Even in a Marriage

The unnamed woman reportedly began keeping a journal of alleged assaults in 2004. The asaults she wrote about were allegedly both physical and sexual in nature.

The woman has told police that on April 6 th, she  used her husband’s money and car to go get a haircut. And reportedly he was angry about that. The woman alleges that he forced her to submit to a sex act in the bathroom of their home, all while she pleaded with him not to do so. And that he had done so before.

Now her husband Vladek Filler has been charged with gross sexual assault. His defense attorney has indicated he intends to plead not guilty.

According to the exectutive director of the Rape Response Center in the  area

“It happens more than people think,”. “Some of it comes in as domestic violence, but they don’t always identify the sexual assault. I would love to see more people understand that both are crimes.”

“It’s much more difficult even to report violence against someone that you love,” she said. “Victims often feel a great deal of guilt and oftentimes the perpetrator encourages that guilt. And then to have to go into detail about that abuse in court, in front of a jury.”

The case will go before the Grand Jury in June.

boston.com  bangordailynews.com  seacoastonline.com

Many people do keep diaries, it is interesting that this woman used hers to keep a record of assault.

Previous intimacy does not give automatic permission for a sexual act. Marriage does not give automatic permission for a sexual act. Even in a committed relationship both parties need to consent to a sexual act.

Intimacy is normal and natural in a relationship. But force and coercion should never be a part of that. Sex or any other intimacy should never be used as a punishment.

There may be times when one party may wish imtimacy at a time that the other party does not. And most couples are able to work that out through some form of compromise. But when force is used to initiate a sexual act, that is a crime- whether you are a couple or not.

Even in a marriage, with the expected intimacy both parties still have the right to say No. Using force in the relationship- sexual or otherwise, is a crime. Even in a marriage.

If sexually assaulted by spouse or partner, do not shower or bathe after the act. Call police.

How do you tell a police officer that your spouse or partner raped you? You tell them the same way that you would tell them that you were physically assaulted. You say it. Just like any other sexual assault victim, it is difficult to report. But until you do, most likely it will continue.

And you tell yourself, just like any other sexual assault victim, that what happened is not your fault. That no one should ever be forced. And that by applying force, your spouse committed a crime, and that you are not at fault for the crime or for reporting it.

After telling police, you will then be taken for an examination with a doctor and a sexual assault exam will be done. That is to gather evidence of a crime. The sexual assault examination is much like an annual gyn exam, but they will be conducting different tests designed to gather evidence.

Most communities have rape response teams available to talk with you about what happened, many will stay with you through the process. Most communities also have domestic violence agencies that can also talk with you about it.

A sexual assault of any type can leave the victim feeling very embarrassed and alone. It can be hard to realize that this has happened to others and that nothing you can say will shock the police or the advocates. They will have heard some version of it before. By reporting what happened to you, by acknowleging the crime, you are clearing the way to be able to access help for yourself.



  1. KatK said,

    April 29, 2007 at 8:44 am

    Or, like in Till Tuesday’s song “Hush, Hush” sexual abuse can be the opposite. Song Quote: “He wants me, but only part of the time. He wants me, if he can keep me in line.” He only gives affection, or sex when he wants it, and only if you’ve been “good”.

    My ex-husband was one of these. He’d refuse to have sex, as part of a “cold shoulder/revenge” tactic. He’d make it clear he was doing it to sting me. But I wasn’t allowed to say “I’m still angry, and no I’m not going to put out.” to him. (And I wouldn’t havet refused for weeks like he did, either. Only until things were fully settled and hurt feelings mended.) It isn’t a common tactic for a guy to use, but it is used. It does sound strange, (coming from a woman about a man) and like it isn’t that much, but think how it can affect a person’s self image, to live the reality of those song lyrics? To not be “desireable” in that way just for being you/wearing your skin, and have your very human needs met, unless you behave in a way that your lover approves of. It’s another control tactic.

  2. andrea said,

    May 1, 2007 at 5:36 am

    This was my life for many, many years. Of course it was a secret and nobody could know and would not believe me anyway. I was a trophy wife. Not allowed to work. Just be there for him. I’ve been free from him and in therapy for over a year. It’s wonderful to have my life back. I am not interested in sex or another controlling relationship ever again. There is hope after this, and I never thought I’d have the strength to go on.

  3. D.P. said,

    May 1, 2007 at 6:09 am

    Welcome back to your life, Andrea. Thank you for sharing. It takes alot of guts to break free, and even more to talk about it. Congratulations.

  4. Judith said,

    July 27, 2007 at 7:49 am

    It is a sad commentary for the woman who reported the crime because her husband has violated her body and now he assaults her with the loss of her children. He’s getting away with it and there doesn’t seem to be anything
    we can do about it as he torments her through the law which seems to be working for him. Anybody got any suggestions?

  5. July 27, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Unfortunately, a controlling person will often use the children as a means of control over the other parent. Follow through with any charges against him. Keep good documentation of any contact with that parent and of any problems in the parenting. Be observant for any abuse (of any type) or any neglect. Make sure the attorney is aware of any problems. Make sure that any authority (ie guardian ad litem, children services, therapists, social workers and etc.) is aware of the charges against the other parent. Ask the school and the children’s doctor to be alert for any problems with the children.

  6. Judith said,

    August 25, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Vladek Filler was indicted on 5 counts of gross sexual assault and 2 counts of assault. He is facing 30 years imprisonment if he is convicted. In the meantime he continues to abuse his wife with the children and courts. The domestic violence chapter here says it is a sad commentary in our society that often the courts and police do not help and in fact often make the situation worse. How true. I might add that the department of human services made a mess as well.

  7. Amy said,

    September 4, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    He continues to abuse the wife and kids? That’s rather unusual to hear…usually the courts try to prevent any of the victims to have contact with the accused. May I ask you Judith, what do you think you know about this case?

  8. September 4, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Actually it is very common. When there is a restraining order- the person being restrained may very well continue to show up, call, text message or send messages through others. The messages may be apologies and pleading or aggressive and threatening- but they still break the restraining order and are abusive in that they are unwanted and serve only to make the victim more fearful.
    The children may be held as hostages throughout the relationship- with threats to leave and take the children away so that she cannot see them for instance. Or in the situation where the couple is split, fighting to keep the children (even if they really don’t want them) and that can include lying about the other parent, filing unnecessary motions, not paying child support and making unfounded complaints. In other words using the children and the system to further threaten and harrass the other parent.
    So yes, it does happen. Probably more than you would think. The authorities are aware of the problem, but they still have to investigate. And the system also has the option to hold that against the abuser if it has been determined to have occurred.
    On this site, no one is required to say what their relation to the case is, it would be very hard to for me to verify anyway. For all I know Judith may be a friend or relative of either the victim or the suspect, or may be a party who read about it in the paper. However she might or might not be connected- it is up to her to determine if she wants to discuss it.

  9. Judith said,

    September 23, 2007 at 7:15 am

    I am in a position to know a great deal. He has physical custody of the the children and is denying her right to see the children. He has manipulated the older boy and he has found people to lie for him. He has unsubstantiated accusations but the bottom line is this a judge has ruled that she have only supervised visits based on the accusations of an INDICTED
    sex offender. HELLO I said INDICTED. So my point about his continued abuse, he and his family promised her they would say and do anything to take the children away from her should she leave. I as the naive friend thought we would get the law to help us and all they did was create more insanity in an insane world for the children and the misery of a mother now deprived of her children. Some great court we have here.

  10. LINDA GLEASON said,

    January 15, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Flash Flash Guilty on 3 counts of rape.

  11. Christie said,

    January 29, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    I was a member of the jury on Mr. Fillers trial. By the end of our deberations all of us believed he was guilty of all charges, however our hands were tied in two ways First, the way the law was written. Mrs. Filler had to ‘fear for her life or fear she could suffer servere bodily harm. She never said as much in any deposition or interview, or on the witness stand. In fact, the opposite. She said she willingly let her husband do anything he wanted ‘to keep peace in the house’. When asked if she ever feared for her life or physical well being, she answered, on the stand. “no”. Those answers lost us the ability to bring back guilty on all but one of the GSA charges. Because she tried to stop him by physically struggling in the final GSA charge, we were able to bring back ‘Guilty’. We also were able to bring a ‘Guilty’ charge on the two Assualts. We wanted to bring Guilty across the board so bad we could taste it. We even tried to twist the definition of ‘kidnapping’ around to give us some leverage, but that definition was very specific and we finally had to give up. If you’re reading this, and are in a similar situation, or know someone who is, please tell them to make it clear to their abuser their actions are against the victims will. SAY “NO”! The jury will listen. cb.

  12. January 31, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Christie, thank you so much for your input. You have made an important point as far as the law goes. To charge rape, you must have said no.
    However it is difficult sometimes to speak up and say no when you know that if you say no, that you will then be the victim of violence. I know sometimes it is easier to go through with an unwanted sex act than it is to say no and go through the violence. However, as far as the law goes you do have to say no, and you do have to be fearful of harm to yourself or others.

    BTW Christie thank you for your service as a juror and for taking an honest look at the evidence. I know that is not an easy job.

  13. Beth Adams said,

    March 6, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    The latest is that the jury trial was for naught. The guilty weasel is getting a new trial and still has the children. The local newspaper write a one-sided article in stating all the weasel’s lies as truth. What a world that continues to victimize the victim with the help of the press! (and an unfair, backwards legal system)

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