Matthew John Hager is a Rapist

Rapist Matt Hager

On the night before Christmas Eve, I went to visit someone I had thought was a friend from my youth. We attended kindergarten together. We went to the same elementary school. His mom Pat Hager was my Sunday School teacher one year at St. John’s Catholic Church in Wyndmere. I may have gone to his home with friendly intentions, but his own intentions were anything but friendly.

This revelation is still very raw. I just made the police report today and was unable to complete my statement to the officer because when it came to talking about the attack itself – I would freeze up.

Freezing is the MOST common response to sexual assault. Whether a gun is held to a victim’s head (Cole Mooridian), whether his hands are around your neck (Joel Blaha & Richard Kodadek), or whether it’s just a regular rape with a penis penetrating a vagina without consent – most victims freeze up in the moment and do not fight back because we want to get out alive.

I will post a video below regarding the Freeze Response. My hope is this information shared by a trained and licensed therapist will help other victims and our allies understand why we did not fight harder. We froze so that we would not be murdered – and if the victim is still alive, that strategy clearly works!

Never let anyone (including yourself) shame you for what you may have done or not done in order to survive to see another day.

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11 Comments

  1. Hm. This happens to you too much. You need to be a better judge of character or something. Or you are getting into situations that are dangerous. Find more careful ways to vet these people. Maybe enlist someone you trust to assess these people.

    Reply
    • You might have a good point if sexual predators were not so adept at concealing their true intentions from the general public. I spoke with some family members about Matt before going to visit him and nobody said anything to make me think he is a rapist.

      You are right about one thing – sexual assault happens far too often to all kinds of women, children, and even some men.

      Reply
    • Another factor at play is that of “revictimization.” I suggest you do a little searching on the subject. There are many great resources available online. Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
    • To address your concern for my safety, I do practice martial arts as I am able. Being physically disabled creates some limitations in training. However, that did not stop me from throwing a punch at a would-be rapist this past summer. My punch was strong enough to startle him and allow me time to escape.

      Reply
  2. Well, that’s likely true, but this happens too much to you. So you either have the worst luck on the planet or you should probably change something. Maybe don’t be alone with people until you really know them much better. Stay in groups for weeks or longer. That is no guarantee, of course, but it does give you time to get a better feel for people. Try to find them in bookstores (ha, also no guarantee). Hmmm… I know we all do this, but we tend to repeat personality types that can be bad for us — try to change that up, maybe. I don’t know… but good luck regardless!

    Reply
    • I had known Matt since I was four years old… not sure what you could possibly mean when you say I should wait until I know someone better. Your victim blaming is not welcome here!

      Reply
    • I had known Matt since I was four years old. My family knows him. I knew his family too. So I am not sure what you could possibly mean when you say I should wait until I know someone better. Your opinions are common victim-blaming beliefs, even if they are incorrect.

      Reply
  3. No, I don’t mean to be critical or blame you. But something needs to change for you so this stops happening. You still have to take charge of your life and change this–I know you can’t eliminate all risk, but there might be measures that limit them more. I’m not talking about the past, but how to change your future. You have been more than unlucky. I dated a lot when i was younger and I did have a couple threatening experiences, so that is not my intention. And looking back, I might not have been careful enough in the worst ones. And I once came close to being raped by a friend. Three scary experiences. But I’d change some things if had I to do it over again. It’s not about blame. Only about managing risk.

    Reply
  4. p.s. It is a given that men do this stuff. I gave my daughter continual lectures on how to be safe because I definitely do not trust them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your safety situations. I’m certain you can.

    Reply
  5. For instance, I did NOT blame myself when I was young and working in California and this guy I worked with asked me to go to the beach–first date. Someone I thought I knew, so I did. Though I only knew him in that situation. I would not go to the beach again on a first date. In a bathing suit. He hounded me for sex full time and wouldn’t drive me home. I managed to get out of it. Does that make it my fault? NO, but I didn’t know him well enough, hadn’t dated him in other situations, to have been that comfortable in that situation. He was still a pig and I told my other co-workers about him. And I let a guy I thought of as a friend who I told was just a friend stay over night after we’d been drinking out and he nearly raped me. I wouldn’t do that again. Did that make it my fault? No is no no matter what or when, but that put me in danger. I also tended to pick narcissists to date that had similarities to my father, who had a big drinking out going personality. Took a long time, but I figured out I needed to pick different people. I never once really blamed myself for any of it. But I did do some things differently. What I’m saying is fault is NOT it — but you CAN control situations better for your own good. None of this may apply to you and you are more careful than I was, but I’ll bet there are things you can change still without it having a thing to do with blame. Like I told my daughter always to watch how close people were to you when you open a hotel door. Keep doors locked at stop lights. Don’t trust people (I also had a guy expose himself to me when I was 12 years old — I DO NOT trust them and I am NOT blaming YOU. Not at all.) Later when this guy tried to get me to pull over saying there was something wrong with my car (which I knew was not true because I could feel nothing wrong), I kept driving and got off at the first exit which I know saved my life since this highway was deserted. So that is not true I’m blaming you, but I’d be surprised if you can’t improve your odds — maybe picking different personality types announcing immediately you have no intention of having sex and explain what has happened before. Who knows. Could be a million little things you could do to keep yourself safer. I’ll bet these guys have something in common you could identify. Too nice? Telling you things they think you want to hear? Do they all have responsible jobs (no guarantee on that for sure, but people behave better when they have things to lose). So those are my thoughts. And no, I am NOT “victim shaming.” But to also not figure out ways to protect yourself better is not a good idea. You may be blameless and I ASSSUME YOU ARE, but you might also be Dead. So that’s all I have to say on this and I am on your side, nothing I haven’t done or said to my own daughter. So I hope you aren’t mad, and I do wish you well.

    Reply

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