Just the other week, the University finally admitted that Father Sam Tiesi, a TOR Franciscan who had been widely regarded as a living saint at FUS, was actually a sexual predator. I started wondering what happened to the woman Father Sam assaulted.
I wonder how she, or they if there was more than one, were punished and shamed. I don’t wonder if she was punished and shamed. I know what it’s like to be a victim.
When I was tricked into being penetrated in a way I never would have agreed to if I’d known what my abuser was doing, the neighborhood moms took me off their email group for talking about it. They were afraid of ruining someone’s reputation. One of them told me it wasn’t rape because the person who scratched me up inside so badly it hurt to go to the bathroom for months wasn’t sexually aroused.
When I spoke out about it later, I got profile pictures stolen from my facebook page and shared around internet groups where traditionalist Catholics giggled that I must be lying because I’m too ugly to be a rape victim. When I spoke out about the harassment, I got trolled all the more until my friends were advising me to shut down my blog for my own safety. More pictures were stolen and I was called an attention whore. That was at the beginning of this summer. In the middle, we had the revelations about the Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, the thousand victims who were sexually abused and then compelled into silence because victims are always punished for not keeping quiet.At the end of the summer, we have the Kavanaugh hearings and all the allegations being thrown about, and people attacking Kavanaugh’s accuser for saying anything. She’s had to go into hiding because of the harassment and threats.
On the very last day of summer, which happens to be my rape anniversary– unless you believe I’m too ugly and it wasn’t really rape, it’s some other kind of traumatic and injurious penetration I didn’t give informed consent to– I was in a fight with a trollish man on a friend’s wall, who wouldn’t stop claiming that dry humping a woman against her will wasn’t really sexual assault. I don’t think for a minute he really believed what he was saying was true. I don’t think he wanted anything other than to upset as many women as he could, and I know that I was playing into his hands to keep telling him over and over that he was wrong.
But I did it anyway.
And I’ll keep doing it.
I was taught in Catholic school that you have to keep silent about assault.
But I refuse to be silent again.
(image via Pixbay)