Rape and breaking trust

The noble Order of the Knights of Jubal traces its origins back to the Year Two Thousand A.D., when a group of distinguished persons of good and true character, founded the order to promote chivalry and honour. The order takes its name from our leader, Alexander Jubal McRae, who on two (so far) occasions has been seriously injured, in one case fatally, defending an innocent woman from attackers.

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Postby vorn_the_unspeakable on Sun Aug 05, 2001 9:27 am

I have a hard decision to make. Saturday night, one of my friends (indeed, the one who called me her knight in shining footie PJs) was raped. She told me this in utmost confidence: nobody else knows, and she wants to keep it that way. I'm not so sure. I wonder if I should call the police (but then, who would I call? I'm in Stratford, CT, the crime occured in West Haven, and she lives in NY), or her friend (in West Haven, who she was staying with at the time, but still doesn't know she was raped), or perhaps her parents, or just leave all this alone so as to not break her trust?<P>Dan Uznanski, CI
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Postby Greg on Mon Aug 06, 2001 3:23 am

It's a stressful time for both you and her, and my thoughts are with you.<P>For myself, I wouldn't tell. Much as I would like to, she has specifically asked you to keep it confidential and that's what you should do.<P>The fact that she's been through one traumatic experience is bad enough. Breaking her trust at a time when she would be so vulnerable would be worse still.<P>Having said that, you should encourage her to go to the police. It's important, not only to help catch this slimeball, but it's also important that she is the one tht does so. In that way, she will be removing the power this person has over her, and standing up to him.<P>With all my best wishes,
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Postby Atlas_v1.1 on Mon Aug 06, 2001 3:30 am

I say, do as Seldom did. Speak to her. But even if she will not let it be spoken, speak. Get the criminal to justice.<P>These things we do that others may live.
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Postby Rei on Mon Aug 06, 2001 4:44 am

at the risk of being redundant -- TALK TO HER!<P>she's already been abused, had power taken away from her, i think it would only hurt her more at this stage if someone else 'broke trust' and took away the power for her to make her own decisions<P>be there for her, and let her know she has your support.<P>if she is receptive (trust your judgement, you know her) suggest pursuing prosecution. People like rapists will repeat if they think they can get away with it *growls*<P>you and her are both in my thoughts, and if you need anyone to vent to, please feel free to contact me off list -- always happy to provide an ear to scream to/shoulder to cry on/board to sound off of....<P>bb
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Postby vorn_the_unspeakable on Mon Aug 06, 2001 5:29 am

Actually, as of not three minutes ago, she hung up on me. I don't know what I did. And I never did end up making contact with the West Haven girl.<P>Dan Uznanski, CI
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Postby Treespeaker on Mon Aug 06, 2001 6:28 am

I'm with Seldom & Co.--Much as it really sucks to do it to your friend, you should get in touch with the cops ASAP and nail the ballsless sumbitch to the nearest wall with the biggest (metaphorical) spikes you can find. If someone tells the police, odds are they'll ask enough questions and make enough calls that your friend will wind up craking and telling them everything justto get it over with as quickly as possible. And just maybe they'll catch the bastard and give him the old 50,000 volts (or whatever methos your state prefers for garbage disposal of this sort). It's still a bitch to betray a friend's trust, but at least you have the satisfaction of knowing that the odds of someone else's friend having the same experiance have gone down by one.
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Postby Gustav Snarp on Mon Aug 06, 2001 7:53 am

I have found myself in very nearly the identical situation. <P>Above all you must not betray this lady's trust. You may encourage her to go to the police, but you must do it gently, you must not pressure her. You also must not tell anyone else what she has told you in confidence. She has chosen to tell you over any others, that means a lot. If she wants other people involved, she must involve them herself. Much as we would all like to see the perpetrator of this crime punished, a rape trial is a messy thing. The defense lawyers would do everything in their power to make it seem that she "asked for it". They will do their best to destroy her character in the eyes of the court, and they may well succeed. It is also very likely that there is no reliable evidence that can be collected at this point. As it will be her word against hers the battle will be even more difficult. Only she can decide if she is willing to face that.<P>When I foudn myself in this situation I considered another option. I made plans to execute justice on my own, and, to my shame with no thought of mercy. Fortunately I had a lot of time to think about it and decided otherwise. Such a course may be appropriate at times, and certainly was in previous ages, but now you simply risk putting yourself in jail or the grave and right now what this lady needs is you. <P>Your best course of action is just to be there for her. And a little word of advice, women often don't want advice in these situations, they don't want you to say anything, just to listen. You should make sure she know it is not her fault, but sometimes the best way to do that is just to accept her.
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Postby vorn_the_unspeakable on Mon Aug 06, 2001 9:39 am

*Sigh* Duty does suck. I don't even know where to start. It's kinda foolhardy to go to the police with accusations of rape on a guy I don't even know the name of, that I've never seen, and that the victim won't give me a description of. Then there's the fact that the girl in West Haven thinks that the whole thing was consensual... 'Aarg' is a word I have become painfully familiar with in the last 14 hours. Why, I ask, must this happen a week and a half before I leave New England for a year? Ah, Fate, you have dealt me a doozy. Time to call Ms. West Haven.<P>Dan Uznanski, CI
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Postby Star Of Mars on Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:10 am

I am extremely sorry that she had to go through that .. it is a terrible thing to happen to someone. I think, that you shouldn't call the cops .. you should convince her to go to counselling to help her sort out her emotions .. maybe talk to her about approaching the cops, but don't do it for her. Being raped is extremely emotionally damaging to people .. and sometimes the victims just feel like everyone is looking at them as "sluts" or "unclean" .. talk to her about talking to the cops, and keeping the matter hushed .. maybe they can find the man that did it .. the rape sentances are painfully lenient, but it might make her feel safer to feel that he is off the streets.<P>------------------
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Postby Seldom on Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:53 am

Speaking as a member of an Order that engages in the collection of evidence, testimony, and the citizen's arrest of sex offenders, my advice is this;<P>Talk To Her. If you spend time agonzing, even collecting proof, and then she says "no, i din't know what you;re talking about.." the police would laugh at you. The only way anything will get done is if she agrees to it, and she needs to understand the situation. That she is a victim, that she hasn't done anything wrong. In the end, it is her decision to act or to carry such a dirty little secret forever.<P>
then again... it is also your decision as to whether justice and peace of mind are more important than trust and peace of mind... Can you live with yourself without acting? Can you live with yourself after breaking her trust? <P>
Having been there, I broke trust... I told... but it was only because she refused to talk to me about it, and she was unwell, both physically and emotionally. I lost a dear friend for three years because I broke her trust.. she still won;t talk to me... but the last thing she said to me was "thank you.." and to me, that made it worth it...<P>
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Postby Silver Adept on Tue Aug 07, 2001 4:21 am

I missed the opening commentary, but I can do better in the follow-up. <P>I'd rather not mention my opinion, as it would be redundant, but it has already been mentioned by many on this thread. Know that my designs would probably be conglomerations of theirs. <P>However, since she has decided to involve the police, I would point back to a point previously mentioned that is now very important... be there for her. Listen to what she has to say. Be as solid stone that she can lean on for support, in whatever way she wants. Having a foundation to rely on will make it easier to restore her to her previous self. She may carry the scars of this for a long time, but with support they may have lesser impact. <P>"My rock.. in whom I trust."
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Postby vorn_the_unspeakable on Tue Aug 07, 2001 4:29 am

Thank you all.<P>Last night, she hung up on me, because I had apparently pissed her off. This morning, I check my email: the police have been called. She took my statements as a challenge. She <I>is</I> still a bit ticked off at me, but I think she's glad she got it dealt with. Which certainly makes me feel better. And I didn't have to break her trust, either. Thank you all for your support, I needed it. And so did she.<P>Dan Uznanski, CI
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Postby Gustav Snarp on Tue Aug 07, 2001 5:39 am

Silver Adept is absolutely right. You must be her rock through the ordeals that lie ahead. At times she may be angry and hateful to you, she will likely leave you hurt and confused, but you must understand that it is the strain upon her that causes this, and not show the strain it puts on you. <P>------------------
What you do may seem terribly unimportant, but it is terribly important that you do it anyway. - Mahatma Gandhi
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