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Fear of future assaults - how we deal with this?

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#1 Guest_golden lady_*

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 05:14 AM

Fear of future assaults.....hmmmmm.

Most of my fears are about the things inside of me, not about the situations outside. I have more fears about social situations than about being assaulted. I'm not sure Ive ever been afraid of being assaulted, but I have made sure to learn about ways to stay safe. I let the hypervigilance work to my advantage, always being aware of my surroundings. I try to walk with confidence and a sense of purpose, even in a strange area. Any time I find articles, TV shows, or other info about staying safe, I try to learn all I can about it. I have a couple of tricks like the ones Lis mentioned, and am always planning on what to do if something does happen (another by=product of hypervigilance I guess).

I think the important thing is having a plan. That by itself seems to help with the feeling of safety, or at least rduce the reluctance to go out. Just my thoughts.


#2 Lora

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 04:57 AM

Yes, as irrational as part of me thinks it is (I do not mean to minimize anyone else's experiences in any way when I say that), I am afraid it will happen again.  That's part of the reason I bought the alarm system for my home (I can't think of any way that what I went through could have been worse EXCEPT if it had been in my home).

I know that part of this is because it has only been 6.5 months since I was raped, but I still find it to be a paralyzing fear.  I'm quite sure I would freeze just as I did when I discovered the utility man unexpectedly in my back yeard a couple of months ago.  I couldn't move and I couldn't speak... for a long enough period of time that finally HE spoke to tell me why he was there.  But my anger about the first assault is still mostly unfocused (and generally directed inward instead of at THEM).  I'm hoping that once I can focus that anger, I will be closer to where you are.  That's definitely more my pre-rape personality!

Yes, women need to be more angry and less fearful about the violations they have suffered.  It has been my experience in other areas that anger more frequently results in positive action -- activism, legislation, etc. -- than fear.


#3 jenster73

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 06:09 AM

I certainly went through a phase of being terrified of future attacks. I was convinced that they would come - that it was only a matter of time. I found myself limiting where I went etc. I hated going out alone, even during the day. I carried a r*pe alarm and anytime anyone walked behind me I felt myself tense, waiting for something to happen.

I'm not sure what changed in me to take away that fear, but something did change. Like Lou, I think it was a growth of self-respect. I started to feel really pissed off that anyone would dare to do anything like that to me ever again. For a while I took unnecessary risks - almost inviting someone to try something - walking home alone late at night when there was no need to etc. I'd be there with keys in hand thinking "Bring it on you f*ckers, I'm ready".

I have a slightly more 'balanced' approach to it now, I think! I am careful, but not obsessive about my personal safety and am generally just more aware. I feel like I've taken away the advantage a possible attacker might have in the element of surprise.

I think Barb hit on something I can relate to - I now plan what to do if something happens. Having a plan, however loose, is reassuring whether or not it would work in a real life situation. And I still have an element of " Bring it on you f*ckers" in me.


#4 bando1989

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 03:37 PM

yah i am scared about it.....i would use my dog as a guard dog but she would most likely lick whoever tryed to attack me and unless you can be licked to death she wouldnt be much help.  I took a self defense class which was great and it feels so good to kick something or punch something (note to self not your little brother when you are SOOOOOOO agitated at him cuze he downloaded a virus that keeps you off of pandys during hte summer break) and i very rarely go places with out a friend or soemthing....i even take a friend to the bathroom when we are at hte school after school or out somewhere.

#5 Jes

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 04:47 PM

Ever tried asking lecherous (or antagonistic) people 'Why are you doing this?'  You'd be surprised by the answers you get.  Most of them don't expect to be called out on their behavior and are pretty mortified.



#6 Elle

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 04:30 PM

I used to be terrified of future assaults. I was sure I would be hurt again and that I could not survive it.

One of the most devastating comments that hindered my healing was about future assault, from an ex of mine. He told me that the rape was my fault because I was inherently bad, or disgusting, or something. Honestly I can't even recall the exact words he used. He told me that my badness drew evil to me, and that consequently I was sure to be raped again.

Of course these comments come at absolutely the worst time, when we're least able to handle them. I had a lot of other, very painful, issues going on.

I feel stronger now. I'm not so afraid of it anymore. I think that's a sign of my healing overall; I'm not sure I can pinpoint when that change happened, or why.

I LOVE the Kali image, Lou, will have to keep that one in mind when I run across weirdos.

#7 Louise

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 04:41 PM

<font color='#000000'>(((((Sisters))))))

I've always found the fear of assault by an intimate really scary because if you care about somebody, there's more to lose. I love Mithy's Lara Croft impression, so I'm going with that :)

The "what if" question is now more of a hypothetical rather than an actually feared thing...and I can say that in hypothesizing about what if...

((((Tanni)))) my love - sometime ago, a member from here shared how she had protected another girl from rape by offering herself instead because she believed that a rape on her mattered less. Though I told her it didn't matter less, (and it most certainly doesn't) I privately reflected that I probably would have made the same choice, because I believed that I mattered less - I really see what you're saying.

I hope you'll come to know that you and your beautiful, sacred body and self do matter as much as anybody else.

I feel as though a goddess has woken up inside me - to me, she is represented by the Hindu Goddess, Kali, and this is what she looks like:Posted Image

Let anybody fuck with that. Just let them.

'Course, the next step is to do like Lis and get me some lessons on effective use of violence - because realistically I'd probably be more Lara Flynn Boyle than Lara Croft. But Lord, this anger coupled as it is with a sense of worth is beautiful. To me, it really makes the fear so much less bigger than me.


#8 Lis

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 04:18 PM

Exactly Steph. And something I learned in self defense is that you are less likely to be attacked if you look confident, are aware of your surroundings (looking around, but not in a scared way, in an aware way), and have that, "If anyone comes within four feet of me I'm going to drop kick them like a soccer ball just because I'M A BITCH AND I LOVE IT."

About a month ago I was walking home from a party by myself at 2 am and I came across two guys who were on the other side of the street from me (passing me going the other direction). They stopped walking and one of them yelled, "Hey baby, can we come with you?"

My response: "PSSSSSSSSH Hell no." Didn't look at them. Kept walking at the same pace. Flipped open my cell phone and punched in 911. Held my finger on the talk button until I was sufficiently far away.

I figured that I probably couldn't kick both their asses (although I would have been willing to try), but if they had decided to mess with me, the cops would have been on their way.

#9 Laney

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:55 AM

Oh boy.  What a can of worms.

Like Lara, I don't have much fear of stranger assault.  I am very aware of my surroundings, I've taken self defense classes etc etc.  I don't know how I would react if I was attacked by a stranger, but it doesn't keep me up at night.

This is probably b/c every assault I've experienced has been in a place I should have been safe by people I knew, if only periferally.  

I don't fear strangers in dark alleys (although you won't see me setting up shop in one)  Instead I fear being in a room alone with guys I know.  I worry about angering my husband and having to be in close quarters with him.  That pisses me off to no ends of the fucking earth!  Not only do I deserve to know that my body is respected by those I know (and for those who are truly close to me, it is and I know it is) BUT the wonderful men in my life deserve more trust than that.    It pisses me off that the fuckwit-sad-excuse-for-a-man people in my life have placed a road block in every friendship/relationship I have.

Laney xxoo

#10 mithril

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:27 AM


It's not assault by way of a stranger that I fear. I know some fighting moves... whether or not I'm capable of making like Croft on someone's arse is a question I'm not sure I'd actually like to get the chance to answer, but bloody hell I could certainly give it a fucking fair crack of the whip.

Of course, kit me out with dual holsters with H&K pistols and I'm bloody certain I could do a fairly good Croft impression  :;):

No, stranger assault does not freeze me. I suppose I feel my most vulnerable to assault in an intimate environment, due to the fact that I was raped by my boyfriend in my own bed in a situation into which I should have been able to have input. I can (and do) walk the streets at night and I don't feel panic, but put me in a room with a male I've been friends with for 12 months and have him put some slight moves on me, and yeah, I don't feel so bulletproof anymore. It seems that I would rather face the unknown than risk caring for someone who is, in fact, a rapist. (Not saying that my mates are rapists, because I'm sure they're not; just drawing a parallel between the rapist you know and the rapist you've never seen before.) I don't hide so as not to go outside, but I hide my emotions behind walls that make it very difficult for people to get to know me.

I am Ice :)
And somehow, that makes me want to laugh :laugh:

Right now, though, I feel my usual 10 foot tall and bulletproof :)

So, I am fearing and fearless.

I'm challenging the thought processes that say your fear is your protector. Fear is many things, and it can even be a friend, but fear can also be an inhibitor and an obstacle. Fear can be a very real noose. There needs to exist balance between inhibiting myself and denying myself experiences and taking steps to protect myself. I fear more the man I know, rather than the stranger I don't. I need to find and apply the balance to both situations, and I think I'm doing that with my current bf. I'm taking chances by trusting him, and trusting myself in the knowledge that I could at least try to kick his arse if he tried the wrong thing :)

As I said, I feel as though I could kick arse, but whether or not I would actually be able to do it is another thing. Being able to at least try, regardless of whether I know the man or not, is the balance.


edit: formatting

#11 Rose Petal

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 12:49 AM

Wow, I feel so strong right now! Thanks for this line of conversation.

Anyone else?

#12 Rose Petal

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 12:47 AM

May be tri****gering

I had terrible fears about being attacked again, and about being killed (I was threatened with that). It stayed for years, and there was nothing I could do about it. I have been so focussed on trying to heal this, its been 5 years. Then one day, the unthinkable happened. A man actually approached me, and in a situation that normally would have frozen me solid, the words "I don't think so" very firmly came out of my mouth, and he backed away. That was last year. Not til now have I thought again about it. But at this point, I have so much anger coming up that I could definately say "SING" solarplexus, instep, nose, groin (the movie Miss Congeniality), and do it Hard! And maybe rip their head off. Like, "go ahead, please, make my f**** day!"  I do not have fear of getting attacked anymore.

#13 Louise

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 02:08 AM

Hey (((((Rose)))))

I love that "I don't think so", sister!

Few years ago, I was followed in a carpark by a freak who first asked for sex, and when I refused he said "well, can I touch your breasts then?" Fool!

I initially squeaked out of habit, "please don't hurt me". Then I recalled all that I'd been learning in the course of healing, and I thought, "what the fuck are you doing, Lou? You have an alternative". So I waved my finger in his face and snarled, "you get the fuck away from me right now, asshole".

You'd have thought I threw a snake at him, he actually physically recoiled. It was tremendously empowering :)

#14 Guest_kat tahut_*

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 07:50 AM

i guess mine is the "wrong" attitude to have, but i do have a definite position on the possibility of future attacks. i know i've mentioned this before, im not actually afraid of it happening, but i still really do believe that if some fuckwit is busy raping me then at least he isnt hurting some poor innocent girl who wont know how to deal with it... it makes a kind of twisted sense, and tho i maybe dont have quite so much self respect as the kick-ass ladies, i think i still have some, in that im confident i can deal with this crap better than most. i dont know if i'll ever feel comfortable with having an attitude like Lou's or Lis's, obviously i think its great for other people but its just not appropriate for "someone like me" :oo:

i have to go now as i have class, but thankyou for posting this (((Lou))), its really made me think.

love & hugs,

#15 Stephanie

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 02:59 AM

what a great way to think about this! I have had terrible fears about this - weirdly from strangers even though that was not my expierience.  I think I need to tap into this anger thing though because why the fuck should I feel sick everytime I walk home from the tube station?  


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