This was written by Adriana Ximena
I can’t say whether or not this is true. It is hard for me to believe she stayed with this man after he abused her initially. I do not understand. At the same time, it sounds like DxE leaders Paul Pickelseimer and Kitty Jones took this seriously. Did they investigate to make sure that this was all true?
I am so glad I am through with this organization.
She can be found at on Facebook here. She is only 18 years old. Please read until the end.
Today i want to speak up against abuse. I never thought it was going to happen to me. I want to talk about an experience that makes me feel completely uncomfortable, it’s very triggering and I’m sorry if there are parts that are too much. While writing this I’m crying my eyes out at the memories of what happened, but I’m doing this not just for me but for every other girl that has lived a similar experience and because I want to protect activists and women from this happening to them.
On November 3rd 2019 I was sexually abused by William Burkhardt.
We met up to work on investigations in farms around Denmark, we were staying in airbnbs and basically being all day together for 7 days. It was not the first time I saw him. We met in may 2019 and never really talked but I always thought he was nice, respectful and charismatic and for sure admired the work he was doing for animals.
It started when the third night we were parked outside a farm waiting for the rest of the team to come out. I was truly concentrating on my job when out of nowhere he asked if he could kiss me. We were in the dark, alone in the car. I was really confused because I never gave him a sign that I was interested in him.
I even remember the first night we were driving to the countryside with another activist, he asked me if I would have ‘something’ with a man that is in a relationship. I said no very clearly and explained my reasons. Then he proceeded to explain how he and his girlfriend are in an open relationship and tried to convince me how great it is to be with multiple people. Back to the third night- when he asked if he could kiss me, I said no but he kept asking to kiss me and kept on pushing. I was nervous, uncomfortable and trying to find a reason to escape from the situation. He stopped asking but then started showing me old pictures on his Instagram where he is posing sexually with other women. And then asked me if i would ever take pictures like that. The previous nights I slept on a separate bed, in another room. But the third night a new person joined the investigations and there were two options, share the bed that was in the living room with William or to sleep on the sofa. He offered himself to sleep on the sofa, but I said that it was okay to share the bed, we were not going to do anything and as animal rights activists we are used to sharing beds all the time, sometimes with just one person, sometimes with more. It was nothing new to me and I thought it was mean to make him sleep on the sofa. I never thought he would not understand consent.
That night nothing happened, I placed a pillow next to me so we weren’t even close. Then the next morning (october 30) I woke up and William asked me if I would let him take pictures of me wearing just underwear (again). I said no but instead we went to the garden to take pictures in the nature. When we went back to the house the other activists were still sleeping and me and william were sitting on the couch, to see the pictures he took of me. Without even asking he started playing a video that included porn that he filmed with a girl, i would be nervously laughing or looking at my phone. After it finished we were just chilling for a couple of minutes, laughing at my photos and he asked if he could kiss me. I said yes and we were kissing, when without even asking he started touching my body. Then he placed me on the bed and started undressing, to later ask if I wanted to have sex. I didn’t want to have sex for the first time with someone I barely knew, so i asked if he had a condom, he said no so i thought it was the perfect excuse to make him go away. I explained that I wouldn’t have sex without a condom but then he said it was okay because he had a vasectomy. I told him it wasn’t just because of getting pregnant but also because of STDs. He told me that I could trust him and that he was “clean” and got tested some months ago. He kept pushing and i ended up agreeing on having sex (as in oral and penetration). The whole thing was terrible, I was hurting and uncomfortable.
He didn’t have respect for me and was really harsh even when i would ask him to be kind. Then we took a shower, later I was in the kitchen when he asked me if I would have anal sex. Lucky me one of the activists went out of their room and wanted to start washing the dishes but William kicked them out and said to come back in 20 minutes. He forced me to have anal sex even when he didn’t receive a yes from me, i was in shock. I don’t want to say every single detail, but everything happened so fast i didn’t have the chance to go out of the room. I wanted to hide, and internally I was screaming.
That day passed and we shared bed again, then the next morning I remember waking up because I jumped at the unexpected touch of his lips with mine (while I was sleeping he tried to kiss me). He would invite me to the cinema a lot of times but I said I was feeling tired (but it was because I didn’t want to go alone with him). All the time we were with the rest of the activists. We would be working and I would get slightly uncomfortable because he had a bossy attitude. It’s been really difficult for me to process that i had sex with someone was because he manipulated me and I couldn’t do anything.
On November 1st we went to another city and also a 5th activist joined the investigations. There were only two beds so again, I shared bed with him. I was really sore and sad, he asked me a lot of times if I would have sex with him. I said no and he kept trying. I clearly remember we were just laying in bed and he would start touching me. I for sure pushed his hands in a gentle way and tried to protect me. When he asked why i didn’t want to have sex i had to lie (major mistake, i should have said NO because i didn’t want to and that should be enough for a man to understand) and say that it was because i tripped and my whole body was hurting (when in reality it was because of his way of treating me). He forced me to do oral sex to him, at least twice. Even after telling him numerous times that I was tired or that i just wanted to cuddle (i kept on trying to create different excuses to avoid having sex with him). He kept on making me touch him and would get mad if i opposed to it and leave the room really aggressively. On November 2nd I was deeply sleeping when I woke up to william touching my body. I felt used and in danger.
On November 3rd, four of us went to Copenhagen. Then we had dinner and he would make the rest of us (women) uncomfortable because he is really immature, annoying and likes to humiliate people. Then we went to a bar for the rest to grab beers. I was shocked when he mentioned to my friends how the third night that he tried to kiss me and I said no it was because i didn’t want to seem “so easy” and that’s why “it’s important to keep pushing” and that men have the right to make women uncomfortable for five seconds. We were all in shock and tried to speak to him to make him understand how wrong and inappropriate it was but he kept on interrupting us. And the whole conversation started to heat up. Later we went to another bar where we were all drinking, I rarely drink so even 1 beer makes me drunk. That night I drank a lot and i was really intoxicated. I was crazy drunk.
I just remember going to bed with my clothes and makeup on. I remember William asking the day before if I wanted him to rent an air bnb just for the two of us, I said no. I was paranoid and obviously wanted to stay with the rest of the team. I think he asked at least twice. The next day after the party night (november4th) i woke up to nothing but being naked under the sheets. I checked my phone and immediately understood what happened. I sent a lot of voice messages to one of my friends saying how drunk I was and for the first time talking about how unsafe i felt with William. That day at the bar he kept trying to touch my body even tho I was asking him to leave me alone and tried pushing his hands away from me. I remember I was angry and so drunk we had to take an uber to the house we were staying at. Then when everything happened and I woke up next morning there were clear signs that he abused me while I was unconscious and because he confirmed to me hours before when he woke me up to say goodbye (he was heading to the airport) and I went back to sleep.
After everything happened and he was gone, it took days for me to reflect on what happened. I tried to isolate myself from my friends and had anxiety attacks. Then i finally said something and that’s when everything hit like a ton of bricks.
I never wanted to talk about this, i refused to believe that it happened. But it started getting worse and worse, i started having nightmares.
There’s many reasons why I waited so long to speak out. One of them was because i didn’t want the work he did for animals to be ruined because of me.
But then again, how can someone who is supposedly fighting for animal liberation and against injustice, be abusing a human being. I reported it to the organization he took part of and received nothing but love and support from the coordinators. They banned him and made sure William understood what he did was wrong and hopefully go to rehab, i thought everything was going to be alright. He would stay away from the community and women would be safe. I worked on self care for the next weeks. Trying to heal. Until one day I woke up to a post of his org page changing name (when he was supposed to stay away). I had an anxiety attack because that meant he truly didn’t understand a shit and he thinks he can go on doing investigations and acting as a good person, saving animals as if nothing happened.
It cost me a while to understand that sexual assault is not always violence, screaming or kicking.
I don’t want to be broken, i want to feel valued again. Not nasty and guilty. I know it’s never the victim’s fault, but somehow I still feel that there were so many red flags and warnings for me to avoid this whole situation. I wish I didn’t have to deal with this embarrassment. And it’s for sure not nice for me having to post this.
Seeing his face and having to post this photo makes my stomach churn but now a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I want women to know his face and to know that you can’t trust him. I truly believe that people must be called in first before posting something as triggering as this, but he didn’t seem to care at all and didn’t even say I’m sorry. I just don’t feel safe at all and I don’t want to go near him ever again.
Thank you for reading and understanding. Please alert other women and activists. #ARMETOO #MetooAR #TimesUpAR
I read on Paul Pickelseimer’s FB page that he and Kitty Jones took care of this immediately. Yet when others have gotten hurt, they have not been so swift to pay attention.
Perhaps they are learning?
Maybe they will learn not to put just anyone in leadership? Perhaps develop a better screening process?
It was painful for me to call DxE out–I know how she feels. I didn’t want others to get hurt–like this young woman.
I think that anyone who supports DxE–is supporting this kind of abuse. They took care of it–yes–but they did not prevent it. They have not prevented it in the past. They have not warned people–especially the young and vulnerable–be careful.
I am so glad I spoke out against DxE I am so glad I had the courage. Otherwise, if I read this, I would feel so guilty. At least I tried to alert people.