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Thank you very much to those who replied. I appreciate it a lot.

Deleting because I received enough information to proceed with DS and don't want this to turn into a heated thread - it's stressful enough already. DS will encourage Girl to talk to her mother ASAP and seek medical care and counseling (she already has a counselor, iirc) and will give her the link to the hotline. When she's back in town DS will meet with her personally and see if she needs him to accompany her when she broaches the topic with her mom (they have a sometimes-strained relationship).

If they choose to not broach the topic with Boy or Boy's parents, we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Obviously, Boy needs an Education, at minimum, but if they decide against speaking to/against him directly, then I'll have to find another way of ensuring that he learns that this is never okay without compromising her wish for privacy.

 

Edited by easypeasy
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Sore!? What the hell?! 

Ahem.  Ok. Young lady should absolutely be given lots of support and encouragement to talk to her mom. For starters.

Sore... I feel like she needs to have a far more explicit conversation with a caring adult about what happened.  This wasn't right.

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It sounds like she needs to go to a doctor. That way she can be checked and get a referral for counseling and other needed care. 

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I don't think there's any great answer to this from your and your ds's situation. I think it would be very easy for you or him to overstep, which, while it would obviously be with the best intentions, might make things worse.

I think I'd ask your ds if he has a feel for whether she has spoken with her mother and see if he can urge her to or even offer you as a safe adult who could help her start that conversation if she needs help. She may need medical help. She may want to seek legal help. She needs an adult, ideally her parent. But also, some parents would blame her and may not be safe people to report to, so I don't think I'd just go talk to the mom. 

I'd also talk to your ds about not letting this situation get triangulated or turn into teen drama. I think the best thing he could do for her is not engage with the boy who did this.

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The point is not whether it's right, because obviously it wasn't consensual, safe, healthy, or anything else. The issue is whether she's HURT and her need to talk with a counselor or some qualified to help her process. It sounds like it's verging on assault, trauma. It's feeling that way to her and ought to be treated that seriously. She ought to have the resources to sort it out with a doctor and counselor.

I think your ds can encourage her to talk with her mother (if that's comfortable) or encourage her to pursue medical care. You could inform the mother if you think that's safe. She's at an age where she CAN and SHOULD go get medical care, even without her parents.

Edited by PeterPan
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Also consider whether you or anyone who has been told about this is a mandatory reporter.

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I would give her the number for a r@pe crises hotline - and tell her to call it.

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15 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Also consider whether you or anyone who has been told about this is a mandatory reporter.

 

So far, it's just DS and me.

Edited by easypeasy

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Your son already said exactly what I’d have advised, and yeah, encourage her to talk to her mom or a counselor.  She needs someone to discuss this with who is a safe person and an adult. And at some point someone needs to take the boy aside and educate him too, because hopefully this was just enthusiastic and youthful ignorance and something he’d be horrified over knowing how it made her feel.  That would be a better outcome than being an unrepentant rapey jerk. This could be optimistic of me, though 😒

Edited by Arctic Mama

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Just now, Arctic Mama said:

 because hopefully this was just enthusiastic and youthful ignorance and something he’d be horrified over knowing how it made her feel. 

 

I lean toward this. I'm fairly certain that he went home feeling like both parties were pleased with the evening's events... *sigh*

Parents of Boys!!! EDUCATE YOUR SONS!!!!!

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I think it's a danger point to let non-professionals decide whether there was legally actionable assault here. That's the kind of thing women don't look back on well, when they realize they weren't taken seriously and that someone swept it under the rug. She is hurt, she should get medical care, and the system can then decide if something was legally actionable. Then she can decide with her parents what she wants to do about that. But talking all that would only scare her. So you start with medical care. 

Edited by PeterPan
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1 minute ago, easypeasy said:

 

I lean toward this. I'm fairly certain that he went home feeling like both parties were pleased with the evening's events... *sigh*

Parents of Boys!!! EDUCATE YOUR SONS!!!!!

My concern is it's unclear whether there's something legally actionable here. Doesn't matter if he had fun and thought it was ok. 

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Just now, PeterPan said:

My concern is it's unclear whether there's something legally actionable here. Doesn't matter if he had fun and thought it was ok. 

 

I don't see where I contradicted you on that... but it certainly adds to the complexity of the situation and is a huge part of why she is so confused and conflicted and berating herself right now! If all sexual assaults were committed by an evil, creepy guy, it would sure be a lot easier for women everywhere.

Parents educating their sons is the first step to stopping this particular type of assault!

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I have been telling my kids that stop means stop and no means no all their lives.  Unfortunately since sometimes I have changed my mind they may think it is not final.  I think a lot of boys get the message (girls too really) that if someone says no you should nag and pester until they say yes.  And girls see their mum give in to keep the peace.  So I will have to have a number of more serious conversations regarding who can be nagged and pestered and who can't.  Though when I change my mind it isn't as a result of pestering it is because they put a good case.

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10 hours ago, easypeasy said:

Parents educating their sons is the first step to stopping this particular type of assault!

Here's the unfortunate thing. This boy didn't learn that behavior from within himself, like just his hormones raging. We have no clue what he's doing in private, what he's been doing in private. Once a person is moving toward *violence* in these acts (which is what it is when he HURT her), then he's been doing stuff in private. That sort of desensitization to the feelings of the woman, viewing her as an object, came from something.

Sorry, I don't *think* it's a trigger for me, because I wasn't assaulted. But I have an adult friend who struggled SO many years, and that's how it went down, with the assault being hidden, people saying she should forgive and move on. And I saw what it did to her for 20+ years and it wasn't pretty. That's why I'm saying the safest course for this girl's longterm mental health is for the surrounding adults not to conclude ANYTHING, not to say wow he just didn't listen to no (which is a horrific thing to say because it sounds like she's feeling guilty about whether she even SAID no and which puts the burden on HER when he was committing an act of violence), but to let it go through the medical process, the legal process, let her get counseling and sort out how it should be handled. Even the fact that she went into fright/flight and FROZE tells you a lot. 

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22 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Here's the unfortunate thing. This boy didn't learn that behavior from within himself, like just his hormones raging. We have no clue what he's doing in private, what he's been doing in private. Once a person is moving toward *violence* in these acts (which is what it is when he HURT her), then he's been doing stuff in private. That sort of desensitization to the feelings of the woman, viewing her as an object, came from something.

Sorry, I don't *think* it's a trigger for me, because I wasn't assaulted. But I have an adult friend who struggled SO many years, and that's how it went down, with the assault being hidden, people saying she should forgive and move on. And I saw what it did to her for 20+ years and it wasn't pretty. That's why I'm saying the safest course for this girl's longterm mental health is for the surrounding adults not to conclude ANYTHING, not to say wow he just didn't listen to no (which is a horrific thing to say because it sounds like she's feeling guilty about whether she even SAID no and which puts the burden on HER when he was committing an act of violence), but to let it go through the medical process, the legal process, let her get counseling and sort out how it should be handled. Even the fact that she went into fright/flight and FROZE tells you a lot. 

Are we 100% sure that’s how it went down though? Rough fingers or sharp nails with a body not thoroughly worked up for the act does hurt, even with willing and consenting partners (I’d say that was the norm in my experience, anyway).

Pain during a sexual encounter doesn’t equal violence.  And if the two were together-ish and she didn’t stop him verbally or physically, that’s a bit different that overriding a no and forcing oneself aggressively onto an unwilling partner.  Mashing together these things in the minds of men and women kind of helps nobody.  If she can’t step in and talk with him about this in a calm but firm way due to her distress about it (“Listen; I should have said no and told you to stop because I didn’t want that, and you hurt me because you weren’t careful and watching/asking for my reactions.  While I should have said no, you should have sought a yes before things went forward, dude.”) someone needs to have that conversation with him.  But painful and bungled or not totally clear sexual encounters aren’t necessarily a prelude to rape and sexual violence.  So much of this went wrong with both of them, neither should be counted beyond help or counsel at their ages and experience levels.  

 

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I’m not sure what to teach my sons about this.  This sounds like heavy petting where the boy thought he was pleasing the girl, but he wasn’t.

So, Boy thinks that he will use his hands to rub the girl’s privates (we don’t know if it’s through clothing or not, but it could very well have been so) so she can feel good. He doesn’t know how to do it, and figures he’ll start rubbing and see what happens.  She doesn’t say no.  She tenses up, but doesn’t say or do anything to stop him. When someone Os, they tense up, so her tensing up wouldn’t necessary make him think she’s unhappy. He’s fumbling around trying to make Girl feel good.  Girl gives no feedback.  Time goes by and for whatever reason, he stops.

Meanwhile, Girl didn’t want that, didn’t know how to say no, and froze (a very common reaction).  And we all know that someone rubbing too much or too hard is going to hurt and now the next day she’s pretty upset.  That hurt, why didn’t I say no?

This one is really hard to tell if it’s rapey-assault, or just a bungled mess of an encounter.  

So, if my sons are with a girl they like and they think, “I’ll rub her so she can feel good,” and they try and she says nothing, what do I tell them to do?  I’m not being snarky.  How exactly does teenage heavy petting work?  I’m guessing they should ask something like, “Do you like this?  Want me to keep going?”  And do they check in every few minutes?  Is that what they should do?

I’ve been married for almost 28 years and got married at age 19.  I have not had to navigate this sort of thing for myself, so I have no clue what to tell my sons.  When people say “educate your sons!” I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to say.  What exactly should have happened in the OPs scenario?

 

Edited by Garga
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8 minutes ago, Garga said:

I’m not sure what to teach my sons about this.  This sounds like heavy petting where the boy thought he was pleasing the girl, but he wasn’t.

So, Boy thinks that he will use his hands to rub the girl’s privates (we don’t know if it’s through clothing or not, but it could very well have been so) so she can feel good. He doesn’t know how to do it, and figures he’ll start rubbing and see what happens.  She doesn’t say no.  She tenses up, but doesn’t say or do anything to stop him. When someone Os, they tense up, so her tensing up wouldn’t necessary make him think she’s unhappy. He’s fumbling around trying to make Girl feel good.  Girl gives no feedback.  Time goes by and for whatever reason, he stops.

Meanwhile, Girl didn’t want that, didn’t know how to say no, and froze (a very common reaction).  And we all know that someone rubbing too much or too hard is going to hurt and now the next day she’s pretty upset.  That hurt, why didn’t I say no?

This one is really hard to tell if it’s rapey-assault, or just a bungled mess of an encounter.  

So, if my sons are with a girl they like and they think, “I’ll rub her so she can feel good,” and they try and she says nothing, what do I tell them to do?  I’m not being snarky.  How exactly does teenage heavy petting work?  I’m guessing they should ask something like, “Do you like this?  Want me to keep going?”  And do they check in every few minutes?  Is that what they should do?

I’ve been married for almost 28 years and got married at age 19.  I have not had to navigate this sort of thing, so I have no clue what to tell my sons.  When people say “educate your sons!” I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to say.  

 

Yeah.  That’s where I’m a bit stuck too.

 But we have thought about starting with the obvious (only have sex with your wife with the aim of showing her love and communication through those means - that’s the ultimate consent). And breaking it down to “you can’t have sex without talking through what you’re doing, seek feedback.  Use the traffic light system whenever you move to a new method or area - asking ‘is this good?’ or ‘what would make this even better for you?’ is always safe, son”.

And it comes back around to culture and how we treat women.  They’re your sister or your beloved, most precious person.  So you’re either treating them with respect and zero sexuality or treasuring them.  The men who did that with me were never the ones causing me regret, pain, or trauma.  God had this one right, I think.  But modern sexual mores of casual sex kind of put conflict to the whole mess and we see some of that in situations like this where ‘hanging out flirting friends’ are willing and able to cross into what should be the territory of mature, committed relationships, complete with mature, other-centric communication.  

 

That may may be a soap box for another day though 😞

Edited by Arctic Mama
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9 minutes ago, Garga said:

I’m not sure what to teach my sons about this.  This sounds like heavy petting where the boy thought he was pleasing the girl, but he wasn’t.

So, Boy thinks that he will use his hands to rub the girl’s privates (we don’t know if it’s through clothing or not, but it could very well have been so) so she can feel good. He doesn’t know how to do it, and figures he’ll start rubbing and see what happens.  She doesn’t say no.  She tenses up, but doesn’t say or do anything to stop him. When someone Os, they tense up, so her tensing up wouldn’t necessary make him think she’s unhappy. He’s fumbling around trying to make Girl feel good.  Girl gives no feedback.  Time goes by and for whatever reason, he stops.

Meanwhile, Girl didn’t want that, didn’t know how to say no, and froze (a very common reaction).  And we all know that someone rubbing too much or too hard is going to hurt and now the next day she’s pretty upset.  That hurt, why didn’t I say no?

This one is really hard to tell if it’s rapey-assault, or just a bungled mess of an encounter.  

So, if my sons are with a girl they like and they think, “I’ll rub her so she can feel good,” and they try and she says nothing, what do I tell them to do?  I’m not being snarky.  How exactly does teenage heavy petting work?  I’m guessing they should ask something like, “Do you like this?  Want me to keep going?”  And do they check in every few minutes?  Is that what they should do?

I’ve been married for almost 28 years and got married at age 19.  I have not had to navigate this sort of thing for myself, so I have no clue what to tell my sons.  When people say “educate your sons!” I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to say.  What exactly should have happened in the OPs scenario?

 

 

1 minute ago, Arctic Mama said:

Yeah.  That’s where I’m a bit stuck too.

 But we have thought about starting with the obvious (only have sex with your wife with the aim of showing her love and communication through those means - that’s the ultimate consent). And breaking it down to “you can’t have sex without talking through what you’re doing, seek feedback.  Use the traffic light system whenever you move to a new method or area - asking ‘is this good?’ or ‘what would make this even better for you?’ is always safe, son”.

And it comes back around to culture and how we treat women.  They’re your sister or your beloved, most precious person.  So you’re either treating them with respect and zero sexuality or treasuring them.  The men who did that with me were never the ones causing me regret, pain, or trauma.  God had this one right, I think.  But modern sexual mores of casual sex kind of put conflict to the whole mess and we see some of that in situations like this where ‘hanging out flirting friends’ are willing and able to cross into what should be the territory of mature, committed relationships, completely with mature, other-centric communication.  

 

That may may be a soap box for another day though 😞

Yes to both these posts.  I feel like I HAVE educated my sons who are both adults now.  The starting point is the morality of it....many of these problems are avoided by not having sex outside of marriage.  And then in marriage....there has been a lot of discussion about how to treat a mate....lovingly, and as a treasure.  That would mean no  hurting her during TeA.

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I don't think it's that complicated. I know that in the moment it feels that way, especially for young people new to sex (and for people our age who have watched the guidelines on consent shift over time).

This is why we don't simply teach "no means no" but also emphasize to our kids (regardless of gender) that active verbal consent is important. I know some people are dismissive about enthusiastic consent, but for a first time between two young people without any experience, I hope we can agree that this is a decent baseline of expectation. I think it absolutely is something that needs to be explicitly taught. You have to say to kids, it's important that you say no, it's okay to say no, it's okay to say slow down, it's important to say stop. But also, it's important to ask, it's important to look for signs that your partner is uncomfortable and unhappy, it's important not take not talking as consent, it's important to understand that yes for one thing doesn't mean yes for the next thing. That's certainly what I've taught my kids.

I think the "you need to feel comfortable saying no" part is often left out for kids. Not just "say no." Also, the you have to check back in part, and the silence =/= active consent part. I think a lot of parents (and I'm not saying that's anyone here, but I think it's definitely some people) tell their kids to say no and stop if someone says no and think they've taught consent.

I do think that "good" kids, in the absence of being taught this stuff explicitly, can get carried away and not realize that yes you can do x and y doesn't mean that when you start in on z and your partner doesn't say anything, that that's not a green light. I do think it's tricky to deal with. It's definitely not the victim's fault. But also, that doesn't mean the aggressor violated the law. I think about the whole thing that happened between Aziz Ansari and the woman who accused him last year. She would say stop, then he would stop. And then he'd try again. And she'd let him for awhile. Then say stop. And he would... lather, rinse, repeat. And to him, it was like, she never left, I respected it every time she said to stop. And to her, it was like, he kept asking and pressing for more, I wanted the dynamic to change so I kept staying, but it never changed.

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In response, I would say that, if any any point he had asked her if this was okay before initiating “the next step,” it would have: 

broken her frozen status and perhaps jolted her enough to say “no, actually, it’s not”

or

at least, afterwards, she could genuinely feel that at least he tried to make the attempt to make sure she was fully on board & comfortable within the situation. 

So, I would say to tell your sons to pause during these encounters and verbally ask his partner whether or not she is still “all systems go.”

I also teach my daughters to not be afraid to SAY no. We actually, verbally, practice. When they were younger, we’d practice shouting “no” in public spaces just so they were used to loudly saying that word in an uncomfortable, awkward situations.  I teach the girls to say NO and YES. And I teach my son to wait for YES (and, obviously, we discuss his freedom in saying NO and stopping the progression at ay time as well).  I explain to both that sometimes in these overwhelming situations that girls and women can freeze up - hence not hearing “no” does not equal consent  

I won’t elaborate on this particular discussion except this was far beyond mere over-the-clothes contact. She was violated physically. I’m not saying he’s a monster. I’m saying that today, she is miserable, confused, and hurting and HE is saying it’s no big deal. That’s a big problem. 

Edited by easypeasy
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Him saying it’s no big deal is a big problem.  The OP is gone, but I thought no one had confronted him with the fact that Girl is upset; that he still doesn’t have any feedback and is unaware of how unhappy she is with him.  If he’s now received feedback that she’s upset and still doesn’t think it’s a problem, then that changes things and makes me wonder if he knew she wasn’t happy during and progressed anyway.  That edges this situation closer and closer to assault.  

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13 minutes ago, Garga said:

Him saying it’s no big deal is a big problem.  The OP is gone, but I thought no one had confronted him with the fact that Girl is upset; that he still doesn’t have any feedback and is unaware of how unhappy she is with him.  If he’s now received feedback that she’s upset and still doesn’t think it’s a problem, then that changes things and makes me wonder if he knew she wasn’t happy during and progressed anyway.  That edges this situation closer and closer to assault.  

Yeah, that wasn’t my understanding either.  I thought OP said nobody talked with or confronted him yet.  That would change the assessment.

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1 hour ago, easypeasy said:

In response, I would say that, if any any point he had asked her if this was okay before initiating “the next step,” it would have: 

broken her frozen status and perhaps jolted her enough to say “no, actually, it’s not”

That's an assumption, and I'm not sure it's accurate given the nature of the trauma. Trauma involves FREEZING and not making choices and taking actions you COULD have made had you not been frozen by the trauma. It's literally the point of why it's traumatic and why you have to process it with a counselor. It's also why it's clear he did something to CAUSE that freezing. He did something that created a sense of fear, paralysis, overwhelming danger that froze her. So no, at that point she would not have necessarily responded or responded optimally.

It's a whole thing, trauma therapy. I had a near drowning incident when I was in college, and you would think as a 20-something at the time I could have responded very logically. I didn't even think through it but just blew it off. When I finally got trauma counseling (for other reasons, I'm pretty boring but had a fair number of near death and trauma experiences), that came out. The physical memory came out and it was unbelievable. After I dealt with the physical side, then the counselor was like ok, now let's process this on another level, reframing, going back to what choices you COULD have made, had you not frozen. 

So the freezing was a trauma response, it tells you she was being traumatized, and it tells you something went very, very wrong here. It's why she MUST see a counselor and ought to be working with professionals.

 

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(Deleted some info for privacy)

I'll reiterate what the other posters said: if he knows he hurt her/has been confronted and thinks there's no problem, that is a HUGE problem and requires some adult to step in, probably in a disciplinary capacity of some kind.

Edited by EmseB
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6 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

  (only have sex with your wife with the aim of showing her love and communication through those means - that’s the ultimate consent).  

 

 

Marriage does not equal consent. 

4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

 So the freezing was a trauma response, it tells you she was being traumatized, and it tells you something went very, very wrong here. It's why she MUST see a counselor and ought to be working with professionals.

 

I didn't quote your entire post or the other one, but I think you're going far astray when you say that her freezing means he MUST have done something to create an overwhelming sense of fear. Freezing can be a trauma response, certainly, but that doesn't mean it was one here (or that he caused it by doing anything beyond not getting enthusiastic verbal consent). People often freeze in embarrassment and/or confusion. How many times have grown, generally capable people posted about somebody doing or saying something to them that they disagreed with, and they froze in the moment and didn't disagree or say no? Sometimes even gave in and indicated agreement? It happens, it doesn't always mean you're traumatized, just that you need to learn to speak up for yourself and handle conflict and expectations. So a young, inexperienced person freezing in a sexual situation may indicate nothing more than embarrassment and an inability to speak up. 

Regarding your other post, pain during a sexual act doesn't always equal violence. Pain is actually pretty common with inexperienced partners. 

 

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I also think freezing up can just be nerves. In an ideal world, the more nervous partner feels empowered to say stop. But one of the good things about insisting on active consent is that it should be like a check on that. And it's a needed check.

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5 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I also think freezing up can just be nerves. In an ideal world, the more nervous partner feels empowered to say stop. But one of the good things about insisting on active consent is that it should be like a check on that. And it's a needed check.

 

It's funny how times and expectations change. When enthusiastic verbal consent first became a thing, it sounded weird to me. Now I think it's weird that I thought it was weird, lol. 

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