Who would suspect a man who tells you he’s educated is a high school drop out? Why would you possibly think he’s lying if he says he has no kids or is single, while his wife of 17 years is at home caring for his 3 children. What would trigger your fears when the supporting Facebook page for his business is nothing more than a scam that hides his three stretches in Attica. And when he shows you medical documents that indicate he’s healthy, why would you suspect they’re forged and he’s deliberately passing along HIV?
Yes, there are cases that sound outlandish to the viewing public…….a man tells you he’s an operative for the British Defense Ministry, a sort of, James Bond.
Who would believe such outrageous nonsense?
When you hear the “James Bond” victim’s story, her ability to plot-out his arrest, you wonder who conned whom. On national TV, she boasted about using a pocketbook spy cam to create a “sting” operation and how she lured him into the hands of the waiting police, creating fodder for her book deal. But the schemes that hoax most victims are far more compelling, insidious and heartbreaking.
A victim is a victim
Don’t get me wrong, people who get “punked” in outlandish scams deserve the same protections against sexual assault by fraud as everyone else, even though the more “out there” the tale, the more difficult it is for society to relate. But it’s the frauds that are so entirely plausible, the “honest-sounding lies,” that are even more sinister and insidious. They leave the victim feeling totally unable to protect themselves and create deeply rooted Post Traumatic Stress.
People who believe outrageous lies end up blaming themselves but recognizing that their trust was bestowed on a person who did not deserve it. A person who was raped by simple, plausible, believable character distortion; however, may never feel safe to trust again.
A different kind of Valentine’s rose….
Lying to induce sex IS, WAS and ALWAYS WILL BE a crime. The issue over the creation of Sexual Assault by Fraud law is not whether or not a crime takes place, but whether or not our Legislators are brave enough and moral enough to protect us from a defiling act that a significant portion of their constituents believe is just their way of having fun, their right.
To them, It’s no big deal….. it’s just a little white lie.
As a Valentine’s Day gift to yourself and society, please sign the petition to Stop Sexual Assault by Fraud today! Please add your name to the growing bouquet of signatures.
Spectacular in photos, but not so pretty when it comes to protecting against Sexual Assault by Fraud!
There are 13 types of fraud identified in Chapter 37 of Maine’s Penal Code. And one of them, Misuse of Identification, is particularly revealing. It states that oral misrepresentation of name, date of birth, or any other means of identifying the person that is generally accepted as accurate and reliable, would make the offender guilty of a specific crime.
This statute enables us to see that providing oral false statements about one’s identity, when used to conduct an illicit act, is, indeed, penalized in Maine, but not when it comes to defrauding a victim of sex.
2. A person is guilty of gross sexual assault if that person engages in a sexual act with another person and:
A. The actor has substantially impaired the other person’s power to appraise or control the other person’s sexual acts by furnishing, as defined in section 1101, subsection 18, paragraph A, administering or employing drugs, intoxicants or other similar means. Violation of this paragraph is a Class B crime; [2007, c. 474, §1 (AMD).]
Arguably, this clause could enforce rape by fraud if the state would support that lies impair the victim’s ability to “appraise and control” and if fraud would be considered “other similar means.” Instead, the state of Maine prosecutes one specific type of Sexual Assault by Fraud, that of being duped into accepting a drug that could render the victim powerless against sexual contact:
A. The other person is a patient of the actor and has a reasonable belief that the actor is administering the substance for medical or dental examination or treatment; or [2007, c. 474, §2 (NEW).
Unless otherwise provided, when causing a result is an element of a crime, causation may be found where the result would not have occurred but for the conduct of the defendant operating either alone or concurrently with another cause, unless the concurrent cause was clearly sufficient to produce the result and the conduct of the defendant was clearly insufficient. [1981, c. 324, §14 (NEW).]
In every act of Sexual Assault by Fraud, the result, sexual relations, would not have occurred but for the conduct of the defendant operating either alone or concurrently with another cause. In fact, many cases of sexual assault by fraud occur alongside defrauding the victim of money or property and sometimes, even for immigration status.
Sexual relations with someone mentally incapable of consent
Administering drugs intoxicants or similar means
Engaing in sex with someone who is incapable of resisting and has not consented to the sexual act
Engaging in sex when various circumstances of authority or medical care exist
In general, Maine needs to create specific language to protect its citizens, and travelers who come to fish, hunt, swim, hike, ski, kayak, bird watch, snowboard, surf, sail and conduct all kinds of other activities, from the perils of sexual assault by fraud when they’re visiting the state.
Carlos Lamborghini is NOT the name of the man who scammed Lauren Lazarro of Tampabay/Sarasota FL. We’ve changed it ’til additional victims step forward to bring charges. There’s safety, and validity, in numbers. We know he’s harmed many unsuspecting women who think they have no recourse.
This Italian Lothario, con artist has claimed the name of a speedy sports car and can rip you off for sex and money from zero to 10 seconds!
Here’s what happened in Ms. Lazarro’s words:
I was defrauded on a popular dating site by a man that was a complete impostor presenting himself as a wealthy Romantic Italian man that had been a cruise ship officer and presently working as a marketing entrepreneur. All of his professionally designed web pages and videos supported his claims. I fell in love with him.
He defrauded me of thousands of dollars and over a year of my life in a long distance relationship. He tried to come after a lot more money to finish me off. I think his Italian accent was fake and his name is an alias. He lied about his age. I also believe he lied about his country of origin, his military service, and his education.
Without legislation on the use of “false personation” to conduct rape by fraud, I can’t even file a complaint with the sheriff’s office. I was told, “Lesson learned,” and “Don’t come back!” So, the problem is that this predator can set up shop in town with internet dating, scam a lot of women in a local area, and then flee the area. I am sure there are more victims of this man in Florida. It was an elaborate scheme.
If you’ve been defrauded by a man whose name mimics a fancy high-end sports car, with a sophisticated web-site that promotes his, probably, non-existent, multi-level business, please comment here, or you can reach Joyce privately by using the data form on the Stop Rape By Fraud page of this blog. None of the information you enter there is publicly disclosed.
He can be anywhere but is known to frequent Florida, Idaho and California.
Dressed in street clothes he’d soon be swapping for an orange jumpsuit, William Allen Jordan, watches the case preceding his own.
In his comments to Judge Phillip Haines, New Jersey ADA, Steve Eife said, “The case against Jordan reads like a fictional book.”
Jordan had pretended to be an operative of the British Defense Ministry to scam NJ resident, Mischele Lewis, into sexual conduct, a long term relationship, pregnancy, and the loss of of $4,383.00.
Playing the sympathy card
Attorney, Karen Thek, attempted to impress Judge Philip Haines with efforts Jordan had made toward restitution. He’d handed over a cashier’s check for the amount he’d stolen from Lewis. He’d pleaded guilty to the charges. Thek stressed that Jordan had difficulty raising the money due to the negative notoriety created by the press.
Ever the charmer, Jordan attempted a last ditch effort to soften up Judge Haines. He lamented, “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,” No one in the court room who knew his story was running for the tissue box!
Haines recounted a litany of 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 had already served failed to deter him, and that the public needed to be protected from him.
Jordan was sentenced to:
Three years’ incarceration in the New Jersey State Penitentiary
Waiver of appeal
No contact, ever, with Ms. Lewis
Jordan received credit for 130 days he’d already served, then Officer Kocher approached and directed him to put his hands behind his back. He complied and she cuffed his wrists. Then she quietly escorted him out of the room to the jail located down the hall. After the harm he’d created for the women whose lives he’d touched, the irony that his jailer was a female was poetic.
So ended Will Jordan’s personal contribution to sexual assault by fraud law in the state of New Jersey.
Jordan’s case was the first that came my way after publishing Carnal Abuse by Deceit. The book was launched on November 20, 2013. Donna Anderson contacted me about the Jordan case less than 4 months later. She’d read my book and reviewed it on her blog, LoveFraud.com. She knew I was advocating for laws to protect against the type of crime Jordan committed, and working with victims to get that accomplished. When Lewis complained to her about her case, Anderson referred her to me.
Lewis read my book and learned why Jordan’s conduct should be a criminal offense. Her case was a good example for the law I’d suggested, so I agreed to help.
A post on this web page attracted the attention of Michele Noberto who’d inspired “Nicole’s Law” to provide restraining orders for sexual assault victims. Even though Lewis had applied for one and been turned down by Judge John Tomasello, Noberto discovered that a temporary order had indeed been issued under “Nicole’s Law.”
Assemblyman Troy Singleton, who represents Lewis’s district, noticed the press coverage Anderson and I had generated. He offered to submit a legislative bill prohibiting Sexual Assault by Fraud.
NBC’s Dateline created an episode about Jordan called The Mystery Man.
Currently existing laws in NJ and the Prosecutor’s failure
ADA Steve Eife insisted on charging Jordan with sexual assault by coercion even though no coercion had taken place. Lewis agreed to Eife’s plan and the grand jury failed to indict because there was no coercion.
Before the grand jury met, I’d appealed to Eife to enter a charge that excluded coercion, but he’d turned a deaf ear. At the sentencing I asked why he hadn’t used mental incapacity or simple sexual assault. Mental incapacity states that an offender cannot use drugs or any other meansto alter a victim’s awareness. He insisted that only referred to hypnosis even though his claim is not supported by the statute.
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 for theft by fraud which was based on the same lies that defrauded Lewis of sex.
I argued that deception vitiates consent as stated in Model Penal Code. Eife claimed that Model Penal Code’s Consent Provision does not apply in NJ law, yet it’s as plain as day 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 Jordan’s case the opportunity it needed to determine whether the language in the law could or should be sufficient to prosecute fraud as a means to sexually assault the victim. His failure underscores flagrant misconceptions about consent.
A victory, none-the-less
Tonight, I’m celebrating a milestone for Carnal Abuse by Deceit. It succeeded in opening society’s conversation about rape by fraud in the modern era.
Assemblyman Troy Singleton stepped forward to introduce legislation that will prevent “Sexual Assault by Fraud” throughout the state of New Jersey! The bill is currently sitting with the Legislative Judicial Committee who can “kill the bill” or move it on it’s way toward recognition and acceptance.
When Mischele Lewis first consulted me regarding her case against William Allen Jordan. I researched the laws in her state. The language in NJ on “Aggravated Sexual Assault” seemed to be the closest fit for the crime, but the Prosecutor charged “Sexual Assault by Coercion.” instead. The jury failed to indict because, indeed, no coercion had taken place.
The Jordan case underscores the importance of creating very clear, directed language in the law in order to prosecute offenders who con victims for sex. Countless people are defrauded this way all the time! This bill will raise society’s awareness and make that stop!
Two more cases were recently brought to my attention in NJ. A myriad of others came forward from other states. Only the penal code of Alabama and Tennessee are clear on this heinous crime.
Please make your voice heard!
It only takes half of a second to sign the Change.org petition that tells Legislators in NJ how important this issue is to you! The head of the Judicial Committee receives notice of all signatures. You do not have to be a NJ resident to sign. Please add your voice to this important cause!
Today, New Jersey. Tomorrow the world. You can help raise awareness one signature at a time!
While working as an undercover officer infiltrating the Animal Liberation Front, Robert Lambert, conducted a sexual and emotional relationship that fathered a child.
Currently, he lectures as a highly lauded criminologist at London Metropolitan University. According to BBC News, the Metropolitan Police paid 425,000 Pounds Sterling to the mother of his child for damages.
Helen Steel thought she’d met her “soulmate” when she began her two year emotional and sexual relationship with John Barker. He’d used “false personation” to vitiate her consent. After his sudden disappearance she discovered he was really John Vines, an undercover detective who was infiltrating Green Peace, an organization she belonged to.
These two cases clearly support the need to create rape by fraud law in the UK. Not only does this horrific, life altering crime take place in common society, but the police, whose job is to serve and protect citizens, commits sanctioned rape by fraud in conducting its “affairs.”
Objections to penal code on sexual assault by fraud range from uninformed to downright bizarre:
People should just be more careful,
Boys will be boys,
It happens so frequently- half of society would end up in jail,
……… and on and on!
Here are some frequently raised objections, and why they simply don’t fly:
“Victims should be more careful.”
People with this objection fail to realize that sexual predators will specifically set out to lie and thwart detection. They go to great lengths to proffer and perpetuate sexual hoaxes. They deliberately harm one unsuspecting victim after another.
Rape by fraud happens to naive people, but it also happens to very astute victims who are not easily fooled. To some offenders, undermining the emotional armor that protects the most intelligent and savvy target is especially rewarding.
A victim’s “carefulness” can be undermined by an unscrupulous offender, and naivete is not a crime. Rape is.
“They didn’t know, so no crime was committed.”
All fraud takes place as the result of the victim being overcome by the offender’s vitiation of consent. But when the victim learns they were “had,” their feelings of defilement can be overwhelming. The same would be true of date rape in which the victim was drugged and not conscious when the rape actually took place.
No rape is less of a rape because the victim did not know that it was happening to them at the time.
“Rape by fraud is really not rape.”
The generic word, “rape” is globally accepted as “non-consented sexual penetration.” While different states call it by different names, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual misconduct, etc, “rape” refers to sexually penetrating a victim who would not knowingly consent but for the vitiation of their consent by the offender. Because society balks at the use of the term “rape” when no violence occurs, however, it’s best to use a less glaring term for non-violent acts of rape.
A recent University of North Dakota survey indicates that approximately 1 out of 3 college men would rape if they thought there would be no consequences. This figure was arrived at when the act was described but not referred to as “rape.” When the word “rape” was introduced, however, the ratio dropped to 13%.
Rape is the crime of stealing sex from someone who would not otherwise give it to you.
“Saying “yes” means consent.”
Using fraud to secure a “yes” is sexual exploitation. In all human interaction, when someone defrauds you of your assets or dupes you into conduct of any sort, they are using the tool of “fraud” to take something from you. Your consent is considered totally ineffective under the law.
Model Penal Code- “Consent is ineffective when induced by force, duress or deception.”
“Rape by fraud laws would punish people for wearing padded bras, lifts in their shoes, or dying their hair.”
Balderdash! A person’s appearance is either pleasing to their sexual partner or not. An appearance enhancement neither masks the nature of the act itself nor the identity or intent of the offender.
Appearance enhancements can and should be disqualified as “fraud” in rape by fraud law.
“This law is just another way to make society more of a woman’s world and undermine maleness.”
I view that comment as one of the most sexist things I’ve ever heard. In the tug of war between misogyny and misandry, some feel that rape by fraud laws favor women. Women can be just as guilty of conducting rape by fraud as men, although more rapes occur to women than men.
Rape by fraud law would protect men against gold-diggers and curtail the transmission of life-altering illness that occurrs when a sexual predator lies to hide their health condition from someone of either sex.
The law is gender neutral and provides equal protection to both men and women.
“It goes on all the time. How could laws possibly be enforced?”
First off, it shouldn’t go on all the time, and that’s exactly why this law is so important. Once it becomes law, people will recognize sexual assault by fraud as abhorrent behavior.
The proofs needed to try a case are far more substantial than simply “he said, she said.” The police can’t arrest someone without proof of a claim, the Grand Jury can’t indict, and the victim would have to have made a reasonable effort to know the truth.
Willingly jumping into bed with someone upon first meeting them would not qualify as rape by fraud. Unless the victim can substantiate that the crime, indeed, was committed against them, in keeping with all criminal arrests, no prosecution would take place.
Any arrest would require substantial proof and the victim would have to have made a reasonable effort to know the truth
“People will fabricate they were raped after the fact because they simply want to damage the innocent person who’s dumped them.”
Fabrication can take place in any claim of wrong-doing. We don’t fail to enforce criminal law because people can misuse it. That’s what judges and juries are for; determining whether sufficient proof exists to pronounce the offender guilty. There are so many reasons why people don’t immediately come forward after a rape that it would take up an entire post. But when they do come forward, they need proof in order to press charges. A non-supported case of “he said, she said” would not be prosecuted, even though any act of swindling someone out of sex is a violation.
Significant proof is required when prosecuting any claim in every case. Sexual Assault by Fraud is no different.
“Violent rape is the only real rape.”
Our laws have long recognized that a violent assault against a victim’s sex organs is more heinous than other types of violent assault. If the offender used violence to break our arm, we would not call that rape. We recognize that there is something uniquely different about sexually violating a person. And there is nothing that can compare to the heinousness of violent rape.
But violence is one means to rape a victim. Our laws have also acknowledged that penetration of a person’s sex organs without their consent is “rape,” Date rape and statutory rape are good examples.They are forms of rape in which violence need not be present. The It’sOnUs Pledge states specifically, “Non-consensual sex is sexual assault.”
When the offender uses fraud to vitiate “knowing consent,” by any means, they are aware they are doing so, even though the victim is not. In all acts of rape, it is the actions of the actor that is the crime.
The tools by which an offender will sexually violate a victim include: violence, dope, intoxication, coercion, sex with someone under the age of consent or too mentally incapacitated to consent, and fraud, (dupllicity/deceit.)
Every means of vitiating a victim’s right to self determination to penetrate their sex organs is rape.
Why will people will continue to object?
With all of the reasons behind adoption of sexual assault by fraud law, some people will continue to oppose it. Any change in society’s “norms” takes getting used to. Often, those changes are initially met with disbelief and even ridicule. We’re seeing that in the outlandish comments people make. But there are other reasons many will continue to object. Here are a few……
1. They didn’t read or understand the law.
2. The media continues to stir up hysteria by incorrectly stating fictitious cases such as “the speed of my Lamborghini, blah, blah,” or “I’m Brad Pitt’s best friend.”
2. There are people who fail to appreciate and acknowledge that every human being’s body is sacrosanct. It’s a good idea to stay away from people who fail to do so. They’d have very little respect for your sexual autonomy,
3. Media’s portrayal of sex, and its constant bombardment of sexual imagery, creates the concept that sex is a prize, reward or entitlement. Sex has been depersonalized. It’s become a commodity. But sex is not a “thing”, and sexual sanctity is every person’s inherent right.
4. Adopting new legislation is up to legislators who count on making popular decisions to remain in office. And some legislators, judges, police officers and others, who pass or uphold the laws, can be just as guilty of rape by fraud as anyone else. An inability to grasp the criminality of rape by fraud tells us a great deal about that person.
6. The mindset that enables an offender to commit rape by fraud is a selfish, narcissistic perspective; one that puts individual desire above respect for another human being’s self determination. Doing so indicates their ability to devalue a victim for their own personal greed. People who object are supporting society’s continued acceptance of sexually deviant behavior. What does that say about that individual?
Let’s have a frank and open discussion
Anyone wishing to state an objection to sexual assault by fraud law can leave a comment here, and I’ll be happy to respond. Folks who’d like to lend their support are welcome to join in. Please address the issue in a respectful fashion. Hurling insults, foul language, personal attacks or other negative responses will result in removal of the comment.
Socrates, known as one of the greatest philosophers in Greek history, was executed for his beliefs in justice and the pursuit of goodness. He opposed prevailing concepts such as “might makes right.” His teachings and politics were so foreign to the mores of the time, he was executed for corrupting the minds of Athens’ youth.
Back then, Greek laws considered “rape” a crime only when the victim was a female citizen in good standing. Sexual brutality toward a slave or a man was irrelevant. And the victim had to be a virgin. Rape was punished consistent with patricide, the murder of one’s father. The injustice was thought to occur to the head of the household, who owned her virginity, not the person who’d been defiled.
Our laws struggled forward from this egregious starting point. Centuries later, here in the US, each state created its own band-aide solutions as society’s morality shifted, with no consistent, state-to-state definition on what actually constitutes a sexual assault.
Ownership of sexual intercourse shifted from father to husband in the colonial US. Wives who were promiscuous were punished for adultery or fornication. But modern society no longer considers sex to be the property of a husband. Rather, our rape penal codes consider the sexual sanctity of each individual to be theirs and theirs alone.
Clearly, today’s ItsOnUs Pledge endorsed by President Obama, states the concept society recognizes as “rape”:
“Non-consensual sex is sexual assault!”
Socrates identified the harm in rape by fraud. He decried violent rape as a villainous act. He pointed to what he called “sex by persuasion,” as especially compelling because it:
“undermines the character of the victim.”
In our current era, hardly a soul would consider committing violent rape as anything but a heinous act. But yet much of society fails to acknowledge the insidious harm committed by defrauding a victim of sex. Socrates had it right; sexual assault by fraud, (his persuasion,) undermines the character of the victim!
Just as in any other form of sexual assault, rape by fraud strips away integrity and personal autonomy from the victim. And it does so by misusing the victim’s own self determination to harm them. It leaves them feeling culpable in their own defilement. The sense of disgust at oneself for falling prey to sexual intrusion creates oppressive feelings of vulnerability, serious depression…. and even suicide. Victims struggle with the thought that they can and will never feel safe again.
But are victims of rape by fraud culpable?
Not more so than any other victim who is defrauded of any other asset. In all cases of fraud the perpetrator:
Knows they are lying,
Intends for the victim to rely on the lie.
The victim relies on the lie.
The offender makes off with the victim’s valuables.
Fraud is a tool that offenders use to acquire what the victim would not otherwise give them. It is an unscrupulous act to deprive a person by manipulating their self-determination. The only difference between sexually assaulting a person by fraud, or stealing other assets, is the bounty the offender criminally usurps. And when that bounty is access to their most intimate, sexual core, the crime is rape.
Justice restores righteousness and integrity to victims
Marcus Tullius Cicero, ancient Greece’s most prominent orator, stated;
“Nothing that lacks justice can be morally right.”
Like Socrates, he was executed for his beliefs. For centuries, society has downplayed sexual sanctity by jerry-rigging peculiar constructs into laws that fail to give bodily integrity its due.
Considering the price the victim pays for this gross oversight, justice is a moral imperative!
Without laws to prevent this reckless and intentional act of sexual depravity, offenses will continue unabated, and countless victims will suffer. Rape by fraud legislation will prevent this moral black hole from quietly sucking society into its vortex. It will do so by recognizing every person’s right to protection from unscrupulous sexual acts against their body.
A million gadflies are needed!
Socrates was known as a “gadfly,” the fly that stings the horse into action for his attempts to set Athens on a path toward justice. I sincerely hope you’ll join me in becoming a gadfly to promote passage of sexual assault by fraud laws throughout the US, enabling justice to reach victims who suffer from this debilitating, insidious crime.
I receive complaints each and every day about internet dating scams. These stories break my heart. They’re tales of love-bombing and betrayal. Some involve sex addicts. Others hide marriages or money fraud. And my first inclination is to recommend people stay away from dating sites.
MSNBC conducted a survey that calculated 30% of e-dating participants were married. The number was higher for men than women. But the Oasis Singles Blog indicates that 30% of the dating pool, in general, is covering up existing marriages. So if the ratios match, e-dating at least, provides access.
The trick is to use e-dating wisely and be on the watch for hazard signs.
Free sites are apt to contain more scammers than paid resources for obvious reasons. The greater the disclosure and security provided by the site, the more likely they are to eliminate con artists.
If you constantly reach voice mail, rather than securing direct contact, or if their written responses are delayed, your match may be waiting for their wife or business colleagues to get out of the way.
Are they speaking in a hushed tone or only texting late at night? Their spouse could be right alongside them when they do.
Are they making miraculous recoveries from illness? Telling you they’re sick one day, and then appearing perfectly fine the next, could signal they lied to hide their whereabouts.
No photo on the site? When people want to send you their photo privately, rather than place it online, it could signal that they don’t want to be found out by a spouse. Let them know they need to post their picture, not send it to you directly.
Weight, height and age are the most frequently incorrect statements on dating profiles. If it’s important to you, don’t take their word for granted.
If they never take you home or identify where they live, it’s a tip-off that they’re hiding a spouse.
Someone who is really into you would love to show you off to their family. Failure to do so could easily indicate a problem. Con artists will denigrate their family relationships. They’ll even feign that they’re dead. If you don’t meet the family, be very cautious!
Avoid e-dating services that market people as wealthy or millionaires. No one who is wealthy wants to be punked by a Gold Digger. Their interest is not served by attracting you to their affluence, so why would they?
Always Photo ID a person you meet through on-line dating!
I know it sounds intrusive, and it is! But you are taking risks in diving into the dating pool, and so are they. Rather than springing your request to ID them on your first date, let them know ahead of time that you expect to exchange IDs when you meet. Their resistance is a good indication that they’re not on the level.
Often people who were victimized by an emotional predator wonder how or why they’ll ever love again. “It’s just too dangerous,” and “I won’t survive another emotion bashing episode,” are common statements. Victims often isolate themselves from romantic interaction. For them, “being alone is better than being harmed.”
If this is your mindset, you’ve come to the right place. But prepare to hear some things about yourself, as well as some changes you need to make.
YOU did nothing wrong. You were targeted by a predator because you have the capacity to forgive and love. The problem is that the person you choose was an exploiter, not a lover. And they selected you because they grasped that they could manipulate you through your devotion to them.
Some people are incapable of bonding and loving. You need to avoid them. In order to do so, you will have to ditch your attraction to the superficial appeal we know as “charm,” and look more deeply into a person’s character. And you need to note whether their character repeats in all the corners of their life.
Just as people without emotional empathy will never develop it, people with emotional empathy will never lose it. It’s part of their wiring. Sometimes we confuse being “sensitive” with having “emotional empathy,” which is the key to conscience and morality. But they are not the same.
Anyone can be sensitive about their own condition. They can express heartfelt need for what they want. They can dupe you into feeling sorry for them over their past. But that’s still not “emotional empathy.” A person with “emotional empathy” will automatically have a knee-jerk reaction to the pain someone else experiences. They will put themselves in the other person’s shoes and be guided by their conscience.
Instant attraction only means that the object of your affection stirs your brain chemistry. It does not mean that they are a caring, wonderful human being. Being swept off your feet can readily lead to emotional trauma rather than the lasting, durable relationship you want. So here are a few “don’ts” about finding someone to love:
Don’t take anything you read on internet dating sites as gospel.
Everyone there is expressing the image they’d like to portray. But without verification, there could be countless lies behind their profile. Check IDs and Google anyone you meet online, no matter how badly they protest.
Don’t have sex with anyone until you’ve been introduced to their family and friends.
What’s the rush…. really? A meaningful relationship takes time and commitment. Afraid you’ll lose them if you don’t have sex with them? Guess what. That’s a person worth losing!
If you don’t live in the same town with their family, you can establish a connection through Skype or other resources. How does your love interest communicate with family? However it is, it should include you if they’re committed to making you a permanent part of their life. If they don’t communicate regularly with their family, it’s a very large, vigorously waving, red-flag.
Don’t believe that a man over 45 or a woman over 35 has NO children.
Unless they have a physical condition that prevents procreation, the statistical likelihood that they have no children is a rarity. If they have yet to introduce you to their children, they could be hiding a seriously checkered past.
Don’t look for “love” on dating sites that depict people as “wealthy” or “millionaires.”
Most people with assets want protection from “Gold-Diggers” and will not flaunt this aspect of their identity. Why would anyone try to attract a person who prioritizes their interest in finding “wealth?” Emotional predators lurk on these sites because the participants are tipping them off about what floats their boats. It gives them ammunition to produce an elaborate scam to snag you.
Don’t believe what people tell you about their “ex.”
You’re receiving that information through a very biased prism, one that is sure to make them look like the victim, not the offender. Even if they admit to infidelity, what does that tell you? It should alert you that they can justify betrayal, and YOU will be the recipient this time around.
So what’s a safer way to find true love?
First off, you need to feel that you’re okay without a relationship. You can stand on your own two feet and live a fulfilling, meaningful life. You can find joy in the activities and relationships you treasure. Allowing a person inside your inner circle is an intimacy you bestow on them.
Mankind was built to “couple.” We feel our best when we can express love and support for another human being. So inevitably, our interest in finding a significant other will resurface. Some “do’s” about engaging in romance once again are ..…
“Do” things that make your life worthwhile.
Enjoying your interests will bring you into the path of others who appreciate the same things. Whether it’s religion, art, cooking, the environment, sports, dancing, boating, etc., participate in groups that put you in the company of people who share your preferences.
Do look carefully at how they interact with others, not just you.
Do they “objectify” the people around them, the waiter, the valet, the clerk at the store? Or do they treat everyone with respect and appreciation?
Do they have a history of good-intentions?
It’s easy for wealthy people to give money to causes. It provides them with tax benefits. But do they give their time and pass along help and support when it’s needed? Have they been preoccupied with making money all their lives, or have they stopped along the way to make the world a better place?
Do evaluate what is truly important to you.
Sometimes, in looking at what attracted you to a predator, you’ll see you may have placed importance on superficial value. If you continue to put your interests in the wrong place, you’ll find the wrong person once again. You’ll need to readjust your priorities.
Albert Einstein coined two very relevant phrases that apply to finding new love after a predatory relationship:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new
So, forgive yourself for the choice you made. Recognize that you need to be far more circumspect in your future decisions… not because you were ‘wrong” but because character disordered people share our planet. Your mother never told you because she didn’t know. Mine put up with my abusive father for many decades. So, like me, you learned the hard way. Go forward, not backward with that knowledge.
While I’m quoting Einstein, there’s one more of his phrases that guides me in my efforts to enlighten people about rape by fraud and recover from it:
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
First- we need to examine what a psychopath actually is…
According to Dr. Robert Hare in his highly acclaimed book, Without Conscience, not all psychopaths are the blood-thirsty ghouls we expect them to be. They don’t conduct themselves in ways that are obvious, like breathing fire out of their arm-pits. While they are evil at their core, for the most part, there are no blatant, tell-tale, physical signs.
I’ve heard people say they can tell a psychopath by their stare. But in the exposure I’ve had to individuals I believe are psychopathic, there was no fixed gaze to give them away.
Simply put, a psychopath is a person with the character disorder in which they lack emotional empathy, and therefore, they don’t develop a conscience. As a result, they can commit harmful acts against others with no degree of caring, concern, or remorse.
The Hare Psychopathy Checklist measures their level of harmfullness. But just because they don’t score at the top of the range, does not mean they’re not a psychopath.
Upbringing, not conscience, can deter them from ghoulish behavior. A character disordered child who is abused is more likely to become a heinous deviant than one who is raised in a more supportive environment. A child from an otherwise normal upbringing, is more likely to become a white-collar criminal who lies and cheats, rather than one who conducts unspeakable violence.
Psychopaths often go undetected because their early family life provided them sufficient knowledge about societal expectations to enable them to fit-in. But they are not guided by morality, virtue, or concern for their fellow man. Instead, they are only reigned-in by their fear of discovery or consequences.
How did they get that way?
Since prison settings provide access to a seemingly large volume of psychopaths, their populations are often the subjects for research. But this approach gives us a skewed sense of the frequency of encountering psychopaths in our daily lives.
The rough estimate of the ratio of psychopaths is approximately 4% of the population. But they conduct themselves in a serial fashion and; therefore, harm far more than 4% of mankind.
Modern mental health professionals suspect a genetic link to a pre-disposition to psychopathy. Its existence does not equate to every child of a psychopath becoming a psychopath. Rather, the child of a psychopath is “at-risk” for becoming a psychopath.
What passes along in DNA?
Our brain chemistry makes mankind trusting and caring. The principal neurotransmitter that serves as a foundation for conscience is thought to be, (according to Dr. Paul Zak in The Moral Molecule,) oxytocin. Our genes control our levels of oxytocin and our reaction to it can be shaped through early childhood development.
With normally functioning oxytocin receptors, we experience early bonding and develop emotional empathy, the knee-jerk reaction to the welfare of others. Without oxytocin, or with early developed negativity toward oxytocin, our ability to bond and feel concern for another person’s welfare becomes compromised.
How can we tell whether our child has empathy or not?
If your six year old or older child:
is indifferent to the pain or problems another person exhibits, including their siblings, or you,
throws tantrums when they don’t get their way
puts the safety of others or animals at risk,
is a bully,
is continuously bullied,
exhibits oppositional/defiant behavior
is excessively impulsive,
has a love affair with weapons
commits bodily harm against themselves or others
…..they may be showing early signs of character disorder.
Mental health professionals don’t label children “psychopathic.” Instead, they use the terms, “conduct disorder,” “behavior disorder,” or “emotionally disturbed.” Any of these diagnoses could signal development into character disorder as an adult.
What can I do to correct the problem?
Look seriously at the signs you see from your toddler. Don’t overlook them! They are unlikely to go away on their own! At this stage, you could make a difference.
Are they responsive to cuddling, caring and warmth? Are your attempts at boundary setting conveying love or making them fearful?
According to Dr. Liane Leedom in her ground-breaking book, Just Like His Father, children who are at-risk of becoming psychopaths need an extremely nurturing environment with significant levels of parental warmth. Devote time laughing and being joyous with your at-risk child. Keep as much acrimony from affecting them as possible, and try to reduce the level of stress in your home environment. Abandonment of an at-risk child, by either parent, can have a devastating affect on their development.
If your child reaches the age of six, and their morality is stuck at self-centered, get professional help for them. Involve them in activities that promote sharing and caring like volunteering, helping others, and by providing religious supports. If you are single, spend time with couples who embody cooperation, respect and a loving relationship.
When will I know the results?
Most parents find the teen years trying. But even teenagers will express respect for their parents. Character disordered kids will believe that rules are made to be broken. Teenaged impulsivity can take the form of drugs or alcohol abuse, fighting, truancy, promiscuity and juvenile delinquency. Usually, by their mid twenties, with independence, permanent character becomes obvious.
Your child’s development into psychopathy is impacted by genetics and experiences that can be totally out of your control. But knowing that a child is at-risk, understanding the genetic link to the disorder, can help you create the most supportive environment to deter them from violence. Nothing will impart a conscience to a psychopath.
If you are the unfortunate parent of a character disordered son or daughter, hopefully, you can find peace in knowing you did the best you could with the resources and knowledge you had at the time.
Mankind is noted for having three differing types of empathy: cognitive, emotional and compassionate. But there are significant problems that take place when a person has too much or too little of any specific kind.
Cognitive Empathy- Sensing what’s going on with the people around us
Cognitive empathy enables us to perceive what’s going on with the next person. But just because you know what they are experiencing, and what motivates them, does not mean you’ll exhibit caring or be able to put yourself in their shoes. In fact, it may do just the opposite.
Strong cognitive empathy is the tool that torturers rely on to shake a prisoner down for information. They can detach completely from any sense of pathos toward their victim. People who have high levels of cognitive empathy make great politicians and sales people. When cognitive empathy is accompanied by emotional empathy, it’s a good thing.
Sociopaths that conduct emotional harm are intuitive about the needs and wants of their target. They’ll use cognitive clues to position themselves for acceptance, just like a chameleon changes colors. The problem is, they lack the emotional empathy that reigns-in their self-interest. Most people who recover from relationships with sociopaths think back on them as “reptilians” for good reason. There is a distinct cold-bloodiness in the way they operate.
Having cognitive empathy and no conscience enables swindlers to come up with asset grabs. Bernie Madoff pops to mind as a good example. We often think of con artists as people who try to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to an unsuspecting victim.
Emotional Empathy- The knee-jerk reaction to the perils that others experience
Emotional empathy enables us to embrace the feelings of others as if we were sharing their experience. When your heart pops into your mouth as someone falls off their chair, you are experiencing emotional empathy. People with appropriate levels of emotional empathy go through life thinking that everyone has it…. until they crash headfirst into the path of someone who does not. Their efforts to try to convey their experience to others is often met with disbelief, which makes the victim feel even more violated and isolated.
A person with high levels of emotional empathy could be hamstrung from benefiting the person with a problem because they may get too emotional to react in a positive way. That’s where compassionate empathy kicks in.
Compassionate Empathy- How we make a difference in the lives of others
Through compassionate empathy, we can use our emotional empathy to produce a meaningful result. A person with a well balanced level of compassionate empathy would come to the aid of the individual who fell, calling 911 if needed, or problem solving to determine what the situation warrants. People with compassionate empathy will appear outwardly cool in a pinch, even while feeling significant concern for the person who’s in danger. While they might fall apart after the crisis ends, they remain sufficiently detached to provide help when it’s needed.
The risk of compassionate empathy in dating
Having compassionate empathy puts people at risk for becoming victims, particularly in internet dating scams. The actor grooms their target with an overabundance of loving gestures to fuel their sense of belonging and build trust. The offender will jiggle the hook with a small bait-like request for a token “favor.” They may even provide reciprocal favors in return, grooming the victim further.
Ultimately, when they believe the victim is sufficiently snagged, they’ll spring a mega-request, and it’s usually about money, sex, or immigration related. It’s often couched in language that makes the request seem like an emergency. Targets that fail to produce the desired result get hit with a scathing attack aimed at crushing their self esteem. They are often too embarrassed and devastated to immediately seek help. They are stunned by the cessation of love they had counted on. Before they regain their equilibrium, the predator is long gone. and probably bad mouthing them to their next victim.
How empathy factors in our relationships
Emotional empathy is absolutely necessary in sustaining a loving relationship. Without it, a person is only capable of engaging with others on a “What’s in it for me?” basis. While they may pretend to be caring, because they know it’s socially acceptable to do so, their self-centered way of looking at the universe will ultimately surface. There will be no “agreeing to disagree” in order to make peace, a negotiation skill that is vital in order to sustain a relationship when acrimony occurs, as it does in any human interaction.
A mate with no emotional empathy cannot and will not put themselves in your shoes. They simply lack the ability to do so. And without this ability, they cannot develop a conscience. The only limits to their behavior stem from fear of being “outed,” and fear of loss or consequences.
No amount of bargaining, acquiescing, pleading, explaining, or cajoling will change their mindset. It is the way they are wired. Once a person advances past the life stage in which their moral code of conduct forms, they are who they are, and YOU will not change them.
How do you know if you’re dating a sociopath?
Someone who lies to you, in order to seduce you, has little or no emotional empathy. They do not put themselves in your shoes. They see you as a prize, an entitlement, a piece of property, but not as the living, breathing, caring human being that you are. If they were dishonest in their on-line dating description, or other information they initially fed you, they have no conscience. They are self indulgent.
The derisive manipulation of a person without emotional empathy will undermine your well-being. Even if the relationship remains intact, the victim’s self esteem will be shredded. So if you are experiencing loss of worth or other abuse, get help, today!
If you are with someone who displays a lack of emotional empathy toward others, it’s a sign of their real, underlying nature.
But, isn’t there a cure? Doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance? I felt so loved!
Sociopaths are people who lack emotional empathy. That is how their brain works. They are not sick. They are disordered. They know the difference between right and wrong. They just don’t care. They will not get better, but the longer you endure their behavior, the worse your situation will become.
They played with your brain chemistry to hook you. Find someone who loves you for you, not for your assets or other services you provide for them. Get out before giving birth to their child or financial complications get in the way.
A lucky example of collective compassionate empathy!
All of you with emotional empathy will be happy to know that the group of onlookers in the title photo rushed to the aid of the little boy who dangled from his fathers hands. He plunged 25 feet into their waiting arms, and skied the rest of the day. Thanks to Matt Roeser who had his camera at the ready to snap this awesome testament to compassionate empathy at Hidden Valley in Wisconsin.
Today, I received a CAD Identity post from Canada, from a man who had been defrauded there. It brought home to me, that although we generally see the larger share of romantic frauds, for sex and financial gain, by men against women, there is an extraordinary amount of unscrupulous women who defraud men.
The term we generally ascribe to this phenomenon is Gold-Digger! Their stories abound! If you have one, please post it here! As always, you can, and should change the names of all the participants, including yourself.
The problem of rape by fraud and emotional rape is global. Don’t hesitate to alert us to the country or jurisdiction where this happened to you!
I’m starting with the story of how a Gold-Digger impacted my life...
Young and pretty, she came from the Bronx and was fortunate to find a great job with one of the most prolific music publishers in the world. She was awed by his wealth and connections to the abundant talent in the music business. He was 30 years her senior, a father figure to her.
Narcissists don’t need significant emotional connections. The closeness of loving bonds are not what draws them. Instead, they’re driven by financial gain, fame, stature. He had it all.
When he died, she inherited the businesses he’d built. She needed a boy-toy to accompany her to balls, banquets, fund raisers and events; eye-candy who looked good in a suit, knew what wines to pick, spoke several languages…. someone who could dance and charm her friends. She chose my husband.
We were still married at the time although he had disappeared. There was no internet that helped you locate people back then. He’d left my son and me behind, unsupported. Finding him would have eaten into the money I earned to feed, clothe and raise my child.
We lived in subsidized housing, and I juggled multiple jobs at the same time, in order to provide. There are only 24 hours in a day, and the amount of time I needed to devote to making a living diminished the time I could spend nurturing him. Our relationship still suffers the impacts of that loss today. Meanwhile, my estranged husband enjoyed the largess of one of the wealthiest women on the planet. He worked in her office and lived in her duplex apartment on Fifth Avenue, just a few short blocks from our home. We traveled in far different social circles. Our paths never crossed.
She enabled him to deprive his child and eroded my finances. When I was finally able to drag his CADdish rear end into court, my son was 17 and about to go to college. I needed to recoup whatever I could in order to send him. My attorney tried to secure tax returns and income statements. He stonewalled. His income was untraceable. He had lived off the grid in her generosity. He claimed he had no job and was homeless, sleeping on his parent’s couch in Florida. I couldn’t afford a forensic accountant or private detective without putting my child’s education at risk. I had no idea what I would find, and no amount of wild imagining could have conjured up the truth!
The amount of money it would have taken to provide adequately for his family was a pittance to them. She simply didn’t give a damn. Gold-Diggers have no heart. When I learned what had actually transpired, I wrote to her. She never responded and they neither attempted to make amends nor repair the cavernous hole that his duplicity created in my finances.
There is so much more to this story, that lead me to create this blog and my efforts to enlighten society about the crime of rape by fraud. It’s said that God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. I was blessed with the spirit and strength to live through the pain, and the will to help enlighten and change society. I thank God for the friends who helped me through!
I’ve learned that there are different kinds of wealth in life. While they have money, I have a richness of fulfillment that they will never experience. Character disordered people are incapable of love. I am truly blessed!
Many of us who suffered through emotional abuse feel our sorrow more intensely during the holiday season. As we see families come together in love and support, we’re reminded of the happiness we lost.
But did we really lose it? Or did we simply lose the image of what we’d hoped for, that was never to be? Often, holidays with emotional predators were as painful, and perhaps more so, than any other day. Continue reading Create A New Tradition of Joy!→
There seems to be a very large misconception about what rape by fraud is, and what emotional rape is. And often they take place together. When this occurs, it’s hard for the victim to separate which is which.
Tricking a person to steal their love
and involve them in a relationship.
Rape by Fraud:
Tricking a person to steal sex
How emotional rape works
Being pranked for a relationship is emotional rape. The term does not denote a “sexual act” Rather, it describes the sense of having your highest emotion, which is love, stolen from you.
In emotional rape, a person creates a hoax about their character, or what their intentions are, and perpetuates that hoax over time. The unknowing victim provides love and caring that is undeserved and will feel violated when they learn the truth. Cases of emotional rape can lead to engagement and marriage with a partner who is not what they pretend to be.
When the victim discovers the truth, they may not react as society expects. People with high levels of morality and the brain chemistry that induces attachments will continue to feel bound by the bond of love that was established. They’ll experience the toxic glue of a Trauma Bond, also known as a Betrayal Bond, that keeps them feeling the chemical ties created by the neurotransmitters in their brain, enabling our species to “couple.” Please use this link to determine if a Betrayal Bond is affecting you. And refer to Dr. Patrick Carnes’ book, Betrayal Bond, Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships for further information.
Separating from an emotional predator can take considerable time and toxic interaction in the relationship. Often victims will defend their mate even though society will see their behavior as misguided. People without a deep-rooted sense of bonding will have an easier time breaking off the relationship. They’ll react more immediately to the realization of their situation. Victims who were previously abused, or whose moral code of conduct creates a sense of unconditional love, will be more forgiving.
How rape by fraud works
Rape by fraud is an actual, physical act of rape. Sexual assault or sexual contact takes place when a person is engaged in an act of sexually penetration without their freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement…. consent. Defrauding a person of the physical act of sex vitiates their “consent” for sex, and is therefore punishable in some states. Tennessee and Alabama have the most direct laws in dealing with offenders who defraud victims for acts of sexual penetration.
Model penal code states that “consent is INEFFECTIVE if induced by force, duress or deception.” Therefore, a person who is sexually penetrated as a result of deception, is being physically raped.
This form of rape is similar in trauma to being drugged or intoxicated to vitiate consent. Violence did not occur to overwhelm the victim in any of these forms of sexual assault. Instead the victim was outwitted.
Other forms of criminal “outwitting.”
If an offender beat a man as he approached his car, took his keys and drove away, we’d readily recognize his actions as auto theft.
If the offender pretended to be the valet in front of a restaurant, took the man’s keys and drove off with his car, we would also recognize the act as auto theft; even though the man willingly handed over his keys and didn’t realize he was being robbed in the moment.
The first act was theft accomplished by violence. The second was theft accomplished by fraud. The offender would be charged differently for the violent act and sentenced more harshly, but both are criminal offenses.
Distinctions in charging the offender with a rape crime
All forms of rape should be punished in every state. If the person were violently overwhelmed, their act of rape would warrant a more “aggravated” level of charge. The sexual assaults that do not involve violence to overwhelm the victim are a lesser offense. But all acts of rape, or sexual assault, should be punished.
Is emotional rape a crime?
Emotional rape is morally reprehensible. It steals a lifetime from the victim. It embroils them in marriages that are not what the victim perceives. When it generates offspring, those relationships exist for a lifetime, and often in a fashion that shatters lives. But is it a criminally punishable offense? Unfortunately, it is not penalized in any state in the US. It could; however, become a civil matter if there were sufficient awareness of this pattern of wrong doing.
You will get a much clearer grasp of the distinction between emotional rape and rape by fraud by reading Carnal Abuse by Deceit, which accurately conveys these issues in a real-world setting.
Every act of physically and sexually penetrating a person without their freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, #FGKIA, is and should be punishable throughout the US!
You awake to a very large, strong man covering your mouth with one hand, making it difficult to breathe, let alone scream. In the other hand, he’s clenching a knife millimeters from your face. Terror seizes your entire body and you react…. but how?
Fight or flight is the response society expects in violent attacks. Your hypothalamus and pituitary take over, instantly flooding you with hormones to protect your sustainability.
Adrenalin arouses you to your circumstance.
Cortisol provides you with uncommon energy.
Opiods act like morphine to temporarily blind you to your pain.
Oxytocin attempts to stabilize your emotions.
Totally apart from your conscious control, you may be like millions of other sexual assault survivors who freeze.
It is estimated that 12 to 50% of rape victims will respond by freezing, and it is thought that the number is closer to 50% than 12%. Also, victims who experienced prior sexual trauma are more likely to experience this temporary paralysis.
The impacts on seeking justice
Policing is currently practiced under the misconception that victims will either fight with all their might to fend off brutality, or do everything in their power to free themselves. Absent evidence of doing either or both, they assume that the victim’s crime report is a lie. Approximately 86% of rapes, even those supported by a rape kit, do not make their way from the Patrolman to the Prosecutor for this reason. Yet data reported by the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women indicates only 2-8% of rape accusations are false.
A natural phenomenon
Freezing, Tonic Immobility, also known as thanatosis, is an automatic response to rape as well as other forms of trauma in humans. But we are not the only animal that experiences this phenomenon. The most widely
known is the
opossum,which is why “playing dead” is also referred to as “playing opossum.” Mammals are wired with the option to look and appear dead to their attacker for protection. In sharks, rolling onto their back and becoming paralyzed enables mating.
Other impacts on the victim’s post-rape “affect”
During rape, the cocktail of hormones surging through the human body block the ability of the brain’s hippocampus to organize and store thought. Many rape victims, who are interrogated shortly after their trauma, have yet to recover cognition. Police, who don’t understand their behavior, suspect that the victim is inventing the story as they speak, when they are actually attempting to puzzle together disparate pieces that were blocked from encoding by their brain’s hormonal overload.
Their ‘affect” or appearance, may not seem emotionally charged as one would expect after a heinous assault. They could remain under the influence of those same opiods that deterred their reaction and dulled their senses during the crime.
Undermining self esteem
Victims who freeze struggle with an innate sense of guilt. Their response defied their own personal expectation that if something bad happened to them, they would fight to the death or flee. We go through life taking comfort in the concept that we are able to protect our mortality, and we respond to rape as a struggle for life. Most of society sees fight or flight as being brave, because we don’t understand that freezing is the same act of self-preservation. People who experience the trauma of rape by fraud are also plagued with similar self-blame.
How tonic immobility factors in rape by fraud
I recall vomiting and collapsing on the cold bathroom floor, immobile, when I first learned the initial lie that was used to defraud me into a sexual relationship. Little did I know, there were far more lies behind it.
Defrauding someone of sex strips them of both fight and flight to defend their body. The victim could not react, because they did not know. Their behavior, throughout the time they were assaulted, which could span years, uproots their personal sense of being able to protect themselves. The recognition that a sexual assault by fraud took place can be a paralyzing trauma.
The victim’s failure to protect their personal sexual sanctity also obscures society’s recognition that a crime took place against them. And it undermines the victim’s self-esteem in much the same way having been immobilized does in violent cases. The victim suffers secondary victimization from society, family, friends, the authorities and themselves when dealing with rape by fraud. It’s little wonder that knowing you were deceived into sex is so terribly degrading for a victim, and why it is so difficult to heal.
Media should be paying far closer attention to Tonic Immobility, just as it should be identifying the heinous nature of rape by fraud and its impacts on victims.
Watch this TEDx Talk for the key to combating sexual assault!
Inspiration for this post came from information I received from a woman who comments under the name “Semi” on US Weekly. Unless otherwise linked, the source for the data and statistics is The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault,written and presented by Dr. Rebecca Campbell, Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University. I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to watch her scholarly presentation.
Why victims suffer this disabling anxiety condition
PTSD is normally associated with warfare
My father fought in the Philippines during World War II. One hot, dark, buggy night, he woke up to find a Japanese soldier squatting over him, about to thrust a bayonet into his neck. I knew better than to ever ask him the fate of that soldier. The fact that he came home to our family was all we needed to know.
Whenever my dad was aroused from sleep, he’d awaken with a start. I’m sure that was only a small example of how PTSD affected him. But it was visible to me, even as a small child.Today, society readily understands that combat soldiers can suffer from PTSD. It was a far less public discussion in my father’s time.
I never expected that I would encounter any type of danger that could create the disorder for me, but I was wrong.
The emotional causes of PTSD
Modern day health professionals have concluded that emotionally shattering experiences undermine our sense of invulnerability and cause PTSD. People naturally assume that life is both benevolent and meaningful. And we consider ourselves to be worthy beings. An encounter with rape by fraud can shred every vestige of our beliefs about both life and our place in it. It undermines our value system.
If this happened to you, depending on the length of time the hoax took place, you built expectations that were predictable. Learning that everything you valued was nothing more than a house of cards crushed your sense of safety and well-being. And the notion that you were used as an instrument of your own demise was especially crushing. It is why Socrates said that “sex by persuasion” as he called rape by fraud, is particularly compelling because it undermines the character of the victim. Recognition of the heinous nature of this behavior spans centuries. It’s nothing new.
While rape by fraud victims do not undergo the brutal torment of violence, the blow to their emotional makeup can be devastating. Their injuries are far more severe than the trifling stupidities that people hurl their way…. “Just get over it,” “So what,” “Find a decent guy.” And even worse, “You just misunderstood.” In many ways, the lack of validation people hurl at victims serves to deepen their despair. They not only have to deal with the betrayal that affects them at their core, but also with the abandoning mindset of the very people they count on for support.
Some symptoms of PTSD include:
Memories that are triggered by daily events, making you tremendously sad.
Sleeplessness, the inability to turn off the record running through your brain
Loss of interest in your daily life.
Hermit behavior, unwillingness to go out and face possible reminders
Irritability and anger over small incidents.
Victims who experience rape by fraud should seek professional help to recover. Just as a soldier needs therapy to improve, no one should try to tackle PTSD on their own. If you can’t afford a private therapist, contact your local hospital and find out if they have a low cost mental health clinic that can help you. Reach out to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, for information and support.
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.