To name or not to name your abuser?

DontSuffer Stand up

Legal and Moral Considerations


Isn’t it wrong to expose someone by name—even if they did cause harm?
If you are asking this question, you should also ask yourself if it is right for an abuser to get away with hurting people. Concealing an abuser’s identity is protecting them from consequences for their actions and enables them to continue preying on unsuspecting victims.

Isn’t it against the law to publish the name of an abuser?
No, it isn’t. The rule is simple: just stick to the truth. You may also publish their picture on the Internet as long as you own the copyright. Still, caution is advisable. You should be able to verify all of your statements that even remotely could be construed as defamatory. Refrain completely from insults and name-calling.

Screenshot 2016-05-05 12.29.40

Intimidation tactics

A bully may threaten to sue you for libel to intimidate you, but in reality, a defamation lawsuit would not be in their interests because their own actions would then be fully exposed and scrutinized in court. Also, the burden of proof is on the party claiming libel. They don’t have a case unless they can prove that what you published is both defamatory and false. A lawsuit can take many years and become very costly, too.

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You will become a threat

You are not at fault if the truth about an abuser’s behavior damages their reputation. From a bully’s egocentrically warped point of view and sense of entitlement; everything is your fault. Count on being accused of slander, libel, and probably all sorts of other crimes if you speak up. They may be scary in their denial; playing the victim role and acting out indignation, hurling accusations, and vilifying you while manipulating other people to turn against you and support their vengeful schemes. It’s all a game to them. A self-righteous, hateful, and remorseless schemer can cause you a lot of harm—but they don’t have the law on their side.

ArticulateVictim

Consider the consequences

No one has the right to abuse you, and you are always entitled to defend yourself and to speak about what was done to you. However, it is up to you to decide what to do. You’ll need to examine all aspects of your situation and weigh your values against an estimated cost in personal suffering for asserting them. Read about cases similar to your own for valuable insights and warnings to heed, and educate yourself about psychopathy and libel laws to gain confidence and make a better informed decision. Most importantly, consider all possible consequences of ‘going public,’ especially danger to the life and well being of yourself and your loved ones.

moralcourage

More info: Exposing an Abuser


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11 thoughts on “To name or not to name your abuser?

  1. My ex-husband is furious with me because I finally broke the silence. I spoke out and exposed him for the sexual deviant and alcoholic he is.(peeping tom, rape porn, nude lap dances, strip clubs, hookers in erotic massage parlors. I never told anyone anything about him which was untrue. Funny how the abuser gets so angry and defensive when he is outed. I tried warning his new live-in girlfriend who has a pre-teen daughter but like all narcissistic abusers he has convinced her I am the one with a problem.

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      • I told her the truth. I said he was addicted to porn including rape porn, the police want him for being positively ID’d for peeping tom and public masturbation, goes to strip clubs and gets nude lap dances and he uses prostitutes at erotic massage parlors and at brothels in the Caribbean. She believed him and thought I was lying but I would swear on my life and the life of my children that every word I told her was true. Plus I have photos, police recorders, credit card statements too.

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  2. My ex-boyfriend, Robert Matthew Keegan, of Tucson, Arizona (half-Spanish, half Irish/Romanian), love-bombed me, then turned emotionally and sexually abusive, and raped me more than once after we broke up. He is a dangerous narcissist–likely a malignant narcissist–who mirrors to his victims what they want at first, and then tries to hurt them as much as possible, in a unique way; the more he falls in “love” at first–that is, the more vulnerable he feels during the early part of the relationship–the more he will go out of his way to hurt his victim. Everything he encourages the victim to open up to him about during the “love” phase of this game later becomes fodder for abuse (as a result, sexual abuse became the most tempting, fun and convenient way to subdue me, after I opened up to my ex-boyfriend about a history of sexual abuse and therefore exposed myself as weak in the face of it, as well as already traumatized from it).

    This man is dangerous. After our romantic relationship ended, he grew sexually violent and forcibly restrained and penetrated me when I would not acquiesce to give him access to the painful and degrading sex act that he wanted. I am convinced that despite himself clearly articulating what rape is and why it is wrong that he did this in order to hurt me as well as to lure me back using the denial and disbelief that results from experiencing this particular weapon of psychological terror as deployed by a loved and trusted person. He did this in order to further manipulate his victim. By positioning himself as the torturer he could also position himself as the comforter and savior.

    I feel I owe the truth to any woman who might become involved with him. He is dangerously mentally ill, and by his own admission routinely hurts women. He is an emotional abuser and a sexual predator, and if given the chance he will rape women and girls without remorse.

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    • Thank you. You have given voice to countless other victims of the type of abuse you so well described. You have also issued a warning about Robert Matthew Keegan and other men like him who follow the standard abusive lover protocol and cause immense harm to their victims. What you have done is very brave and a powerful contribution to increasing psychopathy awareness, which empowers us to escape victimization. Your testimony is very well written. Please share it on other blogs and discussion forums.

      Have you considered reporting the rape to police?

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      • I reported him the first time, not the second time. It didn’t go anywhere, though the officer believed me. I had other evidence since, but I have felt protective of him. He reached out to me asking me to take this down, and I even tried to do that.

        I have no idea why he raped me, again and again, why he abused me, why he entered into our relationship meaning to exploit me, or what is wrong with him. He had these problems before I met him. I am vulnerable, as a victim of multiple assault and abuse since I was young, and as a very compassionate person; I made a good target for him. We seemed to have everything in common. I have been beating myself up for rejecting his “apology” on the anniversary of the second rape last year for an entire year.

        The truth is, although I have been raped before and he has committed rape before, I don’t think either of us understood the full impact of rape until what he did to me. I think he did lose his mind after that, because the small part of him that has a conscience recognized what an absolutely evil thing he had done to someone vulnerable, who had been previously victimized, and was utterly undeserving of it; someone of whom he was envious, and sought to crush; someone he loved.

        I think the psychic penalties for doing this to someone you loved, who loved you, because of your sneaking suspicion she might be better than you (in ways that matter and ways only you think matter)–whatever “better” means–would stick a lot longer in your conscience craw for most of us, but for someone like him, it’s that he did this to someone that loved him–someone he no doubt deemed of “high value,” the highest praise he could pay to an object, in his mind–he’s aware that he’s missing out on something human inside him which would get to feel why it’s bad to hurt someone you love (something I have been living with since feeling I hurt him, by telling him the truth, after his abuse and rape); he can prove me wrong, if I’m wrong, by turning himself in for rape. If he is tortured over what he did to someone he loved, and truly guilty, he will throw himself at the mercy of my court, and I would grant it; I only want him to go somewhere to get help. But he will not. I was completely right when I told him off, when he called and texted me on the anniversary of the second rape, telling me he “missed me and missed my friendship,” and that he had “screwed things up really badly.” I told him then and I believe now that he felt regret rather than remorse, at losing me–someone who actually had loved him, fucked up as he is–rather than for destroying a human being who didn’t deserve it (which is tautological, no one deserves to be destroyed this way).

        Will he suffer forever knowing he is fundamentally different from everybody else? Is this the catalyst for a mid-life crisis in which he admits to himself that he has a major problem with how he views and treats women, with how he deflects blame and plays the victim, with how he refuses to own up to his abuse of others? Will he be able to get help? Will I ever know if he does? I don’t know.

        Everything I wrote is true. I also did love him, and do feel sorry for him. He has also irrevocably changed my life and horrifically harmed my health. PTSD in my early thirties robbed me of years of career and relationship gains, caused me to develop Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (autoimmune thyroid disorder resulting in low thyroid), to gain weight and use alcohol more than ever to cope with extreme difficulties with sleep, nightmares and flashbacks. I already had some of these issues to do previous sexual abuse, but full-blown PTSD and resulting health fallout has only compounded them. It is a horrible thing to do to somebody.

        By the same token, I don’t want him to suffer. I don’t want anybody to suffer. I would never wish how I am feeling on anybody.

        A sorry situation all around. For all of us. One for which sorry doesn’t cut it.

        Talk to me one day when you’re willing to talk publicly about what you did, and own it. Talk to me when you’re willing to have a dialogue about rape and how it is that a smart, talented, attractive person should turn out to be an abusive rapist, why you would do that, to yourself or others. Talk to me when you’ve done the amount of work to never be a rapist or an abuser again that I have done to never be a victim again. You can keep in mind that you should be treated well and do not deserve ill treatment because of your past as I keep in mind that I should treat others will and should not attempt to excuse ill-treatment of others because of my past.

        Come talk to me then. Until then the whole situation is too sorry to merit apology.

        I was inclined to make a silly pun about sorries and sacks and socks and silence, but I avoided the temptation. The time for silly puns is past, and I will never not be sorry for that.

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  3. I would like to add a few things here.

    Until not that long ago I was still in the throes of Stockholm Syndrome. I really fell for this person when we were dating and it was utterly devastating to me that he would pretend to be supportive and then turn abusive, and then rape me. I could not wrap my head around it.

    I was diagnosed December of 2016 with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. After he assaulted me the first time I was traumatized enough; after months I finally decided that it had been an “accident.” Recognizing I was in a vulnerable place, he lured me back to see him and then promptly assaulted me again.

    His preferred MO is to do to his victim–nearly always a woman he is dating–exactly what she has said “no” to, after consensual activity of a different type has begun (he feels entitled to do this). For example, he felt I was hesitant about giving him oral sex (I was, but not for the reasons he thought, i.e. that I didn’t like him or wasn’t attracted to him; it was when I felt he was requesting it selfishly and abusively that I said “no” to giving him oral sex), and so during consensual activity he would suddenly force his genitals into my mouth. When I made anal sex a hard limit, he would try to touch my anus; after we broke up he raped me anally twice, both times during or after consensual sexual activity of a different type had begun. He held me down after I said “Stop” and with full knowledge it was against my will, pinning my arms to my side, and raped me.

    Later he decided the last thing I wanted was his child, so he forcibly inseminated me. Basically, whatever I said “no” to he wanted ten times as much simply because I had said “no;” after forcing it, he stopped wanting it, because he’d gotten what he wanted. This is known as “reactance,” it stems from sexual narcissism, and it is exceedingly common among sexual abusers.

    I feel fairly certain this person is sorry about what he has done (not sorry enough to turn himself in or do anything to try to sincerely apologize to me, however), most likely because he’s fucked himself over in the community with his constant assaults (getting drunk and attacking women) and because word got around what he did to me (not that I care, the community still protects and shelters the more popular abusers, such as the man who raped me when I was 17, Jesse Arenstein).

    To Robert, who also goes by Mateo Keegan Burbano, I say this:

    I have been dead since what you did to me. Is that what you wanted?

    What was the point? Was it that you did not feel good enough? Low self-esteem? You felt rejected when I would say “no” to you sexually? We needed to talk about sex and sexuality; what I wanted was to feel safe and respected. I rejected you because I began to feel distinctly unsafe, objectified, and mistreated. One of the saddest things about this whole affair was the “alternate timeline” in my head in which you respected and loved me, we stayed together and moved in together, we worked on your lit mag together, we went to each other’s readings and helped each other get jobs, we gave each other advice and feedback, we were there for each other at the end of the day to ask how each other’s days went and we gave each other a kiss in the morning.

    I could not understand why instead of having this you would choose to abuse me. You treated me like absolute shit and it seemed to be with the end in mind of hurting me. When nothing hurt me enough–not sleeping with other women, not calling me names–it was like rape was my Achilles heel and the way to really hurt me while also getting what you wanted, and it’s like some childish part of yourself conceived of this as revenge without realizing just how traumatic this was going to be and just how evil it is to rape a person who is already traumatized, who has opened up to you about their trauma, who trusts you. It is truly evil and cowardly the way it is evil and cowardly to prey on a child. What you did to me and the way you used my intense trauma to sleep with me afterward was, to be plain, evil. You know it and you knew it at the time, which is why you sang a song about how evil you were after you saw me again in September 2016.

    I know you wish you had chosen love because I know you missed me. The pointlessness of relationship abuse again becomes clear; why? What exactly did you gain from doing that to me? (I suppose you would have if I’d been weaker and I’d stayed with you and forgiven you, right? Then you could have treated me like absolute shit and I would have still been there, old faithful, right? Just like your ex-wife, for so many years)?

    More and more I am convinced it’s because for people like you it’s the only way you believe someone will stay with you, through a trauma bond. You don’t think you’re worthy of love and set out to get someone to stay with you through abuse and grooming.

    I know you are sorry, or as sorry as you are capable of feeling. I want you to know what you did to me.

    I developed major PTSD. I had flashbacks, panic attacks, and nightmares for eight months. I still cry all the time. I am really afraid of people (I was dealing with fear of men already and now I am afraid of everyone). I have experienced bad social withdrawal which means lack of a support system.

    Last fall, I gained 40 lbs in 6 months. I discovered my thyroid had crashed in a relapse of my 20-year-dormant childhood illness, the one that was so traumatic (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). The Hashimoto’s was triggered by the unremitting post-traumatic stress, which was only made worse by your ubiquity in the community, including such incidents as your meeting Jesse Arenstein at a friend of mine’s party (you know, the man I told you about who raped me exactly the same way that you did, when I was 17 and he was 24. I’m sure the two of you had a lot to talk about, both being sexually narcissistic rapists and all)! I now take thyroid medication and Vitamin D to avoid developing another, even more serious autoimmune disorder I began to exhibit symptoms of (and which is related to Hashimoto’s); both of these can be triggered by PTSD.

    My health has suffered enormously. My brain has been damaged (PTSD shrinks the hypothalamus). My personality has changed. I don’t know how I will recover.

    It seems you were angry with me for not being more upset after our breakup, or for calling you out on your abusive behavior. Congratulations, when you raped me you stabbed me in the heart. It has been like surviving my own murder. I sometimes wonder if you actually killed me and I am in hell, and hell is what it feels like when you keep living after an experience like this.

    Society not only doesn’t care about rape, we actively promote men like you to the White House and the Supreme Court. Congratulations on living in a society that will protect your predilections! If anyone belongs in jail, it’s you. (Truly, you belong in therapy for abusers, or you will never get better).

    I know you destroyed both of us when you did that. It’s cold comfort. I don’t want to see you destroyed, I only want to see me not destroyed anymore. I cannot feel anything and have realized I don’t even think about a future anymore. You didn’t just take away my chance at children and a family, at a time in my life in which time was key (I am now 35, have not had sex with anyone since I met you, and cannot imagine having sex again as I am absolutely terrified of men), you took away my life altogether. You abused and raped a vulnerable person already grappling with depression and post-traumatic stress, thus practically guaranteeing me a life sentence.

    I am not sure how I will fix my health, although I know it needs to be my focus. Everything else comes second. I have barely survived these past two and a half years and I only have kept on so I won’t hurt my friends and family by giving up.

    This is what you did to me.

    I just thought you ought to know.

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