Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Slept with a dude off Tinder. Stopped sleeping with him. Got stalked, now he assaulted next guy

19 months after ending a sexual relationship with a man I met on tinder, he assaulted the man I live with, so aggressively that teeth were lost and a concussion occurred. This man already stole from me and stalked me. There are people in my inner circle telling me I am partly responsible for this. I disagree.

The details are I met aggressor, we'll call him Tall, on Tinder in September of '15. We had sex about a dozen times. He liked me a lot. Every time he told me that, I explained that I was having fun, but did not feel mutual. We ended up working trades together, he hired me to do a job, and we worked together for three days before hooking up. So professional lines were blurred from the get go.

A month later another job was on the horizon. He wasn't the one to hire me, but recommended me. The day before the paperwork was signed, he asked if he could meet my parents and I said not as my boyfriend, but sure. He told me I was no longer allowed to work the job and kicked me out of his place.

Great. I persisted to no avail. After repeatedly making me leave, then come back to his house to talk, then minutes in telling me leave again, I left in tears. The next day he called me asking why I wasn't there to work. So I came. He said nothing, but announced to other people we were leaving for this job mentioned before.

I didn't sleep with him again. We left for the job. We got there. As soon as we got there I felt secure enough to speak up. The employer put me in a hotel room with him, the gas money to reimburse me for driving my vehicle out, was written in a check in his name. I told HR I was not his girlfriend and needed my own room. They immediately got me one.

Tall kept deteriorating as I stood independent. He cried every night and asked me to tell him why we couldn't have sex anymore. I spent hours holding emotional space. He started showing up at my car when I wasn't giving him a ride to talk more. Again, I held space. He asked me to promise I wouldn't sleep with anyone else. I said I don't make promises like that, in fact don't practice monogamy until its very serious. He accepted that he said.

Three weeks into this job I had gotten close to a coworker who did know Tall beforehand. We'll call him Ponytail. Ponytail kept offering me advice on handling Tall's emotions and volatility. Assured me it wasn't my fault the degree he was taking it to, and to do this this and this. I did. After a week I mentioned to Ponytail that I wouldn't mind hooking up, because I have every right to be sexual and have sex in my opinion. The night Ponytail and I were making out in my hotel room we heard a loud knock and screaming. Turns out Tall had been listening outside. For how long I don't know.

To me that is stalking. He stayed outside my room for 2 hours. I asked to be switched rooms in the hotel and they couldn't. I didn't feel safe going to my car or in the hotel anymore.

That day at work Tall walked off the job taking $300 of my tools and the $800 gas check that was supposed to pay me.

I blocked his number and moved on.

Ponytail and I dated for a couple months then became friends. Then roommates. We aren't romantic anymore but good friends.

After running into Tall a handful of times since, Tall has called Ponytail names every time we see him. Friends of both assured me there was nothing to be done, that talking to Tall wouldn't help. It was between them. My roommate Ponytail insisted I try. I did, Tall said calmly that he didn't want to talk about it.

Last week Tall hit Ponytail so hard in the back of the head that he knocked a tooth out and gave him a concussion so bad he passed out for hours. I wasn't there. There is surveillance video that looks like Tall hit him with an object, possibly a gun.

The week following has been full of texts and gossip about my role in this. The friend who drove Ponytail home said I should be cleaning up this mess because I started it. Ponytail has asked me to accept my responsibility in his face being beaten. I apologize that he got hurt and I didn't, but I refuse to.

I called the property where the assault took place as I knew them. I thought they had a restraining order against Tall, they don't have a court ordered one. They asked me why and I mentioned the assault. They asked where it took place and I said where I thought it did.

An hour later I get texts from a woman who got evicted because of my phone call. She said I need to keep my legs and mouth shut because its all my fault including her getting evicted. She's in trouble because she and her husband know Tall isn't allowed on the property but allow him. When they asked them not to and they refused, thats when they got evicted.

Now a whole community of people is complaining about me not handling the situation well. That I shouldn't have snitched, I better not call the cops, did Ponytail call the cops? Are you going to press charges? You shouldn't. Its endless. I've already spent more conversations in the last year than I think make sense, explaining to new boyfriends this story and them asking, "did you lead Tall on?", what did you say to him? why did he get so attached? why was he so upset? are you sure you didn't make him think more was going on?

Also the 'you shouldn't sleep with people you work with', 'you shouldn't sleep with two friends'. Well sorry, I know both are usually safe bets, but life isn't that clean and I've done both of those things before with out getting stalked, stolen from, or someone assaulted. Not to mention the people (men) telling me these things, don't follow this advice.

The factor here is the aggression from Tall. There is no point in asking any other questions. What I said to him doesn't justify theft. How heartbroken he was doesn't justify stalking.

Anyone wanting me to accept responsibility for the violence of a former fling 19 months after, seems misogynistic to me. Friends or no friends, coworkers or otherwise.

This is horrible feeling. I've lost a whole community and don't feel as close to my boyfriend because of how many times he asks what I said to Tall. STOP

 

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