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Monday, November 16, 2015

Life After Rape in Provo

Dear Bro Jo,

I want to start off with a little back story first. I am currently attending Brigham Young University Provo.

Two months ago I was unfortunately raped by a boy off of campus.

I will call him "David" for confidentiality reasons.

I was not dating David nor was I interested in him in any way.

I had dated his friend last semester and he left for his mission.

I ended up speaking to David at the beginning of the semester.

He had a girlfriend at the time and confided in me about his past about drinking, immorality, and drugs.

I did not judge him but I wanted to help him.

He told me that he had talked with his Bishop and that he was planning on putting his mission papers in soon. I was thrilled to know that someone could change so much and was proud of him.

A few days later he broke up with his girlfriend.

We talked twice in person and that was it.

One night he called and texted me multiple times and I was worried something was wrong.

I called back and he asked if we could talk and I said yes.

He picked me up and drove off campus.

In the next hour and a half or so is when the rape took place.

He took me back to my apartment and since then I have reported him to police and have been in contact with the school's Honor Code.

I am currently in counseling and seeking help although it is hard because I have developed PTSD, my anorexia has resurfaced, and I've become an insomniac due to the experience.

I have found it very hard to get myself to be interested in guys.

Ever since the incident a lot more guys have been approaching me and I think it's due to the fact that I seem vulnerable.

I work on campus and one day at work a boy that we'll call "Tyler" came in with his friend.

They were very nice and I was instantly attracted to Tyler.

He had asked my coworker for my name and would converse with me a little bit.

They came in again the next week and again he asked for my name.

We would joke around and at one point I heard his friend say "Ask her out!!" in a hushed tone.

(I don't know if he had expressed interest in me to his friend or if his friend was just being funny.)

He didn't ask me out and I still sometimes see him at work.

When we do see each other we joke around a lot and we are friendly.

Now, going back to David.

He is on the Rugby team here and so is Tyler.

I know that when boys are on teams they tend to become very close to each other.

I have had some people come up and ask if what happened between David and me was consensual because that is what he is telling them.

I am afraid that he has also told his teammates about me and put me in a bad light that makes it so that it would be very hard to pursue Tyler.

Ever since the incident with David, Tyler has been coming less in to my work to see me.

I am worried that he knows.

I don't tend to pursue guys, Tyler is actually the only guy I have ever really pursued.

I've never had to pursue (I know that sounds cocky but I've had a steady boyfriend before and I don't really have a hard time with boys.)

I don't know what to think in this situation.

Does he know?

Is he avoiding me?

Does he think it's consensual if he does know?

Should I even pursue him?

Tyler is a great guy.

He exudes the gospel and he is one of the kindest people I know.

I am so very interested in him but this thing with David is stopping me from making a move.

Should I wait for Tyler to make the move?

Or should I just forget about him all together?

He is the first guy that I have really been interested in after the rape....

He means a lot to me.

But is it worth it?

Sorry I know this was really long but I wanted to make it detailed so that you could understand my point of view.

Thank you so much! 

- Sincerely,


Dear Lost,

I think not allowing "David's" crimes to keep controlling your life is a good thing.

I understand why you feel the way you do, and I think you deep down agree with me, but I thought mentioning it was a good place to start.

I'm curious: when people ask you if what happened between you and David was consensual, what's they're reaction when you tell them "no"?

I'm sure he's spreading that it was to try and build his defense and save his reputation.

I'm struggling to understand how he's still on the team, frankly.  Either he raped you or had sex out of marriage; either is a violation of the honor code;

I would expect BYU, even the club Rugby team, to do a better job of following through on the honor code.

I'm sure Tyler knows at least one version of the story; it seems like everyone else does.

You could talk to him.

Doing so would certainly answer the questions of whether or not he has any interest in you and whether or not he intends to follow up on that interest.

That's a bold, mature, and difficult thing to do . . . but I think you could do it if you wanted to.

Another, less scary option would be for a trusted girlfriend to talk to him on your behalf.

This friend could go up and say: "Hey, Tyler, you need to know the truth. David and my friend didn't 'have sex'; he raped her. She's reported it to the police and the honor code, and he's in big trouble. She thought you were interested in her, and now that he's spreading rumors about her, she's afraid that you're not interested anymore. What's the deal?"

It may be worth it.

But know that Tyler's not the only "great guy" out there; he's not even the only "Great Guy a the Y"!

As time passes, and the counseling continues to work, your faith, confidence and health will be restored.

If not Tyler, then I'm sure you'll meet another, if not several Great Guys.

Continue getting the help you need.

I have a testimony in the Healing Power of the Savior, and I know that you are loved and deserve to be whole and happy.

God bless,

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

As a former student athlete at BYU, its sad to say student athletes get away with a lot. I was a walk-on on the football team and I say guys get passes on things that would have gotten a normal student suspended if not locked out. Sometimes they would get watered-down punishments, and sometimes they wouldn't get anything because "the claims were unverifiable." I learned a good lesson about never assuming a guy was a good guy just because he has an old mission name tag on his Scriptures.

Anonymous said...

I admire your courage and desire to date again. Please take time to heal and take good care of yourself. Your ability to discern if someone is good or bad may be off for awhile. I would stay clear of the rugby players. They have heard stories and they are untrue and you must protect yourself. Young men like to hang in packs and sometimes they do not act like gentlemen. It all depends who is in the pack. In time I'm sure God will bring you someone to trust but for now focus on healing. If the rumors become too much do not hesitate to transfer universities for your own peace of mind.