One Survivor’s Story

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?

Matthew Ford
Victoria, BC, Canada
Email matthewford@shaw.ca

18 thoughts on “One Survivor’s Story

  1. I’m crying. I’ve seen worse, but not often.

    THIS, this is the feminist definition of fair and equal!

  2. My heart went out to you as I read your story. I just want you to know that there are people out there who do believe you. I am a gay man myself and hearing what that guy did to you makes me feel sick. Please know that it is not you at fault. It is society which needs to listen to people and support those who are truly being abused as you were.
    I send you my very best wishes
    Alec

  3. “THIS, this is the feminist definition of fair and equal!”

    Oh whatever! I wasn’t aware that the feminist borg had taken over the overwhelmingly MALE police force of Canada.

    Are you truly saying men are such dupes that feminist theory has melted their minds into a collectivity of denial and inhumanity towards other males? Give me a break.

    This is a horrific story, but I fail to see how men hurting other men and failing to provide resources for sexually assualted or abused men is the result of feminist theories of equality.

  4. I would suggest you read more carefully rather than selectively. Then you would not miss portions such as: 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.

  5. Right, and that’s linked to feminism how?

    Men’s refusal to help other men, to listen and believe other men, is at the heart of the lack of resources for male victims. Once you grasp *that* you can move forward. Impotently casting aspersions on feminism because of a lack of action on the part of men becomes increasingly transparent. Don’t you have a post here about how feminism is supposedly erroneously claiming that men want feminism to fix their problems for them? Pray tell then, why defend jw”s comment? Call it for the bullshit it is, otherwise jw is a prime example of a man wanting women to fix his problems. Specifically the political group known as feminists. Blame here holds the expectation of service. Until men, especially male victims, do as much, society-wide, as female victims, the launching of blame at feminists is a child’s cry. Until then you lack good faith.

    As a matter of policy, you are not allowed to attack, mock, demonize, cajole or harass any male victims on this site. If you wish to do so, go back to Alas or whatever feminist blogs you frequent that tolerates such views. You will get no further warning. At the moment, comments are under moderation. If you do so again, you will be banned. – TS

  6. Right, and that’s linked to feminism how?

    If feminists wish take credit for the creation and the founding of rape centers, then they must also take credit of how those centers are run and how those centers treat male victims who approach them seeking assistance and support.

  7. Sorry for the lateness in commenting.

    This is so horrible. It makes me sick to hear of what can happen to someone judged unworthy of concern by society (not just feminism, though they’re not blameness).

    I’m sometimes judged the same but have had more favorable circumstances, my abuse definitely doesn’t start to compare and I wish something could be done…victims need not be judged by their Mediatic Empathy Rating, and ignored if they don’t pass the threshold (meaning people of color, disabled people, transgender and transsexual people, intersex people, people in sex work and other judged-unworthy minorities I may forget). Males are also oftentimes ignored when as victims, I don’t wish to downplay this (I’ve also experienced it, but not to this degree).

    I’m not a religious person, but I (metaphorically) pray things get better.

  8. Thanks guys. Yes I’m the one who wrote the article, and as expected, more and more gay men are now going into nursing, for there it’s okay to touch a guy’s privates as a part of their job.

    I tried getting help from the Police Department’s Crime Victim Assaistance Program, and got this reply….

    Dear Matthew
    I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Unfortunately the appeal period on the decision made by the WCB has lapsed and there is no further recourse on the issue of eligibility, unless there is new information through future sexual occurrences that become available. However, as the offender has sice died, it is highly unlikely that counselling could be made available to you. I’m sorry we couldn’t be of further assistance.

    Since nobody saw my abuser and I together, there’s no case. So then why is it different with my girlfriend? Nobody saw us together and yet I’m in trouble according to their ideas of what’s best.

    I tried going to a Disability Resource Center that had a Support Group. I mentioned the abuse and when the meeting was over, I was asked to stay and talk to the Group Coordinator. In her office, she told me she’s a Lesbian and took offence to the stuff I said about Gay people, claiming not all gays are abusers, and even those who are… have rights. She’s a proud supporter of the Gay Rights Movement, marking their actions as perfectly normal, and because of the way I described it, she banned me from her group.

    If you got sexually molested by someone of the same sex, where would YOU go for help?

    Matthew Ford
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    matthewford@shaw.ca

  9. When they did an IQ Test on my girlfriend, she was able to do regular Math, but not Algebra. About a Grade 8 level of education.

    Since most Grade 8 students are about age 13 or 14, that means she has the mind of a child and legally, children cannot give consent!

    Even though she was 41 and I was 45 when we dated, and she was the one feeling and undressing me, they said that due to my size, I could have easily overpowered her, therefore she’s the victim!

    She is a victim in one way… if they say she can’t give consent, then she’ll never be allowed to get married.

  10. I think Qgrrrl would agree with me when I say: SHUT YER PATHETIC WHINING, YA FUGGIN’ MEHNZ!!!11!

    For those of you who aren’t raging misandrists, yeah it’s an awful story.

  11. Q Grrl, with all due respect, your attitude is the very reason why I don’t support feminism fully.

    Matthew, as a fellow autistic adult, you have my support in all of this. I too was abused, but more bullied than sexual, by both sexes. So, hang in there buddy. Keep visiting sites like this as often as you want.

  12. To be fair, Eagle, she asks a good question:

    What does feminism have to do with the way feminist-established, feminist-staffed, and feminist-run rape centers are run?

    How can you see any kind of link whatsoever? I certainly can’t.

  13. “Call it for the bullshit it is, otherwise jw is a prime example of a man wanting women to fix his problems.”

    It is that, but so what? Has any woman ever campaigned for men to fix women’s problems? Let’s see:

    “Only men can stop rape.”
    or more simply:

    “He raped me. I want justice.’

    So I don’t really see the problem here.

  14. After doing the IQ Test on my girlfriend and declaring her as unable to give consent regardless of her age, I got taken to court for having sex with a minor (a 41 year old minor). Since my IQ Test marked me as a Grade 10 level, there were no charges were laid against me, and the Judge ordered the Crown to provide me with Counselling.

    The Crown (police) appointed the kind of counselling they felt I needed… the Sex Offender Program. The Judge said there were no charges, but the Instructors said if it wasn’t a crime, then I wouldn’t have been sent there. For 3 months, I was forced to accept that it’s wrong for people with disabilities to be anything more than just friends.

    Once again, the abuse I went through has no bearing on it. What others do is okay. What I do… is wrong.

  15. Jim,

    I say…. Only Women can decide when to accept that it doesn’t just happen to women!
    If there’s children being abused, why should only the girls get help?

    Matthew

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