Posted by on March 16, 2021 4:00 am
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Categories: µ Newsjones

In an extract from her latest book, Julie DiCaro explains why the old advice about ignoring harassment on social media simply doesn’t work

My first experience with mass trolling was in 2013. I had recently published a piece that attempted to dispel some of the myths about the behavior of rape victims by sharing, for the first time, my own rape story. I’d written it in response to all the slut‑shaming comments I’d seen about the sexual assault victim of then Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. A segment of FSU fans, educated neither in the dynamics of sexual violence nor in the psychology of trauma, had taken to Twitter to point out that his accuser had to be lying, because she didn’t report the rape immediately and because she texted Winston after the attack.

In the piece, I wrote about how it took me months, maybe years, to consider what happened to me “rape,” even though an army officer, much bigger and stronger than I was, held me down and overpowered me. Even though I kept saying no. Even though I was sore for days afterward. It happened during spring break of my senior year of college. The next night, I saw my rapist again at a bar. I made a beeline for him and chatted with him about college basketball. I couldn’t tell you to this day why I did that. Maybe because I needed to convince myself it wasn’t rape.

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