Monday, November 14, 2011

Preditors and Victims Are In The Open

Where do I begin? A question I have been asking myself all weekend.

I am sure most of you know about the Penn State Scandal. So many emotions are stirring for people, especially victim's, like me. Our hearts go out to those who have suffered beyond belief. Reading or hearing about another predator running around living his life as he destroyed the innocent.

I know 'innocent until proven guilty', but you cannot help be outraged from details leaked into the press.

Which brings me to something I had written months ago. A rape piece which has been looming in the back of my mind. I often think about the purpose of this blog. Creative TMI. I began steering towards artistic endeavors over the past few years. But now and then I have to bring up something serious. Talk about something that changed my own life in many ways. Topics that have changed others as well.

Most people want negative news to fade away, because it can be hard to swallow. Knowing about horrific acts such as sexual abuse is hard to swallow. But speaking out about these topics help people like me, a victim of sexual abuse as a child and an adult.

Any act of sexual abuse is horrific, especially for the victim. We live our own experiences over and over when things like this come up in the news. I was channel surfing in between working on my book and poetry when I came upon a show 'The Downfall of Anand Jon', and I thought "Who is Anand Jon?", and where have I been?

I do not watch or read about the news very often, but do read hubby's newspapers left lying around the house when I can. But it is hard to keep up with everything. I was a week behind on the Penn State Scandal.

The show I stumbled upon began by describing Anand Jon's rise to fame in the fashion world as a up and coming designer by dressing Lawrence Fishburn, Paris Hilton, and many others. He had appeared on America's Top Model, which I definitely do not watch, and then jetted into the world of (and according to acquaintances, employees and a business partner) engaging in dangerously close relationships with very young woman who aspired to be models, or were his models.

Their ages ranged from fourteen to twenty one. He was eventually caught in the car with a fifteen year old aspiring model, and was seen making out with her by the police. During her police interview she admitted to giving him oral sex, and being with him on other occasions. But he did not go to jail at this point. The mother knew, why did she not proceed to have him charged. The mother should be charged with neglect, if she is found guilty.

Years later a twenty one year old model came forth and stated to the police he raped her. After that girls came out of the woodwork saying they also had been forced, or he forced himself upon them (video tapes were found) to have sex or perform sex with Anand Jon. Of course I decided to Google him and see what updated news I could find. He was arrested in 2007, found guilty, and has been serving time in jail. I believe he is also in NYC facing trial for more sexual crimes.

I am not an expert on the whole story from the brief news reports and one blog, but I can say I know rape. From my experience I can understand why someone would be afraid to come forth. Why would I share such a horrific story with you? Because I now feel it is important for people to understand what being a victim entails. Here is a piece from one of the on-line accounts of his ordeal.

Anand Jon's victims say they were assured reimbursed airfare, drivers, secure models-only living quarters if they were accepted for modeling, as well as fees for their time coming to LA. However there were a few warning signs, no one ever met them at JFK or LAX; a call to Jon would elicit instructions for the women to take cabs to his studio — which was actually Jon’s home. Jon’s digs have invariably been described as “filthy,” “disgusting” and “gross” — a disheveled crash pad that was really a clothes closet turned inside out.

The details of what went on in his apartment are almost unbelievable, and no one saw these signs? I am sure someone saw and knew something. But people are afraid to ruffle feathers.

Many people questioned why woman would wait so long to come forth. First of all the girls were under age. Can you imagine how scared they were. Immature and inexperienced with the modeling world. I am sure they might have been embarrassed. They had all told their family and friends a famous designer wanted them to come to LA and become one of his professional models. They believed he would help them break into a world which was hard to break into. I am not surprised he intimidated them once they arrived.

Okay, even I admit, who in their right mind would allow their daughters to go unescorted to his apartment like that. Well he did live with his assistant, another female, who now admits she was afraid and intimidated by Anand Jon. Where were the adults who were responsible for their well being?

And what parent or who let children go alone with an older man to a ball field, as in the Penn State Scandal? I am not saying that sexual abuse cannot happen close to home, because it happens under your own roof.

I was a similar victim so many years ago. Years before my siblings and I were victims of molestation. Where were my parents? Unfortunately alcohol was an influence in our situation. Why did we not tell our parents what was going on? Adult predators have their way of intimidating children. Just like men who rape have their ways of scaring the hell out of women who are passive. It does not matter how old you are, you can become a victim of a sexual crime.

I am not going into details of what happened to me or my family. It happened, and I survived. Nor is this written to get sympathy for myself. I am just outraged that the above two cases were not reported earlier, and it took so long for the predator to be apprehended.

Just remember when you hear about someone like Alexander Anand Jon or the coach who was seen with an under age boy in the showers of Penn State (he has not gone to trial yet, and maybe found innocent), we all have dark sides. A majority of us just do not act upon criminal impulses. We know right from wrong. There were warning signs to many who knew both of these men (I have read), or were close to them during that period the crimes were committed. If you see something going on that doesn't seem right, then you should speak up and help a victim. No if's and's or but's.

One of my predators  in the early eighties was reported, and brought to justice shortly after the crime took place. Thankfully a much stronger woman he victimized came forth, and I felt such relief. I am a much different person now than I was back then, and would not hesitate to take a predator down. My heart goes out to the children this latest predator has victimized. Honestly I think they should take any staff who knew down.

Victims, I personally feel speaking out about these crimes is the first step to becoming a survivor.

Readers and all others, just listening can help.

Predators, I do believe you will get your punishment in due time.


Toon said...

It's infuriating the way all those around him protected him. That's why I detest the Catholic church -- they protect the guilty and dismiss the victims. It makes me have violent thoughts!

Chef E said...

Family is often in denial, I am sure in both of these cases, from what I read they are all in denial, even after it was confessed the coach was seen in the showers, which is sick!

I am only hoping my sibling and my molester was caught, before he ruined others lives. It's frustrating and angers me as well. Growing up Catholic I feel the same. So much is swept under the rug.

blueviolet said...

I just don't know how someone could remain silent after witnessing something so horrendous and obviously wrong.