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a separate board for victims of sex crimes?


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I know that the PTSD board already deals with these issues since PTSD is a common reaction to a sexual assault.

But not every assault victim develops PTSD. Indeed, assult during childhood can lead to a range of mental conditions and behavioral patterns. Being assailed does not make one mentally ill, but the depression and anxiety following an attack, without falling into PTSD's zone, can still be quite traumatic and having a proper place to discuss the issues can help relieve the pain (or so I would imagine). In addition, for those who have non-PTSD issues and yet still have the urge to discuss the role of such an assault on their current mental situation, a board for victims of sexual assaults of all varieties would be rather helpful. The various "Life" boards do not seem quite appropriate to discuss it.

Personally, I feel uncomfortable posting on the PTSD board even though that seems to be the place to discuss the matter. I also would feel uncomfortable discussing it on NOS since rape isn't a mental illness of any kind. But I'd wager that all the sexual assault is part of what got me here.

I know I'm new here, and I know there are a million and one other boards, but I think it's a worthy suggestion.

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we're all different and have different individual circumstances that got us to where we are right now.

Too many boards with no demand for them have the risk of splitting the community. If we had a board for pygmy victims of alien abduction, CNS would be the only person posting in it.

I may be wrong in this, but I have a gut reaction against encouraging people to self-identify as victims. Yeah, fucked up shit happens, but it's not who we are.

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we're all different and have different individual circumstances that got us to where we are right now.

Too many boards with no demand for them have the risk of splitting the community. If we had a board for pygmy victims of alien abduction, CNS would be the only person posting in it.

I may be wrong in this, but I have a gut reaction against encouraging people to self-identify as victims. Yeah, fucked up shit happens, but it's not who we are.

I know, I hate the word victim too. My therapist called me a 'survivor' the other day and I snapped at her. At no point, in any of the situations I've been in, has my life been in danger. I wasn't in a concentration camp or a POW lost somewhere in a Vietnamese jungle prison.

Part of my reason for wanting a board of some kind for this discussion is because the whole idea about how women (and men) are expected to react to rape is just fucked up. I don't know many men who have been victims of sexual assault, most won't say more than just a few curious little statements here and there. So I really can't speak about that.

But as far as women are concerned, I think we still need more voices on the subject. An article in Bitch magazine, titled "The Collapsible Woman" (by Vanessa Veselka, Winter 1999) offered an interesting insight on the culturally preferred reaction to rape (specifically, it seemed, assault of adult females). The idea we get from Lifetime and various other Victorian-tinged sources are that we're supposed to fall over and cry and get "triggered" while we're shopping at Macy's and just be big sobbing babies forever, or at least until we've 'dealt with' the reaction. That's fine if it works for you, and I'm not undermining anyone's preferred method of relief and healing, but to expect EVERYONE to do that, and portray that as an ideal when indeed every person has their own way to cope? Please.

But I only work in terms of action, even if it is simply reaction. I can only learn by doing, and I think healing is the same way for me. Perhaps it is this way for others. Personally, my idealized model of how to react to rape is the method used in the film "I Spit on Your Grave." Long story short, woman is brutally gang raped (and I can explain why this is in fact *not* mere gratuity), she makes her way home, she has a good cry, cries in the shower, cries in the corner, then.... calm, collected silence. She goes to church to ask for forgiveness for what she has to do. It's the only thing *SHE* can do. So, very carefully, she gets her revenge on the men who brutilized her. Even the obviously mentally challenged character who denied her humanity for a moment so he could have his way with her and be a big man to his friends gets it. In fact, he's first on the list.

I believe in restorative justice through personal actions.

A recent pop-culture example that I can refer you to is from the Sopranos. If you're really into the show and worried about spoilers (I think it's season 3 or 4), stop reading.

One night, in a parking garage, Dr. Melfi, Tony Soprano's psychiatrist, is brutally (for TV) raped in a parking garage (really thinking outside the box there, guys). She's in the hospital with her husband (I think? I never was sure if they were married) and her college-aged son. Dr. Melfi, a doctor for christ's sake, is lying there, helpless. Yes, she's been brutally beaten and has suffered a significant knee injury. But the whole scene emphasizes her helplessness as she's being prodded by doctors, nurses, police, her husband, and son. Part of what makes the rape itself so difficult is all that fucking prodding and description, over and over and over. So here's Dr. Melfi, in pain. Her male relatives are there, and what are they going to do? Get that sonuvabitch, damnit! Her son is just so angry that he wants to go out and get revenge for what has happened to his mother.

I understand the male interest in protecting one's loved ones, particularly their helpless female loved ones, splayed out in a hospital gown and bruised. But, and this is key, for as long as we leave justice in the hands of the men around us (keep in mind police, lawyers, judges, most are men), we're repeating the same loss of volition as we experienced in the initial assault. Seeking police assistance is not a sign of weakness, and for as long as we have to live outside of Iceland circa 1000AD, it's all we have. But it is, however, saying "there, there, pretty lady, you just lay back and we'll call you when it's over." Of course the court process and everything is a chance for a woman to speak for herself, but it is all part of a larger system that decides what its procedures will be in dealing with the assailed woman's life. That system is run by men. It is indeed my personal opinion that if I let anyone but me handle this, I will never get better.

I reiterate: Until I've spit on Kevin's grave, I will never be restored.

Dr. Melfi knows that she can call upon Tony Soprano to take care of the bastard who raped her. But she doesn't do it. Ostensibly because that would be "wrong," even though the system has failed her (through a tangle in the legal system, her rapist, who was captured and who Dr. Melfi could identify in a lineup, was released, free to go and rape again). In her case, legal options are NOT an option, and this is so for many men and women, myself included. But having Tony take care of it would leave her in the same spot she was always in. I can't say what the character was thinking, but I know I've been in positions where I've had to make that same decision. I have had to latch myself onto boyfriends so that they could not move and go there and take care of him for me. It's that same sentiment of posession and purity that drives men crazy over whether or not their daughters are virgins.

I'd LOVE to debate this. I want people to disagree. Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis. I'd like us all to come out and say what works for us to work past this pain. I don't expect everyone to be as angry as I am, I don't expect very many women to come right out and say "HELL YES LET'S START A ROVING MOB OF REALLY ANGRY CHICKS TO GO AND RID THE WORLD OF RAPISTS," but I wouldn't be surprised if the more we acknowledged female anger (in general), particularly our ability to be not only relationally, but physically aggressive, more women would call for restorative justice. The legal system sure isn't doing much to help.

From http://www.rainn.org/statistics/punishing-rapists.html bottom of the page:

What Happens to Rapists When They Are Caught and Prosecuted?

61% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Those rapists, of course, never serve a day in prison according to a statistical average of the past five years.

  • If the rape is reported to police, there is a 50.8% chance that an arrest will be made.
  • If an arrest is made, there is an 80% chance of prosecution.
  • If there is a prosecution, there is a 58% chance of a felony conviction.
  • If there is a felony conviction, there is a 69% chance the convict will spend time in jail.
  • So, even in the 39% of attacks that are reported to police, there is only a 16.3% chance the rapist will end up in prison.
  • Factoring in unreported rapes, about 6% of rapists — 1 out of 16 — will ever spend a day in jail. 15 out of 16 will walk free.

The probability statistics are compiled by the National Center for Policy Analysis from US Department of Justice statistics. See NCPA's website for additional information.

*****

The point is, there are so many ways to heal, we won't all fit in one mold, we all react differently. Add a pre-existing mental illness or genetic predisposition towards one that is triggered with an assault, and we've got a whole panoply of reactions. But we aren't given a panoply of healing options that truly incorporate rage, or any other unsavory feeling. We can yell in therapy and punch pillows, but how many therapists encourage you to take up Muay Thai? How many tell you to go out and punch men, and not the kind of men in those big stupid padded costumes (do NOT get me started on "women's self defense" classes)? Actual men you know, wearing nothing to protect themselves than a mouth guard? I suspect rage is not the only neglected reaction.

Our options are simply unacceptable to me. The only way we'll dig ourselves out of this whole as a culture, a society, a band of humanity, is if we talk about it. Sexual assault is still so stigmatizing for women, I cannot imagine how it feels to be *male*, or even transsexual having to recover from it. That's why I would hope to see a board where we can discuss this issue openly and with respect to everyone's feelings on the matter. It's a very complicated subject, very sticky, very difficult to discuss in real life. Women (and men) desperately need a means to discuss the matter and make it known and very, very visible to everyone. I think the anonymity of the internet makes it simpler for people to discuss these things, and that prepares them for discussion in real life. Talk therapy with a therapist in a little quiet room with a white noise machine is one thing. Having the courage to just drop it in the middle of a daily conversation when it's relevant is quite another.

Crazyboards doesn't need to be that place, but why not? See if there's a demand for it. If I'm the only one who thinks it's a good idea, that's fine.

And let me just add, comparing an event that occurs every 2.5 minutes in the United States to pygmy alien abductions is in despicable taste. http://www.rainn.org/statistics/index.html

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For a while we talking about a board for womens issues. I forget what the sticking point was on that. Probably a reluctance to segregate discussion.

I still think the PTSD board would be the best place for a lot of the stuff you're talking about.

I can't respond to this as I'd like because my wrists aren't cooperating at the moment.

I don't disagree with you on much of anything.

I used a nonsense example so as to not offend anyone. The point is that if we make a board for everything we'll end up with too divided a community and people who could benefit from sharing experiences with each other will miss each other.

I'm not ruling this out. I'm just still don't see that this doesn't fit in our existing categories.

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Crazyboards doesn't need to be that place, but why not?
We're here to help crazies without walking on eggshells. Personally if it were up to me we wouldn't have so many boards, but that's just me. I get distracted too easily and I really suck at multi-tasking.

See if there's a demand for it. If I'm the only one who thinks it's a good idea, that's fine.
I can direct you to an earlier thread in which someone pushed the issue of making a new board. It didn't turn out too well. Suggestion taken for consideration.

And let me just add, comparing an event that occurs every 2.5 minutes in the United States to pygmy alien abductions is in despicable taste. http://www.rainn.org/statistics/index.html
That's on the light side for VE.
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Anyway. Once I'm done with the technical crap that needs to be taken care of, upgrading the server OS and all the crazyboards software, There may or may not be some reorganization of the board categories.

The kind of thing you're suggesting is something that's been considered in the past.

As you've probobly noticed I'm personally interested in the political and social circumstances of mental health issues and would welcome discussion in these areas.

We'll huddle on this later but for now it's on the back burner. I used to have a public todo list, though I might have never gone so far as making it public. I'll start doing that again sooner or later.

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Maddy--

I think the biggest problem with the boards, as far as amount is concerned, is that there is so much information underneath each board's main title that, absolutely helpful as it is, adds to clutter that makes it difficult to approach the boards. As a newbie I had to scroll through several times to make sure there was no sex crimes board. I'm not trying to convince anyone to erase anything, but it's hard to discern which boards are where and why. Just figuring out where to post is a chore.

But personally, I feel somewhat chagrined to hear that this kind of board is so unnecessary, but there's a whole board for migraines. I'm not saying migraines don't suck, and I'm not undermining the suffering that those with migraines go through, but I'd trade a thousand migraines to forget the past and ensure I would never go through it again. But that's just me, and I think getting punched in the face and choked is a good, wholesome activity for men, women, and children alike. So grain of salt and all.

The first page on the suggestion forum has threads with its last posts in October, 2006, if I recall correctly. If the issue hasn't been brought up within the last 9 or 10 months, I consider it fair game to rehash the old debates with a fresh perspective.

VE-

I feel uncomfortable cluttering the PTSD board with my non-PTSD issues.

I know you were making a joke, and I have an amazing sense of humor. I could see exactly what you were doing, I'm not dumb. But still, you put an issue that affects 1 in 6 American women and 1 in 33 American men in the same category with the esoteric, somewhat delusional issue of pygmy alien abductions. Don't dismiss this. If you want to tell me you think it's a worthless goal, just say it. Don't hide behind jokes that aren't even very funny anyway, considering that many "pygmy" groups do not like the term and prefer to be called by their own emic terms. Much like the whole Lapp/Sami or Eskimo/Inuit semantic issue.

I haven't noticed your interest in political and social circumstances of mental health.

I'm not trying to turn this into a discussion on women's issues. Sexual assault, being mostly perpetrated by males onto females, is a men's issue. Women don't commit sexual assault with nearly the frequency as men do. Sexual assault is not something I consider a women's issue. Most of the men I know who were victims of sexual assault were assaulted by other men. And, as I mentioned before, my only experience is with women who have gone through this since there are simply more of us, and then most men don't want to talk about it. That silence is a whole other issue that needs to be addressed as well. The best way, in my opinion, is to engage in open dialogue.

I feel that if one's concern is truly with political and social circumstances of mental health, then one ought to concern himself with the politcal and social issues that lead to events which result in mental anguish (let alone physical). One of the biggest hinderances we have as a society (American, Western) is silence about this issue. Most rapes are unreported for a variety of reasons, but an underlying factor is the fact that talking about it is still pretty taboo. I think open, honest discussion is beneficial to all.

I understand the concern over further splintering of the CB community. Activity as I have observed it seems to be negatively influenced by the fact that this board is already so splintered that if you post something, maybe a couple of people will read it over the next few days, and by then you've forgotten to come back and check. So discussions don't seem to go very far. Could one more board really make it that much worse? I like to follow the rule of you never know until you try. If it makes a seriously demonstrable change, I owe you both a coke.

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Personally, I think a board lumping is in order. I feel like we are already too split; things are definitely already falling through the cracks.

I guess I, myself, would see this as fitting in the PSTD boards because it is post-traumatic processing, even if it isn't a diagnosed disorder. But I do see what you mean about how it's somewhat of an uneasy fit.

I don't think that just slapping up a board is the solution, I guess. I think that the boards probably need some sort of rearrangement, but I don't think that's it.

On the rest of the stuff, on the meat of the issue of sexual assault itself, I probably 95% agree with you; maybe more like 99%.

I sometimes need a fair amount of processing time, but I wanted to say something here now to keep myself accountable.

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This may take awhile for me to formulate a complete reply.

With the possibilty of re-arranging, i want to see this suggestion maintained as a strong one

"One of the biggest hinderances we have as a society (American, Western) is silence about this issue. Most rapes are unreported for a variety of reasons, but an underlying factor is the fact that talking about it is still pretty taboo. I think open, honest discussion is beneficial to all." --whiskey or god

crazyboards culture has managed to break through a lot a lot of hinderences, and i don't think we really have on this one. Umbrella-ing sexual assualt into something with a more defined process/disorder feels disrespectful to what people need which is help and support in their individual processes. With everything about MI, my process has been very alienating and crazyboards might be the one place where people could understand some range of the aspects.

we need an open space

re-arranging might provide this space

the key is how it should be occupied

filling the space will occur naturally

however i believe there is a requirement of some structure

looking back on recent PTSD forum topics i am glavanized with the importance of what people have been able to talk out. The biggest point about sexual assualt is that it is so grossly encompassing and many of those issues aready have a structured place on CB, however bringing this issue =your own or another's sexual assault, up in such a setting is a) more difficult b) deterring c) requires definitions which your process maybe hasn't arrived at and d) is isolated from potential related input.

we are talking about an MI affectted process of a sickeningly common experience among our members. We are splittering a large component of persons' troubles such that only those at a point of courage are seeking help. We are succumbing to a socio- defined process for handling sexual assault, which hello! i'm sorry is over-arching, assumming, and made to be even more troublesome with the fact we here are also handling MI.

we need somewhere open and intended for housing all the varieties of people in need of dialoging about this issue

please ask for any clarification, suggestions, offer commentary, all this is incredibly important to me

there is no typical assault.

me- trama don't really hit you when you been doped with cocaine. processing don't go far when info comes from psychosis. But hell the world sure wants a victim and another scar

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hi all:

usernametaken states:

...this issue =your own or another's sexual assault, up in such a setting is a) more difficult b) deterring c) requires definitions which your process maybe hasn't arrived at and d) is isolated from potential related input.

EXACTLY. but what if one is in the category c - unable to make definitions which one has not arrived at yet. This would certainly be me in a lot of areas of life (not just sexual issues which is exactly me - i dont have the definitions...i dont even have a process.)

interesting conversation...

db

eta: oh yeah...what about an area where people can discuss postpartum depression/psychosis without the threat of getting reported...i know im not the only one fearful of talking about ppd...

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It is not our role to replace any real mental health care provider.

If a person is a sexual assault survivor but somehow has no mental health issues as a result, great! They can talk about it on the politics board. If they do have mental health issues as a result it should fall under one of the existing categories. If they are not in treatment or are in denial, the scope of what we can do is limited.

We're glad to hear input on the matter, however. Just don't be surprised if nothing comes of it for quite a while.

There will never be a board of this nature titled in such a way that would make it easy for predators to google it and use it for masturbation material. Anything with a reference to abuse or rape or the like in the title or description will attract sick fucks pretending to be people they are not.

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If people are wanting to talk about the politics of it, then we have a politics board.

If people want to post their individual stories then we have not only the PTSD board but also the confessional board and people also have their blogs. Plus, on the PTSD and the confessional boards they can post anonymously if they choose. That's a big help to some people.

Right now we are not able to do this. I can't deal with the server anymore.

VE's hands are fucked up and before anything can be done in regards to boards being condensed and rearranged we need to upgrade the software.

These aren't excuses, these are facts.

It's almost like history repeating itself.

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mmmmmKayyyyyy

Now suppose you get a brand new board for rape, processing rape, and - given time - bashing all those people running around with an oddly-shaped chromosome who would be raping if they're not already being raped. And of course it belongs on a pro-psychiatry website because some people who've been raped have mental illnesses and some people doing the raping have a few of their own.

A lot of this website's traffic comes from Google searches, and most frequent users navigate active topics by cruising "View New Posts." The combination guarantees that people in extremely delicate states of mind, or who just cannot handle a frank discussion of sexual abuse and it's consequences, or who are too young to be reading any such material are going to be dumped into the discussion on a nearly daily basis.

Where are YOU going to be when it's time to pick up the pieces? Or will you just handwave the damage done as collateral damage that the moderators should have been online 24/7/365 to prevent ... or that the person hurt should have just *known* that a medication reference on a psych board would be leading into only an aside about upping a medication to help with a rough patch in therapy.

How are you and all the "more women's voices needed" going to cope when a guy or a transgenderfolk posts hir story - demand that a separate board be created for the new pariah?

How are you all going to cope when someone decides he needs to discuss how he's dealing with the fact that he has raped a woman, or a boy, or a baby?

And as one of the few rules of this website is "no walking on eggshells," how are you going to cope when the moderators refuse to delete posts and opinions that you do not approve of?

As important as the topic is to you, it's a recipe for creating the electronic equivalent of a radioactive cesspool - even among arguably-sane correspondents.

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I've been raped and I have used the PTSD board without feeling like it was incongruous, though I don't have PTSD. It works for me.

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:) I probably should keep my mouth shut, and I am sure I've missed vital points in this discussion, but....

and it's a big butt ;) ...

some sections have sub- forums. I have absolutely no idea how much work is involved in such a thing, but maybe under the PTSD forum ???? But I'm not sure that this is a good thing really.I don't mean to be insensitive, but breaking off in to more and more and more specialize groups doesn't sound like the answer to me.We (you've) come to this board to find help, friendship, what ever, so sequestering one's self doesn't sound right. Sorry for my circular ramble.

Any more, I just scream, relive pain, hide under the couch, have hissy fits and share my pain and joys under my blog. I am pretty sure that it isn't at all as high traffic as the main board and that a person will not get as much feedback. When I have a big problem that needs more attention, I post on the board.

Just my two meows

sorry is this does not make much sense, I'm on a lot of extra meds right now so I'm more flea brained than usual.

Panz

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