Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Is Sexual Harassment Different for Men? (Part 4 of 9)

One of the charges leveled against the women who claimed to be groped or raped is that they stayed friendly with their abuser. Their critics can’t seem to realize that those victims were afraid of losing their jobs or not being believed. They wanted to put the trauma behind them, so they played the role of being friendly.

And they silently suffered.

Many of us know that feeling well, but our reasons for silence may be different. Although I knew it was wrong when an older man groomed me and assaulted me, I felt a deep love for him. As strange as that may seem to my adult self, I truly thought he loved me. No one else listened to me or seemed to care about my feelings. Even though it was deception on his part, it was real to me.

Recently, I spoke with a man in his sixties who was assaulted in his early teens and stayed in a relationship with an older man until he was 20 years old. “I thought he loved me,” the survivor said, “until he said I was too old for him.”

Did any of you stay friendly or loving toward your perpetrator?


Roger Mann said...

I had a couple of fist fulls of abusers, assaults, molestations, whatever. For most, I was friendly except the violent ones. My dad of course but even after I was out on my own and a grown man, when I came for visits and spent the night, sometimes he would come in again even and to my shame I still allowed him to touch me. We only spoke about it once. Once sentence from him of regret, two from me trying to ease his sadness. I still don't know why I did that.

If the term close could ever be applied to me and dad, that moment was probably it. There was a guy in high school that groomed me and we stayed friends for a long time. Enough to make my mom suspicious. At the time he was my only friend. We moved around a lot. I took up with anyone in a new place that would have me.

I suspect a child will gain attention and affection from whomever if he's lonely enough.

Anonymous said...

1st and longest abuser was the step-dad. I wanted his love and approval and acceptance when he married mom but that was impossible. when the abuse started, I tried to lay low and avoid him as much as possible at home. in public, I had to put on a false appearance of a normal, happy family. as soon as I turned 18, I left home and only returned for a few visits until he died - and only for my mom's sake.

the bully/abusers in school and scouts were never friends per se - only acquaintances. but I wanted them to be friends. there was no way I could avoid them because we were forced together by circumstances but i'd have done anything to have been accepted and liked by them. I couldn't get away from them until my family moved out of town.

though I feared them all, I never really hated any of them and probably would have put up with the abusive actions if they had treated me with kindness and approval.