Have you ever wanted to ‘out’ the person who assaulted you?
When this disaster started, someone (I can’t remember who, lost in the mists of time and tears) asked me, “Will you be going to the media?” I was incredulous. I was feeling such shame and internal torment. Why the hell would I want to call the local current affairs show and share this?
Obviously, now I know why. Because there is every chance that no one else will listen to you. People will in fact go out of their way to silence and deride you. Shame you. Punish you. They will become a gang of Mean Girls like you could never imagine.
Have I thought about naming him? You bet your ass I have. I saw he has started a small business. I had brief daydreams of standing outside his workplace holding a sign – You Have Hired A Sex Offender. That could feel kind of powerful. Humiliate him. Shame him. Because why the hell should I feel shame and the need to hide my eyes? He should.
I didn’t turn up with a placard. And my thoughts at times have turned nastier than a protest sign. If I was not in the midst of legal proceedings of some kind, would I use the Internet to out them all? Name them? It would be nothing more than telling the truth. My story, with names. Why should I hide?
There are probably websites of all sorts like that. I saw that one on tumblr was shut down. I saw someone I knew once on a website called Don’t Date Him Girl, outed as a rapist. Then found out that girl was one of many. I know why she shared that information. I know why this victim/survivor made posters.
If only people listened and responded as they do to victims of other crimes; with care and compassion. Perhaps then victims of rape and sexual assault wouldn’t feel so desperate to get someone to hear them. And save the next woman.