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Help Was I Taken Advantage Of


ZoeHill
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I suffer from crippling depression and was experiencing an extreme depressive episode a couple days ago. My friend who is aware of my situation called me and somehow convinced me to go to a party. In the past I have had issues with drinking as compensation for happiness. At this party I felt terrible I wanted to leave immediately. Instead, I drank heavily. I took shot after shot and hit any pen I could find. Last thing I remember was sitting on a couch next to girl I had somewhat known previously with my leg on top of my guy friend who was sitting below me. I was in a haze, next thing I remember my guy friend was on top of me. He was tipsy and slightly crossed. I blacked out I remember almost nothing until i felt him kissing me and groping my butt and boobs. He pulled my arm and asked to go to a room. I vaguely remember saying no and him continuing to pull me to a room. Later when I was more sober, my friends at the party showed me pictures and videos they had taken of the whole situation. I heard myself sayin "No james I can't I can't" and him repeatedly kissing me while saying, "it turns me on when you say my name." He would also stop for some time when I said I can't and the eventually go back in. Other pictures displayed me with my eyes closed while he was sucking my chest. However in most videos I kissed him back. Is kissing him back consent? I told him I couldn't hook up with him but I kissed him back? Did he have a right to believe it was consensual? Was it consensual? I know that I would have never hooked up with him had I been sober and we didn't have sex. Did he take advantage of me?

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Yes he took advantage of you. You should have called the cops. What kind of friends do you have who would take photos and videos of you in such a situation? You were violated and I suspect everyone who participated in this fiasco is somehow liable. You need to sort yourrself out with therapy and swear off drinking.

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Hi ZoeHill,

 

Im so sorry this happened to you.

 

This is absolutely sexual assault, and your 'friends' who filmed the incident are possibly accessories to that sexual assault. You verbally stated that you did not consent. Further, you were incapable of consenting while unconscious. In a court of law, it may be established that your participation was consent to the specific act of kissing, but you clearly withdrew consent to further sexual contact. You should report this to the police, and when you do tell them there is video and photo evidence on these friends photos so they can obtain warrants to seize them.

 

Please also seek counselling as soon as possible. You can ask for this from the police or advocacy groups in your area. Be strong, you can to call out this BS behaviour. You didnt deserve this, you didnt encourage this, and you are not to blame. You may even save other girls from these a-holes.

 

Good luck,

T

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That is horrible. None of these people are your friends. Unbelievable. You should contact the police. You were assaulted.

 

You should not have been drinking, and also to such an extreme.

 

Are you on meds for your depression?

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I am also going to be the voice of reason here, okay, Zoe? I don't mean any harm but I will tell you that to call the police now is going to be quite late, you should have done it the very next day.

 

Also, the fact that you got yourself so inebriated that you lost control is going to go against you. If it ever went to court, it could be argued that James had mixed signals from you as you said no, but kept kissing him, etc.

 

We, as women need to take part responsibility when situations like this occur. It's a very dangerous situation to put yourself in when you get drunk to this point of vulnerability.

Does that mean he assaulted you?

 

The lines are again very blurred, how drunk was he? Did he know what he was doing? Did he misunderstand?

 

I would side with you and say that you have terrible friends and that this guy did take advantage but you've got to understand as well that the courts won't see it quite so clearly nor will most people will all factors involved.

 

Please, please don't get drunk to this point...any ladies out there. Please...don't do it. We then become easy targets for predators.

 

I hope you can get help with this though in terms of seeking counselling as it can be difficult to cope with.

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I would like to know why these "friends" didn't intervene when you were clearly saying no and too inebriated to consent. I would get footage of the incident in the event that you decide to pursue legal action.

 

I'm a little confused after reading this a second time: did you sleep with him? If not, I would cut these people out of your life and move forward.

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Yes your friends took advantage by videotaping you without consent in compromising sexual situation. Unfortunately your "friends" sound like voyeuristic morons making amateur porn at your expense.

 

Go to a doctor for an exam if you feel things aren't right. Only a physician can do an appropriate history and exam and get law enforcement involved, if necessary. Perhaps the police can help you and stop your so-called friends from posting their amateur porn all over the internet.

 

Stop making excuses for heavy drinking and get help for that..

my friends at the party showed me pictures and videos they had taken of the whole situation.
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Hey Sherry, and everyone,

 

I am not sure what jurisdiction you are living in Zoe, so I don't know the applicable law, plus I can't give you legal advice. However, the police in your area can.

 

In a more general sense, I did want to address these two statements, more from a general point of view (and not in anyway to attack you Sherry, because I do take your point)...

 

Also, the fact that you got yourself so inebriated that you lost control is going to go against you. If it ever went to court, it could be argued that James had mixed signals from you as you said no, but kept kissing him, etc.

 

The express withdrawal of consent vitiates implied consent (participation).

 

The inability to consent or withdraw consent (i.e. lack of conciousness) vitiates implied or express consent.

 

These are general accepted principles in most legal jurisdictions, and, more importantly, should be principles we embrace socially and demand men and women follow. If someone says no, thats it. If someone is asleep, passed out, or unconcious, thats it.

 

The lines are again very blurred, how drunk was he? Did he know what he was doing? Did he misunderstand?

 

Intoxication of the accused is not a defence against non consent.

 

The relevant Canadian Law, for example:

 

273.2 It is not a defence ... that the accused believed that the complainant consented to the activity ..., where

 

(a) the accused’s belief arose from the accused’s

(i) self-induced intoxication, or

(ii) recklessness or wilful blindness; or

 

(b) the accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain that the complainant was consenting.

 

 

As I said, I agree that there is a general lesson here in the unfortunate reality that women need to be aware of high-risk situations and plan accordingly, as well as a personal lesson around substance use/abuse, but I want to reiterate:

 

it is extremely important that women report assaults irregardless of the time-lapsed, or the likelihood of conviction. Complaints are still registered, and this goes toward funding for resources across the board; from more prosecutorial resources, to victim support and counselling, to education.

 

So, for my part, as someone who has worked in criminal justice (on all sides), please, report this.

 

T

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Hey Sherry, and everyone,

 

I am not sure what jurisdiction you are living in Zoe, so I don't know the applicable law, plus I can't give you legal advice. However, the police in your area can.

 

In a more general sense, I did want to address these two statements, more from a general point of view (and not in anyway to attack you Sherry, because I do take your point)...

 

 

 

The express withdrawal of consent vitiates implied consent (participation).

 

The inability to consent or withdraw consent (i.e. lack of conciousness) vitiates implied or express consent.

 

These are general accepted principles in most legal jurisdictions, and, more importantly, should be principles we embrace socially and demand men and women follow. If someone says no, thats it. If someone is asleep, passed out, or unconcious, thats it.

 

 

 

Intoxication of the accused is not a defence against non consent.

 

The relevant Canadian Law, for example:

 

273.2 It is not a defence ... that the accused believed that the complainant consented to the activity ..., where

 

(a) the accused’s belief arose from the accused’s

(i) self-induced intoxication, or

(ii) recklessness or wilful blindness; or

 

(b) the accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain that the complainant was consenting.

 

 

As I said, I agree that there is a general lesson here in the unfortunate reality that women need to be aware of high-risk situations and plan accordingly, as well as a personal lesson around substance use/abuse, but I want to reiterate:

 

it is extremely important that women report assaults irregardless of the time-lapsed, or the likelihood of conviction. Complaints are still registered, and this goes toward funding for resources across the board; from more prosecutorial resources, to victim support and counselling, to education.

 

So, for my part, as someone who has worked in criminal justice (on all sides), please, report this.

 

T

Thank you! Also being drunk doesn’t mean you need to be sexually assaulted. BOTH men AND women need to understand being drunk doesn’t make women OR men liable for their own assault. The CRIMINAL is.

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Points taken, WaywardKiwi, but as much as we'd like to argue over this, things don't go this way in court, I'm sorry but they don't.

 

He would have a defense lawyer and they would be tearing her story to shreds so as to try to keep their client out of jail or from being charged.

 

I am not saying she wasn't taken advantage of here, let me make that very clear.

 

I am only saying to try and prove that now to others, especially in court, is going to be quite difficult especially if this guy and the friends said she was going along with it and liked it.

 

I also want all women out there to stop getting so intoxicated that they make themselves vulnerable to attacks like this.

 

We all have to be much much more careful.

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This is not about intoxication. This is about people committing criminal acts and society both men and women blaming victims for being intoxicated. Sexual assault happens without intoxication as well. Do we never leave our homes? We get raped by family members and relationships too. Should we not have those ?

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Hey Sherry,

 

I absolutely agree that there are systemic problems relating to the prosecution of sexual assaults in common law jurisdictions. If this is indeed a "he said, she said" situation, there is a high chance (statistically) that this matter would not even lead to an arrest, let alone a conviction. However, (imo) silence and non-reporting is not the solution.

 

Plus, regardless of the likelihood of prosecution, there are many other benefits of reporting, such as access to victim support and counselling (as well as the potential social gains mentioned in my other post). I'll leave it there, because I really think we are actually on the same side here. I just want to really drive home the importance of reporting.

 

One more thing, I want there to be more people at the party, men or women, who will take the camera from the friend, pull the potential rapist off the intoxicated girl, and say "what is wrong with you people" in attacks like this...

 

T

 

Edit: my hypothetical person used somewhat stronger language originally, but enotalone didn't like it...

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The law is so so so far behind and still blames victims as well. My rape in 1980 was reported and I went to court. My own uncle who was an adult and I was a child and he got to walk away. And he went onto rape more kids and is still at it almost 40 years later.

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Thank you for understanding, Wayward. I am not intending to start an argument whatsoever on what is right or who is right, I am only being realistic on the whole situation at hand.

 

I agree with your points. As for the people at the party, absolutely!!! I cannot fathom what was wrong with these "friends". It made me sick to my stomach.

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I don't think Sherry or anyone is "blaming" the victim (I prefer survivor) for being intoxicated, not at all.

 

The message to women is control your drinking, not get so drunk that you're blacked out, so that if/when something like this happens, you're aware enough to remove yourself from the situation before a sexual assault (or worse) occurs.

 

I don't see how anyone could argue with that.

 

Same for allowing a man you hardly know into your apt, which was not the case here, but was a mistake I made and was sexually assaulted.

 

Be self-protective, be aware, be smart.

 

I work in law too, in CA, and here it's next to impossible to prove in a court of law a sexual assault or rape in a case like this.

 

It's essentially a "he said, she said" and in many cases the assault victim ends up feeling more victimized and traumatized by the court system, than from the actual assault.

 

I've seen it happen. It's very very wrong but it is what it is.

 

I do agree she should report it though. To a female officer. The police will have it on record, and if the guy does this again, your report might prove valuable.

 

Plus it will make you (OP) feel better, less victimized, and help the healing process.

 

Seek therapy as well.

 

I'm sorry this happened, it happened to me too many years ago, I understand how you feel.

 

((Hugs))

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The thing is all the extraneous conversation takes away from the real issue which is a crime was committed, period.

 

I agree with you there S.

 

Sadly, our justice system (in the US) is very very flawed in many ways.

 

I've seen that play out more times than I can count.

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I don't think it's blaming the victim to both acknowledge that it was an assault and acknowledge that we have to protect ourselves. Like not letting your shoulder bag/purse hang on the side of a chair while you type away on your laptop at a coffee shop with head phones in, for example.

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The thing is all the extraneous conversation takes away from the real issue which is a crime was committed, period.

 

FALSE.

 

It’s your opinion not fact.

 

I don’t know what law kiwi is referencing but, I’d be willing to bet an entire years paycheck she’s going to have a hard time prosecuting someone who kissed her and fondled her while they were both drunk, The fact remains - they didn’t have sex...That’s what at times can be a bit harmful to posters so many are so gungho about telling someone to go to the police do this so that you’re a victim when many times situations simply do not rise to the occasion.

 

Is the guy a piece of sh*t? Big time, are her friends pieces of crap? Yes! Does she have a case that will hold up on court? Maybe.

 

That’s the cold hard truth.... they were both drunk and she said one thing and did another, anyone one with even a general idea of how courts and rape accusals work would know this would be an uphill battle. People who actually went all the way through and were assaulted through sex have a hard time, I’ve worked with rape victims, I’ve watched women who had cases where they were completely sober, said no, and were assaulted still had an uphill battle, still, remember that whole thing with the surpreme court confirmation? Even with video evidence the OPer states she also saw she kissed him back, lawyers would have a field day with that...the system isn’t like the movies unfortunately, that’s the ‘period’, those are facts. Opinions aside cause those are what are irrelvent. And no it’s not wrong to tell a girl she needs to stop putting herself in situations where not even her friends look out for her... I’m not saying a woman shouldn’t report an assault, I’m not even saying she shouldn’t if she feels she wants to but tell her the reality, this is far from a slam dunk...

 

Posters shouldn’t even be asking advise about things of this nature to a bunch of strangers in my opinion.

 

OPerlook up victims assistance in your state. You can speak with a counselor, free of charge, they can help you process what happened and help you with any legal help you may need again free of charge. I hope you consider doing this and I hope you can speak with someone about your drinking and current mental health status. I wish you luck, I truly do, I’m sure this cannot be hard, I’ve been that super young girl getting way too drunk at parties and doing things I wouldn’t have done when sober, I personally made the choice to be my own advocate, as I got older I realized just how dangerous the world could be, and how aware we must be of our surroundings, not blaming you for any of this, but I do think situations like this can be easily avoided.

Edited by figureitout23
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No one said it was a slam dunk. But pissing and moaning about what a person drinks takes the moral obligation off the criminal and places it on a victim. And I won’t ever shut up about that ,ever . Period.

 

I actually agree with you.

 

But that’s much different than the statement that I responded to which was ‘a crime was committed period’. That’s for the courts to decide...

 

Please see my edited response, I gave the OPer a resource that will walk her through all this and assist her with legal help if needed free of charge, as far as I know most states provide this service. I believe dialing 411 in your state will get you connected to that info OPer.

 

I am also big on advocating for victims, but I’m also big on self reflection. There’s a lot of grey in this. As others stated she can be helped and. Comforted about what she went through while also being told she needs to make some changes. If I was her mother, I would be begging her to get away from those friends, tell her she needed to seek help for her substance abuse while also comforting her for what she went through, none of that is mutually exclusive.

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