Women have no monopoly when it comes to sexual assault. The US Justice Department tells us that approximately 20% of sexual assault victims are male.
Dr. Paul wrote to me about a year ago. He was searching for answers for his wife who’d been badly deceived by her ex husband. She suffered terrible trauma and he wanted to help her recover…. or so he thought at the time. But over that year, their relationship became less bearable as he learned that emotional pain can wound so deeply, it can change a person’s character and turn them into an ogre…… even women. Continue reading Sex Crimes- Women Aren’t the Only Victims→
Tomorrow is an important day for CATFISH PROFILE SURVIVORS in NY!
The NY State Assembly Standing Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection, along with the Assembly Standing Committee on Aging and the Subcommittee on Consumer Fraud Protection, are holding a public hearing on scams against seniors.
No matter how sexual assault takes place, the victim will suffer a permanent loss.
Being sexually violated, in any form, will have a profound impact on your sense of self. Whether you were violently assaulted, or whether you were violated through the insidious, manipulative breach of your self determination by lies, you will need to grieve your loss in order to recover.
We can never go back in time to reclaim our un-raped self, but we can advance through the stages of grief and loss to achieve emotional stability once again.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network provides an informative post that explains the stages of recovery from sexual assault. It’s important for victims of sexual assault by fraud to understand that the same characteristics of recovery apply to them as well.
Victims can go through denial and attempt to repress their sense of loss.
They could endlessly ruminate, becoming obsessed with the harm they suffered.
They could try to ameliorate the problem by moving away or changing jobs.
They could have interrupted sleep patterns, weight gain or loss, and deep depression.
Not all family and friends of rape by fraud sufferers understand the devastation in this crime. Hopefully, society has begun to speak about and recognize it. But even your normal support system may not be enough to pick you up from deep depression and help you stop ruminating.
When you find your life impaired by helplessness, anger, anxiety, rumination, trust issues, or other related affects, seek the aid of a professional who has experience with sociopathic behavior and recovery for sexual assault victims
William Allen Jordan, dressed in street clothes, looked on at the conclusion of the case that preceded his. He’d soon be swapping his green sweater and jeans for an orange jumpsuit bearing the letters BCDOC, the Burlington County Department of Corrections.
New Jersey Prosecutor, Steve Eife, said “The case against Jordan reads like a fictional book.” He’d pretended he was an operative from the British Defense Ministry in order to scam Mischele Lewis.
Playing the sympathy card
Attorney, Karen Thek, attempted to impress Judge Philip Haines with efforts Jordan had made to make restitution. He handed over a cashier’s check for $4,383.00, the amount he stole from Lewis. He had pleaded guilty to the charges. Thek stressed that it was difficult for Jordan to earn the money that was required with all the negative notoriety in the press.
Ever the charmer, soft spoken Jordan tried a last ditch effort to soften up the judge before he pronounced sentence. “My attorney said it all. All I can do is apologize. My mother is in the hospital. I just want to get back to helping her and my father,” he said.
Nobody who heard him and knew the story was running for the tissue box!
The Judge pronounces sentence
Judge Haines recounted multiple prior convictions and arrests, starting with seven counts of passing bad checks, each for over $200. He cited British convictions for bigamy and sexual assault. He remarked that even the five years of prison that Jordan already served failed to deter him, and that the public needed protection from him.
Haines clearly laid out the terms the Prosecutor and Jordan had agreed upon:
Three years incarceration in the New Jersey State Penitentiary
Waiver of appeal
No contact, ever, with Ms. Lewis
Judge Haines gave Jordan credit for 130 days of jail time he’d already served. Officer Kocher approached and directed him to put his hands behind his back. Jordan complied and she cuffed his wrists. Then she quietly escorted him out of the room to the jail located just down the hallway. The irony of his jailer being a woman was poetic.
So ended Will Jordan’s personal contribution to the fight for sexual assault by fraud law.
This case was the first one that came to me after releasing my book, Carnal Abuse by Deceit. It was launched on November 20, 2013. Donna Anderson contacted me about the case less than 4 months later. Donna blogs at LoveFraud. com. She’d read and reviewed my book. She knew I’d be interested in introducing laws on this crime and advocating for victims. When Lewis complained to her about her case, she referred her questions to me.
I’d been involved in legislative changes in the past, I needed a current case in order to get traction on creating a sexual assault by fraud law because my personal case was forty years old. Lewis read my book and learned about why what happened to her should be a criminal offense. Her case was a good example for the law I’d suggested, so I agreed to help.
Donna and I were able to get press attention on the case:
A blog post I wrote attracted the attention of Michele Noberto. She’d inspired a New Jersey law that provides automatic restraining orders for sexual assault victims. Even though Lewis had applied for one and been turned down by Judge John Tomasello in an ugly example of judicial misogyny, Noberto was able to connect with the right people in the Prosecutor’s office. She found out that a temporary order had already been granted.
Assemblyman Troy Singleton, who represents Lewis’s district, noticed our press coverage and came forward to enact a law to prevent Sexual Assault by Fraud. I felt as if he’d heard my prayers!
NBC’s Dateline picked up on the story and created the episode, The Mystery Man.
Currently existing laws in NJ and the Prosecutor’s failure
I’m not convinced that the laws of New Jersey don’t already have language that could have convicted Jordan for sexual assault. But the Prosecutor, Steve Eife, insisted on charging him with sexual assault by coercion. No coercion took place. I tried to talk the Prosecutor out of going that route but he turned a deaf ear to me. Lewis agreed to his plan and the grand jury failed to indict because there was no coercion.
I spoke with Eife today about the charges he’d leveled against Jordan. I asked why he hadn’t used mental incapacity which states that an offender cannot use drugs or any other meansto alter a victim’s awareness. He insisted that referred only to actions like hypnosis, but if it was limited to “hypnosis,” the law would clearly state so. It does not.
There was clear and compelling proof that Jordan had defrauded Lewis of sex and a possibility that the Grand Jury could have indicted. For sure, they could not indict on “coercion. They indicted on the theft by fraud charge which used the exact same lies to defraud Lewis of sex as well.
I also raised the argument that deception nullifies consent, as stated in Model Penal Code. Eife argued that Model Penal Code’s Consent Provision does not apply in NJ law, yet it’s right there on page 148 of NJ’s Criminal Law Digest:
Consent is ineffective, unless otherwise provided, if it is given by a person who is induced by force, duress, or deception, or by a person who is legally incompetent or otherwise unable to judge the harmfulness of the conduct. N.J.S.A. 2C:2-10c.
Laws don’t assume. If something is not specifically stated as contradictory, it’s up to the jury to determine whether or not it applies. Eife did not give this case the opportunity it needed in order to determine whether the present language in the law can and should prosecute the use of fraud as a means of sexual assault. His failure to do so underscores the need for specific language to prosecute this type of crime.
A victory, none-the-less
Tonight, I’m celebrating a milestone for my book. It succeeded in opening society’s conversation about rape by fraud in the modern era. Today, we’re fighting for the law in one state, NJ. With input from more victims, the next state could be yours!
Romance Sams and other forms of sexual assault by fraud or deception will not stop until we make it happen. Please register with THE FORRSC to be an important part of that change!
I remember all too clearly what it felt like to hear a vinyl record skip on my old stereo. I’d play it loud so I could listen to music throughout the house. If I were in another room, repetition over the distance increased my discomfort. I’d dash back and dive at the needle to stop the offending sound.
Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are tortured with repeated loud music. It’s intended to derail their thought processes and break them emotionally.
So why do victims of relationship abuse do the emotional equivalent of compulsively replaying bad music in their brain? The simply answer is grief.
Regurgitating, negative, non-productive thought
Rumination will plague us during the “bargaining” stage of grief recovery. And everyone who loses a relationship needs to grieve that loss as surely as one needs to mourn the death of a loved one.
In bargaining, we tend to ask ourselves what we could or should have done to produce a different outcome. In reality, when we’ve been embroiled in a relationship hoax, nothing, other than not getting involved in the first place could have kept the bond from collapsing. Engaging with a liar builds a house of cards. Discovering that nothing you valued was real, is a devastating loss.
Typically, women ruminate over sadness, while men are more inclined to do so when angry. But both can get stuck in a wallowing cycle that puts off supporters and isolates us in our pain. Family members and friends often don’t relate to the impact of our emotional loss, as they would if someone close to us died. But the grief and mourning we experience is very similar.
Why relieve yourself of rumination?
It robs you of problem solving and creates a vicious cycle of depression. While you perseverate to make sense of things, you dwell on the unsolvable issues….. how you got there, what you could have done differently. Instead, you need to focus on how you will reclaim your life.
We are more likely to ruminate over unfinished business….. the circumstances that occur in our lives without closure. We want validation. We need to accept that it will not come in a relationship with a predator, and move on. Our memory rehearsals keep us connected to the source of our pain, when we truly need to let go.
How to get past rumination
In The Truth About Grief, Ruth Davis Konigsburg tells us, “Loss is forever, but acute grief is not.” If someone close to you died, you’d be encouraged to get exercise. Your friends would try to distract you by engaging you in activities you enjoy. You need to be your best friend and provide yourself with that same encouragement.
Here are some recommendations that can help you get past rumination:
Don’t be bullied to change the way you feel. Allow yourself to feel your loss, the anger the disappointment. Everyone grieves at different speeds. There is no right or wrong way.
Get exercise. You need to pump up your endorphins so you have a deeper emotional well to draw from.
Distract yourself with activities that get you away from your constant memories. Begin to make new, positive memories for yourself.
Box it up. Write your story so you can put it on the shelf. Doing so will enable you to let go of the need to hang onto it in your mind.
Volunteer for an effort that makes you feel good about yourself. There is nothing more gratifying than to help someone in need. Doing so will give you a strong sense of self-reliance and can aid you in seeing that no one goes through life without a struggle, including you. It will enable you to create better perspective about your painful condition.
Join a grief support group or engage in counseling. Mourning a loss is difficult. Seeking help can get you past the thoughts that keep you stuck.
The loss of a loved one throws us for a loop, whether the person deserved our caring or not. People who experience sexual misconduct and relationship abuse, resulting from being embroiled in a hoax, are no less in need of grieving than anyone else. Rumination can be a debilitating part of that process but you can heal and bring joy back into your life.