A survivor’s guide to outing your rapist online

Before I begin, I must say that it is NEVER a survivor’s responsibility to alert the public to a dangerous person who lurks among them. However – it is an option that a survivor may enact at any point along his or her recovery. That said let’s dive in!

If you haven’t figured it out already, I am a survivor of sexual assault (since Julu 2012) and domestic violence (since late 2013). There are many things I have learned along the way and if any part of my story can help another survivor breathe a little easier or feel less alone, then that makes what I have been through meaningful. I have walked through fire and I have been burned, but those wounds CAN heal. This is my promise to you.

1. Remove yourself from danger. Many women, children, and some men die at the hands of their abuser. This is why I proudly call myself a survivor – it is in honor of those who don’t make it out alive. Your physical safety is the first priority!

2. Establish your safety. You need a safe place to land – whether that is at a homeless shelter, sleeping in your car, couch surfing, or with family/friends.

3. Establish your stability. You need a stable place to rebuild your life after abuse. This will be a lot of work and is the hardest step to complete, but there are many people who are willing, waiting, and wanting to help you. Accept their assistance with gratitude and grace. Nobody survives sexual assault or domestic violence by going it alone.

4. Start talking. Talk to a therapist. Talk to a crisis line worker. Talk to a support group. Talk to your family and your friends. Sharing your story with people who love and support you will help your confidence grow and help you to find your voice.

5. Make an official report with the police if/when you are ready. Nobody’s timeline matters here other than your own.

6. If you so desire, out your abuser online. You can do this publicly on a blog accessible to the world or keep the post limited to your friends and close contacts on social media. Be prepared – once the abuser knows you’ve outed them as a sexual predator they may threaten you with a lawsuit. Don’t be intimidated by this tactic as I have been issued this threat myself and have never been sued for defamation, libel, or slander.

7. Rest easy in the peace of knowing that you have done everything in your power to prevent an abusive piece of shit to go on victimizing other people.

Remember – you were a victim for a moment, but you are now a survivor for a lifetime.

Leave a comment

3 Comments

  1. Well, be careful what you recommend other people do. It’s one thing to make those decisions yourself. Slander IS a real possibility if they haven’t been charged and you can’t prove it. This has nothing to do with whether the accusation is true or not. Of course. This depends on who you are accusing and if they have the wherewithal or access to legal help. There is a lot of risk there. Just because you are willing to take it and nothing happened to you, doesn’t mean you should recommend others do it. You know yourself victims can be persecuted by the right (wrong) people. This guy you are talking about now is a prosecutor? I’d be very careful with that. These days, they are abusing our legal system to go after all kinds of people. And he obviously has a lot of power.

    Reply
    • The thing about civil court is that a sexual predator would have to prove that a rape did not happen – as opposed to criminal court where the prosecution must prove that a rape did happen. Both are difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

      And yes, being sued or being abused in other ways is always a possibility when speaking truth to power. For me, the risk is worth it when I know I am helping people keep themselves safe from known predators. It is a decision everyone must make for themselves.

      Reply
  2. p.s. This guy is a public figure so you might be ok on it, but use caution.

    Reply

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