I’ve sat down to write this post so many times – there are a hundred ways to cut it, a hundred things I could say about the whole experience, and its difficult to articulate in equal measure the good and the bad. I’ve also considered making a video but if you think I ramble in blog format, you’ve seen nothing…
In November I was asked to help craft diversion terms for the man charged with harassing me. I believe in a restorative justice process and I do not believe that a jail term, or criminal conviction is the ideal solution in every situation. And as the victim, I get to make that choice for myself, but I am aware that my decision disappointed some people.
The terms we agreed to:
- 24 month term of diversion.
- No contact with victim.
- Complete a sex offender evaluation prior to acceptance into diversion program.
- Attend sex offender treatment.
- Defendant is not allowed to transmit or receive and review any intimate body parts, especially his penis.
- Defendant is not allowed to post on social media anything with a sexual content; including, but not limited to, photos, messages, solicitations/propositions, comments, or videos.
- A commissioned law enforcement officer is allowed access to his computer and phone at any time requested, to search for obscene, rude, lascivious, filthy or indecent sexual content.
- And at some point, it was meant to include an apology to me. Which was removed without anyone advising me. Victims eh… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
In January the diversion conditions were accepted and he agreed that his actions toward me were sexually motivated. Prior to accepting the conditions my harasser could not help but show me once again what kind of person he is, by writing a faux-apology on Facebook and asking me to read it. At the time I couldn’t believe he had the audacity to tag his victim in a post on social media while he was in the middle of a criminal process. Silly me!
Clearly he is living in a fantasy world where “taking responsibility” only happens after you are caught with irrefutable proof that you’ve been harassing NUMEROUS women online.
But as a wise man said to me at the time:
“Rachel, right from the start he has demonstrated that he is a complete piece of shit. And with all that’s gone on, he will still be a piece of shit. You’re measuring his behaviour based on what is reasonable for “normal” people (like us). You will never get satisfaction from his behaviour – because he is, and will always be, a disrespectful arrogant piece of shit”
Words carved into my heart.
I will never be able to articulate the impact Kalim and this experience has had on my life. That I was not free to do what I wanted to do online because of him, because of his friends, because of his family, because of the people who sent me awful messages, reported my social media, tried to hack my accounts for months.
Because of raising my head above the parapet, and becoming a target for ignorant and angry teenage boys of Lawrence Kansas.
Because of boys at Veritas Christian School who shared my blog on anti-women websites (Thanks Andrew Burger, your parents must be so proud).
My work was impacted, my ability to do my job, and essentially my freedom was curtailed because I spoke up against a man who COMMITTED A CRIME. Let that sink in.
From a personal perspective, this experience ate up huge mental and emotional space in my life. And it had a significant part in me resigning from the job I was doing at the time of the harassment, generally I was a very stressed and anxious person as a result of pursuing this. As the criminal case moved forward, most of the additional harassment died down, and I could get back to my normal life and my stress and anxiety improved as time went by.
Thankfully I have a job now that I love, with an employer who stands behind me on this 110%. And whenever someone needs help with being harassed online, people know they can come to me for help and support. And I haven’t received a dick pic in over a year. Small victories.