Just call the cops

“Just call the cops.” This is what unspeakably stupid people say when confronted with the terribly inconvenient fact of abuse in the kink community. Are you fucking kidding me? Have you spent your entire life with your eyes tight shut, your fingers in your ears, in a cave, on fucking Mars? That question is absolutely serious. I honestly do not understand how someone can live to adulthood without ever seeing a sexual assault victim’s name dragged through the mud and every decision she ever made torn apart in the news. And that’s if anyone even reports on it – if a man get assaulted, it doesn’t even make it into the news because nobody believes it’s even possible for men to be victims of assault. And transwomen don’t make it into the news until they’re murdered, which is [sarcasm] clearly their own fault [/sarcasm]. Obviously it’s too much to ask that men react reasonably when they discover something they don’t like about their sex partners.

It would be great if we as a community could dump this whole mess on the cops and wash our hands of it. In a perfect world, we’d be able to. In a perfect world, every single person involved in law enforcement would spend months if not years learning the details of every unusual subculture they might run into in the course of their duties. They’d learn how to tell marks left by consensual kinky play or martial arts practice or sports or theatre from marks left by abusers. They’d learn how to tell a consensual d/s relationship from an abusive one, a responsible dom from a domineering asshole, confinement for fun and power exchange from kidnapping/unlawful imprisonment. And that’s just the kink community. What about activists, particularly the angry ones? Punks? Streetkids? Members of non-Christian religions? People from non-Western cultures?

It would be awesome if all law enforcement officers took all those years of schooling, and that’s certainly a worthy cause to lobby for, but what are we supposed to do in the meantime? Put our fingers in our ears and shout “La la la I can’t hear you” when people in the kink community report abuse?

As badly as the so-called justice system failed Rehteah Parsons (if you don’t have time to read the link, she was gang-raped, publicly humiliated using pictures her rapists took, and even with those photos the worthless sacks of shit who “investigated” her case somehow couldn’t find enough evidence to lay charges. She killed herself), it would only have been worse if she was kinky. When a woman is raped, every decision she has ever made is now wrong. She should’ve worn a different outfit, not had so much to drink, kept a closer eye on her drink, not gone to that bar, not hung out with those people, not gone home with that guy, screamed louder, fought harder, run faster, been more suspicious, carried mace with her every moment whether she was awake or asleep, devoted her entire life to mastering a martial art. Not to mention, she should obviously have gone to church every Sunday, and been a virgin who was waiting for marriage and had never so much as had an unsupervised date with a boy, because everyone knows if a woman has ever had sex willingly before, she’s now used goods and has no right to decide whether or not she wants to have sex again.

Now, imagine that woman is kinky. Imagine trying to explain negotiations and hard limits to the kind of ignorant trolls who think that being willing to have a frank discussion about sex means you’re a filthy whore who deserves whatever she gets. Imagine your parents, your siblings, your schoolmates, your teachers, and those church friends you obviously have if you want a hope in hell of your rapist getting convicted, all knowing that you’re a sick freak who probably enjoyed what happened to you. Imagine losing your job, your kids, your housing for being a filthy pervert. Imagine the kind of harassment (I refuse to call it bullying, that’s a pathetic attempt to pretend harassment and assault magically become cute and harmless when they’re committed by minors) you’d get when everyone found out that not only did you “have sex” (rape is not sex, at best it’s masturbating with another person’s body), but you “had kinky sex”.

If after all that you can still say “just call the cops” then congratulations, you’re a lost cause. Kindly fuck off, the best thing you can do for victims of sexual assault is to keep your worthless mouth shut.

18 thoughts on “Just call the cops

  1. Yes.

    And don’t forget that BDSM and kink are still regarded as forms of mental illness in the American Psychiatry Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (although a revised version of this is soon to be published).

    As things stand, anyone shown to have engaged in BDSM or kink, is in a uniquely vulnerable position. They can be summarily dismissed from their jobs or have their children taken away by social services, with little chance of redress. In the light of this, they are also sitting ducks for blackmail, as was the case for gays pre-1960s, when in the UK for example, performing a homosexual act was a criminal offence.

    It will be interesting to see what the revised version of this globally influential ‘shrinks’ bible’ looks like.

    • And don’t forget that BDSM and kink are still regarded as forms of mental illness in the American Psychiatry Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (although a revised version of this is soon to be published).

      Sad but true. Apparently just being considered weird isn’t bad enough, we’ve got to be “mentally ill” too.

      It will be interesting to see what the revised version of this globally influential ‘shrinks’ bible’ looks like.

      Have you heard that the NIMH is rejecting the DSM? I’m really curious about this “precision medicine” idea of theirs.

  2. “Kindly fuck off, the best thing you can do for victims of sexual assault is to keep your worthless mouth shut.”

    *applauds loudly* Yes!!!

    “Now, imagine..” I do imagine very much because I was raped when I was younger for five years. I went through the whole thing of I should have fought harder, louder, etc. Now I try and help others who have or are struggling with being raped. I was not raped from participating in the lifestyle but now finding the lifestyle that I yearn for makes me question the effects or correlation between being raped and the lifestyle at times.

    YAY to you for standing up and saying something!

    Respectfully,
    mysticlez

    • I’m so sorry that happened to you.

      now finding the lifestyle that I yearn for makes me question the effects or correlation between being raped and the lifestyle at times.

      I can’t imagine it makes much difference, but dammit it’s just not fair for you to have been through all that misery and now have to wonder if you’re fundamentally somehow broken because of it.

      I have nothing but anecdotal evidence, but I don’t believe trauma makes us kinky. Using myself as an example, if my shitty childhood made me a pervert it would make more sense if I was a bottom. Trauma didn’t make me kinky, it made it harder for me to express my kinkiness.

      • “I’m so sorry that happened to you.” Please no reason to apologize. I dealt with this many years ago and use it as my strength to help others. I am not a victim I am a survivor.

        “I can’t imagine it makes much difference, but dammit it’s just not fair for you to have been through all that misery and now have to wonder if you’re fundamentally somehow broken because of it.”

        I don’t think I am broken but I do believe that you hit a nail on the head when you said this…

        “Trauma didn’t make me kinky, it made it harder for me to express my kinkiness.”

        I think it is not the thought I am broken but having difficulty expressing or even sometimes admitting my kinky side because of the past.

        Respectfully,
        mysticlez

  3. I agree with the majority of your points. However, the victim shouldn’t cower or be fearful because he/she may be misunderstood, or the charges won’t stick. There still needs to be a consequence.

    It’s not a perfect world, and the way victims are dragged through the mud, after already undergoing something traumatic, is awful. But they should still call the cops, still file charges. Even if the charges don’t stick, if the rapist ever is charged again, at least it’s a better chance for conviction showing a pattern.

    • I agree with the spirit, that if 100% of the people who were assaulted reported it, it would contribute to visibility, and that would be a good thing. That it might VERY QUICKLY bring about a change in how things are handled. (MIGHT.)

      But.

      You do not ever.

      Ever.

      Ever.

      Ever.

      Ever.

      EV-ER.

      Get to tell the victims of rape, assault, or abuse what they should and should not do.

      There are very good reasons — up to and including getting the righteous shit beaten out of you, and possibly getting your ass really, really killed — for not being able to do any of the things you listed, and nobody should ever be shamed for not being able to cope with that sort of thing after being abused or raped.

      There need to be consequences. Yes. I could not agree more. THAT IS ON THE PEOPLE WHOSE JOB IT IS TO UPHOLD EXISTING LAWS. Laws meant to protect victims, but which, because they are not fairly enforced, are next to useless.

      Anything that shifts the obligation for action off of the rapist and the power structure that shelters them, and shifts it onto the victim, also shifts blame. It may not seem like it to someone who hasn’t been through that shit, it may not seem like it to some people who HAVE, but it sure feels like it to a hell of a lot of people who have been raped.

      We need to pressure police, the judicial system, lawmakers, and we need to pressure people who are NOT victims to not tolerate or shelter rapists. We need to pressure organizations, like universities, the military, the police, not to cover up rapes perpetrated by people who are part of those organizations. We need to pressure people to educate themselves and to be more understanding of these issues in general. We do not need to pressure victims to do anything. They should be helped to do whatever it is they feel they can handle, not pressured, browbeaten, or belittled.

      But somehow, when people talk about what should be done, THEY ALWAYS START WITH THE VICTIMS.

      People need to stop fucking talking about what the victims should do to fix the problem. It’s great if they can stand up and do those things. Fantastic. And we should support them 100% when they do, because that is hard, painful, important work. But they aren’t obligated to further sacrifice their well-being to do so. Period. They’ve been failed by the system at least once already — a world that makes it safer for rapists than victims. Pressuring them to appeal to the broken system for justice is heartless.

      Be advised, when you bring out “should.” You are talking about every woman I know intimately, except one. One. You are bringing up the woman who stayed with her rapist for health insurance because she has a life-threatening condition. You’re bringing up the woman who was raped as a child, multiple times, and nobody would believe her. You’re bringing up the woman who was raped and doesn’t know which of the guys who were there it even was, and was laughed off by the police. You’re bringing up the teenage girl who was raped by her boyfriend, and the DA wouldn’t prosecute because BOYFRIENDS ARE ENTITLED TO ALL THE PUSSY THEY WANT, and who was raped AGAIN by a different guy and decided that she couldn’t do it again, she couldn’t live in a world that had failed her so badly, twice, so it was either never report it, or kill herself. You are talking about many more besides. You’re bringing up women I know and love, specifically, and if I seem pissed like a mama bear, that’s because nobody, nobody ever anywhere EVER, gets to tell my people, my family, that they have not done enough.

      They fucking survived. They did what they had to do, and often much more, in the hopes of making things easier for the next woman . . . and they knew there would be a next. And another and another and another. They carried that weight, and for some it was very heavy, and for some it wasn’t so much, but they are all, every last one, pulling their share already. And nobody but them gets to decide whether they have strength to fight even more, or if they need to just let it go, because they are too torn apart and betrayed already.

      Everyone else needs to get the hell off their backs, ’cause that ain’t where the boots belong. And I will stand here like a fucking seven-headed dragon and defend to my dying breath their right to not do SHIT if they don’t wanna, because THEY are not the ones who fucked that shit up in the first place. It’s personal to me, because these women are my people, they saved my life when I wanted to end it, and no talk of “victims” will ever be fucking abstract to me. I’ve looked into their eyes, laughed, drunk, cried, and played with them, knowing that they are all united by this one foul thing, and none have ever found justice. Every goddamn fucking female friend but ONE. And then, only that I know of.

      And it’s 100% fucked that I have to turn bearadactyl when it’s rape and rapists that are the problem, not the victims and their lack of speaking out publicly against a hideously intimate crime that is, by its very nature, isolating and silencing.

      • Okay, maybe two. I’m not sure how she defines what happened. I know what I think, but hey, I don’t get to make that call.

        • Okay, maybe two.

          Oh god that’s depressing. I have the sheer dumb luck never to have been assaulted, but given the statistics, a horrifying number of women I’m close to and see regularly haven’t been so lucky.

          I used to believe a lot of stupid shit about whose fault it is if an assault victim doesn’t go to the cops and the asshole keeps hurting people, but you know, assault is only one person’s fault – the fucker who decides to assault people.

          • Depressing, and it scares the shit out of me. It’s disgusting.

            And yeah, I used to believe that shit, too.

            Then a friend told me about her experience.

            And another.

            And another.

            And relatives.

            And I heard about friends of friends.

            Relatives of friends. Friends of relatives.

            Another close friend.

            Someone I was good friends with online was sexually assaulted in her own home, and felt such horrific guilt at being literally paralyzed with fear and unable to tell him to stop that she almost killed herself. We had to beg her to get *therapy*; there was no chance in hell of getting her to pursue legal action. Due to being poor and in a small community, the therapy happened at a place the perpetrator frequented, and she saw him on a pretty regular basis. That she continued going to therapy is shocking to me.

            More friends, more online acquaintances. Some, like my friend just above, WHILE I knew them, after I started being friends with them, not before, not something I could tuck away and say “I wasn’t there for that, it’s part of her past, it can be less real to me if I want it to be less real, if it’s too scary to think about.”

            I’ve been, on two occasions, the first person they spoke to about it, and I fucking . . . I fucking CAN’T with that. I CAN’T EVEN. All I can say is thank fuck that was through email, because I have never been so angry . . . they had to wait YEARS to unburden this to someone they barely knew and had never met in person.

            The world was a far less heartbreaking and frightening place when I still believed those things about rape victims, but because of those women, and men too, though far, far fewer, that belief is a luxury I no longer have.

            They don’t cry when they talk about it, mostly. The ones online, the ones it happened to really recently, they’ll cry writing about it, because it’s new, and it’s hard, and it hurts so much. But face to face, all of the women who went through it a while ago, or long ago, none of them have cried. But they all got that same look on their face at some point during the story. The very same one. Far-off eyes, expressionless face, a kind of hollowness, very brief but always present at some point. Their voice changes, and for a moment, or for the whole time, they sound like they’re talking to themselves in an empty room. And it makes me fucking sick to know that IT HAS A LOOK and now I know it.

            I watch them trade stories over friendly drinks. Here’s how mine happened. Mine was my cousin. Mine was my stepbrother. Mine was a friend of the family. I’ve never told anyone this, but. . . .

            And I think, there they are, a sisterhood of women united by a thing done to them not of their will, all carrying it inside them, and I get to know that no matter how strong the scar is now, it was a wound once, and bleeding. And I’m not one of them, so all I can say is:

            It wasn’t your fault.
            No, you didn’t deserve it.
            No, you didn’t do anything wrong.
            No, you aren’t overreacting.
            Yes, that was rape.
            Yes, it counts.
            Yes, you matter.

            And I think of someone butting into those conversations with “Why didn’t you go to the police?” and I want to fucking strangle someone with their own entrails. That’s why it’s personal for me.

            Because I’ve watched my friends, women I love, would give up body parts for, would risk my life for, bond over rape stories. I mean, do people realize that is a thing that happens? I’ve watched it at least twice now, and I think three times. We talk about bad movies and hilarious sex accidents and pet stories and kid stories and whoops there’s the rape stories and awful customer stories and moving house woes and job travails . . . it’s there, like a natural thing. My beautiful friends.

            And I think about their opposite number, shitfaced assholes congratulating each other over fucking some dumb drunk bitch, and I see red until my blood fucking boils, because those fucking assholes grow up to be judges and cops and teachers and doctors and nurses and PARENTS. THEY are why my friends shake their heads when asked about prosecution.

            Anyone who thinks that my friends are the ones fucking things up needs an honest to god slap in the face.

            So yeah, this particular thing? I get really, really pissed.

        • OMG! If I could hug you right now I would. I am sorry that you have to witness the pain and anger and demise and see “that face”. You know until you mentioned I hadn’t realized that no matter how much I use my past as my strength that a lot of your “behaviors” you listed I actually do. It gives me pause and reflection now.

          you are an amazing person with a true sense of awareness on this subject.

          Respectfully,
          mysticlez

          • I’d hug you back if I could. Thank you. I do the best I can for someone who hasn’t gone through that. (Other shit, other forms of harm and abuse, but not rape. Not sexual abuse.) All I can do is love the shit out of everyone I love, and try to learn where I can.

    • There absolutely should be legal consequences for abusing people, and it would be wonderful if everyone who had been hurt felt comfortable going to the police, but we don’t live in that world.

      If I worked with children, or for any sort of faith-based organization, or law enforcement, or the military, or in politics and was abused in a kinky context, I would have to choose between my career and my chance at justice. If I was religious, unless I belonged to an extraordinarily progressive church, I’d have to choose between my entire social circle and my chance at justice. That is not a choice anyone but the person who was assaulted has a right to make.

      Telling someone that they should call the cops and turn their whole life into a media circus is no better than telling them they shouldn’t have worn such a short skirt.

      • Telling someone that they should call the cops and turn their whole life into a media circus is no better than telling them they shouldn’t have worn such a short skirt.

        Ding ding ding.

        That anyone could say “TELL EVERYONE” after STEUBENVILLE and Rehtaeh Parsons astounds me. What the hell world do people think we live in? Disneyland?

        Hooo, you were a lot nicer than me just then.

    • “However, the victim shouldn’t cower or be fearful because he/she may be misunderstood, or the charges won’t stick.”

      There are many reasons why a victim may not report the incident and unless you are a victim of that particular circumstance you cannot begin to imagine. I did report mine. I was immediately dragged through child services, intimidated by people constantly questioning me and pushing me for details, and then my family. I eventually walked away from it all for my own reasons. I walked away from it not because I was a coward or I cowered as you say but because pressing charges would have meant other things.

      Respectfully,
      mysticlez

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