Tag Archives: raped

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,
April 13, 2018

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Reader: Is rape an inevitability?

One response to “As a result of your latest post i have made the decision to not say that rape is worse than murder

There’s been a delay in my reply to you, I apologise, Brent.. particularly given your powerful response, thank you. My experience since last writing seems to be (as Brene Brown, a researcher òf shame and vulnerability would call) a ‘vulnerability hangover’! Almost from the moment I reached out and shared my experience and thoughts, I felt the shame.. who the hell was I to write something like that? What difference did I think it would make? So I hid away, closed myself off.. just like I’d squidge myself and my duvet under my bed as a child: it was safe under there. What a fraud eh? 🙂

What also prickled, was my first public acknowledgement of self blame. That I’d been so willing to accept the invitation of others to pick up the shame of what happened and convince myself that I deserved it. After struggling with this for a while, seeking help, receiving therapy (EMDR rocks), I’ve emerged with renewed curiosity. So, I’ve been reading the posts of others on the blog, as you recommend and the thought has occurred to me: ‘what else can I do to enable movement/growth of the intention of the book & blog?’ .. other questions: Is rape an inevitability? Will the abuse of children always be present in humanity? (As it has been for thousands of years?) Can it be reliably predicted? How can the perpetrator of rape be forgiven? How does the person who was raped ‘become clean’? I believe this blog is a catalyst for these open questions and I’m grateful to be part of it. With love and gratitude, E

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Forensic Pediatric Nurse in Oslo: “We are seeing SO MANY cases of rape and incest involving child-on-child acts”

I have worked as a forensic pediatric nurse practitioner for 15 years and am seeing some alarming trends. Some of them you talk about in your tedtalk, but others I am wondering if you and the rest of society have really come to realize?

We are seeing SO MANY cases of rape and incest involving child-on-child acts that we never saw before, and it seems like parents and teachers are completely clueless as to how to deal with or prevent it. As well, we are seeing teens not even recognizing they have been raped (until the video of it shows up online and the police contact them) because they have watched so much of it online, music videos, etc that it is normalized.

I just want to scream and tell this society to WAKE UP. It is shocking and tragic and I would SO like to get the word out. I work in Norway now and the problem is no different. If you would ever like to hear more about it please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be thankful to share specific circumstances and concerns.

Mary Jo Vollmer-Sandholm

Forensic Pediatrics Consultant at Oslo University Hospital

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What got me off was the power I could exercise over people

I made choices based on prior encounters with bad human beings, just like myself. I used my abuses as excuses to brutalize people. And I knew exactly what pain and horror I created in these peoples lives both physically and emotionally.
In the bible it teaches us not to lead little children astray. For it is an abomination in the lords eyes. To love thy neighbor as we would have them love us. Not to murder, covit thy neighbors wife, lie, cheat steal, etc.
Yet as I sit here thinking about what I see in here every day I am more disgusted with myself. Because I have always known and have had compassion for animals, and people. I know BS right. Its true though. when I was being beaten or raped by my father, or fucking my mom, or raping some other human being. I knew right from wrong. What got me off was the power I could exercise over people.

-Brent Brents 8-25-16

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Have You Ever Met a Monster? Part II

Note from Amy: Here is the next excerpt of the transcript of  my TEDx talk:

Police caught him a few days after Valentine’s Day. At the start of that weekend a detective had gotten him on the phone and said Turn yourself in, you little punk. Brent Brents essentially replied, Come find me. That weekend he raped five victims, including two children, and nearly beat a young woman to death. The DNA from those cases was processed within hours and the manhunt that followed ended in a dramatic car chase into the mountains, where police captured him at gunpoint.

This kind of story causes a media feeding frenzy. Reporters swarmed the jail, but I didn’t —I didn’t think it would do any good.

Instead, I sent him a letter on plain stationary—handwritten, two sentences: Dear Brent, I went to Arkansas where I talked to your mom and sister. If you were to ask them, they would say I treated them with dignity and respect, and I will do the same for you.

I then gave him the number to the newsroom and told him to call collect anytime. And because I figured he’d be getting a lot of hate mail, I added a note to the back that said: Please don’t be afraid to open this.

At the end of that week police released a statement about another confirmed victim of Brents. Since they protect the identity of a victim of sexual assault they will only release the cross streets close to where it happened.

Get thee to those cross streets, you and a photographer, editors said. Find this anonymous victim, and get her to talk to you.


So off we went to those cross streets and we found…a sea of rental units, like giant Legos, for rows and rows in either direction.

We knocked on doors for hours—no luck. It was close to dark when we saw a woman walking her dog—dog walkers are always great for information—and she said the handyman had told her about a woman who’d been attacked and she gave us the handyman’s door number and he gave us the victim’s door number and I knocked and a man answered and I saw this tiny, dark-haired woman hiding behind the door and I identified myself and she came out and said, “You scared me.”

Her name was Margaret. And she told me her story. Her attack was nearly three weeks earlier and she still had yellow outlines of bruises on her neck. She was coming home after running errands when Brents had rushed her at her front door. She had seen him before-she figured he had stalked her for about three days. She fought him, and he beat and choked her before he raped her.

Margaret pointed to her couch, which had a big chunk cut out of the upholstery. The police had taken it for evidence because that was where the rape had happened. When you can’t afford a new couch, and you can’t afford to break your rental lease and move—and Margaret couldn’t—then you have to live with reminders of your worst nightmare.

She said the police had told her it would take about two months to process the DNA. They gave her no hope of solving her case. Then she saw a story about Brents being wanted on T.V. and recognized his mug shot as her attacker.

One of the last things she said to me that night really struck me. She said, “I hate him, yet I still feel sorry for him. An animal, poor creature.”

A week later Brents called me.

One of the first things he said to me was, “I’m not going to give you anything.”

I love it when people call me and say I’m not going to talk to you. “OK!”

Then he said he had one question for me, and anything further depended on my answer.

And he said, “Everybody says they hate me, that I’m a monster. Do you think so?”

And without thinking I said, No, I don’t. You’ve done monstrous things, but I don’t consider you a monster.

And that’s how we started a correspondence. I did so on one condition: that he tell me the truth. In one letter he wrote, “Don’t trip I’ve actually stood two feet away from you in an elevator” and rolling my eyes I pulled out a piece of paper to fire back that we had a deal, so don’t try to b.s. me—when I realized it had indeed been him on the elevator that day, the man who had stared at me and whose very presence had caused me to run to the newsroom like a frightened rabbit.

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Hurt people hurt people

The following comment was sent to this Diary of a Predator website two weeks ago by a mother who is also an author, and refers to a courageous young man who is stepping forward to talk about his sexual abuse–crashing through those barriers of shame and blame:

Hi Amy, I just finished your book and it was an education into what I’ve always believed to be true… Hurt people hurt people. My book JUST ONE BOY: the unintentional legacy of early childhood neglect and abuse was published last year. My stepson has sexually assaulted and raped 36 children before my son, his half brother, told me about his abuse. We speak at many Colorado conferences yearly. I almost lost my son to suicide but at 17, he decided to speak out about his abuse. Google him for more info on his work Matthew Anckner.

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this book gave them closure

Note from Amy: The following comments were sent to this Diary of a Predator website and were apparently from a relative of Brent Brents who watched his story on Investigation Discovery:

Brent is my cousin. I have never met him. His father is my Mother’s brother. My sister was 7 when our Mother’s brother RAPED her in Arizona. What he did to my sister was BRUTAL and she never forgot. I met Brents father in Oklahoma at a reunion I also met Brents sister. (He) begged my Mothers forgiveness with his Christian act… My Mother and sister have passed recently and this book gave them closure and exposed my Uncle for the EVIL he was.

It is true the VIOLENT ABUSE that my cousin was subjected to. My heart goes out to ALL THE VICTIMS..INCLUDING MY COUSIN BRENT BRENTS AND TO MY SISTER WHO PASSED NOV 1ST 2013.


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So it’s time to quit letting emotions guide my cowardice

Note from Amy: Brent Brent’s last vicious crime spree happened the weekend of Valentine’s Day, 2005, during which he raped several victims, including a grandmother and her two granddaughters. I can’t imagine what the horror of that anniversary means to those survivors. It also fills Brents with self loathing, and it’s the significance of that date he’s referring to in the following excerpt from a recent letter, posted here exactly as he wrote it:

So it’s grow up time. Each year at this time i just shut off. Thats really childish i think. Why Not face it all. Deal with what i feel and accept the discomfort. I can still picture it all and it has become a painfull thing to see what i did to those i hurt.

Disconnect is easy.

So This weekend i spoke to a friend at her urging and at length. 9 years i guess seems like a long time. And makes it easier to ignore. But it isn’t easy at all. Decisons and things i chose to do still don’t make since. One of the worst and most personally painfull is playing God. Choosing one persons life over another. There was No sense in it that Night and i can’t find any now. So i feel the pain of those i hurt.

I knew it as a child, carried it with me into a disfunction adulthood, and used it to justify violence hatred and cruelty. I see shows on TV where people are hurt in the ways i hurt people. I feel like i can’t breath because i ache For them and their loved ones. It doesn’t feel good at all to know i caused This feeling to so many people thruout my life.

So it’s time to quit letting emotions guide my cowardice when it comes to being responsible for what i have done.

-Brent Brents 2-20-14

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Help Stop Military Sexual Assault: Call Your Senator Right Now

Want to help stop rape? Then pick up your phone after you read this and call your senator.

I’m on the email list for director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering, the creators of the outstanding documentary, “The Invisible War,” a film about the crisis of sexual assaults within the U.S. military. I’m interviewed in the film because of my work covering the issue, primarily the series I coauthored at the Denver Post called “Betrayal in the Ranks.”

Right now, the Invisible War team need your help. Please read the message below and then make the call. Help end hell.

From Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering:

This is it. Game time. The moment we’ve all been working towards.

Forty-nine people are raped each day with zero prosecutions; it is not conscionable. We can no longer stand idly by.

As soon as next week, #NotInvisible champion Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will be reintroducing the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) as an amendment to next year’s military budget. This single piece of legislation could be a categorical game changer — as it places the reporting and prosecution of assault crimes into the hands of impartial adjudicators.

With this system in place, our service members will finally feel safe reporting these crimes — and perpetrators will stand a better chance of getting caught and punished. Our service members sacrifice so much to defend our rights. Isn’t it time we defended theirs?

Please call your senators today and urge them to support the Military Justice Improvement Act: 1.888.907.6886

A bipartisan coalition of 47 Senators has come together in support of the MJIA, but because of a threatened filibuster, the measure needs 60 votes to pass — not just 51.

Will you help us get to 60 votes? Call your senators TODAY and urge them to support the Military Justice Improvement Act. Call 1.888.907.6886 to contact your senators now and let them know it’s time to create an unbiased system for military justice.

It’s time to pass the MJIA. We’re so close. Please call today and forward this to others!

Together, we can do this! Together, we are #NotInvisible.

Amy and Kirby

PS: We want to hear from you too! Let us know how your call went and what your senators said by sending an email to info@notinvisible.org.

You can click here to see if your senators have already signed on to the MJIA.

If they have, thank them. Remind them why it’s so important to you that they support the MJIA. If they haven’t, call 1.888.907.6886 as soon as possible to urge them to add their name.

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a rape upon her soul

So did you hear about the Judge who Sentenced a school teacher to 30 days in Jail for raping his 14 year old student. That is only the half of it. The prick blamed the girl; saying she was responsible because she was physicaly and emotionaly older than She appeared and that she was manipulating and calculative. She killed herself because she couldn’t deal with the whole situation. 30 days and the blame layed on her. This judge needs to be off the bench. And forced to be put on the sexual offender Registry. He may not have physicaly Raped the girl. His actions were themselves a rape upon her soul. These types of people and things that happen in the victims side of the Legal system, Make that silent victim feel justified in that Silence. Which sucks really bad.

-Brent Brents 8-25-13



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