Burdened by helplessness, hopelessness and defilement, scores of #MeToo sufferers exposed offenders who destroyed their lives. Their efforts were aimed at restoring their self-worth and protecting others. But they were hit with the ultimate wallop…… an offender who manipulates the justice system to drown them in a whirlpool of defamation and cyber-stalking charges, destroying the little bit of equilibrium they have left.
This past week, I received stories from the US and Canada by victims who are in the midst of fending off attacks from calculating, deliberate offenders who relish the harm they created and will go to great lengths to continue undermining them.
Blueprint for recovery:
Under no circumstance should you publish the name of the monster who destroyed your self worth or take steps to retaliate in any way that is unlawful. Regardless that our justice system fails to protect you, it also fails to support your wrongdoing against the person who harmed you. Here’s what you should do instead:
- Find a therapist. You’ll need one to help you process and deal with the havoc you were dealt. Can’t afford one? Try RAINN or another rape service. If they won’t help, (and rape by fraud victims are often turned away,) try the mental health clinic at your local hospital. They often charge fees on a sliding scale based on the patient’s ability to pay.
- Think through and write down a clear, simple, easy to understand timeline identifying the process that harmed you and go to the police. They probably will not help you, but go anyway. You’ll be taking the legally acceptable step to bring the offender to justice.
- Journal your contact with the police. Note the officer’s name, the date, the time, and what they say to you. Before going, check the law in your state about secretly recording your face-to-face conversation. As long as it’s legal in your state, do it. The fact that you took the correct step to seek justice will help you thwart the offender’s subsequent claim that you were simply trying to milk them for money. Please note- Do not raise your voice to the police for any reason.
- Call on your legislators. Demand they close the legal loophole that prevents the police from taking action in your case. Play your recording for them or give them a copy of your time line and journal so they have an accurate sense of how the police behaved toward you. Insist they #CodifyConsent in the laws of your state to provide greater protection against rape and sexual assault. Only elect candidates who pledge to do so.
- Find an attorney to file a civil emotional distress action against the offender to reimburse your recovery expenses. Attorneys need to get paid, so if the offender has no assets, it’s unlikely they will take your case. If you can’t find an attorney, file your action in pro se or small claims court.
- Your filed case becomes public record. It can be publicized by media or bloggers. Other than simply writing that a case against them exists, it’s unlikely that legitimate media or a responsible blogger will publish anything further unless and until an arrest is made, your civil case is settled, adjudicated, or you receive a restraining order against the offender.
The offender has no scruples. They delight in controlling their victims and making them miserable. Don’t give them any ammunition to harm you further by creating the possibility you’ll be charged with wrongdoing.
I maintain an unpublished list of offenders when people report them to me. While I don’t publish the list, I will put two or more victims of the same offender together in order to help them get the police to act. The police take serial cases more seriously than individual cases. When a pattern of behavior develops, there’s a greater chance they’ll do the right thing. I’ve seen that happen recently in a New Jersey case of a horrific, drug induced rape. The police sat on the case for over 5 years. Without a second complaining victim, they did nothing. Another victim recently stepped forward. Stay tuned.
To date, I have coached several victims successfully through the process to secure justice against offenders such as William Allen Jordan, who went to jail, and Ricardo Ferrari, who settled out of court in a case that began as a pro se action. You can contact me if you need an advocate. I do not charge for this service, and I’m not an attorney. However, contributions are always welcome.
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