UPDATE 11/6 @4:57pm: After posting this blog post today, I received two private email messages from two different women in two different places in the country. I'm truly at a loss for words as to how many women there are who have fallen prey to this predator and endured additional abuse on so many levels.
My friend Sara and I were talking about the nature of the witch hunt by other women. She brought it up on Facebook this morning and I felt fire burning inside me about this topic, and the offshoot topic of how women are treated by some women when they speak out about abuse.
In a nutshell, this has been my experience:
I FINALLY speak out about the emotionally and verbally abusive relationship I was in after being passive aggressively and sometimes just aggressively skewered on social media by him.
I speak from my heart. I get really honest about it all. My mistakes and vulnerabilities. Embarrassing details. I talk about what he did that made a judge grant me a restraining order and those are really hard to get! And how he denied his identity twice with law enforcement, and how the affidavit shows photos of him standing at the gas station pumping gas where he was served the order when he denied his identity. Oh, and don’t forget the police report that documents domestic violence—this happened because he was yelling so loudly and I was crying and someone heard it and they were worried about me.
Other women start to come forward sharing similar stories because I started speaking about it publicly…
Multiple ex-clients start coming forward and some start speaking out publicly about how he swindled them.
A designer for Mod Life came forward exposing how he’s literally taken her name off a sofa design that she created and slapped his name on it.
It became known recently that he ripped off another designer in Italy and put his name on the slightly-tweaked sofa, as well.
He recently found a workaround (with regards to the restraining order) to try to communicate with me in shaming, manipulative ways via fake FB profiles, to the point the cops got involved again.
This is all out there on the blog. I write about the journey that, unbeknownst to me, so many women have been traveling. Women from all over the world who have been through something similar with him or someone else come forward with words of support.
And then there are the women who say this: “She’s lying. I’ve never liked her. She needs to stop talking about it and move on. I never trusted HER. I’ve never met him, but he seems like he’s such a good guy….on the internet. Blah blah blah.”
REALLY, ladies!?!??! MY GOD, how in the world can sisters turn their back on other sisters? Even when presented with actual screenshots of evidence? Is he THAT convincing? What’s wrong with our society where the “victim” always gets blamed and many times, by other women?
I shouldn’t be surprised. So many women were questioning whether or not Cosby really sexually assaulted those 30 women. 30 of them. How much freakin’ proof do we need? Let me tell you first hand, it’s not fun nor easy to come out and speak the truth about any kind of abuse and mainly because of this very reason. I’ve endured this twice now and it makes me sick.
I’m sure there are women out there questioning the validity of the testimonies against Harvey Weinstein. Hell, we have a President who spoke about “grabbing her by the pussy” and women around the country said, yeah, that’s just locker room talk.
You would think that women would ban together. I mean, come on, we’ve all lived in the same rape culture for generations. We can do better. We have to do better for our own children and generations to come.
I get that everyone wants to “look at the evidence” and make a decision based on that but what I’ve experienced is that even with “evidence,” women still want to crucify other women. Maybe they want to believe in the “good guy” persona? Maybe they just want a reason to not like another woman? Maybe they can't face their own shame? Who knows.
I can tell you this for certain, though. If you come to me and tell me you endured abuse and/or sexual assault, I will believe you. Period.