Help with response - sexual assault.(10 Posts)
I'm a regular but NC. Please don't put me if you identify me.
A friend posted a worrying message on Facebook today. She was assaulted last night and dealing with how she feels around it. I can't begin to respond clearly. I think it's because I'm so angered by it that emotion gets in my way. I've copied her message. Can someone help?
Still pondering.... four hours in.... Not been to sleep yet....
I had a situation tonight....
I had a choice....
As you know I am no fucking wallflower... why I did very little about the thing that riled me has me..... puzzled? angry?
Dunno... googling for music to numb the inner voice shit for sure....
I was sat drinking in a bar having a blast and I was being pleasant and chatting to new folks.
I got talking to a kinda hells angel Norwegian guy, Eric.... neutral stuff bands, bikes what he did for a job.... small talk.
After 5 minutes, he said he liked me...
I didn't really say anything back. If I am honest, I was thrown by the compliment. Tried to ignore it really.
I just grinned like a bloody idiot and looked away for a bit and then thought... ah surely there's nothing in it..... is there......
He made a pass (maybe?) I said no. Move on.
We ended up talking again later. More neutral stuff... travel, bands, blah.....
Then, straight up, he grabs my wrist really hard, pulls me close and whispers forcefully he wants to "lick my pussy."
To far pal.
He won't let go.
I don't wanna cause a scene.
The primal bit of me wants to punch the fucker in the face or bollocks. I don't really care, just fucking stop.
As he's hiccuping and pissed, I pull my wrist free after 30 seconds struggle and think fuck you sunshine.
If it wasn't a public place, could I have fought him off if he wanted to take it further......?
That worries me.
My mind was full of feeling weak as piss and out of control of the situation. I don't like that feeling.
I said look, I am married and I am not interested. He tells me his is married too and it doesn't matter.
Well that's just great.......
Still not wanting to cause a scene... I just want a few beers and a laugh and presume he will suss he is being a tool and give up.
I turn away.... try to ignore him.... let the dust settle. No biggie. I am never ever dress girlie or try to get guys to hit on me.... so surely he will get the message?
Eric is now feeling miffed. Huffing and puffing. Staring. Drinking quickly.
He tried several attempts to grab my attention verbally, then shoved his hand high up on my middle upper thigh and tried to put is arm round me.... which meant he touched my boobs a lot. Maybe 3 times for a few seconds each time, squishing me. Proper touching - not brushing against me.
Fucking angry now.
I said "Don't Do That!!".
He said sorry - I don't think he meant it for an instant.
He suggests we should go back to his place.
Still sat there like a fucking plum, a bit stunned and putting it down to him being pissed.... me being dim for talking to strangers and trusting people until I have a reason not to, I am rudderless.
Toecracker instantly wades in seeing I am miffed and said leave off my mate pal....
TC wants security to throw the fucker out. for being a bellend.
I do too, if I am honest.
Eric gets lairy, aggressive body language, shoving TC in the back, then backs down. I want to throw a punch again because he is now being a dick to my friend as well as me.
This calm down when security come over m.
The bar staff let him stay.
I turn away and ignore Eric. Fucker.
A couple of minutes later, he reaches round me again and touches my boobs.
Fuck off pal!!!!!! Is what I am saying inside now, which turned into a fucking lame "stop" when vocalised.
Propped up on a bar stool is not the best position from which to attack.... or run away.
Toecracker tells him to wind his neck in again and go home. I am grateful for that as I am flapping like a melt inside and not sure what to do.
Outside, I'm still doing nothing really. Certainly not fighting my corner.....(WHY??!!!!)
Security tell the guy to leave.
Eric says he is gonna wait for TC and "have a real fight in the street."
I do not want that happening.... TC's my friend and he shouldn't get attacked for this....
Eric waited outside for an hour for us to leave according to security.
When we did leave he had gone, (phew) but TC and I are still grizzling.
I still can't work out why I basically did nothing apart from say No and ignore him..... FFS!!
I keep replaying it thinking how could I have avoided the situation....
You could start by encouraging her to report it to the police.
I think I would first tell her I was raging on her behalf that she was assaulted and that it's fucking ridiculous that we have to put up with this shit. I think her reaction is entirely understandable - we always talk about fight or flight but really its fight, flight or freeze. And most people freeze in situations like this. Add in social conditioning about being "nice" and how making a scene is the most awful thing in the world then her response is completely understandable and is certainly how many people have and would respond in the same situation. It's ok that she didn't fight. Considering that men are stronger than women for the most part too not hitting him or riling him too much, particularly when he's shown he doesn't give a shit about her, kept her safe because he likely would have hurt her more had she retaliated.
The anger and the blame is entirely understandable but totally unreasonable. What happened was NOT HER FAULT and she couldn't have been prepared for it. She couldn't have avoided the situation because she was the victim. The only way to avoid things like this is to never go out and that's not an option. He chose to assault her and she couldn't have prevented or avoided it - the fault is entirely on him.
That said I would channel that anger today at the bar because they deserve some of it. They have a duty of care to keep their customers safe and after security were involved when he had assaulted her twice and started on her friend it's totally ridiculous that they let Eric stay. I'd be making a complaint there, and like Her I would encourage a police complaint too.
And I would reiterate that it wasn't her fault and that she kept herself safe, which means that what she did was right even if she's raging about it now.
Absolutely, freeze is an instinct too.
And he was bigger, and stronger, and manifestly ready to use those facts against her, having already trampled every clear boundary she showed him.
This is not her fault: she was crystal clear, he ignored this because he didn't care about her views.
She may like to read "The Gift of Fear"
(Not that it applies here, but I also read (on MN, I think) about "tend and befriend" - the physically weaker acts to almost "look after" the physically stronger when threatened, as self protection - as an addition to fight/flight/freeze(
It really wasn't her fault. She was just unlucky that she came into contact with a predatory, violent man last night. Her social conditioning not to be rude or make a fuss meant that he saw her as someone whose boundaries could easily be trampled over.
Share this link with her (privately).
If the pub was a Weatherspoons or an All Bar One or similar I might consider contacting someone at management level, not local level , but higher up. They might be interested to hear how badly the staff handled this.
I think I would just tell her that I believe her and that I am always there if she wants to talk, take it further, hunt the dude down for sport, whatever.
I'm sorry this happened to your friend. I'm sorry this happens to far too many women, far too often.
YY to encouraging her to tell police and complain to the bar. Snd if the police can arrest him in front of his wife, fine!
Reassure her that she's not a weakling for having frozen and that social conditioning kicks in and is much, much stronger than we give it credit for.
Many thanks to you all for your responses both here and via PM.
You all echoed my thoughts and suggestions. I have ordered a couple of books suggested for her. She is pushing it all down today as 'one of those things'. I know she will be replaying it over and over though despite her bravado.
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