My "need to know" frequently leads to my finding out information I wish I hadn't have gone looking for. Last night an online friend and I were chatting. On a prior occasion she was saying that she felt her childhood abuse by a mom's boyfriend "didn't count" because it wasn't "as bad" as a future event where she was raped. I assured her that wasn't true. Last night she had read My Story and remembered my remark from our discussion where I said mine wasn't "that bad," comparatively speaking.
My friend told me, "Girl, you were raped." I just stared at the screen. She apparently read my silence correctly, and went on to say. "He penetrated you - it was rape. Digital penetration counts in most states." I was shocked. I told her I wasn't so sure that was true. Then I just changed the topic as her prior sentence had contained three Trigger Words (one of the twice) and I was panicking.
Being the legal "scholar" and needing to know if what she said was true, I went and researched it.
In my current state, there is a difference between "rape" and "sexual offenses." In my current state, what happened to me would be deemed 1st degree sexual offense. However, the state where this occurred, is much different. I'm not an expert in interpreting the laws of other states, but I think I am reading this correctly. In the state where this happened, the laws were re-written in 1980 and everything is referred to as "sexual assault."
An actor is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:(1) The victim is less than 13 years old;
Sexual penetration" means vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio or anal intercourse between persons or insertion of the hand, finger or object into the anus or vagina either by the actor or upon the actor's instruction. The depth of insertion shall not be relevant as to the question of commission of the crime.
Toilet was convicted of lewdness for acts relating to my sister. If I had pressed charges, he could have been convicted of aggravated sexual assault. Because there was more than one "act," he would have received a MINIMUM of five years active time. No ankle monitor option for him (which is what he received for lewdness.)
So a few things stand out to me - (1) I should have pressed charges. (2) the law (apparently in that state anyway) treats what happened to me just as seriously as rape (which I'm defining as intercourse). I'm not so sure what a rape victim would think of that, but from my perspective, that's intense.
Having this knowledge does not change what happened. But it has certainly affected me. I'm posting this without having had time to digest these facts. This has thrown me into a whirlwind of panic, and now, thankfully, numbness. I also feel validated. Like now maybe I can accept that what happened was bad and I do have a justifiable reason to have been affected and be going through all I've been through/am going through.
I'm conflicted. Part of me wants to ignore this knowledge - stuff it like I've stuffed so many other things. Part of me wants to shout it from the rooftops. "See, it was bad. I'm not crazy. I have an excuse - a reason for being as messed up as I am." A part of me wants to drive to my mother's house. Throw this information at Toilet and tell him that it doesn't matter what I said or didn't say. That he could have gone to jail. To yell at my mother and tell her that I have a legitimate reason for not "getting over it." Part of me wants to curl up and cry because it really was "that bad."