My name is Fury Duty and I am many things. I am lawyer and a roller derby referee. I am a daughter and a friend. I am a person with mental illness. And I am a two-time sexual assault survivor.
In 2013, a member of my roller derby community raped me. For the past two years, I have been sharing my stories with anyone who will listen. I shared when no one listened. I shared to my few friends who did listen. I shared in the face of ostracism and social media bullying. I shared when it wasn’t a politically popular thing to do within the roller derby community. I shared his name, fully aware of the risk involved. I tried to catalyze change. It worked, to an extent. My friends believed me, and others sympathetic to the issues of sexual harassment and assault did too. Several leagues took steps to ban my rapist from their venues and their events. But his supporters and friends continued to support him. Their presences and the knowledge that they thought me a liar weighed on me heavily until I eventually left roller derby in June 2016.
For some reason, the stars have aligned, as they say. Due to various recent events, people are paying attention. And we here at It Happens in Derby are capitalizing on that energy and calling for more awareness. We want you to know that we see you. We respect you. We love you. Most importantly: We believe you. For me, writing about my experiences had been a cathartic exercise, despite negative consequences. Today, for the first time, I am happy to write knowing that those who read this support and love me. For the first time, I am happy to share. The story itself is simple: I was raped. I didn’t admit it to myself, much less to anyone else. A year after it happened, I told the story to a group of friends on a roller derby road trip. “Fury,” a friend said gently. “That sounds like rape.” How did I — an intelligent criminal defense attorney — miss this? I missed it because we are all victims of rape culture. It started out as sex and turned into rape the moment I said “No,” and “It hurts, please stop.” Those few words I uttered made it rape. Once I realized this, I had to let it all out. I wrote a blog post that was shared by friends on social media, and within 24 hours, people knew. I traveled around the community officiating and always wondering who knew. Do they know? Do they believe me? Do they meet me and think, “Oh! So you’re the one who said all those horrible things!” Nowhere felt safe. I was very, very alone.
The acronym of this website is I HID, which is so very appropriate. For so long, I HID, not wanting to tell my story. When I retired from roller derby, I HID so that I wouldn’t have to face people. I spent so much time hiding from my own reality. I was miserable. Know that you don’t have to hide. You may share you story anonymously. You may use your name. You may share your story with the world through the blog on this site. Or, if you’re just not ready yet, but you want SOMEONE to know, you have the option of sharing your story and only our two moderators will read it. You don’t have to hide anymore. Even if we do not see you, we know you are out there.