD Pro
Money doesn’t have to change hands for it to be trafficking. Being traded for sexual exploitation alone, even without money changing hands, is generally sex trafficking.

This is something that I have been wondering/questioning lately.So,if I was forced to (conditioned to) do sexual things with strangers,taken places for that purpose in exchange for basic care(food,water,shelter,etc) my entire childhood,that would be considered trafficking?

A family member set up the acts,watched,sometimes participated and even told the people what to do to me beginning at a very young age.I remember it happening as young as 4 but assume it began even younger.There was no money involved but I did have to do as I was told in order for the family member to give me basic care.

Or would that just be considered abuse?
 

Justmehere

Sponsor
A few more resources:

What is Sex Trafficking? - Shared Hope International

What is Human Trafficking? - outlines a broader definition of trafficking.

The way those reputable organizations define trafficking doesn’t require money to change hands. For it to be a commercial act, someone gains something of value for the act. Food is an item of value and being forced to commit sex acts as a child with strangers in exchange for food is generally considered to be trafficking.
just be considered abuse
Be careful of “just” abuse. Trauma is trauma is trauma. Regardless if you have been trafficked or not, what you have been through is horrifically awful and should have never ever happened.
 
I guess I didn't mean to say "just" abuse.

^But I understand what you mean and why you said it that way. I sort of have this inner scaling of trauma going on... the small stuff escalating to the really big trauma when I know it's not correct and I should not do it. I think a lot of us do categorize trauma that way. I'm not sure why though. I do agree that trauma is trauma.

Authorities and courts, judges etc... all do a similar scaling too..
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
Sorry, it takes me a couple of days to get back to these threads (I say couple days, this is sooner than I expected so hey!) Thanks everyone for replies.
My take? In my opinion, you were raped.

The part about being able to leave doesn’t change if you were raped or not. If you didn’t consent, you didn’t consent. If you don’t have a choice to say no, you don’t have a choice to say yes
I think I get this part. Like I don't really tend to say rape or whatever speaking about myself, but I get the definition of it. Like it used to be a bit of a disagreement between me and the other girl in the post up there, cos I refused to say yeah, and she basically said I should to make shit easier, but eh. I guess I don't get the point. Like the background whys. Individual days kinda make sense sometimes, depending, but overall I don't get it.
both, I think, because it plays off the complicated interplay of relationships, and because it’s not exactly studied? So there’s not a nice neat word to describe it?
Yeah, nobody is really able to be a study subject really, anyone who is kinda is hanging around like me like "What? Huh? How?"
These women? Were being traded. They are part of the “business” relationship going on in the background. They are the equivalent of ringside tickets. They are something that will sweeten the relationship between the organisers and the people being “offered” these women. Whatever the underlying purpose of that relationship
Yeah. I'm not sure there *was* business relationships going on though. Like I never saw evidence of it, although they rarely spoke English around us so admittedly *anything* could be organised and I'd have no idea. But I think this is the part I don't get. How do I know there even was other shit going on I didn't know about? Like okay, potential trading, but for what? And if there wasn't, then wtf even went on? Like people assume there was background shit going on, but nobody knows either way.
If you were to say, “The women I have described were being sexually trafficked” - IMO that would be an entirely accurate description of what was being done to them.

And at that point? Consent doesn’t enter into it. They’re the ones being traded, they aren’t the people doing business, they aren’t the ones in control of what’s going on. They are the ones being controlled. Being exploited.

I think that perhaps it would be minimising their experience to suggest it was something less
Ugh I dunno. Maybe. (Yup, maybe is gonna have to do.)
And if you are (or have been) minimising your traumatic experience? That’s okay. It’s how we survive. Until we’re ready to move forward with our healing to acceptance. Acceptance is something we do slowly, and with lots of support, so take good care of yourself
Yeah, I dunno. Like I get I'll never get definite answers (Like without a bunch of shitty reenacting at least), but I dunno, it just seems melodramatic really. Like I'm okay etc. I just don't get it. It's all melodramatic :laugh:
Cos somehow, with a neat label it would a) be validated and b) easier to store neatly in a corner of my mind and c) I would know other people that had gone through the same thing
Yeah, basically thanks. I know about other people obv, but only other people at the same time with the same people, so that doesn't really help. Cos it's not separate, and I'm basically shit at hypotheticals :P
Also, I think people like those gangs and DV perps... They know how to "pick" their victims... They choose people who are vulnerable and confused and scared... The type of people where a little bit of coercion is all it takes to "make them stay"
Yeah. I dunno. Like me staying in England didn't have anything to do with them? I just didn't have great options at the time. Like absolutely nothing to do with them? Heh. Yaahh. I really dunno.
Sounds like how cults operate. It is probably one of the most insidious and damaging experience for anyone let alone a child. It is so horrific but yet it has moments of normalcy that just confuse the hell out of everybody except the perpetrators. I am so sorry you had this experience.
I was an adult, 19-21. I'm not sure it was a cult, because I wasn't part of anything. Like outside right at the start, it was about 90% being approached by strangers in public who knew me or other girl like "you need to come. A said.." like cults would involve me? Like this more happened somewhere around me? Like my normal life was normal? Just people recognised me and already had permission and uh were unhappy with their permission being argued?
This is something that I have been wondering/questioning lately.So,if I was forced to (conditioned to) do sexual things with strangers,taken places for that purpose in exchange for basic care(food,water,shelter,etc) my entire childhood,that would be considered trafficking?
I'm not exactly in a place to help you with the definition of trafficking, hopefully the links @Justmehere posted are helpful for you though? (Thanks btw JMH) but sorry Jade that all that happened.
The way those reputable organizations define trafficking doesn’t require money to change hands. For it to be a commercial act, someone gains something of value for the act
Yeah. I'm just not sure if there *was* anything of value gained, or if so, wtf it was. I dunno.
I guess I didn't mean to say "just" abuse.I know what I experienced was horrible.It's just that the term 'trafficking ' sounds/seems like,IDK,a much more devious word to use in comparison to calling it abuse.
Yeah, I get this. Sorry you're confused too, hopefully some of the responses around are helpful for you too.

Thanks again guys, sorry, my brain's a bit jumbled. So I still have nooo clue if any of this makes sense or just confuses things more or what. Ugh. Laters.
 
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