“Maybe your meddling will save lives. Maybe it will prevent him from doing it again.”

These are comments by mike sullivan, Rihannon, and Jo on the post “I Know Who Raped You This Morning“.

Trigger warning for rape.

mike sullivan said:

“Rape is far more widespread than one would think, and that is because it’s swept under the rug and hushed as you say. It demonstrates character to share this and get the word out … especially when it’s personal with your father, But you are right, if the justice system fails the victims we have to take matters into our own hands, vigilante style. Telling those friends could have protected them.”

Rihannon said:

“I think warning other people who know him is the best thing you can do. Think about it: if you knew someone was a thief, you would tell your friends not to let that person handle their wallet or purse, or stay at their house, right? Maybe you are ‘meddling’ in this man’s life, but maybe he forfeited the right to a meddle-free life when he decided to be a rapist.

“Maybe your meddling will save lives. Maybe it will prevent him from doing it again. As a woman, I would want to know if someone I worked with or knew was a rapist, so I could avoid them and keep an eye on them. Thanks for meddling, keep up the good meddling! Thanks for writing this too.”

Jo says:

“I don’t for a second think this is not an essay for a man to write. Of course, men should consider and deliberate. I can’t congratulate you for not being a rapist, but I can for caring about it.

“So much of our rape culture places responsibility on women—how they dress/act, their sexuality, their experience, how they must avoid rape. No one tells boys how not to be rapists. No one says, prevent rape by NOT RAPING PEOPLE. Well … maybe they do more now. And this essay is part of that.

“I’m sorry for your friend’s horrible experience. I’m glad you care.”

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  1. Abusers count on you to shut up when they tell you to… They depend on you to be silent and compliant… They get off on their absolute power over you…

    You are growing up and speaking out about it….the guilt belongs to your abuser, not you….

  2. delia vincene says:

    Even if it might be uncomfortable, if you really worry about this, as you are saying in your text, I would confront the guy and tell him what you know and what you think about him and his behavior. I would tell him upfront that he needs to seek therapy. That you are watching him and that a few other people are as well. No doubt, people can be “good guys” in one way and rapists in another. This is why all of us need to intervene and put a clear limit to this behavior. Since he doesn’t have the guts to admit his deed himself, he most likely thinks there is nothing wrong with his behavior. Therefore, he will probably commit another rape or sexual assault, be it physical or verbal, in the future. Maybe with the next victim being in a social position, where she doesn’t even have the power to press charges. So in my opinion, it is the duty of all of us, to make people like this guy see that he does not “get away with it”, even if the justice systems fails to do “justice.”

  3. ALWAYS meddle when you gut feeling tells you something is not right. Where children are concerned you have a duty of care to meddle. You also have a duty of care to teach your children sexual abuse prevention education (SAPE) . Hopefully they may never need it, but the assertiveness they learnt as a child through SAPE may well assist them as an adult.

  4. I was molested by the boyfriend of a friend’s mother when I was a young teen. I didn’t tell anyone, including my friend or her sisters. I stopped going to their house and soon after, they moved. I always felt responsible for not saying something and that guilt led me to find them a few years later when I was still a teen. I found out that he molested one of the girls. Even then, I wasn’t able to share what had happened to me. I don’t know if he went after her after he messed with me – I’ll never know. It screwed with me for years but I finally had to forgive myself for not being braver and stronger than I was.
    Ending sexual abuse requires that we confront it when it happens, and that we talk about it before it happens so as to empower victims with the understanding and means of communicating their abuse.
    It is an act of bravery that we owe to our fellow human beings.

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