There are times when I read the news that I absolutely despair for humanity. When you marry someone, you trust that they love you enough to always have your best interests at heart. You most certainly assume that they aren’t going to attempt to harm you physically or emotionally for their own cheap gratification. Unfortunately, for a woman living in the Twin Cities, her trust was ill founded, because her husband used Craigslist to have two men break into her home on two separate occasions and attempt to rape her. Yes, you absolutely read that right.
The intruder was described as being about 5’10” with a medium build and short black hair; both arms covered in tattoos.
Two days later, at around 3.45pm on Saturday, a second man broke in and police arrived to find the woman holding him at gunpoint in the living room.
He was arrested over the break-in and told police in an interview that he was responding to a ‘casual encounters’ ad on Craigslist, supposedly posted by the victim.
‘The person posting the ad told him she wanted to be forcibly raped as that was a fantasy of hers,’ the police report states.
‘He was told to force his way inside and rape the woman there and not stop no matter how much she resisted.’
Police scoured the man’s cellphone and found a string of emails exchanged with the ad’s poster which backed up his story.
They traced the emails he had allegedly been sent to a computer at the Army National Guard in Mountain Home, where the 32-year-old husband works.
He was returning home at the time of the attempted assaults and has since been arrested, admitting his involvement to police.
The husband’s bond was set at $100,000 and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for July 27. [source]
Much of the comments on the Daily Fail of course deal with the fact that the woman used a gun to defend herself. In the first attempt, the gun was taken from her by alleged assailant and it was only in the second incident that she was able to use the gun to hold off her attacker until the police arrived. Discussion about this story should not be about the value of a gun but about the fact that her husband broke a sacred trust and that two grown ass man thought it was a good idea to play at raping a woman they had never met, based on a series of e-mails. Guns are not the answer for stopping gender based violence, breaking down the society in which this is deemed normal and acceptable is. Violence against women won’t end until men recognize their privilege and universally decide that they don’t have the right to hurt us, control us, or have access to our bodies.
By now, everyone should know that unless you actually meet the person face to face, you don’t know who you are talking to online. They didn’t bother to investigate the validity of this so-called rape fantasy because they were enamored with the idea of forcing themselves on a woman. That in and of itself is beyond sick to me. Reading an ad on Craigslist, which could be potentially authored by anyone, should not have been enough in the eyes of these men to assume consent. Incidents like this are exactly why I am such a big supporter of affirmative consent. Had they insisted on meeting with their victim to ascertain that this indeed was what she wanted, or at the very least had asked when arriving at her doorstep, this entire horrifying incident would have been avoided.
As for her husband, whose name has been redacted from the story by the Daily Fail, [note: I understand that doing so protects the victims identity] I don’t have the words to describe my disgust. For me, this entire story is a new twist on domestic violence. I cannot imagine how he justified this violation to himself. His poor wife not only has to deal with the fact that two strange men broke into their home to attempt to rape her, but that her husband was behind the whole thing. This is going to live with her, all the days of her life.
I think that this story also illustrates a point that the reporter did not delve into. As women, we are taught to fear some strange man jumping out of the bushes to assault us in some manner. Don’t walk alone at night we are told, be wary in dark parking lots, but the truth of the matter is that most assaults are not done by strangers, but by men we know in some fashion. In this case, the victim did not know the two potential rapists; however, they never would have chosen to show up at her home, were it not for the intervention of her husband. The horrible thing is that you can never tell just by looking at someone that they are a predator of the worst kind. There is no way to defend or protect against this, which takes us back to the false idea that the gun is the hero of the story. This is exactly why tackling sexism is so very important. In each situation in which women are devalued, it emboldens patriarchy and sets up a stage wherein men believe that it is their right to abuse us at will.