featured

I Learned Some New Words: Coercive Control And Sexual (read Rape) Coercion

Trigger Warning

This post may contain stories or triggers memories that may be difficult for you, the reader, to consume. I apologize for that, but this website is entirely about talking about the things that we do not talk about. If you or someone you know needs help, please use this page to find a helpline phone number in your area. If you can’t find it on this list, please use any search engine in the world. You are not alone.

Trigger Warning

Right before bed last night, I learned the words “Sexual Coercion,” and it occurred to me, that I’ve been talking about not knowing words for a while. A Very long while, primarily because I didn’t know the terms, and when people ask me how that’s possible, I tell them very plainly, that no one taught me to know these words.

It’s very rare that I remember what I want to write after I’ve fallen asleep, but this one is important enough that I didn’t want to forget, and an interesting thing happened on Twitter, that reminded me, I promised myself, come Hell or high water, I was going to write about this because it’s important enough for me to try.

I Was raped.

Repeatedly.

For almost 30 + years I lived with the trauma of that, not knowing that the reason I was behaving the way I was, was because I was raped because I didn’t know how to say otherwise.

A conversation with my only ever ex-boyfriend, in which he told my friends, in front of me, that “she likes rough sex,” never sat right with me. Not just because it was in front of people who already didn’t like him, but because it wasn’t true.

It wasn’t the start of me pulling back the layers, it wasn’t even the middle, it was just a conversation that never sat right with me.

X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X,X and X, are just some of the people who were affected, and effected, by what happened to me.

Some of them were involved, in so much as their lives have been threatened if they tried to protect me, as their children’s lives were threatened if they didn’t do as they were told, some of these people were people who were murdered, others are in prison, that I can’t talk about, but I very much want to.

Others still are in prison for crimes they didn’t commit, again, I can’t name names here, but if I would, I could, I can’t, because it would mean putting them in more danger.

There are hundreds of people who were affected by what happened to me, people who know, and who can’t or won’t say anything for the exact same reason that I am putting myself out here for the world to see, hear and know.

I am saying this because I have reported what happened to me to the police for years, but no one has heard me, and the reason for that is because I didn’t know how to say “Sexual (read Rape,) Coercion, because I didn’t know that was a thing.

Turns out it is.

Being coerced into having sex or performing sexual acts is not consenting to have sex and is considered rape/sexual assault.

Black Girl Lost Keys, Dot Com

Every single day I learn a little more about what was done to me, and to girls and boys like me, and I learn how to control my anger, I funnel it into this website, but not everyone has that. The men and women whose first names I gave you, well they didn’t exactly give me permission to use them, but they were victims too, and the only way to protect them from continuing to be victims, is to tell you, that what happened to me happened to others.

It happened to so many others, that those names could be – in theory – a random list of people, who had nothing to do with what “I” went through in particular, but had their own struggles, that only came about because of what was done to me, and each of them, in their way, might people, who have shown me that our story matters.

I say our story because I know how to say “these boys were forced into doing things, that none of us would have done otherwise,” if we didn’t have children, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters, who could be used against us, to keep our mouths shut.

When we’re talking about the educational system to the street to the prison pipeline, what we’re really talking about are generations of children who are used by adults, to commit crimes, they wouldn’t have committed otherwise, only to take the fall for these adults who exercise coercion in all it’s ugly and disgusting forms, in order to get away with crimes, that were only committed because ADULTS made that shit happen.

Breathe, Devon, Breathe.

It’s so hard, when you’re learning your story, and telling it in order to protect yourself, to remember all the details. Someone once called this “False Memory Syndrome” turns out the doctor – yes doctor who coined that term – was also a sexual predator, who abused his own child, and came up with this syndrome to protect himself from the consequences of his crimes against her.

There are now entire foundations devoted to proving that false memory syndrome doesn’t exist, and people – doctors – who will tell you they’ve interviewed hundreds of patients and only one of two things is true:

  1. They haven’t been abused
  2. They have been abused and already knew or alternatively, blocked the memories, but either way, they were abused.

Each of us has to come to terms with the stories that we tell ourselves that helped us survive, but the stories that help us survive, are all stories of survivors. Name any gangster on the planet, and I can probably tell you his story just by looking at him, and judging the women in his circle will be just as easy because yeah, they too are victims of a system, designed to destroy us.

There are hundreds of thousands of millions of us who have access to this website, who don’t know that it exists or a website just like it, wondering if anyone is ever going to speak to THEM in particular.

It’s easy to read a website on sexual abuse and feel like the YOU of it all, gets lost in the statistics, it’s not so easy to read a website like this and hear about all the times that people have been abused, to protect you, while hearing YOUR voice.

That’s why it’s so important for all of us to come forward when we are able to do so because too many of us don’t know how.

That’s my purpose now, to learn how to tell the stories of the people who don’t know how to tell their stories, so I can make it slightly easier to learn how to tell stories, for those who want to be able to tell theirs.

A Year ago, I got a call from Jessika Houston if Glitter and Grace Life Coaching, telling me that I got into the Surrey Shares, Story Telling Program, which was amazing because it was in January or February and I had no idea what I was going to do with this year, or whether or not I was going to be able to make it matter.

I advocate for all my former allies and friends to share their stories, but like the tale of Gal Gadot and Iran, even if they wanted to say something, many of them couldn’t. In many cases around the world, opening your mouth and speaking on topics of rape, will literally get you killed, and so yeah it’s easier for me to be the only one….for YOU.

There are many people around the country sharing their stories and tribulations in order to protect their families, and many more who are too afraid to come forward in fear that they will be ridiculed or worse for speaking on crimes they didn’t commit, but are being used, to protect those who did, frankly my dears, I’m over it.

I’m hating not being able to speak to the people I love, I am hating not knowing if y’all are okay, I am hating not understanding what’s happening, or if we are in danger or not, but I know it’s also 100% safer than being seen with each other when our abusers and our harassers, are still out there, because the cops who can do something, can’t prove that I’m not crazy.

I’m so tired, and still, I’m sending my love, to all those who can’t come forward, or who have, but quietly, who are not named here. I fucking love you okay Amber and Lisa?!

Devon J Hall

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.