Originally posted on June 26, 2007
Daran and Hugh from Feminist Critics sent me an email about a incredible post on Alas! a Blog. Matthew Ford shares his experiences of abuse and how he has been treated as male victim of rape. I am re-posting his post in full.
A fair warning, some portions of his experience are frankly detailed and might be triggering.
My name is Matthew Ford, from Victoria, BC.
I was reading your article in regards to Isolation and trust me… It hit home with me.
I have a mixture of Epilepsy, Depression, and Aspergers Syndrome.
My childhood began in Manitoba (middle of Canada) and was fine until my first Epileptic Seizure in 1970 while standing in line by the teacher’s desk, waiting to have my spelling checked. The next thing I knew, I was being loaded onto a bed, and wheeled out to an ambulance.
Based on Public Safety Standards (so I’m told) I was taken out of a Public School and placed in a Home for the Mentally Challenged, called “The Manitoba School” out in a small town called Portage La Prairie. Doctors figured that since a seizure burns out a few Brain Cells each time, I was on a slow road to Retardation. First thing they did to me, which was mandatory for all patients, was to be sexually “fixed”. Since I was under legal age, they didn’t need my consent, but required my parents to sign the papers if i’m to be admitted. There was no such thing as an Epilepsy Society in Canada back then.
When the first Epilepsy Society was founded in Canada in 1974, it wasn’t shortly after that Epilepsy was declared NOT a mental illness, and I was free to leave and return to a normal public school. But the Public treated me like a Criminal Released from Jail, and didn’t want me near their kids.
While my older brother stayed there with his friends, my parents took me out west to Victoria, BC, and had me registered in a Public School without telling anyone about my Epilepsy. But after the first seizure in class, the word was out.
Since it was illegal to ban me, they had no choice to allow me to attend classes, but restrictions were soon placed on me… No participating in Field Trips, Dances, and Sports Events. In the classroom, Teachers complained that my seizures were disrupting the class, and I was always late on assignments due to lessons I failed to attend. Even though my marks were D’s and U’s, they passed me onto the next grade, until I finished Grade 12 but wasn’t allowed to attend the Grad Ceremonies or Dance afterwards.
Next, my parents told me that since they have to work, they can’t just leave me at home. What if I have a seizure and get taken to the hospital, leaving their house open to burglars? I started looking at apartments, when my parents said they’d found the perfect place…a Home for the Handicapped.
In there, I got raped by a Gay Male Caregiver who labled me as “fresh meat”. I had a seizure, then woke up being put in a wheelchair and taken to my room, and put to bed to sleep it off. When I woke up, I found I’d been stripped Naked and that caregiver was orally satisfying himself with me.
When my room-mate got back from dinner, I told him and he took me to the Police to report it. The Police then came and talked to the Caregiver who denied it, then used my disability to convince the Police that I must have been having a bad dream after a seizure of that magnitude, and the fact that nobody else saw it, therefore it’s probably all in my head. The Police agreed and left. Then the Caregiver threatened me what he’ll do if I ever call the Police on him again.
The abuse happened over and over, with the Caregiver using my seizures like that Date Rape Drug that’s out on the streets now, to knock women out. I had no knowledge it was taking place until I woke up. Each time I went to the Police, they asked if there was anyone there that actually saw it happen. If not, then “No Witness, No Case”. The abuse went on for 4 years and the Police eventually ignored any further reportings.
I tried to get counselling from the Rape Crisis Center,but they only assist Female Victims, marking men as the abusers, and since my abuser was a male, there you go! Therefore no men are allowed in their facility.
There’s a place called the BC Male Survivors of Sexual Assault, but they charge $80 a session for their help. Living on Disability, I couldn’t afford that. They suggested I take my abuser to court and if I win and get compensation for it, I could have the money sent to them and they’ll give me all the help I want. But once again, No Witness, No Case. Now, 11 years later, the guy is dead, so case closed.
Then I met a woman who also has Epilepsy and we became great lovers. At first, I thought my life was going to be so much easier, but when it came to sex, the memories were hard to bear, but she helped me through it. When she told her friends about me, and what we were doing together, they told her Caregivers, and they in turn called the Police. In their eyes, I’m taking advantage of a vulnerable woman. I admitted to our cuddle times and kissing, and the Police call it Sexual Assault. The fact that she enjoyed being with me didn’t matter. They know what’s best for her.
I got finger printed, then told I’m banned from seeing her ever again, then got released on probation with a date to appear in court. I have to sign in every two weeks, to prove I’m still in town. If I don’t, then a Canada-wide warrant for my arrest will be posted.
Wait a minute!!!! How is it that they can press charges against me, when I wasn’t forcing her to date me? In fact, she’s the one who loved to undress me!!! And yet they’re calling it Sexual Assault? Where’s the “Innocent until Proven Guilty” thing?
If that’s the way they handle cases like that, then why wasn’t My case dealt the same way? Why wasn’t the Caregiver who classed me as “fresh meat” banned from coming near me, and put on Probation, and given a day to appear in court?
It’s like the Rape Crisis Center… They only help women.
Friends have told me that they’ve seen my girlfriend in tears because I’m not allowed to take her out anymore, all because of what her caregivers and the Police think is best.
My Dad got me a Lawyer who thinks this is stupid, and the judge should throw it out. But if it does go to court, be prepared for a different personality of my girlfriend. They’ll probably be coaching her what to say, and suggesting things to make her real mad at me.
I can’t seem to get a girlfriend from the “Normal” society (without disabilities), as my epilepsy bans me from driving and working, which women expect in a man. But I can socialize well with people who have disabilities, treating each other as equals.
To avoid me finding another girlfriend, the Police changed their restrictions. Not only am I to stay away from her, but ALL people with disabilities, accusing me as being a Pedophile…. Going after vulnerable people. Forget the fact that I have a disability too.
This is Crazy!!! I just want someone in my life that I can spend times with, hoping that one day we may fall in love! We are people too! We have feelings! But according to society, we don’t know anything about life.
Please call me and maybe we can talk?
Victoria, BC, Canada