Any survivors from the 1990’s Out There?

I have been going through the book (hoping to put together a bibliography) on sexual assault by providers. I was really struck by that there was an organized effort to resist the exploitation that was happening then. In a book I am reading now from 1990 there are 10 listed survivor groups in the Appendix. The one that survives is TELL! What happened? How can we nourish and sustain a more organized movement and support network in our communities today?

What I am finding out there is help for the offenders more than help for survivors! It’s as if the survivor voice has been almost erased in the past 26 years since the height of efforts to get this horrific abuse exposed to the public.

I just wonder at what happened to what seemed to be a growing survivor movement?  Yes, we need to change laws but changing laws doesn’t end the abuse or the need for an organized effort to educate the users of therapy and other services as to the danger that is there and what to watch out for in therapy. In 2012 my state still reported 10 percent of therapists and psychiatrists still sexually exploit clients/patients.  That number has been consistent for 50 years since the beginning of recognizing the problem.

I know when I was seeking legal advice I had an attorney apologize to me and say to me, “I am sorry. I thought we stopped this kind of abuse back in the 1990’s”. He was part of the  state task force on therapist exploitation and that task force disbanded in the mid 1990’s. I spoke with another member of that task force last year and he was under the perception that the exploitation just wasn’t happening as much since passing the law in this state.  Yet, the numbers as I wrote above have not changed.  I am just wondering what people from that time period think happened to bring the push to expose this abuse to a crawl and what we might or could be doing now to pick up the torch to move it back into the forefront?

I would be interested in hearing for from those long time survivors and their perception of what has happened in the 26 years since then regarding survivor’s united voices.  Thank you.

Thank goodness for this site and for Kristi’s sustained efforts. Her voice truly is a voice that is crying in the wilderness!

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6 Comments

  1. This site and TELL saved my life. Kristi and the volunteer at TELL were and are my strength, voice, and encouragers. The exploitation I endured was in the early 2000s. I’ve come a long way, but I don’t know that the injury is every fully healed. I thank God for the strength and wisdom from the brave women I’ve worked with on this.

  2. A quick look at the industry and you will easily see sex as an implication with therapy. Everyone advertises as a trained sexual professional leaving sex as an accepted facet of counseling as much as the kleenex found from the waiting room.

    As a male victim raped by a Freudian social worker in the 70’s, I can recognize this as a sign of the end times we live in.

    You can not change it. Look at what liberation has done to your sisters on campus if you don’t believe me, and it’s not the football team rape, but rather the unreported rape by professors.

    Look up Christie. Our time is nigh.
    Tom S. in Tn.

  3. Yes, I am a survivor of sexual, emotional and financial exploitation that occurred in the 90’s.
    Around that time, I found online support through advocateweb.org but I don’t believe that group presently exits.

    I found an excellent subsequent therapist In the 90’s then did without most therapeutic support for fifteen years. Therapy during the court cases was difficult and often interrupted with interviews, interrogatories and news from my civil lawyers. Litigation was another concentric circle of trauma.

    Now I am at a new, safer place able to look back at twenty-some years ago. I find I have some new questions.

    • Hi Anon- Thank you for sharing your story. Yes, the irony of standing up for yourself and asserting your rights can further cause trauma and complicate one’s recovery. This has been my experience as well. Mostly I just wanted it over to be able to move on with my life without this energetic chord keeping me tied to the abuser.

      I am curious about what new questions you have now that you have 20 years distance on your experience? It’s amazing how this experience is truly life changing. Thank you again for sharing.

      • There have been several. I am still in contact with the therapist who treated me during that time. It’s been helpful to ask her questions that come up about that time.

        One question I asked her- Did she know why the doctor didn’t go to jail? He did several illegal things in my case but someone from the district attorney’s office told me they would not prosecute him for that because of lack of evidence. Not only did he offend with me but he had other victims who came forward. He was arrested for alleged criminal activity with one of his other female patients. The arrest was in the newspaper. The detective at the time told me he believed that victim because there was corroborating evidence at the scene. But he never went to jail? No, my therapist at the time does not know. She said she concentrated on being my therapist then and did not hear much about the criminal aspects of it.

        Another question I had for her was about her feelings about what I went through. A few years ago I realized I had never heard her express anger at the doctor in front of me. She rarely expressed her personal opinion. That came up when another therapist said something like, “that’s about the worst thing I have ever heard” and you could tell he meant it. It felt validating to hear him angry *for* me. I knew she cared about what happened to me so I asked her why she never sounded angry about the things he did to me? She said she was trying not to influence my feelings at the time since several court cases were pending. She said she probably waited a little too long to talk to me about that.

        Another thing has come up while I have been retelling my story to my current therapist. I realize I can only tell her my story in pieces. I can tell her this bit and that bit. But I can’t remember it all together. I remember *all* of it but it’s like my brain won’t let me hold all the details in my head at one time. I talk about this with my current therapist.

        I’m sure there are other questions that have come up. I’ll need to think more about it.

        Going through civil, criminal, medical licensing board cases kept me anxious, fearful and there was a lot to do. The litigation often interrupted therapy when new facts emerged. It kept me off-balance and I’m only now able to look at the past and question, hey, why did that happen this way?

        Can any of you relate to any of this?

  4. I was sexually assaulted and sexually abused and used by a private therapist in the 1990’s. The police did not recognise it as abuse. So I got a private mediator and used the mediation process to get my fees returned and the man suspended for four years. He only stopped working for two.,
    He blamed it on his sex addition. He then wrote a book about god and prayer and spent three chapters referring to how he hurt a client and her family. He doesn’t of course say that he repeatedly sexually assaulted the client.

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