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Watch: “When My Rapist Showed Up Under the People You May Know Tab on Facebook”

Kevin Kantor’s “People You May Know,” on finding his rapist on Facebook, has lingered with me all week.

Kantor reads:

When my rapist showed up under the “People You May Know” tab on Facebook, it felt like the closest to a crime scene I’ve ever been….

Facebook informs me that we have three mutual friends. Which is to say that he is people you may know. Which is to say that I am people you may know. And there are people that know and people that don’t know and people that don’t know I want to know and am afraid to let know and probably people that know him that know of me that know the word no no no no.

There’s so much truth here. That horrible intimacy of after-rape — the unexpected mutual friend, the baby picture — that denies our need to cleanly separate nightmare from reality. That realization that violence isn’t out there, detachable and foreign, but in here, woven into the fabric of our communities. That new knowledge of the capacity for violence in the “people we may know,” a lesson more painful perhaps than violence itself.

I call him the wolf when I write about him. The wolf, so as to make him as storybook as possible….

And now I know the wolf’s middle name and what he listens to on Spotify and the all too familiar company that he keeps. And he can no longer be a wolf. Or the nameless grave that I dig for myself. We have three mutual friends on Facebook and now it feels like they are holding the shovel.

Sometimes I think about the people who knew and wonder if I can really blame them. The relentless dichotomization of good and evil is so comfortable and comforting.

No one comes running for young boys who cry rape.


New Haven, CT

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and the co-founder of Know Your IX, the national youth-led organization working to end gender violence in schools. She's testified before Congress on Title IX policy and legislative reform, and her writing has appeared in a number of outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She's also a student at Yale Law School, and you can find her on Twitter at @danabolger.

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and a student at Yale Law School.

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