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Emotinal rape

Shining a light on emotional rape

Editor’s note: Joyce M. Short is the author of a soon to be released book, “Carnal Abusive Deceit When a Predator’s Lies Become Rape.” The book chronicles her life with a predator, the subsequent aftermath and her road to recovery. It also provides advice for victims and their supporters, and discusses the issues surrounding criminalization of rape-by-fraud. Joyce lives in New York City, where she’s a real estate broker, professional tennis instructor and a strong advocate for her community.

A Predator’s “Mark” Often Struggles to Overcome Rape-by-Fraud or Emotional Rape

By Joyce M. Short

I was hoodwinked by a charlatan. It was not until I found the appropriate terms to express what I’d experienced that I actually began to feel relief. He lied about everything ”¦ his age, his education, his marital status, military service and more. The man who seduced me, who I came to adore, was nothing but a charade.

Once I learned of his treachery, it took years to mend. It was complicated by the fact that we had a child together. As I struggled through his physical and financial abandonment, depression and the sense of defilement that resulted from his wrongdoing, I finally determined to write a book about it. Doing so enabled me to put the facts and his behavior into context. Beforehand, they were jarring memories loosely floating through my consciousness and disturbing my peace. While purposeless rumination and a sense of deprivation were eating me alive, he skipped along on his way to an affluent, secure life. My determination to write the book renewed my sense of power, which had been stripped away by his debasing actions.

Writing my story

Writing is a process, and writing about one’s painful past is fraught with starts, stops and detours. Facing the most painful memories can erode one’s spirit as we relive the actions that caused us so much grief. As I continued writing, I attempted to convey how “raped” I felt at his hands. I coined what I thought was my own invention for describing his impact, “emotionally raped.” I decided to take a look on the Internet and see if it was a term that was in common usage.

Before I completed typing all the letters, the words, “emotional rape” sprang up, denoting that the term actually existed in techno space. Before me lay several options to chose from. I was overwhelmed. Tears streamed down my cheeks and I had to take a few minutes to collect myself before I could continue. Just the validation alone that what I felt was an actual, identifiable occurrence that someone, somewhere in the universe knew about was mind blowing.


I’ve continued researching and writing since then. Today I understand that when someone pretends to be a person they are not in order to induce you to have sex with them, they are committing the crime of rape-by-fraud. When they deceive you about their character in order to cause you to feel a loving bond with them, they are committing emotional rape. They are defrauding you of your highest emotion, which is love.

Unfortunately, the crime of rape-by-fraud is only punishable in a number of states: California, Massachusetts and Tennessee. Emotional rape is not punishable anywhere.

If you felt raped at the hands of a predator who lied to you, but were not physically overcome, now you know why. Rape by duping someone is as much a means to circumvent your opposition as doping would be. Doping a victim to engage in sex is widely known as “date rape” and punishable by law. The act of sex does not have to hurt you physically in order to hurt you emotionally. The trauma and confusion to victims increases with the length of time that sex with the imposter continues.

Just as doctors can’t prescribe cures until the illness is known, victims of rape-by-fraud and emotional rape have a difficult time recovering from something they don’t recognize or understand. Once a person knows what they are dealing with, they can take the necessary steps to heal themselves.


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No court proceedings.But I’m confident in the justice that will be handed down in the Universal Court that spath will someday soon face.


Hi DW! Just wanted to update you. I was in court last Friday for a payment hearing. He didn’t show again! 🙂 I really expected him to since he was just arrested on outstanding bench warrants in January. They put out another bench warrant on him…but this time they will HOLD HIM until we get back into court!! Woot! This was for my 3 small claims cases against him.

On March 21, I go back to court again with maintenance enforcement against him for the $15,000 in child support he owes. If he doesn’t show for that one, the same thing will happen, but this one is enforceable by the RCMP. We have only heard from him once since his last arrest. He wanted to see my son. I have told him numerous times that he will not be allowed to see him without a supervisor…I’m tired of repeating myself. We didn’t respond and haven’t heard from him since! Woot!

I am really hoping that this is the beginning of the end for him. I’m almost scared to get my hopes up but I really don’t think he can take the heat I’m causing him. He is always getting stopped by the police because they all know him and he’s such a terrible driver/person. LOL If he doesn’t want to do jail time, he’ll be running soon. There’s no other way out of this jail time…it could be a month or two for him. 🙂 I am feeling quite vindicated at this point…even if I don’t see a cent (and I likely won’t), just knowing that he’s being held responsible for his cons is fantastic! maybe karma is finally catching up to him! I’m so glad I didn’t back down, even though it caused me a great deal of stress!


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