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WWYD - rape and trust (triggering)

(11 Posts)
notsurewhattodoatall Tue 17-Oct-17 09:57:25

I have NCed for this but I am a long term poster. I am not a troll, and the dilemma I am about to outline is something I am finding very, very difficult. Let me start by saying that I am a feminist, that I have myself been raped, and that I fully understand that questioning the testimony of a rape victim is an appalling addition to the pain of undergoing that crime.

Here are the facts:

- Someone close to me claimed that their boyfriend raped them.
- As a result of this claim, they gained access to a lot of financial assistance/care from a second party over many years. No legal claim was ever made, police were not involved.
- The person claiming rape has longstanding form for lying and for manipulating others for gain.
- The boyfriend is a jerk with abusive/anger management problems, however, no question.
- However, after the claim and assistance was given, the person in question went on meeting the rapist in secret. They were seen very much together by not one but three reliable people on several separate occasions. At the time, they were publicly saying they were NC with the person.
- In addition to this, a number of letters were exchanged between them after the alleged incident, in which there is no indication of any allegation of wrongdoing, and which make clear that the relationship was very much still on between them.
- The boyfriend denies that any rape happened (but I think he would even if it did).

I just don't know what to think. Every instinct of feminist solidarity says that I should stand with this person and that it is a terrible thing to add to the pain of rape by disbelief. But I honestly, hand on heart, have doubts whether they are really trustworthy here, because of the amount that they have gained over the years from the situation (a huge amount of money/care), the continuing relationship after a pretty serious claim of rape had been made, and the form for lying.

WWYD? My tactic to date has been support-with-evasion of the issue, which has led to accusations of denial and being part of the problem. These are totally justified if the incident happened. I honestly don't know if I've done the right thing, or if I've done something really, really bad. I just don't know.

Wherearemymarbles Tue 17-Oct-17 10:06:09

Sadly I guess you'll never know as from what you say

1. You believe your friend's capable of lying about it

2. You believe her boyfriend to be capable of if (though of course it happens even when people say, 'i cant believe he would do such a thing')

Though if it did happen and she was in a position to walk away then why didnt she or maybe they have such a toxic relationship she cant keep away.

I guess all you can have is an open mind which it seems you so.

mindutopia Tue 17-Oct-17 11:02:05

I agree with the above. I think realistically you will never know what happened. I think you can support her as a person and friend though regardless of how you feel. Unfortunately, abuse and rape make for complicated relationships. It's not as easy as it all being black and white sometimes, and without knowing her, what you describe doesn't sound too outlandishly shocking to me. People who have experienced trauma behave in ways that aren't rational to those who haven't experienced it. It sounds like she gets something from both of these situations (the support she's gotten from those who are looking after her and from this seemingly abusive relationship with her partner). Somehow the two might make sense together for her even if they don't and make it seem like she is lying to anyone else. I think you can still be her friend if you want to without being entirely sure how you feel about it all. If you can't be, I also think it's okay to put some distance between you if you feel like it's too much for you to reconcile.

notsurewhattodoatall Tue 17-Oct-17 11:25:16

Thanks, both.

Part of the issue is that this person is very passive-aggressive and constantly using social media to accuse me (covertly) of being unsupportive. Her post on #metoo today was "#metoo And let's not forget that a lot of women who've been assaulted have also had to put up with those who deny or victim-blame them". I agree with her 100% that denial of rape is an awful thing to do, a really, really serious thing. (To be clear- I've never directly denied it to her face - I remain evasive on the subject).

I agree that trauma is experienced in many ways and that someone can both be a genuine victim and using that victimhood for personal gain. This may be her case exactly.

NinonDeLenclos Tue 17-Oct-17 11:37:55

I've no idea what happened, but your posts indicates a failure to grasp how rape occurs within relationships. Quite often the relationship continues. The fact of it not being mentioned in correspondence doesn't mean anything because if he is denial there's no mileage in her trying to make him understand.

I think the real question is why you're close to someone who has form for lying and manipulation, who you believe could even be capable of such a thing. I would detach from her and move on.

mapie Tue 17-Oct-17 11:48:20

OP may be closely related, not so easy to distance yourself then.

OurMiracle1106 Tue 17-Oct-17 11:48:43

If he was abusing her, quite possibly this would have been sexually as well as emotionally and physically. It’s a very hard topic to discuss and despite being abused horribly by my ex husband I went back time and again because that’s what an abuser does. They make you question your own sanity. Make you believe it was your own fault, make you feel paranoid like it didn’t even happen

notsurewhattodoatall Tue 17-Oct-17 11:56:10

ninon - No, I fully understand that rape occurs in relationships. Absolutely with you 100% on this. The issue is more one of deceit: this person claimed that she'd been raped and that the relationship was totally over and was given a place to stay and financial assistance on the basis of being in desperate need of an escape and suffering the severe psychological consequences of an attack, but continued to see the attacker secretly for some time after that point, meeting clandestinely. I agree with a PP that this could be a part of denial/trauma, and isn't necessarily an indication that it didn't happen. But it is nonetheless not truthful.

notsurewhattodoatall Tue 17-Oct-17 11:56:47

ourmiracle - yes, you are right, the bond of an abuser can last a long time, too.

NinonDeLenclos Tue 17-Oct-17 12:18:38

What you're describing is really not uncommon in women in abusive relationships. Women can be put in hospital from a beating, say they'll leave or have left and continue to see the guy or even go straight back to him. Abusive relationships can be like an addiction.

notsurewhattodoatall Tue 17-Oct-17 12:28:41

Ah, I see what you are saying ninon. And I do agree completely, having seen a couple of friends go through really awful abusive partnerships that they have struggled to leave.

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