Ask Amy: Facebook algorithm connects victim to assault

Dear Amy: About 20 years ago, I was raped by my close friend’s longtime boyfriend. Basically, after drinking at a bar, I was so messed up, they took me to the place where they were staying. Looking back, I think I may have been drugged, because I basically could not move. (I’ve never been a heavy drinker.)

When I woke up, he was on top of me. It changed my life forever!

Lately, I see his comments on Facebook — on mutual friends’ pages. It is really frustrating.

In the past, I just didn’t use Facebook much, but during the pandemic, I’ve frequented FB more often, because I am trying to keep up with distant friends.

I’m not sure how to resolve this. I’ve debated sending these mutual friends a private message saying that I may drop them as friends because of him — and tell them why.

Sometimes I want to call him out on others’ pages when I see his friendly or happy-go-lucky posts.

I never pressed charges when this happened because I guess I was embarrassed and vulnerable.

Now as an older person, I wish I had pressed charges to resolve some of my anger. I wish he had been punished for taking so much trust away from me.

Should I just quit Facebook? If I do, I feel that he wins.

— Hanging On

Dear Hanging On: I have a number of recommendations. None of them involve you calling out this man to mutual friends. Please understand that even if you send a private message, the recipient could take a screen shot of that message and distribute it publicly. This could backfire badly.

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First, you should communicate with a counselor at RAINN.org. You can speak with someone by phone, or use their very helpful “chat” function to basically text back and forth. You need to talk about what happened to you. It is never too late to benefit from supportive counseling.

States have varying rules regarding reporting a rape, and RAINN.org has state-by-state guidelines posted on their site.

If legally allowable in your state, you should consider reporting this to the police. It is widely understood that victims of sexual assault sometimes don’t report until many years later. You might be told that they can’t help you, but you might feel more empowered if you tried.

If you want to confront this person about the assault, then you should communicate with him — not through mutual friends. Discuss this prospect with a counselor.

Because you are triggered by seeing comments this man makes on friends’ …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle

      

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