Reader: I’m starting with this woman and moving forwards

Hi Amy,

I hope this email reaches you well. I’ve been checking into the blog and reading some great responses, as Brent advised; I’m so pleased that your message and efforts are gaining momentum…
I was moved by Brent’s last response and remain inspired by his self examination, exploration and willingness to change his position/perception. It is his response that gives me the (albeit uneducated) belief that he is not all ‘pathological predator’ and has access to his own capacity of mind or freedom of choice and will. I’m sure psychiatric opinion and even Brent himself would disagree with that belief.
My last response to Brent via the blog was delayed and my explanation to him was intentionally somewhat vague. I’m particularly mindful of a boundary between sharing my experience and ’emotional dumping’ on either you or Brent. The latter I’m not up for in the slightest. I have no expectation of either of you to facilitate, enable or otherwise be responsible for my healing: I’m inspired regardless.
Recently, the outcome of a high profile rape case was published, you may have heard of it. The Belfast Rape Case is currently doing the rounds in the UK media, where 2 rugby players were found not guilty of raping a young woman. Since then, there has been a public social media focus on the “bragging and mysogynistic” texts between these 2 individuals and others after the event. Details of these conversations were shared in court to the extent that certain slang terms such as “spit roasting” had to be explained to the judge and jury. It was these details that particularly sicken me. The outcome of case & verdict serve to assure me I was right to keep quiet 20 years ago and save myself and my family from public shame..
For this case relates so closely to my experience of being raped at both ends while at University by two visiting ‘hockey heros’ who found their own particular way to top their winning night and become ‘legends of the locker room’, by engaging in sex with someone so inebriated as to have been incapable of providing consent, were it to have been sought.
I’ve sporadically dipped into the progress of this case with mixed feelings of injustice, morbid curiosity, disbelief and anger that this behaviour still goes unacknowledged. I’m convinced this is the tip of the iceberg. I kept quiet about it 20 years and from the outcome of this case, it seems I was wise to do so. How many other vulnerable women (and men) will be encouraged to do the same?
I recall that you covered and wrote extensively about this very rotten issue across Universities and in the Military, particularly. It saddens and angers me that this practice is so widespread: 20 years on from my experience, young women remain vulnerable and unheard. Men meanwhile, remain left with the message that this is standard behaviour to be ignored at best and or rewarded by these locker room louts masquerading as “sporting legends” at worst.
To prevent this happening to just one woman, man or child to lift the burden of their shame and self enduced life sentence would be incredible… this is my intention. I’m starting with this woman and moving forwards from there…
The last couple of months have been pretty dark, and I haven’t felt partucularly courageous or hopeful following the outcome of that case. Hence, I havent been in touch, while I deal with this emotional trigger and move forwards.
I just wanted to reassure you that I remain passionate and willing about supporting you and Brent in any way I can: for your message that so inspired me, to grow and contribute to tipping the balance.
With gratitude and best wishes,
Emily
April 13, 2018

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