Thursday, April 05, 2007

Stuck in a loop: Blog Against Sexual Violence Day



If you were forced to watch the same crime committed over, and over, and over again...would you do anything to stop yourself from seeing, hearing and otherwise bearing witness?

I think about this more often than I care to admit.

Trauma survivors--including victims of sexual violence--are often retraumatized by their own brains. Forced to replay the trauma, to re-experience the trauma, and re-recover from the trauma. Sometimes it's a little different. Sometimes the replays are "worse than" and include events even more horrible than the real thing. The police were right: my assault was only a "3 out of 10." I was lucky it wasn't that bad!

And yet other replays are distorted in the opposite direction. Not so much to make us feel better but, rather, to fantasize about regaining control of events and somehow preventing or foiling the crime. Why didn't I knee him in the balls? Scratch his face apart? Scream bloody "FIRE"? Why did I just stand there like a moron?

Why, oh why must we keep renting this awful movie? Aren't we sick of it? Hell, even our very bestest friends walked out on it weeks ago. Really, it's not that I don't care, y'know? I just don't know what else to say to make you feel better.

So you stop renting the movie for a while. Life goes on, after all. It's not like you can take time off of work to recover--what are you going to do? Tell your boss? So life goes on, blast itall, and weeks, maybe even months pass. And then you catch a scent or a glimpse of something...and we're all cued up and watching that motherfucking movie again.

But wait! Maybe you're one of the lucky ones. Could this movie have a happy ending? The police called...they've made an arrest!

Of course your brain still isn't playing for your team. In fact, your reactions to the arrest might surprise you. Somebody's in jail because of you! Whaddya think of that, you ol' bleedin' heart?

And just behind your brain, your very own body is in the on-deck circle, warming up for the other team. You're nauseated. Sudden and overwhelming nausea. We thought you should know that he's getting out of jail. The Crown is not asking for any jail time. Youth criminal, you know.

But what's wrong with him? Doesn't anybody want to know why he did this? Can't you...um...force him into some therapy?

Can't really do that. He'll probably re-offend. He's gotten bolder with each attack. I'm not trying to scare you or anything...

No, of course not.

Would you like to write a Victim Impact Statement?

Why? Would it have any effect on the sentence?

No. But some women find it gives them, uh...y'know...closure.

No thanks.

Maybe I'll just stay-in and rent a movie.

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