Tag: Sexual Assualt

Sex Education

The scene below is from the Netflix show, “Sex Education”. The show features Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn and X-Files’ Gillian Anderson as his mother, Dr. Jean F. Milburn who is a sex therapist. So you can imagine how awkward it must be to have mom who is a sex therapist tell their teenager about all the changes that will happen to them before and after puberty.

So anyway, Otis uses his mom’s knowledge about sex to his high school peers. Though while he does explains sex to them, he (as well as the school staff) talk about consent and boundaries.

Otis (right) explains consent to his client.

While it’s a comical and heartwarming show, I wouldn’t recommend this to high school students. Well…at least if they have some sort of mentor, guardian, or parent that explain things to them in a mature way. The story may take place in high school it’s still rated “MA” for mature as it has nudity, strong language, and sexual references.

Sex Education

Supernatural: Gods and Monsters (Part 2)

Resuming from my part 1 post, “Supernatural: Gods and Monsters“, Nick is still catching up with everything since his unexpected release from Lucifer. First, grappling with the fact Lucifer used his body and caused immense damage in it. Then finding out that his wife and newborn are dead and for some reason there is not a word about their death on the newspaper or how they died or who killed them.

Although Nick has returned to being Nick, everyone (Sam, Dean, Castiel, Jack, Sam, Bobby, Rowena) still see Nick as Lucifer. But to be honest…I don’t think Nick sees himself as himself anymore either. Remember Nick in a sense was Lucifer for a long time….since like season 1 or 2. Lucifer was power. He could instill fear into the hearts of me , demons, and angels…gods as well. As Lucifer or as Nick, he was able to influence anyone or anything to do his bidding…decimate anyone with the *snap* of his finger. Nick couldn’t influence anyone to answer to what happened to his family.

As being someone who was sexual assaulted, there’s nothing worse than when you feel powerless to do anything about a situation. Even though Nick wasn’t sexually assaulted, something more powerful than him took over his body. That’s how I kind of felt dealing with my situation and I’m upset wishing how come I wasn’t smart enough to see what happened? How did I let someone play me and use my body like that? He must have known that the only I knew about sex was vaginal sex and then tried to get me to the those other acts of sex. Hell…I didn’t know anal sex was a thing, because well…why would anyone want to have sex in the same hole you poop from? I mean what if you get E coli or other disease from that person? So here I was months after the event researching sexual assault, understanding what sex is…. You might say “How do you not know what sex is?” Well to be honest, I didn’t. I didn’t because I was never engaged in it until that point and to be honest, I don’t even think a lot of people know what sex is even though people “say” they do. We know a lot about the far negatives and far exuberant yesssses! (no puns intended) about sex, but a part from those two extreme views  about sex, nothing much. Because if people did, then people would able to know what sexual assault is (especially to say consent is at 16 or 17 years of age. That’s gross. I think it’s to protect the pervy men who are on top out of trouble), but then again most people don’t understand what harassment is in general either.

There is nothing worse than feeling you have to find yourself all over again after you have been assaulted. Think about it… You’ve spend your whole life trying to find yourself…and then some jackass ruins it, so now you gotta find what feels like bits and pieces of you  in the wind. Whether  the abuse lasted for a minute or for years, abuse is abuse. I mean your struggling to know who you are…again. Didn’t we struggle already to find who we were during puberty already? I mean Nick forget who he was. While Castiel knows Nick isn’t Lucifer (while knowing Lucifer’s true form as well)  how hard is for him? Yeesh…I remember when about two season ago Castiel was tricked by Lucifer (using Nick’s body) to possess him.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), sexual assault can affect a person physically, psychologically, socially and can engage that person to take part in risky health behavior. I’ll stick to the the two we can kind of identify in Nick.

Psychological:

  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Fear
  • Confusion
  •  Anxiety
  • Withdrawal
  • Shame or guilt
  • Nervousness or Distrust
  • Symptoms of PTSD

-Emotional Detachment

-Sleep Disturbances

-Flashbacks

-Mental Replay of Assault

Chronic psychological consequences include:

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Attempted or Completed Suicide
  • PTSD
  • Diminished Interest/Avoidance of Sex
  • Low Self-Esteem/Self-Blame

Social 

  • Strained Relationships with family, friends, and intimate partners
  • Less emotional support from friends and family
  • Less frequent contact with friends and relatives
  • Lower likelihood of marriage
  • Isolation or ostracism from family or community

Health Risk Behaviors

  • Engaging in high-risk sexual behavior
  • Using harmful substances
  • Unhealthy Diet-Related Behaviors
  • Delinquency and Criminal Behavior
  • Failure to Engage in Healthy Behaviors

Cas finds out that Nick has been affected by Lucifer than expected

My sexual assault affected me I know socially and psychologically. As for Nick assault by Lucifer, it has affected him (according to just those three bullet points I named) socially, psychologically, and eventually into him engaging into committing risky behaviors. Although, if you watch in the next one or two episodes of this season, the term “risky behaviors” is an understatement. Regardless, you understand how his possession by Lucifer affected him and lost his sense of self.

References

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/consequences.html

 

Further Readings

Rape’s Long Shadow: Dealing With The Personal Costs of Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault and Mental Health

94 per cent of Native American women say they have been raped or coerced into sex | The Independent

A report found 94 per cent of Native American women living in Seattle say they have been raped or coerced into sex at least once in their lifetime. The damning new report – from the Urban Indian Health Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – is believed to be one of the first to examine the experience of native women living in an urban environment instead of on reservations.
— Read on www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/native-american-women-seattle-raped-coerced-sex-a8511646.html

Supernatural: Beat The Devil…Beat Your Demons

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Introduction

It’s been a LONG while since this episode aired, but after watching this past Thursday’s episode, had just HAD to get back into writing it again! Due to sooo much happening this past year, I almost forgot about this post.

Season 13 was filled with a lot of surprises and familiar faces. Relationships and hookups we didn’t see coming as shown below…

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Gabriel (Richard Speight, Jr) and Rowena (Ruth Connell) look like they’re having some sort of hanky panky.
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Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padelecki) are looking confused, yet looking reluctant to NOT figure out what’s happening between the archangel and the witch.

And yet the few earlier scenes, have made a lot of sex joke references. But for me what was funny was how the episode was mentioning the jokes without really trying to mention it.

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Referring to Gabriel’s grace to a man with erectile dysfunction disorder. So horrible!

Now To The Real Issue…

All jokes aside, for me, the episode was a tough episode. The thing was both Rowena and Gabriel have been hurt by Lucifer, however in order to help save and bring back Jack and Sam and Dean’s mom from Apocalypse World, they had to face their demon. Like, literally and figuratively had to face them, which was well the Devil himself. They had no choice. I mean well, Gabriel wasn’t able to produce any more grace (see my previous posts: Supernatural: Coming Back From The Darkness Within and Supernatural: Unfinished Business: Gabriel Strikes Back), so Team Freewill had to go to the next best source: Lucifer.

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Rowena and Gabriel trapping Lucifer

Speak of The Devil…

I couldn’t imagine trying to trap my assaulter. I mean…just thinking about filing a police report against him scares me. It’s not so much of the process that scares me, but having to see his face again. Having to see my innocence and vulnerability taken away…again. Now some of you may be thinking, it’s selfish of me not to report him, forget about the other women who may be hurt by him or why now and not three years ago? When you’re sexually assaulted, your assaulter doesn’t just take advantage of your body, but your mind too. Your self esteem is shot. You have to grapple with the thought about how could you have not seen this coming and/or what did you do or say or wear, that made them think it was okay to hurt you??? I mean speaking for myself, because until the time I was 28, I thought sex could have only been done vaginally. I never thought there were other ways and byways sex could have been done. I wasn’t sexually active and so interested about as most people were growing up.

Sam, Castiel, Rowena, and Gabriel have been violated by Lucifer…. Sam (who was originally supposed to be his vessel) was tortured by Lucifer, when he was stuck with him in “Lucifer’s Cage”. Next was Gabriel who we thought was killed by Lucifer (he later went into hiding in Monte Carlo). Then we have Castiel who was tricked by Lucifer, so he could have access to his body. And lastly, we have Rowena who was tragically killed by Lucifer. He has physically and mentally abused them, but fortunately the four of them have gained back some resilience.

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With a few ingredients and Pint (or pints?) of Lucifer’s grace, it powers the portal to take the boys to Apocalypse world)

So anyway, without Lucifer knowing Sam, Dean, Cas, and Gabriel were going to an alternate universe to save Jack (Lucifer wants his son back), the boys went on while  leaving Rowena alone with him. For a sec, I was kinda worried about that, because she’s in the room with the same guy who abused—no, killed her the first time. I can’t imagine how much strength she must have had (even with her full power restored. See post: Supernatural: Life After Assault)

Fight-Flight-Freeze

Lucifer: I’m just trying to have a good time with you like last time. Remember that? When I surprised you at your hotel room? Oh. I mean, I even wanted you to put up a fight. I wanted a little bit of a tussle, but [sighs] you froze. You choked. So I choked ya. What was that like, burning to death? You know, I can’t get that smell out of my nose, that…ashy reek of burnt up ginger! [Laughs]

We’ve all heard at some point this question, “Why don’t victims leave their abusers when they are being physically or sexually abused?” Apart from my own personal experience, it’s biology or called “fight-flight-freeze mechanism”. We’ve all heard about “fight or flight”, but when this situation occurs it’s not that simple. According the Psychology Today article, “Why Women Freeze During Sexual Assault” by Dr. Devon MacDermott, your body…your brain…is just focused on surviving the threat. The parts of the brain that responsible for example, reason and abstract thought, sensing your own body and mind, planning, and speech production is temporarily shut down. Using a less threatening example, recall a time you are giving a speech to large group of people. You may feel upset, unable to speak, or unable to speak articulately (MacDermott, 2018). That is a “fight-flight-freeze mechanism.”

On a biological level, your brain is trying to keep you alive, by redirecting energy into different parts of your body and brain (MacDermott, 2018). For example, the brain may be the blood flow and nutrients to the “safety parts” of your body or brain, instead of the “thinking parts”. Your input of from your five senses and your emotions and the output to your body get more attention than your abstract thought and problem solving (MacDermott, 2018).

According to the article, the most common mental symptoms of freeze are:

  • Your thoughts get cloudy or your mind goes blank
  • You feel panicky but without a sense of direction
  • You feel hopeless or trapped
  • You have a strong desire to get out of the situation or make something stop but you don’t know how
  • You feel that any action you take might make the situation worse and it seems better to do nothing

I’ve felt bullet points 2-5.

While  in terms surviving the wild, this mechanism of “fight or flight”  has been useful in avoiding attacks, unfortunately in terms of physical or sexual assault, it’s not. Also other forms of trauma are most like to build the “fight-flight-freeze” mechanism into your body like, body shaming, manipulation, frequent invalidation, or had repeated feelings of powerlessness over your body’s safety, sexual consent, or boundary violations (MacDermott, 2018).

Devil’s Advocate

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Rowena: You want to get inside my heat, twist the knife? Two can play that game.  Do you know what your grace is making possible right now? The heartfelt family reunion of Sam, Dean, Cass, Mary, and your very own son Jack. That’s right. Your wee boy’s over there, and he’ll be so glad to see his three fathers. Of course, as far as he’s concerned, they are his father. And you? You’re nothing to him. Or me. Or anyone now. Nothing.

I know sometimes if feels it’s best to taunt your assaulter or stand up to them, but you know what I’ve learned? Don’t. Just don’t. Speaking for myself, it’s not because I feel weak, it’s just I’m trying to protect myself from being taking advantaged of again.  I feel he’s already penetrated my mind, so he knows how to lure me back into his life by either giving or saying something I like or by trying to have me respond to something I clearly don’t like. I’m all for defending my honor and all, but defending my honor is also by leaving my ego where he is and walking or possibly running as far as I can from him. I can always regrow my ego, but entertaining him….hell no.

I use to have him as my instagram buddy (again at the time I had him as an IG buddy, I had no idea this whole time he was assaulting me). He sent me a direct message asking me how I was doing. As much as I wanted to respond to that, because I do to people I’m familiar with, I just felt I’d be stepping into a rabbit hole I just got myself out of. Innocent question, not-so-innocent guy. A couple minutes later, he wrote, “So I guess that’s a no.” And you know what? That’s fine. He answered his own question, but regardless, I wasn’t going to entertain him anymore. I already entertained him with my naivety about sex, I’m not giving him any more of me. F*ck that.

So if you want to face your assaulter, make sure you take your crew with you, because if not, they might screw with your head again. Never be alone whether in person or via social media. And you always…let me repeat…always remember you have a right not to talk or even be around your assaulter. Period. Protecting your physical, emotional, and/or mental well-being, should always come first.

Crocodile Tears

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Lucifer: Aw, Red, you shouldn’t have made me mad. Step into my office. You know…you and Gabe, kicked me when I was down. I didn’t have any fight. I didn’t have anything to live for. But you, you, you gave me something to fight for again. My boy. So for that, that I’m gonna be quick.

I can’t believe how Red—I mean Rowena, must have felt in those first few seconds that she was in Lucifer’s clutches. I mean, first of all he was back in his clutches again and two I’m sure those seconds felt like minutes.

Lucifer tried to make Rowena (and Gabe) look like THEY were the bad guys. Making them feel as if he was the one being kicked around (although he’s stronger than the both of them; Gabe is out of grace). He ignored the fact that he had hurt SO many people in his wake, that one person does him wrong or one thing goes wrong, he feels victimized.

Whether the assaulter is male or female this is one tactic these use: emotional abuse. So what is emotional abuse? Well emotional abuse is:

“any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.”

(Tracy, 2016)

But remember…the whole point of emotional abuse is to discredit, isolate, and silence the victim (Gordon, 2018). They achieve this by:

  • Displaying unrealistic expectations
  • Invalidate you
  • Creating chaos
  • Using emotional blackmail
  • Acting superior and entitled
  • Isolating and controlling you
  • This form of abuse is by far the hardest one to identify. My guess is because when it comes some you know and/or love or from a respected person, THESE relationships makes it hardest to identify. For Rowena, at one point she respected Lucifer BECAUSE he was powerful…and she didn’t want killed by him. Now, because she respects him (in a way) because she knows he’s powerful enough to be killed by him again. Usually the last reason is why assault victims are more likely to feel hopeless or helpless by their assaulter because they don’t want to be put through the pain again. You’ll do ANYTHING to not be put through that pain again or to experience more pain.
  • Beat The Devil

  • After realizing what she had done

    Rowena: [Grunts] Defendatur!

    Rowena’s spell propells Lucifer into the portal

    Rowena: Bullocks

    Now unintentionally by Rowena (although perhaps antagonized by Lucifer) she used a spell that blasted them him into the portal where the boys were. Oopsies.

    But can I point out something here…I loved the same of Rowena’s spell, “Defendatur”. While it’s quite an obvious name to give a defensive spell, I wish I had a spell like that could work in the real life. While we don’t have spells to cast off villainous folk, there are ways we can defend ourselves from would be assaulter. Here are some of my suggestions:

    • Kick ’em where it hurts. Sounds violent, but whether your assaulter is a male or female or even a family member, fight. You deserve the right to protect and fight for yourself. When I was Ubering, I carried my pepper spray, but sadly I didn’t use it. Why? I was afraid of hurting the passenger. While I never though a man would dare put his hand on my thigh. I NEVER thought I’d have see someone be in pain. And I get it…it’s in my nature to be nurturing and caring, but there are times I have to be willing to fight and protect myself. Besides there’s a law that protects people for defending themselves right?
    • Take martial arts classes. There are all types: Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, Muai Tai, as well as just basic self defense practices. Take em’. It’s fun! Myself I’ve done Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do.
    • Weapons. Carry a stun gun or pepper spray or gel.
  • Conclusion

  • Listen… whether you are a man or woman who has been abused, you deserve a right to be okay. You deserve a right to be safe. You deserve a right to fight and protect yourself. You deserve a right to be happy and be in a safe environment. I don’t care how long ago the abuse happened, whether you remembered or not, whether you were naive or not or a child or not, you deserve all those things I mentioned okay? Live your life and be happy.
  • References

  • Gordon, S. (2018). How To Identify and Cope With Emotional Abuse. Retrieved from, https://www.verywellmind.com/identify-and-cope-with-emotional-abuse-4156673
  • MacDermott, D. (2018). Why Woman Freeze During Sexual Assault. Retrieved from, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/modern-trauma/201805/why-women-freeze-during-sexual-assault

  • Tracy, N. (2018). Emotional Abuse: Definitions, Signs, Symptoms, Examples. Retrieved from, https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse/emotional-abuse-definitions-signs-symptoms-examples
  • GLOW (Part 1 of 3)

    ****Warning Discloser: Spoilers and sexual assault references***

    The Cast of GLOW

    I love “Glow”! Not just because it’s a nod to the times, but because of the cast and it’s great storytelling. Set in the mid 80s, Ruth Wilder, played by Allison Brie, is an up and coming actress trying her hardest to score her first big gig. Well…one thing led to another and she became a female wrestler.

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    Ruth

     

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    Zoya the Destroya

    Believe it or not wrestling was a big deal back then. Even though  wrestling was fake, they drew big crowds on and off the small screen. Heck, GLOW is based off the actual GLOW TV Show which aired those days. And even when I watched the show  (you can  watch the documentary off the show on Netflix, it’s great), these women were amazing and crazy! There was NOTHING like that those days where women wrestled. So the show was very groundbreaking.

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    Source: Inverse

    If you grew up in the 80s or watched 80s films, women weren’t given a lot of roles as they are now. They didn’t have a lot lead roles, they seemed to play only as secretaries or mothers, they needed to be “pretty” and of course…they needed to have a man and be a damsel in distress. Women weren’t given a lot of personality…but GLOW gave the women to be more on television. They could engage in wresting for crying out loud! Yeah, some of those of course led to major injury, but these women were no longer restricted by gender norms.

    Being that we’re now in the ME TOO era, this film really served as a reminder of what women went through to become famous. Unfortunately, it wasn’t due just hard work alone, but due to sleezy men who wanted to take advantage of women who wanted be actors.

    If you look at the picture above, you can tell that Ruth was a rather dreamy and naive actress.  For starters, she wasn’t from California (I believe she’s originally from the mid west) and two, she has just such a big passion for acting. So big in fact, the director of GLOW (and soon to be love interest), Sam Sylvia, played by Marc Maron, didn’t take her seriously at first when he was putting together the cast. But thank goodness, to her passion, Sam kept her and she did very well portraying her Russian alter-ego, Zoya the Destroya.

    The show, especially her character was so well liked by Tom Grant (Paul Fitzgerald), the President of K-DTV of North Hollywood, that he asked Glen Klitnick (Andrew Friedman), he could invite her to his pad. Unknowingly to Ruth, she was nothing more as some sort of “gift” to Tom Grant, once Glen left the room.

    Even though Tom asked Ruth how to wrestle, it was really just an excuse to fondle her breast for example. Looking at her face, she was extremely uncomfortable, while looking at his face he was enjoying himself. Just seeing how he grabbing her and trying to put his face between her breast. Reminded me of what happened with me.

    Although I told him I just wanted to make out, he thought it okay to pull down my shirt and fondle my breasts while at. I had never really known what making out at the time, only that I thought it should involved was kissing. But I didn’t even know I could decide what constituted as making out and assumed everyone knew it involved kissing.

    I felt for Ruth when she escaped Glen’s house and how humiliated and confused she must have felt. Like a “why me”??? or a “I should have known better”? Unfortunately, the following day she kind of regretted running away, when it was found that  “Glow” was scheduled to be air 2 AM in the morning.

    Damn…

    While some how Ruth’s character annoyed me, because she was naive, but I guess she annoyed me because she reminded me of myself. I felt like Ruth, I put myself in that situation and I get upset everyday, that why did I not see that coming. Sometimes I forget the world does not have the same heart I do and will try to hide its true face. However neither me and Ruth didn’t deserve to be treated the way we did. But as you can imagine for Ruth, her dreams were reliant on someone who had the power to embolden her career, but instead it was to embolden their own ego. Then because Tom Grant didn’t get what he wanted, he punished her, which  in turn punished her fellow actresses. So not ONLY does Ruth have to deal with assault, but have to take the blame for the cancellation of her show.

    Unfortunately this is what happens to assault victims…their assaulter with use some sort of means of abuse . There are many forms of abuse…according to the “Physical Violence Sexual” wheel by The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

     

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    I feel that Tom Grant in the episode, used economic abuse, his male privilege, and emotional abuse to take control and get back at Ruth. This may be a fictional show, but the abuse that women underwent especially during those times in Hollywood IS real.