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I am the grown survivor of extreme bullying and abuse, rape, etc. How do I protect my rights to free speech about this?

Macon, GA |

Although these guys slandered me, that is not the reason why I want to publish their names. I want to do that because they raped me. I could give a noncommittal shrug that they called me a slut (and that's something that rapists often do to their victims), it's that they raped me. I want to be the whistle blower. I want to tell their names. It's an extreme case, but my honesty can be documented, because I've been saying some of the same stuff for over a decade now and have well-documented post traumatic stress disorder. Furthermore, I have a respectable witness, albeit due to age and his own mental well-being, he only remembers what he saw when he chased them away and very few details after that.

There is also a security video somewhere, and that has everything on it. A very old security video, but I have managed to be able to build a case for myself, after years of being too traumatized to even function in the real world. I just need to be able to find the video, that's it. I even moved across the country, but (although nobody was sent to any gas chambers) it was like the holocaust to me, and nobody believed me. Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it, and if I am forced to leave out names after those rapists convinced an entire town against my will that I was a slut, it would just be another horrendous injustice on a person who had unjust things happen to her all the time; I can't threaten to commit suicide because I have too many responsibilities in life, but if this doesn't get prosecuted, I'll have a bad life, and that's been the case for a long time now. Can somebody please help me?

Attorney Answers 2

  1. Best answer

    My condolances on your experience - sorry you went through that. Okay, your question covers a lot. First look at the statute of limitations for these claims in the state it happened in. The world has changed and many states have laws, that effectively put a big pause button, in sexual assault cases. If you have an actionable claim, then hire a local lawyer, and sue the creeps. Next find the video, if it shows the assault, and positively identifies the creeps, it will really help you. Third, what I would do is write a book. Tell the whole story of the assault, and your healing process, but change everybody's names, just to cover your butt (get the witnesses statement before he dies and include it in the book). Then if you can get it published by a big publisher,great, if not, self publish a small run. Dedicate the book to: "based on true events"; and be very cryptic about if the heroine is you. There are internet sites that will print and bind as little as 10 copies. Then hold yourself a little book signing in your home town. I actually know someone who did this, and it was brilliant, and it got her exactly what she needed, the oportunity to tell her story and closure. Telling their names is only going to invite getting sued for defamation, on the up side if you get sued, truth is an absolute defense, so you will get to litigate the issue of whether you were telling the truth when you said they raped you, but the downside is it will be insanely expensive and most likely leave you bankrupt. But telling your story, and changing the names to protect the guilty is a great way to get your story out there and acomplish 90% of what you want to do. Good luck and I'm sorry that happened to you...

    All responses are intended to be informative legal information only. No response consitutes legal advice. There is no attorney/client relationship, unless a signed contract between the parties is executed.

  2. Whenever you publish statements about another person's conduct, you expose yourself to being sued for slander if it can be proven that the statements were false and you published them anyway. You do need to keep that in mind before you act. Otherwise, I do not see this as a legal question. I certainly can understand a desire for vengeance. Did you report their acts to the local police? That would be the best way to expose and punish them.

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