People who scoff at or fail to recognize the grotesque exploitation of rape by fraud have a great deal to learn about defilement. Yesterday, I was told that a recent rape by fraud survivor had approached the Ft. Worth, TX, Women’s Rape Crisis Center, and was turned away.
The victim, Dina, who was searching for healing and validation, had been horribly defiled. Not only had the offender lied his head off about anything and everything, he actually produced a forged divorce decree to prove he was single. He repeatedly engaged Dina in sex for several months…I’m sure you know how this ended!
Dina has been to the police. She’s consulted with lawyers. She’s been rejected at every turn. She’s desperate for healing. To be rejected by an organization whose mandate is to help sexual assault and abuse survivors on the basis that the harm she suffered wasn’t “good enough” is far more than gross injustice; it’s downright cruel!
I’m not saying that the Ft. Worth Crisis Center doesn’t do a great deal of good for many people, but they need to rethink their concept of sexual abuse.
Here’s their claim, right off their website:
“The Women’s Center Rape Crisis and Victim Services program is one of the most comprehensive and distinguished rape crisis centers in the Southwest. No matter the age or gender, victims of stranger and non-stranger sexual abuse and sexual assault find both hope and help here.”
But to the center, lying to trick someone into sex does not even qualify as sexual abuse???? C’mon! Further down the page, you’ll find their reasoning:
“Fort Worth and Arlington offices provide individual counseling with masters-level therapists for children and adults (both survivors and family members) who are victims of rape, sexual abuse, and other violent crimes such as abductions, assaults and murdered loved ones.”
Apparently, the Ft. Worth and Arlington Women’s Centers still live in the stone ages where violence is the only recognizable form of grotesque sexual conduct.
Let’s get real!
Rape can defile: sully, mar, desecrate, violate, through both violent and non-violent means. Yet society easily relates to the invasive defilement of violent rape, but not the covert desecration of non-violent rape.
Assault takes place when someone harms your body. If they use violence to break your arm, they are assaulting you. But if they use violence to penetrate your reproductive system, they are raping you. This concept holds true in every state and territory throughout the US, and many jurisdictions around the world. By making the distinction between assaults that don’t involve your sex organs, and those that do, penal codes acknowledge the harm of “defilement,” but they fail to apply that concept correctly across the entire spectrum of sexual assaults.
As a person who experienced several types of defilement, by force, by duress, and by deception, I’ve given thought to how each one impacted me:
Forceful rape: My sex organs were being penetrated when I didn’t want them to be. I had no sense of intimacy at the time. Any sense of closeness I had with this man shut down immediately as he forced himself on me. I knew that he considered me an object, a vessel for his use. He had my body because he was stronger than me. But that was all he got; a body that did not want him there. He knew it; I knew it. I felt pain. I felt fear. I felt shame. I felt used. I felt trapped and imprisoned. I felt that my body was being polluted.
Incest (Duress): I was groped by my father. He undermined my entire belief system. His actions isolated me from the rest of my family. No path could possibly re-establish me as a trusting child again. I could never feel protected by my family’s love again. I couldn’t speak of my pain. I couldn’t chance that no one would care or that I would be blamed or worse, not believed. All of the values I learned from him turned to hypocrisy and I questioned who and what I actually was. I was devalued. I was “less-than.”
Suppression of pain erodes your character. It is an ever present load that you carry through life. Until you are able to express and release your pain, and understand that you were simply on the receiving end of an act of callous greed by the offender, it is impossible to heal. You struggle each day to go on. I was lucky enough to find a new me without falling into the pain numbing escape of drugs or alcohol, but I sympathize with the heart wrenching coping mechanisms people fall prey to.
Rape by fraud (Deception): This form of rape was so insidious because it not only defiled me carnally, as forceful rape had done, it defiled me intimately. Once I learned that the entire character of the man I loved was totally different than what he pretended, I experienced all the harm of forcible rape except the terror and the pain. But the shame, the sense of having been trapped, and polluted all the way to the core of my soul were there.
He not only misused my body, but he also invaded my intimacy…. intimacy that was never intended for him. While forcible rape sickened me because of the misuse of my body, rape by fraud invaded both my body and the inner core of my being, my humanity.
When victims wonder why scamming for sex is so difficult to recover from, it’s because it breaks through your guard to pollute your values at the heart of where you live.
People who fail to recognize and validate the pain of rape by fraud force victims to carry the burden of defilement that weights them down, unable to express their pain, unable to heal, feeling isolated and alone. Turning a rape victim away from a crisis center is an abomination.
No one has the right to think the manner they or anyone else was defiled has greater significance than the harm inflicted on another rape victim. No matter how a person’s right to self determination over their body was undermined, they deserve the validation and caring that can restore their self worth and help them heal.
Get a thorough understanding of CONSENT by reading Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault
Watch this TEDxTalk to help conquer sexual assault around the world!