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When I first came back to this blog, I intended to write only one post. Then when Mark posted his statement deying almost everything I said, I intended to write only one more.
My purpose has always been to speak the truth, make the dance scene safer, and then return to my regularly-scheduled life. So when he filed a protection order against me in October, I was already beyond done. I discovered that Mark filed the protection order against me in October. Perpetrators often use the legal system to intimidate their victim into silence, or to prevent ot her victims from coming forward. This led to a hectic week of worry, frustration, lawyering, and attending a court hearing during which the only thing decided was that we were going to postpone the actual court hearing until the end of December.
May I point out that this is a nother reason so few cases of sexual assault are reported? Because even if you do, and even if you take no legal action and are simply telling your story out loud, you are putting yourself at risk for legal action against you. Also, keep your therapist on speed dial because you will need him. Make s ure to find an amazing lawyer because you will need her, too. I had all those things. I also had an astonishing number of people who came to the first court hearing to support me.
Neighbors, family, dancers, friends from childhood, friends from church, my priest, and even friends from out-of-state were there to be with me as I faced this.
I love you all. And shout-out to all of the survivors of sexual assault who have contacted me since I went public with this. You are strong and you are brave. Today I learned that Mark withdrew his petition, so we will not be going to court next week. This chapter appears to be over. His response was entirely unsurprising, of course.