Part II – Fragile Ego, Fierce Predator: Brief Psychological Overview of the Psychologically Violent Personality’s use of Shame and Guilt

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

~by Amy Lynn Burch

Published on March 31, 2014 @ 8:23pm EST

“One concrete way in which we all landscape our sanity is by having our experience of reality confirmed by others. When our experience of reality is disconfirmed by others, our confidence in our own sanity can be undermined.” ~Graeme Galton, Forensic Aspects of Dissociative Identity Disorder

 

An emotional bully will exploit trust at every possible turn. In fact, exploiting trust is their primary method of control. They demand trust without question and then use the victim’s trust against them in order to gain power. They demand absolute trust while simultaneously refusing accountability in terms of proving trustworthiness. The feel obliged to gain every advantage over their victims without providing anything in terms of equity to their victims. If at risk of exposure and then cornered, the psychologically violent personality will flatly refuse to answer direct questions in which they must admit the truth sometimes ignoring and redirecting the conversation entirely. Better stated, they are offended by and refuse to acknowledge inconvenient questions, an utterly diabolical move which exposes the liar without so much as a word of corroboration on the part of the abuser.

It isn’t uncommon for the bully to demand trust from their victims while shaming and blaming them for exhibiting rightful distrust of the abuser. The mere act of suggesting to the bully that his or her exploitative behavior is wrong tends to send the bully on a full frontal assault of sorts against their targets using shaming and manipulative language against their target(s) in order to put them on the defensive. If they can keep their victim(s) on the defensive then the abuser maintains power and control over the situation. The bully may use a combination of overt and covert shaming messages such as:

 

You really need to get over your trust issues.”

 

Why are you so suspicious and paranoid all the time?

 

“I can’t talk to you when you get like this!”

 

Emotional bullies fail miserably at making the connection between their own deceptive behaviors and abject lack of honesty with their victim’s legitimate issues of trust. Bullies believe that they deserve absolute trust without question regardless of how many times they’ve deliberately betrayed their victim’s trust boundaries. They do not understand that trust is a byproduct of honesty and that where there is no honesty there can be no trust. This truth applies to all relationships including, but not limited to: business; romantic; and parent-to-child relationships. It is primarily parent-to-child relationships that we will focus on for the next two postings, current posting included.

 

Beyond The Mask of Sanity

Similar to Munchhausen by Proxy in which the perpetrator is desperate for admiration at the expense of ones child’s health and wellbeing, emotionally abusive parents are often desperate to appear to the general public as saintly and long suffering. This also applies to the emotionally violent intimate partner. In truth, these so-called upstanding model parents and mates are often the most heinous of abusers. The most devious are often mothers who see their children as an inconvenience and/or merely as tools used to gain sympathy. The mother whose motivation to have children is so that someone will love her is a red flag indicator of a potential emotional/physical abuser.

The emotional bully’s oversensitivity makes her an emotionally, and sometimes physically violent predator. She is typically motivated by two things: revenge for perceived wrongs; and getting her own way in every situation no matter how trivial. Everything is a contest and they simply must win. When boundaries are imposed on the emotional abuser they turn their focus to seeking revenge at any cost. It isn’t uncommon for the abuser to fake changed behavior even for long periods of time in order to accomplish their goal of evening the score against their target. They will often set out on elaborate schemes which include mimicking sanity, compassion, kindness, sincerity, guilt, and remorse for the sole purpose of catching their intended target off guard so they can deliver the killing blow, so to speak.

No matter how remorseful an emotional bully appears on the surface their internal motivation remains unchanged. It is for this reason that an emotional bully should never be trusted. Their entire motivation for gaining and regaining their victims trust after it has been lost is so that they can continue to exploit their victims for their own selfish purposes. It isn’t uncommon for the emotional bully to openly shame their victim for having trust issues without ever acknowledging that their behavior is the cause behind the mistrust. Emotional bullies work very hard to make their prey look irrational to the outside world and openly blame their victims as though their concerns were somehow created in a vacuum (see Gaslighting for more information).

 

Tools of the Trade: Shame and Guilt

Imposing inappropriate shame and guilt as a means of control for not complying with demands is a common tactic of an emotional abuser and is routinely used against victims regardless of age. However, this tactic works particularly well against children, unfortunately, as abusers well know. Shaming messages are extraordinarily powerful and have a dramatic negative affect on children. However, children are not the only ones susceptible to such abuses. Kind, yet gullible, personalities which appear child-like and trusting regardless of biological age are a hot target for psychological abusers. This is one of the reasons why dominant personalities tend to seek-out compliant souls on which to trust their diabolical abuses, because they know that they can emotionally manipulate the compliant into inappropriate guilt very easily.

Before I go any further it should be noted that not all guilt is bad. Guilt, in its proper place, is a necessary emotion designed to correct inappropriate behavior. For example, hurting someone for entertainment value should elicit feelings of guilt in the emotionally stable and well developed person. If it doesn’t then it indicates something deeply wrong within a persons psyche along the lines of lack of empathy which is no minor deficit. It is true that children must learn empathy but most children understand this inherently with proper feelings of guilt the indicator.  Just as stealing a personal possession from another person should impose feelings of guilt, so too should inflicting verbal abuses at another person elicit feelings of guilt in an otherwise healthy person. Guilt in this scenario is designed to point out the wrong behavior to the wrongdoer for the purpose of correcting the behavior in the future. As regards childrearing, many young parents fail to understand the necessity of this emotion e.g., appropriate guilt, in raising their children and seek to save their children from all negative feelings which create a host of character flaws in developing children which could lead to full-blown psychological disorders as they mature. However, that is a topic for another blog post. It does, however, go hand in hand with some parents’ unintentionally nurturing narcissistic bullies who very likely could grow-up to be psychologically violent personalities. All in all that’s a very simplified explanation of a complex emotion but the average person reading this will understand the concept. Emotional abusers refuse to accept guilt as a correcting tool as applied to themselves yet do not hesitate to use it as an inappropriately imposed tool of manipulation against others in order to get their own way.

Children of emotional bullies are at particular risk of enduring years of pervasive abuse with little if any outside intervention. Over time, the child will likely begin to accept the abuse as normal having nothing in terms of healthy examples by way of comparison. The risk to them is that as they mature they tend to seek our familiar relationships not unlike what they have experienced at home thereby inadvertently repeating the abuse. If left uncorrected, the child will carry the abusive dynamic into adulthood either as a repeat victim or as an abuser. In some cases, they become both dependant on the relationship in questions.

 

“Don’t Criticize My Parenting Style”

Abusive parents and especially those who resort to emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuse have the power to isolate and dominate their children not only deliberately keeping them away from help but also using their children as a shield of sorts against accountability. Simply stated, egocentric, selfish, demanding, and callous people have absolutely no tolerance for providing children with proper nutrition, emotional stability, love, and safety or any provision of basic human needs because it detracts from their overall self-absorbed goals of unconditional admiration, attention, absolute control and dominance over their environment. Although there are some children who are difficult personalities from birth, emotionally abused children exhibit certain behaviors which, to the trained eye, point to an abusive home life.  Anyone who comes close to examining the truth of the matter behind a seemingly erratic child’s behavior is seen as an exposure risk to the abuser.

If the abuser cannot control and manipulate the questioning party then all ties are cut and the child who typically has no power in the relationship is kept away from those who might very well be able to intervene in, and then stop, the abuse. If confronted the psychologically violent parent may lean on the excuse of having a different “parenting style” which shouldn’t be criticized. It’s normal to some degree to not want to receive correction but the chronic avoidance of correction is a huge red flag that should not be ignored.

 

Work It, Own It, Utterly Annihilate It

When children are taught from their earliest development to accept emotionally abusive behavior, they will carry that tendency toward acceptance of bad behavior into adulthood thus inviting into their lives the very abuse which they’ve sought to escape. If a child is taught that it is their responsibility to take care of one or more parents feelings and wellbeing at the expense of their own then they will learn to devalue their own very real basic needs then will chronically acquiesce to the demands of bullies. This is a form of learned helplessness which if instilled in a child during their early formative years and reinforced through coercion becomes ingrained before adulthood. Children are particularly honorable to this form of abuse. Most children naturally seek approval and acceptance of parents or other parental authority figures. Abusive parents waste no time and asked pointing this tendency in using it to their advantage.

Emotionally abusive parents do not hesitate to use their children’s reactive behaviors as a shield against the underlying cause, e.g., sadistically insidiously psychologically abusive injury. Make no mistake: not all abuse leaves a physical mark and it is the abuse that occurs absent physical scarring that is often the most violently wielded by abusive personalities. For the abused, the wounds and scars are long-lasting which are compounded by the absence of physical proof with abusers who remain unpunished for their crimes usually remaining in the victim’s life.

 

No Body, No Crime

Emotional abusers are cunning enough to never abuse their victims in the presence of others, at least, not intentionally. The only known exceptions are in the presence of fellow abusers or in the presence of weak personalities who will say nothing to preserve their own safety. Using spoken words as their primary tool of abuse offers the abuser the luxury of denial as a means of protection from responsibility when confronted. The simple act of denial coupled with a carefully structured exterior façade is all that is needed for an abuser to continue their psychologically violent assaults on their prey. They will either outright deny that an abusive conversation ever took place or will deliberately misremember the conversation to their advantage. Emotional abusers would rather rewrite history than to tell the truth and will omit entire events which they know will expose their behavior if admitted. They will disregard the conversation to others as “I can’t be responsible for how he/she chooses to hear information” or “I can’t be responsible for what you chose to feel” all the while knowing that their victim has the correct information without the power to prove what was said.

It is important to note that the very act of denial is confirmation that the abuser knows what they’ve done is wrong. Otherwise, why careful omit the incriminating information entirely? They are cunning and diabolical enough to know that without an outside witness willing to corroborate the truth, all that are necessary to avoid responsibility and perpetuate the abuse is denial and silence. Again, although anyone can be a victim of this method of abuse, children are particularly susceptible and at risk for not being believed as a result of the cunning abusive parent who can tailor the narrative in their own favor.

Next week we will continue to examine the psychologically violent personality as parent while transitioning to other issues within abusive relationships. I welcome your questions, comments, and even criticism as long as it’s respectful. As always, thank you for your readership. You are not alone.

~Amy

© Amy Lynn Burch 2014
All Rights Reserved
No part of this work or webpage or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated by the author for stand-alone materials.

Blog Interrupted

Hello Dear Readers~

I apologize for my silence over the last few weeks. I began a series in late January on the psychologically violent personality which was to run for six weeks and then, as often happens, life got in the way. Without boring the reader with unnecessary details, after several weeks of burning the proverbial candle at both ends to meet work, school, home-life, and advocacy demands I began to feel generally unwell. Not sick, just not well. Long story short, I found myself in the ER a week ago Saturday and then being admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery pending the outcome of a diagnosis that still has me baffled (and the doctors, too, quite frankly). I was in the hospital for a week under excellent care. Regardless, I won’t lie; it was scary and could have been far worse than it was, although it turned out to be far more serious than expected. The good news is that I’m fine now and on the mend! I’ll be recovering at home for the next six weeks and will hopefully be tied to my computer and so we shall press on with the topic at hand: psychologically violent personalities.

I wish you all well and thank you for your readership. Remember, you are not alone.

~Amy

Fragile Ego, Fierce Predator: the Psychologically Violent Personality

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

~by Amy Lynn Burch

Published on January 18, 2014 @ 11:40pm EST

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” ~Maya Angelou

Emotional abusers never think they are. At least they never openly acknowledge that fact to anyone, not even themselves. Although emotional bullies may know it instinctively on a deeply intimate inner level, they predictably refuse to take an honest look at who they truly are and set about victimizing others for the purpose of personal validation and gratification. Hurting others isn’t merely entertaining for the emotional bully; it’s necessary to their very existence. Before you become wrapped around the axles, as it were, regarding my use of the word necessary let me clarify that necessary in this instance simply means “required behavior for the abuser to exist as such” and not “we need bullies in order to balance the universe” which is at the very least a ridiculous and nonsensical notion. Think of it in terms of the mythical vampire. Just as a vampire must drain life blood from their victims in order to exist, emotional bullies must drain their victim’s of energy, control, self-worth, autonomy, and personal validation in order to maintain dominant bully status. The word “boundary” isn’t in the bully vocabulary. Having a boundary is a foreign concept to the emotional abuser. They find the word offensive considering that having a boundary limits the activity of the abuser in terms of taking from their victims whatever they choose. Ahhh, there’s the rub!

An emotional bully is quite literally the definition of a pirate i.e. take everything of value, neither leave nor give anything in return. It isn’t so much that emotional bullies lack self worth as a motivation to drain their surroundings of any and all worth as it is that they tend to be the grandiose opposite of a selfless person with an inflated sense of importance and entitlement. In contrast, their carefully chosen prey unintentionally motivates the bully to obliterate those in his or her path who attempt to call them out and then stop them. Incredibly long sentence, I know, and accurate in description. Emotional abusers – bullies, if you will – work very, very hard at lying to everyone around them and to build a façade of narcissistic dominance, especially so to two persons in particular: first and foremost, their intended victims; and secondly, yet more importantly, themselves. Being of fragile ego, the emotional bully loathes him or herself as the case may be, to an inherently destructive degree which is what makes them such diabolically fierce predators.

As you continue to read you’ll notice that I use he/she and his/her interchangeably. The reason for this is simple. Although a large body of empirical data and professional writings regarding domestic violence and abusive behavior focuses largely on men as abusers and women as victims, the fact remains that not all victims are women and not all abusers are men. Women do, in fact, emotionally abuse others significantly so and very often their intended targets are their own children, spouses, and even friends whom they truly envy and wish to degrade thus the creation of the word “frenemy.” If your definition of abuser is synonymous with being male then I invite you to set aside that notion and consider that not all abusiveness follows traditional gender roles and most certainly is not limited to physical abuse. Neither is it relegated to overt methods of non-physical violence such as screaming, name calling, and verbal threats of possible physical violence in response to lack of compliance. Those forms of abuse are, indeed, reprehensible. However, there is a more insidious form of abuse that fails to leave physical marks which is often as elusive as vapor in terms of pinning it down that I contend is as much, if not more so in some ways, more deadly over time than some physical acts of violence: emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuses fall into this category. The abuse that leaves no tell-tale signs not only leaves the victim injured but also leaves the victim invalidated as the burden of proof rests entirely on their proverbial shoulders.  In reading this I hope that you gain insight into all of your relationships and not just the romantic ones. Truly, abusiveness can be found in the most unlikely of places leading us into even more abusive situations unless we learn to appropriately identify them wherever they might be found. Very many of them begin within a victim’s own family of origin with the abusive behaviors becoming normalized as accepted behavior.

To all of my readers regardless of age or gender it is my intention to offer you true hope and healthy guidelines in identifying then breaking fee of abusive relationships. The first step toward that end is in learning to appropriately identify them as such which is why I write on the subject so often. However, to my male readers in particular who find themselves in abusive relationships whether those relationships exist at work, at home, at church, or some combination thereof, I offer you this: there is hope and you are not alone. And to the abusers reading this article (because I know that many of you do for the specific purpose of gaining information to use against your victims) I say this: welcome to my spotlight of exposure. In case you’ve failed to notice, I’m something of an in-your-face advocate on behalf of the abused. I will not stay silent so that you can remain comfortable.

Emotional Terrorists 

Emotional bullies are abusers, ipso facto. Emotional bullies tend to be over-sensitized to their own feelings to the exclusion of others and also tend to confuse their wants for needs which they demand that others meet instantly and routinely or else. It is the “or else” threat which becomes the unseen knife in the hand of the emotional bully as waved in the face of the victim. To say that emotional bullies are impatient with their own discomfort is an understatement as they have no tolerance for not having their way at all times and very much at the expense of others. In that way, they are significantly infantile and emotionally immature. Like psychopaths – and many emotional bullies are, indeed, psychopathic – emotional bullies have malformed emotions often limited to proto-emotions which are nothing more than primitive responses to the most basic of human needs. As Dr. Robert Hare states in his groundbreaking book Without Conscience regarding the psychopathic personality,

paint-by-numbers emotions are all that exist for this type of abuser in terms of recognizing emotions in others as well as feeling anything personally in terms of legitimate human emotion.”

Guilt for perceived wrongs committed and empathy for someone else’s pain are non-existent to the emotional abuser. To the emotional bully/abuser, the victim only exists as an extension of the abuser for the direct purpose of meeting his or her wants which are confused for needs.

Emotional bullies are master manipulators who are highly adept at wearing down the will of their victims through shame (how could you let me down like this/I need someone to stand beside me and not run in fear), goading (I guess you just don’t have what it takes to be my friend/business partner/lover, etc.), needling (if you’re too scared to “xyz” then I’ll find someone else), guilt-tripping (someone who cares about me would [fill in the blank]; you always let me down when I need you the most), charm (you’re such a brave person, I know you wouldn’t disappoint me like so-and-so), bribes (do this and I’ll buy you [fill-in-the-blank item]), and tactics of public humiliation (in a public setting, “Tim told everyone that I’m a bad wife…” *sniff* *sniff*).

Emotional bullies are highly adept at conditioning their prey to excuse away abusive behavior and force compliance with their own abusiveness. Emotional bullies – and at this point, let’s just call them what they are: abusers and emotional terrorists– are inherently deceitful people who are highly skilled at turning the tables, as it were, on their prey. I insist on calling the victim “prey” because that is how the abuser sees their victim(s). Destroy and consume is the ultimate goal for this type of abuser.

Emotional bullies refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing and instead project guilt onto others for not complying with their demands. An emotional abuser works very hard at manipulating the sensitivity and empathy of their intended victims as a means of making the abused feel responsible for the abusers infantile emotions. They refuse to move past their own primitive needs and wants, and routinely refuse to alter their desires while deliberately ignoring the very real needs of others. It is this behavior that makes emotional abusers exceptionally dangerous parents and intimate partners.

In the next six weeks I will breakdown for the reader the psychology of the emotional terrorist outlining specific tactics that they use against their targets, how they think, and the tools they use to gain control, their primary motivations, how they interact as parents and as intimate partners, and what their victims can do to stop the cycle of abuse. As always, I am here to answer questions and provide resources to those needing help.

Thank you for your readership. You are not alone.

~Amy

© Amy Lynn Burch 2014
All Rights Reserved
No part of this work or webpage or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated by the author for stand-alone materials.

Domestic Violence: Demoralizing Abuse is Often Hidden in Plain Sight

Tags

, ,

~by Amy Lynn Burch

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” ~Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Statistics

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

  • one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime;
  • 1.3 million women are victims of sexual assault by an intimate partner every year;
  • 85% of all domestic violence victims in the United States are women;
  • historically females are most often victimized by someone that they knew well;
  • females 20 to 24 years of age are at the rate is to risk of non-fatal intimate partner violence;
  • the majority of domestic violence cases are never reported to the police.

As a result it should be clearly noted that all documented and provided statistics are only related to known cases of domestic violence. Additionally, commonly undocumented cases of domestic violence involve men who are battered not only in same-sex relationships but in heterosexual relationships, as well, which is believed to be at epidemic proportions within the United States.

The United States Department of Justice defines Domestic Violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.”

Very few people willingly walk into a relationship that they know will eventually become violent. The typical romantic relationship begins in a somewhat predictable fashion: mutual attraction, mutual interests, a period of interpersonal bonding, a move toward commitment etc., etc.  However, without notice these once attractive relationships can turn from romantic to controlling and violent almost seamlessly. The earlier in life that the relationships begin with set dysfunctional patterns the more likely the relationship is to become violent in the future.

Very often, and in retrospect, victims will report that they paid little if any attention to the early warning signs at the beginning of the relationship with their abuser. Hindsight is truly 20/20 and after careful examination of past events most domestic violence victims can identify clear patterns and pathways which ultimately led to their abuse. Sadly, most victims are trained early in life to ignore the warnings out of compassion for other people, or religious doctrine, or the “do unto others” philosophy. Abusers, particularly those in an interpersonal relationship, know well how to exploit the compliance and kindness of their victims

Ironically, the more compliant and accommodating the domestic violence sufferer, the more demanding and abusive the perpetrator usually becomes. Abusers seek compliance as permission to continue their assault and when in fear of losing control of their targets they escalate their behavior through physical violence, emotional violence, and sometimes spiritual abuse. The predictable response by most domestic violence victims is to engage in self blame. “If only I had been kinder,” or “if only I hadn’t argued,” or “If only I [fill in the blank].” Victims are very often trained early in life to defer to all perceived authority figures which set the pattern for enabler/abuser relationships.

Domestic violence perpetrators follow a nearly predictable pattern of behavior which very often is difficult to detect from the outside observer. Once they have their victim well under control they work diligently to isolate their victim from all outside influences up to and including restricting the contact between friends and family members of their victims. They will very often go out of their way to shape the public view of their victims in such a light that they are perceived as unstable. Therefore, anything they say negatively about their abuser should not be trusted. Very unfortunately this tactic seems to work successfully across cultures as well as socioeconomic environments. The typical abuse victim does not understand that what they are experiencing from their abuser is not some form of love. DV abusers seek to exert authority and power over their victims and typically have no love or respect for them at all. This can be a very difficult point to accept for the abuse sufferer, and is often difficult to understand that they have spent often decades in a relationship where they were not truly loved.

We hear a lot about awareness and I would like to go on record saying that I am for that and it isn’t enough. Merely being aware does nothing to stop it. The ultimate goal would be to stop the violence before it begins which is one of the true benefits of awareness. However, once caught in the cycle of abuse it takes action often by those on the outside of the relationship to keep it from continuing. We have got to move past the “it’s not my business” self protective type of thinking and be willing to confront not just the victims but the abusers as well. Expecting domestic violence from situation to situation to spontaneously resolve is the equivalent of expecting a raging gasoline fire to put itself out.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, help is available. Suffering in silence will not make the situation any better. Reach out, speak out, save a life.

~Amy

Victim Resources

Emergency Phone Numbers

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1 (800) 799-7233

The National Sexual Assault Hotline 1 (800) 656-4673

The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 1 (866) 331-9474

The National Human Trafficking Hotline 1 (888) 373-7888 or you can text INFO or HELP to BeFree (233733)

Weblinks

For anyone suffering abuse, documentation is critical in not only ending the cycle but in also ensuring that the abuser is brought to legal justice. Susan Murphy-Milano was a tireless advocate and warrior for the rights of domestic abuse victims. Susan’s legacy is the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit as detailed at: http://documenttheabuse.com

http://www.ncadv.org/ 

http://www.domesticviolence.org/

http://www.dccadv.org/

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

http://www.thehotline.org/ 

http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/domviolence.htm

http://www.mysistersplacedc.org/about-domestic-violence.html

http://www.dvcac.org/ 

http://www.azcadv.org/

http://www.psychiatry.org/domestic-violence

http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf

http://www.vaw.umn.edu/documents/inbriefs/domesticviolence/domesticviolence.html

Domestic Violence Counts 2012

“For the seventh consecutive year, NNEDV conducted a one-day, unduplicated count of adults and children seeking domestic violence services in the U.S. on September 12, 2012.  This annual census documents the number of individuals who sought services in a single 24-hour period, as well as the types of services requested, the number of service requests that went unmet because of lack of resources, and the issues and barriers that domestic violence programs face as they strive to provide services to victims of domestic violence.

The full Domestic Violence Counts 2012 report is available along with a one-page national summary (in both English and Spanish) and individual state and territory summaries.”

Reading List

Domestic Violence Sourcebook by Dawn Bradley Berry

To Be An Anchor In The Storm by Susan Brewster

Times Up! by Susan Murphy-Milano

Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence by Philip W. Cook

When Love Goes Wrong: What to Do When You Can’t Do Anything Right by Ann Jones and Susan Schechter

When Violence Begins at Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Ending Domestic Abuse by K.J. Wilson

A Crash-Course in Stockholm Syndrome: Why I Doubt that it Applies in the Case of Amanda Berry

Tags

, , , , , ,

Speculation is a dangerous thing but it is difficult to not let one’s imagination run wild as to why an abducted person, let alone three, would not try to escape then remain in captivity for 10 years. Less than 24 hours after the brave escape and rescue of Amanda Berry, Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, as well as a 6 year old unnamed child who might very well be the daughter of one of the captive women, I am already hearing otherwise well respected psychologists jump to the conclusion of Stockholm syndrome as an explanation for the long-term captivity. To some, from the outside looking in it may seem unfathomable that anyone could detain three young women successfully for a decade without their consent even if that consent were coerced. I find this speculation highly offensive. Furthermore, as armchair sleuths begin the process of “analyzing” the known yet limited facts of this case there are already self-proclaimed experts speculating as to why Stockholm syndrome is the only explanation. I ask you, based on what, exactly? Your misunderstanding of the concept? Of one thing I am reasonably certain as respects at least Amanda Berry if not also Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, and Michelle Knight: their long-term captivity is not likely the result of Stockholm syndrome. I contend that the leap toward Stockholm syndrome as an explanation for the long-term captivity of Berry, DeJesus, and Knight is not one that should be taken without a parachute. It is far too early to make that judgment. Even so, allow me to give the reader a little background on Stockholm syndrome.

Before I begin, let me state this very clearly and in no uncertain terms. Stockholm syndrome is very rare. Stockholm syndrome is not clearly understood and has not been as thoroughly researched as other survival mechanisms primarily because it is so rare. The so-called syndrome is a reference to a now infamous robbery which took place in 1973 in Stockholm, Sweden. I’ll give you a “Reader’s Digest” version of the case. For five days in August of 1973 bank employees at Kreditbanken were held captive in a vault and eventually developed an emotional bond with the hostage takers. The Stockholm bank robbery which gave birth to the term Stockholm syndrome is particularly interesting because the captives at one point rejected government assistance and even defended their hostage takers after the fact. It should also be noted that this case became of particular interest after the fact because one of the captives later married one of the hostage taker’s. In analyzing this case after the fact criminologist Nils Bejerot coined the term “Stockholm syndrome” because he could not classify the bonding behavior through any other psychological definition already well-documented prior to this event.

There are numerous factors involved in the development of Stockholm syndrome and it should be clearly noted that it is more the intensity of the event rather than the length of time of the event which can lead to the development of so-called Stockholm syndrome. Current research related to the development of Stockholm syndrome strongly suggests that three elements must be present before a hostage event can be classified under this label: hostage and captive must be together for an intense period of time; the hostage must be in direct social contact during the duration of the incident; and the hostage takers must at all times treat their captives kindly. If these three elements are not present in some combination then it cannot be classified as Stockholm syndrome. I ask the reader to carefully note that in the original incident in which the term Stockholm syndrome was coined, the intense period of time was five days during which the captives became intimately knowledgeable of their hostage takers; captives and hostage takers were never away from each other during that time; and the captives were treated kindly by their hostage takers for the duration of the incident.

Ultimately, Stockholm syndrome might best be described as a paradoxical psychological phenomenon – which, again, is rare – in which positive feelings are developed and shared between hostage and captive. Usually there is no desire for the captive to escape the situation and that is a critical difference in this case. It is clear in listening to the initial release of the 911 call placed by Amanda Berry that she took the one opportunity that she had to act on behalf of herself and her fellow captives, and escape from Ariel Castro and those believed to be his brothers. It is unknown at this time whether this was the only opportunity within the last 10 years that these three young women and the unknown child had to escape. Perhaps there were other attempts that had failed; however, that will not be known for some time. Listening to Amanda’s frantic voice in the 911 call makes it clear that she wanted to be rescued along with Gina, Michelle, and the six-year-old girl.

The family has asked that their privacy be respected at this time and that is a request that all self-respecting journalists should abide by. There is no doubt in my mind that in the coming months and even years to come, these brave young women will eventually tell their story. It is incumbent upon us as advocates and journalists to not skew that story with insatiable speculation and armchair psychology gleaned from unreliable sources. I guarantee you there will be plenty of that in the coming days. I will be covering this case as information develops but will not be invading the family’s privacy nor jumping to erroneous conclusions for the sake of boosting my readership. What I will do over the next few days is provide education as to the concepts of basic human survival techniques in the face of crisis particularly the concept of learned helplessness. In the meantime I invite you to take a serious look at the following resources. These resources provide viable information regarding the truth behind child abduction and what needs to change in terms of intervention after the fact. I remind you that evil often wears a smile and hides in plain sight. Those who wish to do harm sometimes masquerade behind a good guy (or girl) persona. How is it possible that these young women were contained for 10 years just a few short miles from where they were originally abducted? Very likely because no one questioned when they should have? How often do we fail to act or say something out of fear of how we will be perceived for the potential embarrassment of being wrong? When it comes to the safety and well-being of another human being who is potentially in harm’s way I’d rather be embarrassed and wrong than have my ego intact and someone hurt because I failed to speak up. I’ve been in that position before. I’ve lost relationships that needed to be lost because I was bold enough to say something when nobody else would. I don’t care about embarrassment and neither should you. If you see something, say something! Someone else’s very life may depend on it.

~Amy

References:

Bartol, C. R., & Bartol, A. M. (2008). Criminal Behavior (8th ed.). Pearson Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ

Doerner, William G., & Lad, Steven P. (2008). Victimology (5th ed.). Anderson Publishing: Newark, NJ

Seigel, Larry J. (2009). Criminology (Tenth ed.). Thomson  Wadsworth: Belmont, CA

http://www.amberalert.gov/guidelines.htm

http://elizabethsmartfoundation.org/get-smart-across-america/

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/2007-pdfs/july07leb.pdf

http://judicial-inc.neophytos.org/stockholm_syndrome_fuselier.pdf

http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/FBI/a0908/chapter3.htm

This is Why We Never Quit Searching

Tags

, , , , , , ,

This is why we never quite searching for the missing! After 10 years in captivity, Amanda Berry, Georgina “Gina” DeJesus, and Michelle Knight along with an unidentified 6 year old girl have been rescued! Ariel Castro, 52, has been arrested by authorities in connection with the victims’ captivity.

This is another classic example of evil hiding in plain sight! Look around you. Someone you know might need help. More on this story as it develops.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/07/2-ohio-teen-girls-missing-for-decade-found-alive-as-cops-offer-few-details/

Lies, Lulz and Lunacy: Romancing the Mask

amylynnburch:

This is an excellent and well written personal account from our dear Amanda Blackburn about her unfortunate experiences with whom I’ve referred to as “wannabe-Anonymous” members. Whatever you’re doing, stop and read this immediately. It will give you insight and clarity into the dark motives of those who wish to do harm in the name of good.

~Amy

Originally posted on Behind the Yellow Tape:

Image

By: Amanda Blackburn

Part I:

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster… And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

At approximately four o’ clock in the morning on Valentine’s Day, I stepped out of my own car, in which I had ridden as a passenger, carsick, head throbbing and confused. The air was frigid, the sky was uncertain and dark, but the view was nevertheless breathtaking.

We were away from the crime scene. That part was over, at least. Thinking about it made the pressure in my head intensify. I hadn’t had a migraine in over a year. My mind was reeling. I had no idea how to process everything that had just happened. I knew I was angry at Don, but I was so scared and far away from everything and everyone I knew. I was in way over my head. I wanted to vomit as…

View original 6,781 more words

Freedom of Speech Doesn’t Sit So Well With Those Who Have Misused It

Tags

, , , , , , ,

~by Amy Lynn Burch

published on May 1, 2013 @ 10:34pm (EST)
I’ve been accused lately of misrepresenting myself as a registered private investigator. I am one, for those who cannot figure out how to verify that information on their own. However, my role on this, my victim advocate’s blog, is not as a private investigator but as a – dare I repeat myself – victim advocate for which I receive no compensation. Never have, never will. Furthermore, my capacity with BehindTheYellowTape at this time is as an investigative journalist whose job it is to research and investigate facts, then report those facts to our listeners and readers. I know that for some, dissecting these roles into their appropriate categories might be a bit complex but it should be noted that simply because I am an “xyz” in one aspect of my work does not mean that I am also and “xyz” in all other roles, as well. My advocate’s blog is entirely about protecting victims of sexual crimes up to and including protection from exploitation well after the fact of assault. This is the reason that I chose to share the Facebook Private Messages with permission from their rightful owner, Joey Ortega, on NotYourPlaything. Plainly stated, I believe that Steubenville’s Jane Doe, as well as the entire town of Steubenville and its inhabitants, has been unfairly treated by Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard and those who choose to blindly follow her, and that stated treatment has, in fact, been abusive.

Apparently, certain supporters of the very people who hack other people’s information, particularly the private kind, and then post stated information on whichever sites they choose (such as pastebin) believe that my posting message copies between Joey Ortega and Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard have somehow crossed an ethical line. My response to that is: you can’t possibly be serious? You are the very people that harass and infiltrate the personal and private information of law-abiding citizens by federally unlawful means, and then use that information however you wish to further your own selfish and misguided agendas. And you have the nerve to cry foul? I have acquired these messages honestly and with permission from the rightful owner of the message copies. I didn’t hack anyone’s account which is clearly against the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. That act specifically states that it is illegal to obtain private information in the following ways: unauthorized eavesdropping by persons and businesses; unauthorized access to messages stored on a computer; and unauthorized interception of electronic messages in transmission. None of the information provided was obtained in that manner.

The private messages obtained and reposted here on NotYourPlaything were given to me to use as I deemed appropriate in the pursuit of exposing the truth behind Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard’s involvement and motivation regarding the Steubenville Rape Case. Permission to share this information was given to me by the rightful owner of the message copies and does not contain alterations of any kind. Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard’s words speak for themselves. I seem to recall that Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard and her supporters – which I remind you included Joey Ortega at one time and before she exposed herself as duplicitous – had no problem printing whatever she wanted to on her so-called blog when she was unfortunately unsuccessfully sued for defamation for libeling Cody Saltsman. She had no problem screaming “freedom of speech” when the heat was on, which incidentally was also during the time that the only supporter she had was Joey Ortega, until she revealed her true colors in the most cruelest of manner. Why on earth would she have a problem with it now?

And with that I give you the following. Again, I have the permission of the rightful owner of the message copies to reprint this information at my discretion. The following messages exchanged between Joey Ortega and Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard occurred December 25, 2012 beginning at 7:22pm (PST) thru January 23, 2013 ending 10:42pm, (PST). As with the previously posted messages, spelling and grammatical errors committed by both Joey Ortega and Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard are left intact to protect the integrity of the messages:

  • Joey Ortega

    like i said i dont really care what anon do to these guys, but i just hope they give me a shot to use the evidence in a way that may help lock up these bastards not just “epose” them them lol

     

    yeah i heard about that. I fear more are on the way. gtg for a bit can we talk on the phone soon?

     
  • Alexandria Goddard

    yea i’ll be around all day

     

    Steubenville PD called in the FEDS to investigate the hacking of a private website. LOL

     
     
  • Joey Ortega

    lol, yeah they fucked up red roll

     

    the webmaster is shitting bricks im sure

     

    ill call you later, so PICK UP THE DAMN PHONE!!! lol

     
  • Alexandria Goddard

    k i have it beside me LOL

  • Joey Ortega

    lol, kk. talk at ya later

     
  • Alexandria Goddard

    merry christmas

     

    k

  • Joey Ortega

    Merry Christmas 

     
  • Joey Ortega

    Is your attorney freaking out about you goign on air? lol

     
  • Alexandria Goddard

    No, not anymore. Lawsuit has been dismissed.

     
  • Joey Ortega

    Yeah, glad that is finally over. Blake must be pissed lol

     
  • Alexandria Goddard

    he had no choice. he would have had his ass handed to him

     
  • Joey Ortega

    Lol, I know. That was obvious from day one.

     
  • Joey Ortega

    Ill be going back on the air in 2 weeks. let me know if you still want or are able to contribute anything or still wanting to do your segment.

  • Joey Ortega

    You still online?

  • Alexandria Goddard

    sent you an email with someone seeking info re your area of expertise.

     
  • Joey Ortega

    I got it, thanks. I think she sent an email to me at the same time. Not quite sure what exactly she is wanting to put together but told her she could call if she wished

  • Alexandria Goddard

    Stranahan — i would do my research on him before you associate with him — and that’s a friendly warning so you don’t get yourself painted with his broad brush

     

    you are supporting the guy who is trashing me?

  • Alexandria Goddard

    just tried to call you to discuss this because right now I am sitting here thinking WTH regarding your support of the pornographer pig that is claiming I am lying but still have my material on BTYT? Not sure what to think of this.

     

    i guess I should stop being shocked

     

    wow not sure what to think here

  • Alexandria Goddard

    LMFAO Seriously?

     

    Great post here by a respected writer and journalist. And pornographer, and liar and someone who tried to get people to pay for his new teeth! You cannot be serious!

  • Joey Ortega

    Im supporting his exposure of McKee and Kyle. I could never do it since given her fairy tales about me and my motives and how they have been foiled to save you by her “heroic” effort, Andy thing I said whether true or not would just be countered with a victim cry that I’m just trying to “get back” at her. Quite frankly Alex I could easily give you the same warning about McKee. Eventually emotions will wane reason will surface and ppl will know the investigators from the instigators and follow lists will lighten, and the phone will stop ringing and some people will crawl back under their leaving in their wake nothing but damage ironically not to her intended target but to those she used to try and feed her sick obsession. 
    Neither he nor I are posing mocking or humiliating videos in the name of truth but offering none. Nor have either of us made claims or criticisms that were not back by sincerity and reason. All us open ourselves to scrutiny and critiques….and just blind hate. You may not like what he says or disagree and have a forum to respond but no one can reasonably look at those I have associated with on this and you and say WE are looking to nothing but “trash” anyone.

    As for the other stuff you are saying, if you proof of a crime from him, bring it, I’ll just as publicly condemn him as I have endorsed him. But at this point, nothing you are pointing out does not refute the words said by him on this and unlike what you are doing now, he’s posting to public statements and actions not personal issues that have no direct correlation. None of it is much different than the crap of emails and warnings from people when I publicly brought you on and supported you and almost all said you were an opportunist who will say or do anything to get attentions and will screw over anyone if it will serve her ambitions. I ignored because I saw and see something and a potential that’s better then most of them. All you needed was a chance and good people in your corner. But it’s our choices that most determines our fates. You made yours and are in a different corner with different people lifting you up…or so it may seem…today. But I hold no regrets or malice.

    Make no mistake Alex , Choosing to look the other way on somethings doesn’t make me blind. Nor offering grace make me weak. Stop crying foul, when you chose to step in the fray and chose to benefit from shortcuts that you may not have committed but not really objected to.

    Don’t blame me when the crap hits the fan and the fallout comes full force. It is not now nor then will it be ME who owes YOU an apology.

     
  • Joey Ortega

    For what it’s worth , I did remove that article from my board, though I was clear that my focus was on McKee, just not looking to give more excuses for ppl to say I’m trying to harm u. I’m not. I am aware of the claims on lee. Again I’m focused on his writing of this case but if indeed he is a wanted criminal or something and i get something to help prove that I will not hesitate to out him.

  • Alexandria Goddard

    His efforts on this case are to prove that I am a liar. He is dying to get on “national radio or satellite” with me. His quote — which tells me this guy is someone who is all about getting his face on TV. Good for him — but not by using me as his bait. I got emails about your twitter and went to look and all those people ass slapping you for your support/ Go read their timelines. Go do some research on Stranahan. There is plenty out there.

     
  • Joey Ortega

    I read the them already and WORSE for not praising these guy fawkes wannnabes. But look when we first met all I got was dirt and criminal claims regarding you and your family. Even then I ignored and backed your work product at the time.

    I’m not calling you a liar and his last article is mostly reflects his issue with McKee. This is you an me here no one else so lets be straight and honest, we both know she IS a liar and a mental case wish selfish motives.

    But all that aside, there are ppl convinced or seem convinced , I’m out to lie about people or a case despite best efforts to get along with others. Hell, since I apparently didn’t create scene with the sheriff some practically accused ME of being a lunch buddy a THE SPOT. I just don’t take personal. Be clear, you are right i don’t know everything about him but I’m supporting many of his claims and arguments about this case not his past or his every action.

    If he lies about you or anyone Ill call him out, I do call out things and errors as I catch them, and try not to let the show be used as a slam fest on even people I do’t like. I am unclear about the whole pornographer thing? Meaning child porn or something else criminal in that area? And if so, I would turn him in if it was in my power but still does that mean everything he wrote about these guys and Michelle is all untrue? What are ppl expecting , that I look for everyone skeletons and disqualify another’s right to make an argument as a result? I invited KY and you know I would not act as insulting to him as he has to

     
  • Joey Ortega

    *as he has to me.

  • Alexandria Goddard

    is there a reason you are tagging prinniefied in your new blog posts? Just curious.

  • Joey Ortega

    I tag all polarizing or prominent figures, I even tag KY.

     
  • Joey Ortega

    Im done being nice Alex. Ppl think we are enemies and now Kyle has fabricated a claim that I mocked JaneDoe and is using that as an way to cover up his tantrum for not liking my opinions and has announced that in retaliation for my insult to this girl and my stealing work from you has called an attack on me (see my twitter) …you can stay silent on this one if you want and not say or do the right thing…i’m not afraid of him or the fight…but if any harm comes to my wife or especially my children as a result of their attack on our personal info and finance i will not forgive you and will lose all respect.

     
  • Alexandria Goddard

    i don’t have time to read anyone’s twitter tbh i’m barely able to deal with mine.

     

    cliffnotes.

     

    who is kyle? not sure what you are talking about as I haven’t been on – am reading a transcript.

     
  • Joey Ortega

    KYanaymous.

     
  • Alexandria Goddard

    I told you awhile back when you were going off about masked cowards that you were playing with fire. Even I know not to fuck with anonymous. Sometimes it’s best to just remain quiet about stuff. So let me understand this because you ticked them off, according to your friend Burch and you this is now MY fault?

  • Joey Ortega

    I stopped talking about them weeks ago, it was them refusing to leave me alone to tell me to get off case and to defend YOUR investigatve prowess nextto my incompetence

     

    I care about you but you know thats a lie, come on

     
  • Joey Ortega

    sorry it seemed short a sc ago, was multi tasking, didn’t want to not answer. Anyway alex, People are right and i never disputed it. You don’t HAVE to do anything. Even if this new attack…which will fail is in your name or based on a false claim that I mocked the victim. I had just hoped that you would at least help clear record enough to keep down right lies intended to just anger ppl against me, dont think it would undermine or take away whatever you may be gaining from all this. Thx for listening anyway.

    I invite you to re-read the above messages with a critical eye and consider how carefully Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard ignores Joey’s arguments and reasoning behind not instantly vilifying anyone who counters her false narrative in relation to Steubenville. She attacks Lee Stranahan as a pornographer without any proof to the allegations and completely ignores Joey’s balanced view in terms of offering support of her and turning in Stranahan IF she can provide proof of any criminal activity. I would like to stop here for a moment and say that Lee Stranahan has his detractors but the man is no pornographer and he is an excellent journalist.

    To continue, Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard then ignores Joey’s repeated support of her work when he makes it known that he was warned to not take her on as an investigative journalist. What I find startling is that not once does Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard acknowledge the opportunity and support that Joey showed to her and at no time offers even so much as a “thank you for taking a chance on me” as a valuable writer in her right and contributor to BehindTheYellowTape. To be clear, Joey has never once complained about this but in analyzing the content of the messages, I find her lack of balance and gratitude offensive. Professionalism is utterly absent on her end not to mention the ability to follow the evidence where it leads and not drive evidence with a false narrative wherever she chooses to take it. Additionally, the denial of not knowing about KYanonymous is laughable since her BFF Michelle L. McKee has openly taken credit for the involvement of so-called Anonymous from the beginning which would include this KY character.

    So, there you have it. Thank you for reading. Comments are welcomed provided you do not hide your identity, and that you keep your comments civil in disagreement.

    ~Amy

Information Should be Free, Right???

Tags

, , ,

The following Facebook Private Messages were exchanged between Joey Ortega and Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard on Christmas Day, December 25, 2012 between 7:05pm and 7:21pm (PST) regarding Anonymous’ involvement in what has now become known as The Steubenville Rape Case. These messages are published by permission from the recipient and respondent, Joey Ortega. It should be noted that the typos and grammatical errors made by both Goddard and Ortega are left intact to preserve the integrity of the messages with the exception of the “Anonpaste” link which has been removed to preserve the identity of, and to avoid, by this writer, the wrongful accusation of a potentially innocent party. A redacted version is provided at the end of this post:

7:05pm

Joey Ortega

the photo we decided to put up on your site was the blacked out one, right?

7:06pm

Alexandria Goddard

yes I pixelated the victim

7:06pm

Joey Ortega

yes we did two virsions though. one was the blur the other black. the black was the one we decided on for the Hello Clevelenad post or was it the blur?

 

7:07pm

Alexandria Goddard

it was the piixelated version

 

7:07pm

Joey Ortega

ok phew lol

 

7:08pm

Alexandria Goddard

why?

 

7:10pm

Joey Ortega

because its the one Anonymous has been using. if it wasnt from the website, it could have be bad for u. People already think we somehow got them involved. A subsequent investigation compariong MD5 hashes of the photo will most likely link back to you and me but now we can make clear anyone could have gotten that pic by just lgging on and that we didnt give them any directly

 

7:11pm

Alexandria Goddard

uh, I am not involved in anonymous and will not be making any such statement about their involvement. I’m standing back on this one and if you make a statement about anonymous – do not speak on my behalf. I’m represented by counsel and if anything is to be said — they will do it.

 

7:12pm

Alexandria Goddard

whatever happens to those shit bags — is karmically deserved. IMO

also anyone could have taken that pic off of my site and people in that valley are so pissed off that they are providing info to anonymous

 

7:12pm

Joey Ortega

I made a statement that BTYT is in no way connect to them and that we did not play a part in involving them

 

7:13pm

Alexandria Goddard

i would say nothing about anonymous b/c you don’t want to get them on your radar JMO

7:13pm

Joey Ortega

lol, i also said that too, in not so many words

 

7:13pm

Alexandria Goddard

have you? If so, links

if anything I am protected by anon LOL

the people in that valley are not upset by anon’s involvement one bit.

if this is what it takes to uncover the corruption then I’m not sad about it one bit.

I have not seen anywhere that I am being blamed for anon or being involved.

 

7:17pm

Joey Ortega

no people are careful because they feel anaon is helping us. Again between you and me, im not really caring what they do to those scumbags but i would rather theygive me the evidence and not brag about how they hacked accounts to get it. they are rendering it useless 

 

7:18pm

Alexandria Goddard

i haven’t seen anyone blame me and I haven’t participated in back and forth with anon.

 

7:20pm

Joey Ortega

its just emails, texts and stuff. Some of them talk like they are impressed with us lol.

 

7:21pm

Alexandria Goddard

and a third victim has come forward.

[original link removed to protect a potentially innocent party]

they are. they are happy that the govt is being exposed.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have lots of questions about this as, I’m sure, do my readers. Those questions include: why did Prinnie use Anonymous to her advantage all the while disavowing any involvement with them when all the evidence points clearly to the contrary? (Did I misread her statement or did she really refer to Anonymous as “shitbags” then warn Joey to stay away from them?) Why is her concern in this exchange about being blamed for bringing in Anonymous and not for the wellbeing of Jane Doe? Again, why does she not mention “for Jane Doe” in her concerns? When Joey makes the statement that he wants to preserve evidence and that Anons are ruining evidence integrity, what is Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard’s response but,

i haven’t seen anyone blame me and I haven’t participated in back and forth with anon.”

The self interest is glaring.

There are more exchanges between Goddard and Ortega which raise a considerable number of questions as to what might be the true motives behind Goddard’s involvement  in The Steubenville Rape Case that I will post as the week progresses. As I read them I am left here wondering, what is her personal beef, as it were, with Big Red football?

For those curious as to the Anonpaste provided to Joey by Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard regarding an alleged third victim, please see below:

Image

At What Price, Fame: The High Cost of Re-Victimization and the Steubenville Rape Case

Tags

, , , , , ,

With the verdict decided and justice served, I sit here at my computer some six weeks later contemplating the potential aftermath of the Steubenville Rape case. Although, I am satisfied that the correct judgment was rendered I cannot help but wonder how much damage was done to the case and all parties involved due to social media manipulation and the meddlesome behavior of those claiming to be members of the hacktivist group “Anonymous”. I’ve written before that I believe one blogger in particular has used the Steubenville Rape case to further her own personal agenda. I contend that she has a personal axe to grind, if you will, as respects the powers that be in Steubenville. By powers that be I mean specifically law enforcement of Steubenville and also Big Red football which has been suggested by others including said blogger to have considerable pull within the Steubenville community. I almost don’t care to mention the blogger’s name again for the simple reason that she has gone out of her way to make herself a household name at the expense of a victimized 16 year old girl that we’ve all come to know as Jane Doe.  I’m not one to reward those who seek attention or fame at the expense of a sexual assault survivor’s dignity, or any other form of abuse for that matter.  In my opinion, stated blogger has been rewarded enough and her 15 minutes of fame which should be well over by now. However, much to my personal dislike and for the sake of clarity, I will have to name her plainly, yet again. As the Grand Jury convenes in Steubenville tomorrow, April 30, 2013, as it considered perhaps more charges against yet unnamed persons for their involvement in the case, I felt it important to revisit the progression or, rather, the unraveling of this case and its potential aftermath on the victim, as well as all persons involved.

For months, “For Jane Doe!” has been the would-be battle cry of numerous social media mavens, not the least of which is Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard, coupled with her so-called “Anonymous drones” as well as her self-professed best friend, Michelle L McKee.  But how, exactly, was any of this social media circus which they by their own admission created and drove full-force into the media spotlight truly for the benefit of Jane Doe? What was the game plan? Did they have a game plan, or what end state did they intend to achieve? What did they hope to accomplish “for Jane Doe” that wasn’t already being done privately by her own family and law enforcement within the town of Steubenville, and why did they assume that national attention was warranted and would help? Based on what did they assume that “nothing was being done” to investigate this case? Not one of these questions has been sufficiently answered by Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard and her Anon-followers. In fact, these questions appear to have been deliberately avoided. Curious.

In order to efficiently answer these questions, perhaps we should examine the timeline of events as presented by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Special Prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter at a news conference immediately following the verdict in the Steubenville Rape case to see just exactly how Goddard, Anonymous, and McKee championed Jane Doe’s “cause” and aided in bringing justice in this case. I remind the reader that the assault of Jane Doe occurred between the dates of August 11th and 12th, 2012 and was reported to authorities by Jane Doe’s parents two days later on August 14th, 2012 after having taken Jane Doe to a local hospital for examination. Steubenville law enforcement officials were notified by hospital officials and Jane Doe’s parents as to the events and allegations of sexual assault – for which Mays and Richmond have now been found delinquent – at that time:

On August 16, 2012, the Steubenville Police Department asked the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to assist in processing the scene of a rape that occurred at a home in Wintersville, OH.  Our agent immediately responded and processed the scene. 

 

On August 17, 2012, the Police Department contacted BCI again and asked for our assistance in analyzing cell phones collected from the main suspects in the rape investigation and to process other forensic evidence.

**As an aside: It should be noted that at this point during the seven day period between authorities collecting and analyzing data to the time that Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin filed the charges, activity related to case in terms of investigation was still ongoing although not made public for reasons likely involving the protection of case evidence. 

On August 24, 2012, Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin filed three charges against a juvenile — rape, kidnapping, and dissemination of nudity-oriented materials of a juvenile.  On that same day, Prosecutor Hanlin also filed charges of rape and kidnapping against a second juvenile. 

 

On August 27, 2012, Prosecutor Hanlin moved the Court to bind the juveniles over to be treated as adults.  On that same day, Prosecutor Hanlin formerly requested assistance from the Ohio Attorney General’s office in the prosecution of the two juveniles.  Thereafter, the Common Pleas Court appointed my office as the prosecutor in this matter.  I then directed attorneys Marianne Hemmeter and Brian Deckert in our Special Prosecutions Section to handle the case. 

 

On October 12, 2012, the juvenile court of Jefferson County held a probable cause hearing for the two juveniles.  At that time, the Court determined that the two were and are amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile court system and therefore denied the motion to try them as adults.

Does anyone else see what I see? Or, rather, what I don’t see? Nowhere within the above timeline are Goddard and/or Anonymous mentioned. Neither is McKee mentioned in bringing material information to the attention of authorities in Steubenville regarding the then-alleged assault of Jane Doe.  Everything outlined above is a matter of record clearly documented and none of it is to the credit of Goddard, Anonymous, and/or McKee for a very specific reason; they provided nothing of material value in the prosecution of this case. Zero, zip, nada! Just to be clear, let’s look at when Goddard, specifically, did become involved by willfully, and without invitation, inserting herself into this case. It should be clearly noted that the following Facebook Private Messages dated August 25, 2012, were released to me by the recipient and respondent, Joey Ortega, and are used by permission. All of the typos and grammatical errors of both Goddard and Ortega are left intact to protect the integrity of the messages:

12:18am

Alexandria Goddard

left you a voicemail – trying to figure out how to deal with this blog I’m working on. High school football players gang raped a female from another school. Party was at a COACH’s house, and the news and cops sat on this for over a week before making an arrest

AND there are still players who were there and had the video, were tweeting it and they were suited up tonight for the game.

12:38am

Joey Ortega

So there is an active investigation?

12:38am

Alexandria Goddard

yes, but the coach hasn’t been arrested and the other players have deleted tweets that sent the video out. You should see the shit I found.

NOT A WORD has been said about these other kids.

http://www.wtov9.com/news/news/breaking-news-steubenville-teens-officially-charge/nRJsQ/watch that video

 

 

  • watch that video

12:44am

Joey Ortega

K, I cant atm. But will later tonight. So what is the issue. Not sure in angle, or u sitting on exclusive price of evidence or a tipster that needs to be worked?

12:44am

Alexandria Goddard

I am about half afraid to give it to LE because they are protecting these other kids.

I used to live in Steubenville and KNOW how it works there.

12:49am

Joey Ortega

What do u have?

12:49am

Alexandria Goddard

proof that two of the varsity players tweeted the video, deleted their tweets so they wouldn’t get in trouble and it was posted on a site with the tags “rape” and drunk, as well as talking about sodomizing her and pissing on her.

1:15am

Joey Ortega

You have the tweets? Where did u get them? Are u sure they are authentic?

1:31am

Alexandria Goddard

Yes they are authentic. They came from google cache and topsy which will archive deleted tweets.

1:58am

Joey Ortega

So what is the deal now. Everyone. Thinks all evidence is gone or there is a gag order regarding the publication of such stuff?

12:45pm

Alexandria Goddard

There is no gag order. I don’t think LE even knows the shit is out there. This is a small town. What pisses me off is that video is STILL being shown. People saved it to their cells and it was being shown as of last night in a BAR in town. Can you believe that? Plus, the other four players involved were suited up and played last night. That’s how important football is to that town. This is going to end up being PennState, Jr.

2:57pm

Joey Ortega

It was playing at a bar last night? Thats essentially child porn. It was on their main screens or someone was walking around with it and showing ppl?

2:58pm

Alexandria Goddard

waqlking around showing it

3:00pm

Joey Ortega

How did you hear about this? Was the freak arrested?

3:00pm

Alexandria Goddard

I lived in Steubenville and still have lots of friends there. Someone who was at the bar last night told me about it.

and no…and the other four players have not been arrested. I honestly don’t think the prosecutor’s office is going to do much more. That town loves their high school football team more than they like justice. and they are all starters who were involved.

3:07pm

Joey Ortega

I say run with the story. Are you wanting my help with angles for your blog are are you asking to make this a BTYT thing?

3:08pm

Alexandria Goddard

aksing your help. I can cross post of course, but I am going to name the others and post the screenshots of their tweets and ask WHY they have not been arrested.

  • Joey Ortega

    I say let’s do both if interested. I’ll help either way of course but what if we ran this as ongoing story with BTYT too. You’ll be noted as the lead reporter on this story. You’ll writhe the articles and give verbal updates on the air. Then you can do something’s that I think you should do, and do it under our banner so theyll have to screw with me before screwing with you. A couple of things I suggest is sending a letter to the DA and the ADA posing your questions as well a copies of the tweets. Also do the same for the PD chief and detective in charge. Then the same to the principal of the school. Then the stick part is what to do after. Personally I would then write the story series intro, with all the details and the tweets, blot out victims name of its still not public, and include the questions posed to these people and that you are awaiting their answers and will update. This way it hooks readers/listeners and gets the ball rolling before anyone can attempt to block the tweets with some legal BS or threats. Doing all this under the banner of BTYT , with all the endorsements we have in the law enforcement community may make it less likely that ppl will sit on the enter and not answer in some way. Just don’t do the coming at your throat thing…yet, lol. It rarely works and only looks cool on tv

  • Alexandria Goddard

    The prosecutor is going ot recuse herself as she is friendly with the families of these kids. The whole town knew for TWO weeks before anyone was even arrested.

     

    I know the Chief of Police. I used to hang out with him – dated his partner for years. My concern is that because the football team there is SO important that this is going to be buried.

     
  • Joey Ortega

    All the more reason to run with it. Want me to approach the the chief and DA so that I can be the bad guy?

     

    Walking out. Text my phone.

So much for the mythology that Joey Ortega did nothing to help Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard begin an honest investigative report on what he believed at the time – based on Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard’s misunderstanding of the facts – was a potentially mishandled rape case. What we now know is that Steubenville authorities already had the information that they needed and that  the case well in hand before Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard decided to use this case to her advantage.

I encourage you to go back and read Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s timeline which, again, is well documented against what Alexandria “Prinnie” Goddard claims in terms of “nothing being done” until she began blogging about the case then spinning it in the direction she preferred, e.g. anti-football and anti-law enforcement, the reasons of which still remain unanswered.

Something else that should be mentioned is that in all of the communications that I’ve read that were shared between Prinnie and Joey beginning August 25, 2012 through January 23, 2013, not one time – not once! – does Prinnie mention Jane Doe or that she is doing this “for Jane Doe.” What she does mention, however, is alleged (and still unsupported, I might add) “corruption” of Steubenville law enforcement and the power of Big Red football which she clearly despises. To reiterate: not one mention of Jane Doe.

Counting the Cost

Again, I ask readers how have the unsolicited-by-Jane-Doe-and-her-family mechanizations of Goddard and her associates helped Jane Doe receive justice? Simply stated, it hasn’t.  If anything, their involvement has complicated the case from the moment in which they became involved. Notice that I didn’t trivialize the word complicated by encasing it in quotations because it isn’t a joke. The meddlesome behavior of Goddard and her minions is, in my opinion, quite serious on multiple levels. AG DeWine was quite clear when he state in his post verdict news conference that “social media has re-victimized Jane Doe,” which is something that I have stated all along yet, somehow, this fact continues to fall on deaf ears. Proper handling and aftercare of trauma victims is critical to the healing process. Handled incorrectly, the risks of re-traumatization whether intended or not, is extremely high. It matters very little what the alleged “good intentions” were of Goddard and her associates, but, rather, what matters more is the potentially long-lasting negative affect their antics may have caused to Jane Doe, her family, and the entire community of Steubenville, Ohio.

Something that needs to be stated for those who do not understand is this: trauma sufferers cannot set themselves free from pain. It takes qualified intervention and facilitation to begin the healing process for trauma and abuse sufferers. Under what might be loosely termed “normal” circumstances of trauma occurrence, it can take up to six months to a year for symptoms of trauma stress to surface before they can effectively be dealt with. Because Jane Doe not only suffered the initial trauma of sexual assault coupled with unusual circumstances, and then was not allowed to process the events privately before being unwillingly hurtled into the national spotlight, her trauma symptoms will likely be compounded. Trauma symptoms for Jane Doe have also likely not even begun to surface. Only time will tell what the true fallout for her might be in the long run and in the near future.

No matter what the original intention of Goddard, Anonymous, McKee, and those who aided them (and I have my own suspicions about what might be the motives) it remains that re-victimizing Jane Doe is inexcusable. I contend that because of the actions of Goddard/Anonymous/McKee and those whose hearts may have been in the right place but clearly were not thinking empathetically and rationally, Jane Doe was left with absolutely zero space to process the sexual assault that she suffered in August of 2012. Not only that, she has now been intentionally re-victimized over and over and over again at the hands of social media that blatantly refuses to acknowledge and respect personal boundaries. Just so I’m clear, let me state in no uncertain terms to all reading this that the general public’s ‘right to know’ ends when it violates the personal privacy of others particularly when one’s personal privacy includes the details of experiencing a humiliating criminal act.

Re-victimization is not some catchy term we use because it sounds impressive. It is very real and it is very harmful in that it has the power to cause even greater harm to trauma sufferers than the initial trauma itself. The reason for this is actually very simple to understand even though revictimization itself is, in reality, a complex process. Taken down to its basic structure, when trauma is experienced the person in crises is feeling the information and not merely thinking about it or processing it intellectually. Unlike those who observe trauma from an outside perspective, the person who experiences the trauma in the flesh re-experiences the traumatic event repeatedly. As a result, the risk of reinforcing trauma and compounding the harm is extraordinarily high. Blatant disregard for a rape victim’s privacy has similar if not the same psychological effects as first order assault at the hands of the victim’s assailant(s). Disregard of a rape victim’s needs immediately after assault and in the months thereafter may not only delay the healing process but can also cause significant re-traumatization which may permanently impair the victim’s ability to recover.

As a quick aside before I go any further, let me state that it is well documented that persons who witness traumatic events are equally at risk for suffering the effects of trauma stress as persons who actually experience the traumatic event although to a somewhat lesser degree although it is difficult to quantify the effects of trauma stress because trauma experience is individual to the individual. Resiliency is a complex issue which is why it is difficult to predict who may or may not suffer more greatly in terms of experienced trauma. Not only does witnessing someone else experience trauma also create traumatic stress for certain persons it can also have a desensitizing effect on those who choose to view others pain as entertainment. As you can see, trauma is a very complicated issue and should never ever be treated as a joke or as incidental. Don’t even get me started on secondary traumatic stress for case workers!

Moving back to Jane Doe and her very real first person experience, it is important to address how certain victims experience stress. Particularly where sexual assault is concerned, trauma is experienced by the whole person and not just the body, as if just the body was any kind of consolation. For those reactionary soles who have come unglued and the previous statement, what I mean by just “just the body” is that the body experience although significant does not encompass the totality of how traumatic events such as sexual assault affect the whole person. Again, the body experience is only one component of sexual assault. Because of testimony provided in the Steubenville Rape case, it is now known that Jane Doe had no conscious memory of the sexual assault when it happened but this does not mean that her body lacked the ability to process the assault. To the contrary, very likely her body remembers what her mind never will which could complicate her healing process. Notice I stated “could” and not “will” because it is possible that that particular potential cannot be quantified.

The element of having no memory of the actual assault yet seeing portions of what has been portrayed with bias in the media could only serve to confuse what memory of the assault she might ever actually truly recall, and done so in such a way from a perspective wherein they had no creditable information. In other words, her experience has been tainted by social media calling into question what actually happened and when. How confusing it must be for her to see images of herself which she cannot on her own remember coupled with a false narrative carefully designed by people she doesn’t even know. That aspect of her particular experience is complex enough without the added issue of having to see the video of related events portrayed over and over again against her will by supposedly well meaning social and mainstream media who wanted to “help” her.  It has been stated clearly by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the Asst. Attorney General and Special Prosecutor in this case, Marianne Hemmeter, and Prosecutor Jane Hanlin who is the one who filed the charges in the first place before the involvement of social media and Anonymous, that Jane Doe didn’t want the “help” of these people. In fact, Jane Doe didn’t even want to press charges. I am addressing this for a specific reason.

Even if Jane Doe’s case had never been thrust into the national spotlight, dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault trauma would be difficult enough to deal with due to the fact that the already over-stimulated nervous system needs to time to calm down after such an experience. Even in the best of circumstances, insofar as that’s possible related to trauma experience, finding a new “normal” takes time and is a very tedious task. In Jane Doe’s case she has been in a chronic state of revictimization at the hands of social media and Anonymous over and over and over again without any regard for how it would affect her in a very real and tangible sense. In short, she has had little, if any, time and space to remove herself from the limelight of national attention in order to reach a place of calm from a biological perspective. Even now, some six weeks after the verdict she is still dealing with national attention compounded by even more victimization almost immediately after the verdict by two girls who threatened her in relation to the case outcome. So the abuse of Jane Doe continues, intended or not. Carelessness in revictimization cannot be excused away with a cursory “that wasn’t my intention,” but now I think that we are beginning to see the true intention and it is far from altruistic.

I’ve stated this before and I will state it again: if I were Jane Doe’s mother I would be furious at social media, Anonymous, and those who aided them for insinuating themselves into my daughter’s very private pain and then exploiting her all over the Internet. What would make it so much worse for me if I were Jane Doe’s mother comes from knowing that my daughter was used as a pawn in a game to settle a personal score or to derive fame from all the media attention. The thoughts that would be going through my mind if this had happened to my child would be, “What right do these people have to exploit very painful-to-look-at images of my daughter all over the Internet, and how can they possibly think that this somehow helps her, particularly when authorities were already appropriately and quietly addressing the crime? Did any of them bother to ask our permission to be involved?”

In closing, I ask again, where was the focus in the Steubenville case where Goddard, Anonymous, McKee, and those who aided them are concerned? Actions have consequences and it isn’t enough in the aftermath to imply flippantly and as an effort to distance oneself from the painful results “…harming Jane Doe was never the intention so [I, we, they] cannot be responsible for the unintended consequences.” To those who seem to think this way let me just state that not only can you be held responsible for the “unintended consequences” but that I sincerely hope you are held responsible in every legal sense possible. In the Steubenville Rape case, was it ever truly about Jane Doe? No. I think that clearly, it was not. Judging by their own actions it is quite apparent that the focus was, and always has been, on them and literally on the backs of Jane Doe as well as the convicted, and the entire town of Steubenville. As evidenced by their own behavior the entire focus in bringing “awareness” to the case appears to have served what I think might be two clear purposes, at least for Goddard: first, I think she has a score to settle within the town of Steubenville and she used this case as a platform for that purpose; and, second, I think this case was used intentionally as a catalyst for both Goddard and McKee to gain fame. I could be wrong about that and if proven wrong I will gladly admit it. For now, I think I’m on the right course. There are very real consequences to taking advantage of someone else’s pain for your own personal agenda and gain. It’s more than sick; it’s diabolical abuse which should not be ignored.

~Amy

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 908 other followers