Editor’s note: Joyce M. Short is the author of a just released book, “Carnal Abuse by Deceit.” The book chronicles her life with a predator, the subsequent aftermath and her road to recovery. It also provides advice for victims and their supporters, and discusses the issues surrounding criminalization of rape-by-fraud.
By Joyce M. Short
“No Contact” Is the First Step, But Not the Last!
The concept of NO CONTACT enables us to distance ourselves from harm, and regain emotional balance. But it’s not all we need to do. We need to come to grips with the real injury that we’ve endured in order to cope with our losses. Partially in an effort to cope with mine, I wrote my book, Carnal Abuse by Deceit — How a Predator’s Lies Became Rape.
Most of us think of rape as an act of physical assault. But the assault, itself, is not the only harm, and is not necessarily present in all forms of rape. We can be raped by lies, fraud and deceit. We can be raped by dates who overcome our consent with drugs or alcohol. We can be raped by not being the age of consent when sexual intercourse takes place. We can be coerced into sexual intercourse by concern over possible harm to another if we don’t cooperate. What all these forms of rape have in common is that there is no direct force applied, but our sexual sanctity was breached without “knowing consent.”
The stories I’ve read of most LoveFraud participants expose their experience with either emotional rape or rape by fraud. We were defrauded of our highest emotion, which is love, (emotional rape) and some of us were fooled by fraudulent identity information of the predator who entered our lives, (rape by fraud). As a result, many of us were locked into a relationship known as a Betrayal Bond, which made walking away very difficult. On-lookers who were not faced with the same neurologically induced connection to the predator may have been bewildered by our interest in remaining in the relationship. And because these predators were such believable “con artists,” we may not have received support from people close to us who were fooled as well. My own mother was taken in by the man who defiled me.
I’ve written Carnal Abuse by Deceit — How a Predator’s Lies Became Rape, (CAD) in order to accomplish a few things I feel are important. The first is to mainstream the concept of the crime itself, and enable society to understand that the behavior is, in fact, a crime. Another is to establish that there really are people who cannot be, and should not be, trusted in the world. They are morally disordered and no amount of love or caring will fix them. The third is to provide a path that I sincerely hope will bring relief to others who struggle to recover from the devastation that occurred in their lives, and free themselves from ongoing sorrow.