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You didn't report it...

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#16 Guest_raqueli_*

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Posted 07 November 2002 - 11:52 AM

I agree with what everyone else has been saying.  We're never guilty for another person's actions.

For me, the decision to report was a given, due to the circumstances (stranger rape, won't get into details here).  There was never a question of not reporting, so it's obviously a different situation than a lot of other peoples.  But since that was the case, I think I feel a lot of peace knowing that I've done everything I can to prevent him from hurting anyone else.  But it was very black & white in my case, and I realize that a lot of people are not in that scenario.  And the most important is that you make the decision FOR YOURSELF.  Just after having someone take your ability to make decisions about your own life from you, in such an intrusive, violating way, it's even more important to be the one to control your recovery & healing process.  You have to decide what you want & need to do.  

What the abuser does is on his (her) own head.


#17 Guest__*

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 10:19 PM

Just wondering if anyone saw the episode of "The Practice" on ABC this past week, that dealt with this issue (in typically sensationalized tv drama style).

Personally I'm grateful I didn't see it, but only heard about it later -

There were a couple of catches to the simple assumption of "Are you responsible for future victims if you didn't report", but the basic plot was that two friends were both assaulted by the same person (a priest), and the second to be assaulted sued the first. And won the case, to the surprise of everyone.

However, they then finished the show by the second to be assaulted being served with notice that he was being sued by the third victim - to show the chain that would be started.

#18 Guest__*

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Posted 17 November 2002 - 11:13 AM

I reported my first and he got out early and did it again. I never reported the last one, and I found out later that he got one of my best friends after me.  It's hard not to feel responsible for that because it was shortly after he got me.  If I had said something, maybe I could have saved it from being her.  I try really hard not to listen to that but you can't help it.  It hits you a little harder when it's someone you care about.  Hopefully in time I can forgive myself for that.

As for the topic in general and this is going to sound a little hypocritical, but I agree in general with the other posters.  It's not our responsibilty to stop them.  

#19 Guest__*

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Posted 17 November 2002 - 01:54 PM

I think maybe the idea that it's our fault if we don't report it is us just being hard on ourselves - usually we're more critical of ourselves than anyone else is. And a common feeling for survivors is guilt. This is just a suggestion, of course, because I've been thinking about this lots and lots since I posted earlier.

Another thought:

What if we do report, and he gets released, and rapes again? Or what if he isn't convicted, be it a legal technicality or a not guilty verdict? Have we "done our part", or are we going to blame ourselves for not trying hard enough?

I had a heated talk about this with a close friend after the debate initially started, and these were some of the questions that came up from that...

#20 Guest__*

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 08:27 PM

Not only did I not report it, I told absolutely No One.  Then I apparently blocked it from my own memory for years.  Today the memory of it has resurfaced, and I have had to deal with healing from it 30 years after it happened.  I wonder how different my life would have been if I could have told.  I don't know.  Maybe I couldn't handle it then, but can now.  My therapist told me that our subconscious protects us and directs us as to what to do according to what we can emotionally handle.  So, I believe there is no wrong answer -- just answers tailored to each of individually.  I also agree with all of you who have said that it is not the victims responsibility to report in order to prevent the violater from further foul play.  I have to use these cryptic words instead of the real thing.  I am still healing.

#21 Guest_jaandoe_*

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 05:46 AM

I'm in a mad crazy limbo land because I so want to tell everybody and have him thrown into gaol for what he did to me. But i'm being told to think about his wife and children (as if they'd be best with him anyway) and that if I did anything, whether it be reporting or just telling people then it would be destroying his families life - seems to me like he's quite capable of that himself.
I'm feeling extremely afraid and guilty because i'm worried that he has hurt someone else or will hurt someone else in the future. The day I saw him get married I thought it was the end of everything - I thought it meant that finally things would be okay, he'd not be able to hurt me again because he had someone to satisfy his needs. I was a lot younger then but I didn't realise that it didn't matter if he was married, he still had the capability to harm someone and now i'm told its too late - I can't come 10 years later and ruin someone's life.

#22 Guest_Lucia_*

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Posted 06 November 2002 - 08:46 PM

it's not our responsiblity from stopping them from r*ping again. we are not responsible for their actions.

however, i wouldnt have been able to live with the guilt if i found out they'd hurt someone else.

i later found out that one of the men who r*ped me that night, was wanted for r*ping a child.  that is something i would not be able to live with, if i knew he did it again.

however, i do know it's a personal choice, and i dont judge anyone for not doing the same as me.  i also dont blame anyone they r*ped before me.  any blame i take and put on someone else, takes the blame off 'them', and they are the ones at fault.

#23 Guest__*

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Posted 07 November 2002 - 07:51 AM

It sure was, Anna.  Thank you for that.



#24 Guest__*

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Posted 07 November 2002 - 11:47 AM


I didn't misunderstand you at all sweetie, although I can see why the tone of my post may have made you think so.  (Um....I have a tendency to take things personally/be sensitive too...lol)  Just for the record...I understand what you were saying and I'm in agreeance with the way you feel.  My post was kind of harshly worded I'm afraid, but I didn't intend it to be that way.

The one person I battle with the most regarding guilt and judging what I did/didn't do.....is me.  I face her every day in the mirror, and we battle.  You know?  And as far as "them", I was speaking of a hypothetical "them"...those who are not rape/sexual abuse survivors, who seem to be the ones I've heard saying things such as "You have to report; you have to keep this from happening to someone else" etc etc.  I feel great anger inside of me, I suppose, when I hear these things from people who just don't know.  They didn't walk my path, or your path, they weren't there....so yeah, that kind of judgment provokes anger within me.  That came out in my earlier post I think, but I didn't mean it directed towards YOU or in regards to anything you wrote at all.  

I am glad that I don't have to know whether or not he actually hurt anyone after me....I don't really know what he's been up to these past years.  I can see what you mean; it would be hard to live with that knowledge if I found out he had done this to someone else.  That would be a whole new and crushing dynamic to deal with.  I'm so thankful I don't have to.

Take care.  ((((safe gentle hugs))))


#25 Eye of the Tiger

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 04:27 PM

You most certainly are not responsible.

The legal system is nothing short of ####, justice is rarely served, rapists are given the weakest sentencing and they are renowned for re-offences. At best, you may be merely delaying future assualts.

I reported mine, they were found not guilty and while out on bail a couple attacked someone else.

Reporting rape may be a liberating and strong move on the part of the victim, but really doesn't have an effect on the community.

And it sure doesn't stop the scum.

#26 Monika

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Posted 17 November 2002 - 09:17 AM

I don't believe there is anyway that we can be responsible for the choices and behaviors of anyone but ourselves. Choosing to report is no guarantee that a rapist will not rape again. It is not a guarantee that s/he will be found guilty and pulled off the streets. We have absolutely no control over there behavior...

I have reported and am going ahead with a trial, and I hear you in that I had plenty of pressure from others about getting him off the street, protecting potential future victims and "what about his kids??" Those are guilt inducing statements, but all along I think that I knew that whatever I chose to do, it would in no way guarantee how he would make his future choices.

The legal system isn't easy to navigate. I think the only reason I chose to report was because it was my only hope in getting it to stop. I'd tried everything else known to man and it didn't work to get him to leave me alone. I was and continue to be reluctant to do this b/c I am related to this person and I know everyone that will be profoundly effected by this process. I think if he were a stranger and I didn't know him or anyone related to him it would be a hands down "oh, sure I'll report" (for me). I think the choice is more complicated when you know them, or are close to people close to them. There is this sense that somehow your actions of prosecuting are hurting all those people (even though it's not *us* we didn't choose violence *they* did. Our choice to prosecute is directly related to the choice they did, so in that vein...they brought this onto their loved ones, not us. That is so difficult to remember).

I'm long-winded--this is what happens when I'm overtired and sick ;) But yeah, we're not responsible for his behavior at any point in time. His behavior = his responsibility. We are only responsible for taking care of ourselves, and that will mean different things for different people.

Take gentle care,

#27 musikalrose

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Posted 29 March 2003 - 03:59 AM

 it's a bunch of bullshit to blame someone for someone else's actions...You aren't responsible for anyone but yourself. Even if you did take it to court, there's only like a 50/50 chance they'll get convicted here in the states...I have to admit though, i do still carry that self-blame around with me everywhere i go.

#28 musikalrose

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 02:55 PM

 I don't think it's our responsibility to stop them from raping someone else. It's their choice to do what they do, noone elses. I applaud women who put their rapists/abusers behind bars, but at the same time even if they do get locked up, they'll be out again sooner or later. I don't mean to get too far into details or too negative, but even if they did get locked up, there are a lot of people who go on offending in prisons w/even more freedom it seems. It could be though that's just what i tell myself to feel better though.

#29 Guest__*

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:16 PM

everyone keeps telling me i have to go to the police...they say if i dont report him hell think he did nothing wrong and hurt somebody else...and everyday i wonder, has he hurt anybody yet? has he befriended another naive girl? is he hurting someone right now? my boyfriend said it wasnt my fault it happened, but it is my fault im not doing anything about it...that was one of the last things he said to me before my suicide attempt actually...never thought about that...anyway, ive been considering going to the police a lot more lately because i think if i dont do something it will eat me up inside...at first it was completely out of the question, 1.) i dont like cops and 2.) i was humiliated and ashamed and i thought everyone would think i was a slut...i still deal with these feelings but then again, its only been two months...i think i should go to the police because i really have this gut feeling it will happen again, and i cant let him do that, to manipulate, confuse, torture another girl like that...and what about his daughters? im trying to work up the courage but the police intimidate so much, for some reason they make me feel so...powerless...i guess its dumb but im afraid ill go there and theyll look at me and think things and not believe me and just...i dont know...im so afraid, afraid of him hurting me again but more afraid hell hurt again...and its such a very real possibility

guess i just needed to get that out...i know i have to tell, im just afraid ill wait till its too late, till he does it again...

i really do believe i DO have a responsibility, and i can not shake that feeling...if my friend had told me what he did to her, i wouldnt have gone with him that night...but i know why she didnt tell, i know...i just dont want anyone else to have to say the same thing


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Posted 06 January 2004 - 10:49 AM

So I feel like an idiot.  I have been raped 3 times and was abused for 6 years as a kid.  I didn't report any of it.  some people know but they never mentioned going to the police.  It didn't really cross my mind...I don't know why.
 Now I wonder.  what would have happened?  what became of those ppl and who have they hurt? one died (drug od) one I see from time to time and the other 2 I have no idea.
 I don't feel too bad about the three things that happened when I was under 18.  But the one that happened when I was 18 bothers me.  It's not a sense of guilt but that I would have had a good case.  If someone would have told me and been there with me...
 I don't know.


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