My response is not intended to diminish your experiences, whatsoever.
Did you report these crimes to anyone? Sponsor, or law enforcement? If not, I encourage you to do so, immediately, and to contact Victim's Services to provide assistance to you. I've been involved in 12-Step programs since 1975 and the first "rule" of meeting conduct is to never get involved with fellow members. There is a reason for this and it has to do with why we have personal issues that are a catalyst for our addictions, to begin with.
It is a moral imperative to report ANY sexual assault, regardless of whether it was in the room of an AA meeting, or by a fellow AA member. You typed that you had been in a relationship with all three of the rapists, and you did not deserve this and you need to report these crimes to someone and get onto your healing path so that you learn how to avoid these types.
As far as AA not being a safe place, it has been a godsend and lifesaver for tens of millions of people across the globe. Everywhere you go, there will be predators. The only reason that it seems as if there are more predators within these groups is because those of us that engage in them are vulnerable, and we're laying out those vulnerabilities right out there during meetings. This is one of the main reasons that we don't date fellow members. Ever.
Even outside of any support group, it is estimated that 20% of the population is at some level of sociopathy. That means that 20 out of every 100 people that you walk past could possibly be a sociopath. A sociopath doesn't have to have bodies in a basement. The only requirements for sociopathy are an absence of conscience, empathy, remorse, or pity.
One woman that I know did marry a fellow member after knowing him for 3 years. He told her that he and a friend were going to climb Mt. Everest. This is not a joke, and it's not an anecdote - this is 100% true. She, being vulnerable and needy, trusted his word and I questioned how someone who had NEVER even climbed a rock face could possibly imagine that they were going to attempt to climb Everest without years of training. She shrugged and said that it had been something that he and his friend had kept on their bucket lists, for years.
So. This man and his friend take off for a month. Then, they come back. Then, she begins seeing his cell phone blow up with incoming messages and emails when he set it aside a couple of times. She finally picked it up, one day, when he was in the the shower and discovered that her husband had taken a grand sex-tour to Thailand and paid out a tremendous amount of money to engage in every manner of sexual deviance, including taking the virginity of an 8-year-old child.
We do not date fellow members. Ever. If something criminal happens to us, we report it, immediately. These are things that we must do in order to protect ourselves, and others.
Finally, doing stepwork at home without the interaction of good, solid members to guide us and support us is reckless. It is generally unsuccessful.
Please. Don't judge any 12-Step program on the actions of a few. And, pay close attention to who is claiming what about whom. Those of us who are involved in these groups aren't there because we're bored. We're there because we need to do some serious work on ourselves. And, some of us suffer from addictions to drama/trauma.
Best wishes to you
For more information on reporting a crime, visit: www.rainn.org.
Stortz, I am very sorry that this happened to you and even sorrier that you have such deep doubt about your boyfriend's perception of you.
Your final question was, "What should I do?" My question to you is, "What do you think you should do?"
If it were me as I am, today, I would do several things. The first thing that I would do would be to contact the police and report a sexual assault. I would then contact "Victim's Services" for some peer counseling and every available resource that they could provide. Then, I would find a strong, mature, and recommended counseling therapist who could help guide me through this trauma.
Finally, I would determine who my "friends" are and whom they aren't. You were on a bus with "friends" that obviously left you somewhere when you were incapable of making a rational decision or fend off any attackers.
As far as the boyfriend goes, I have no use for anyone who would blame a victim of rape or sexual assault for the crime that was committed against them - sexual assault is a criminal act and there has been a very ugly growing trend thanks to social media and video sharing: victims of any type of assault are being recorded and the videos are being posted, online, as forms of entertainment. YOU are not responsible for what someone else did to you.
I've experienced gang-rape, date-rape, and spousal rape, and I can say from personal experience that something within my system of beliefs made be think that I somehow deserved to be abused, and it finally came to to a point where my beliefs had to be changed or else I was just going to give up. I honestly felt that nobody would have believed me, particularly since the young men involved in the gang-rape were from wealthy and influential families. I cannot turn back the hands of time and report these monsters for what they are, but I certainly would if I could do so.
If your boyfriend has compassion, empathy, understanding, and a level of love for you and his fellow man, he will understand that you were assaulted and remain supportive. If, on the other hand, he finds entertainment in the misery of others, blames women and men for being weak, and doesn't exhibit compassion or empathy, this man may just not be whom you need in your life. The boyfriend needs to know because a sexual assault changes a person which is why trauma therapy is so very important for victims to get involved with.
If your boyfriend blames you or tries to heap shame upon you for being violated by someone, then you don't need him. But, give him the opportunity to show you his true colors, and you might find that he will be prepared to support and encourage your recovery and healing processes.
Visit these websites for more information:
Brightest blessings of comfort and courage to you.
Unless the persons that you named have been charged, tried, and found guilty of the crimes that you "allege," you could face extremely serious consequences. I realize that this isn't "fair," and I agree, but it is a fact and not an opinion. ALWAYS use the word, "alleged," when describing criminal acts UNLESS the individual(s) has been charged, tried, and found GUILTY of the allegations.
Liable and slander can result in extremely heavy consequences, including punitive (punishment) damages that not only relate to the individual(s)'s reputation, but any/all monetary (MONEY) damages to their business(es) as a result of any allegations that are unsubstantiate.
PLEASE, be cautious.
I meant to address the discussion, above, about people who engage in victim-blame in the names of their chosen deities. Take various cultural and religious beliefs that make a rape victim responsible for the "shame" that is brought to their family and stoning the victim, to death, to relieve the family of the victim of the "shame," legally. If that isn't hatred, ignorance, and straight-up psychopathological thinking, then I cannot imagine any other examples in human history that would suffice. And, there are plenty of groups and organizations that hold fast to the belief that the victim must have done something to warrant what happened to them. I've been present at some of these events where someone who contracted AIDS literally asked for and deserved it because they were homosexual.
I watched, with my own eyes, a male police officer who was a church member that atttended regularly actually ridicule a man who was in the station filing charges of domestic violence against his wife - his face was lacerated and he was visibly shaking. The officer said something along the lines of, "Whassamatta? Can't you control the little woman?" This same officer was, years later, investigated by Internal Affairs for having raped female drivers that he had pulled over for some offense. This was long before on-board video cameras, and this is just one example of hatred and victim-blame that I am personally acquainted with.
Victim-blame is THE "go-to" response for people who have never experienced a criminal or civil assault. There is no warm-and-fuzzy facet to victim-blame. It is what it is, and we can try to explain it away in any terms that we can, but it's still just another type of violation against the victim.
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