Saturday, 1 December 2012

Emotional violence and social power

Updated July 8th 2020

Photo taken 23rd June 2020

July 8th 2020:  People are coming to this page to read Emotional Violence and Social Power, my #MeToo article about illegal coercion, grooming and sexual exploitation. As a result of writing it I received multiple aggressive and lengthy threats by the same individual using the same law firm in July 2014 and again in May and June 2018. Anyone who wants to see the threats can contact me. 

I want to thank the police, Helena Kennedy QC, JB and HW (whose counsel I believe saved my life), MM, my prison and probation contacts, investigative journalist colleagues, specialist prosecutors, 'domestic' abuse and sexual violence charities and numerous MPs working on coercive control, grooming and sexual exploitation, harassment and male violence against women and girls. 

Thanks to the many colleagues who warned me about the perpetrator (too late) and the countless women who've contacted me from all over the world over the last decade. These women work in publishing, academia, the media, events production, TV, comics, politics and activism. They range in (perpetrated-at) age from their early 20s to their late 40s and have detailed their experiences from 2002 to the present, describing precise and identical patterns of perpetrator speech and behaviour.

Regarding abuser dynamics, a helpful book list is at the bottom but a good starter is to Google 'narcissistic sociopath' or 'sociopathic abuse' or 'covert narcissism'. These are all terms I learnt after another victim of the same individual contacted me and sent me down a Google rabbit hole. Maybe start here and also here, or maybe here, or even here, or here, fetch a sick-bag and go down the rabbit hole.  If you're not nauseated enough, read Anne Ursu's piece, or this particularly emetic post, or look here or here or here or even here or check out this long list. As you can tell, the patterns are all the same. Like here.

I do believe it's worth making a statement to the police, because the behaviours I am talking about are criminal acts. Doing so is horrendously exposing and you need to give exact references, facts, dates and contact points rather than feelings. The police may not be 'nice' and they may not believe you. But it's your right, they keep all details on record, it goes into the system and they take note when multiple people reference the same individual behaving in the same way over two decades. They are also in touch with international prosecutors and investigators. The law on coercive control is explained here and a Crown Prosecution Service link is here. Rights of Women has a criminal law helpline that's a good starting point.  In the US the use of deceit and manipulation to gain sexual access is currently under discussion as an amendment of rape laws. 

If you go down this path, keep all the receipts and a detailed journal of all dealings and conversations with officials. Pay for a consultation with a specialist criminal barrister in advance so you know the law and your rights within it and can frame an argument that the police can't refute and refuse to pursue. 

From the Instagram account of domestic abuse charity Refuge

For years, people came to this page to eat up every detail of my horror, my disgust and violation. They wanted to count the ways a perpetrator can abuse women without actually punching us in the face. They wanted to log the times a two-faced sadist gratified himself by manipulating, sexually using and humiliating scores of women. They wanted my five thousand word verbal puke of horror about an abusive man who's such a good fake that he's perceived by everyone as gentle, sincere and thoughtful - 'just the nicest loveliest guy in the world,' as he was described to me several times. 

People want to hoover up details about female suffering, trauma and pain. As readers, they relish a perpetrator who abuses women and uses institutional grievance procedures to threaten those who speak up in academia or politics or publishing. There is a certain sick pleasure in learning about his sociopathic use of enablers and groupies. But when a woman draws a line and moves towards action and justice, the kick for voyeurs is gone. They enjoy the pain of the suffering victim but are not interested in joining the women who fight back. Instead, they want to re-read accounts of women's trauma and abusive men's impunity, while nothing changes. 

Everyone wants to know what happened next. The answer is, nothing. Impunity and success for him and injustice and downfall for all the victims. I wrote my piece and took the consequent trash-talking, the disbelief, the punishment, the threats and betrayal and ostracism. That's par for the patriarchal course, especially with covert narcissists who appear humble and vulnerable on the surface while they run interference and mobilise their flying monkeys on the sly. I was one of countless targets in an ongoing, decades-long series with many simultaneous victims. Perpetrators don't change. Meanwhile, I'm serving his sentence.

From the Instagram account of domestic abuse charity Refuge

The only thing my Me Too piece enabled was for a rich white man to go to a rich white man law firm and club up with them to threaten me, for years. That is, to use the legal system to terrorise a woman and exercise control while maintaining an outward show of morality, rectitude and wounded sanctimony. That's obviously repellent. But it's not uncommon. 

The last verifiable whistleblow I received was at the end of 2019, and they keep coming. But this is nothing to do with me and I resent being dragged into a garbage man's garbage world. It must be exhausting. All that drama and lies and games. Life is easy when you don't lie.

My piece was not cathartic and evidently did not protect potential victims. It delighted gossips and bystanders, empowered trolls and enabled further abuse against me. It reduced me to Case Study Woman, futilely writing about Typical Sociopathic Abuser Guy, then reading dozens of other Typical Sociopathic Abuser Guy testimonials from every sector in every country on the planet. I am a woman of colour who was perpetrated against by a white man who is wealthy, charming and plausible on the surface. I do not expect to be believed. I do not expect to be supported. I do not expect to see justice. Something that always stuck with me was that several of his victims, enablers and dupes are also women of colour - a disproportionately high number in a very white milieu. I always wondered about that, the racial element of these abuses and manipulations.

But overall, I'm done psychoanalysing the mendacity of abusive men. It's not fascinating, it's pathetic. So listen perp. Yes! You got me! And lots and lots and lots and lots of other women. The joke's on us, a hundred per cent. Your bathwater is now very, very, very stale and fetid. Enjoy it.


Trauma and Recovery – Judith Herman
The Sociopath Next Door – Martha Stout
The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist - Debbie Mirza
The Body Keeps the Score – Bessel van der Kolk
The Body Remembers – Babette Rothschild
Betrayal Trauma – Jennifer Freyd
Blind to Betrayal – Jennifer Freyd
Trauma and the Body – Pat Odgen
Multiple books on trauma by Peter Levine
Power and Control - Sandra Horley
Why Does He Do That? – Lundy Bancroft
Complex PTSD – Pete Walker
It's Not Me - Anabel Gonzalez
Duped - Abby Ellin
Look What You Made Me Do - Helen Walmsley-Johnson
The Empathy Trap – Jane McGregor and Tim McGregor
Psychopath Free – Jackson MacKenzie
The Betrayal Bond – Patrick J Carnes
How to Handle A Narcissist – Theresa Jackson
Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare – Shahida Arabi (all her stuff is good)
Soul Vampires – Andrea Schneider
Revenge: How to Beat the Narcissist – H G Tudor
In Sheep’s Clothing – George Simon
How to Spot a Dangerous Man – Sandra Brown
When Love is a Lie – Zari Ballard
From Charm to Harm – Gregory Zaffuto
How to Kill a Narcissist – JH Simon