Whatever you know him by, Le Clown or Eric Robillard, there is a story to be told, and it is finally being heard. Why has it taken so long? Well the same could be said about any predator. People will say, well that happened X days, Y months or even Z years ago, what took so long? What takes so long is that abuse takes time to process.
I am not a psychologist, but I have taken quite a bit of classes on the subject trying to make sense of my past and how I reacted to what happened. My wife will attest to my nagging about different quarks and what caused them. So to understand what, or why these things happen, we need to look at the action and the reaction of the predator in respect to the person being abused.
If you read this particular post in question we will discuss it, at some length.
Why that post?
Because, while I cannot say with certainty, that it happened to her, as I do not know this individual personally. I can say that it has very striking similarities to the language [almost word for word] and events that happened to my wife. To which, I can say, after seeing the proof first hand directly from the source on Facebook, that it definitely happened to her. So I will use this post as a reference point because there are screenshots of the conversation which makes it easy to follow.
There are typically three different steps that a successful predator will follow, the first is the grooming process. This involves the selection of a person, getting to know them and getting to know what makes them tick.
This is a textbook example of how someone can do that, through the guise of mental health blogging he tapped into an innate vulnerability of an abuse survivor, the want to be heard and believed.
From this he got to know the victim, they opened up to share a traumatic event or events and gave them a ‘safe’ place to do that in the eyes of the victim. By doing this there is a sense of trust that is built.
Remember a abuse survivor is typically a person who is given mixed signals their whole life, or worse told flat out that it isn’t a big deal, wasn’t ‘that bad’ or that they where the cause of the abuse.
The second step is testing and pushing the boundaries of the victim. This is done subtly at first, a victim will feel like this is someone who is making a joke or maybe as in this particular case study, playful flirting. They might not even really pick up on it, this step can last as short as a few weeks or as long as months or even years depending on the person and how traumatic their past has been.
This step is important to a predator because it lets them know how much control they have over the victim. This also typically involves a lot of apologizing when the victim realizes that the predator is being inappropriate.
To a non-abuse victim this would not make sense because if someone was pushing boundaries they would typically separate themselves from that person. This part to a abuse survivor is confusing however, the reason for this is due to the past abuse.
When a survivor has not had the typical healthy boundaries that a average person was given, knowing what is healthy and what is unhealthy for an abuse survivor can and is typically very difficult to establish. It would be like learning a whole new language with no guidance.
An predator will take advantage of this confusion between the healthy and the unhealthy boundaries to work their way towards what they want from the victim. Slowly pushing the boundaries so they remain comfortable and are desensitized to the situation instead of raising concerns about the inappropriate behavior. Which furthers a victims confusion about what is healthy and unhealthy.
What makes matters worse, most victims will not seek help from trusted friends or from family because of shame or inability to discuss the past abuse in an environment that they view as unsafe.
In this particular case, the victims boundaries were pushed followed by apologies, then again pushed in the guise of a ‘joke’ to help mask intent and to make the victim feel like this type of behavior is ‘normal’.
Now we reach the final step of the predator. Step three, now the predator uses his control over the victim to get what he or she wants. This step isn’t over when the predator gets what they want however. They still need to silence the victim.
To do this the predator will typically apologize and use their influence over the victim to make them feel guilty, confused, or at fault for what occurred. By doing this, the predator is mirroring past abuse. Thus making it hard to distinguish as an unhealthy behavior, or even as something that is wrong to do.
In this case the predator uses the child he had from a previous marriage as leverage for the victim to remain silent. Pleading that he does not want to lose the child, which shifts focus from what the predator did, to what the victim is now ‘doing to the predator’. [It is important to note that he did not do this part in the case of my wife. But is still important to point out because of the logic that is being used.]
As we can see from Le Clown, after the he was unsuccessful in placating the victim with apologies, now turns towards what the victim wanted in the first place, the chance to have a voice through some power the predator claims to have, in this case different resources and other blogs that are being run. This was the exact same strategy he used to attempt to not only silence my wife, but keep lines of communication open so he could continue to manipulate her.
This is a text book example of an predator and the mentality they use to manipulate people. We are thus thankful to the survivors for coming forth and breaching this difficult and painful subject in order to bring it to light and help future abuse from happening.
To close friends and even family they are well respected, thought highly of and often are in a place of perceived power, like a youth leader, priest, or in this case a blogger trying to help give a voice to victims.
In the face of the evidence at hand, in this case several private messages between the victim and predator [because privacy is a very important key to the predators strategy], the predator will do everything in his power to make the victim look ‘crazy’ or deny that the events even happened.
Thankfully in this particular case there are several persons involved that have corroborated the events. Including myself, who has seen first hand the skill at which he used to manipulate people.
Understanding the thought process behind an predator is important for people who are on the outside looking in, people who have not had to deal with abuse. To the average person looking in, it is a confusing mess and this is because they lack the proper frame of reference.
Hopefully, this [somewhat brief] writing on the topic has helped shed light on something victims [including myself] forget about. Explaining why an abuse survivor is so susceptible to repeated abuse and why it works the way it does.
Let’s stop the victim shaming and start offering support. Because at the end of the day if you were in the victims shoes, you would want with all your heart and soul to be heard and believed too.
Please, let’s stop this, together.
As an update, since events have happened prior to the writing of this. Apparently LeClown is gone for the moment or at least his personal blog, hopefully for good, but I highly doubt it. Sides unfortunately have been drawn and in a particular case despite all the evidence to the fact that this man is, at the very least, a predator, he still has support.
There are people who have attacked the individuals who were brave enough actually to speak about this man. Claiming apparently creating a very elaborate hoax [for no given reason] or for the fact that they even spoke out, which is sad and disgusting that the world still works this way. This makes my following offer even more important to certain people who do not feel strong enough to weather that kind of storm.
To anyone, who is a survivor and wants to be heard. You are always welcome to write something and have it posted here, anonymous or not. I know what it is like to not have a voice, so if you want to be heard, I will listen and share it for you.