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We Believe You: we're launching our rape awareness campaign today.

(522 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 09-Mar-12 15:56:08

Today, we're very proud to be launching a new campaign. It's called 'We Believe You', and it's inspired by the many MNers who've asked us to speak out about the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in women's lives.

While we're at it, we're going to try to explode, once and for all, some pernicious myths about rape - about who does it, what it is, and whom it can happen to. These myths mean that many victims are denied justice: our survey confirmed that most don't report their rape or sexual assault, for fear of being disbelieved.

So the message of our campaign is in the title - we believe you. We hope MNers will get behind it, and spread that message far and wide - on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #webelieveyou. And don't forget to let us know what you think here on this thread.

We're also giving a shout-out to Rape Crisis, the End Violence Against Women coalition, and Barnardo's - all of whom are supporting our campaign. They all work hard on sexual violence issues - either by supporting those who've experienced it, or campaigning for better prevention strategies - so do see if you can help them out.

MNHQ x

Nyac Wed 14-Mar-12 22:03:42

This is the legal system's dirty secret - that they don't convict rapists (6% of reported rapes punished) but they will prosecute and imprison rape victims given half a chance.

TunipTheVegemal Wed 14-Mar-12 22:06:23
justalittleinsane Wed 14-Mar-12 22:07:37

I did like his answer to me, as in he didnt agree with the current process, but he didnt suggest change was immenent either.

dogparadise Wed 14-Mar-12 22:09:20

Just wanted to thank all of you for your support. This has been a real eye-opener for me. As described by Mary, rape leaves you feeling unclean, lacking in self-confidence, you feel everyone is looking at you accusingly, it has left me lacking from the person I once was, he did take part of me and I don't think I can ever get that back. I never used to be an angry person but now I get very angry inside at HIM and at the police and justice system whom I so truly believed in and who let us all down so badly. I've always been a very honest, truthful and caring being, never done wrong, never hurt anyone, never committed any type of crime and always tried to help everyone.
This was shouted at the court room and jury by many friends as well as the defence but it stood for nothing - 50 yrs of being a perfect model citizen and it meant nothing. They didn't even want psychiatric or psychological reports, which considering I was supposed to have made it all up, surely that should have been imperative. The Officer in charge of all this said in a statement that I was very clever and obviously had a high degree of forensic training to have made it all look so plausible!!!! Wasn't this telling them something.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart - it's caused a lot of tears, but good tears to hear all your remarks and know there are people out there who believe us.

Thank you.

DillyTante Wed 14-Mar-12 22:10:54

Well done for speaking up everyone xxxx

justalittleinsane Wed 14-Mar-12 22:16:14

Turnip, in a thread of heartache the tale of the 2 12 years old linked in that blog absolutely broke my heart.

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Wed 14-Mar-12 22:28:05

dogparadise, I remember your story, and I believe you. Much love to everyone in this thread who has posted their story xxx

Prosecuting rape victims is beyond evil. I am extraordinarily lucky in that I have never been assaulted, but reading stories in the press the past few years, I don't think I would go to the police if I was. I would be terrified that they would not only not believe me, but would prosecute me for it. The risk is too big to take. I wonder how many others have been put off reporting by these cases?

jenny60 Wed 14-Mar-12 22:40:24

I believe you dog seaside and I am so so sorry for what you and your family has been through

LynnCSchreiber Wed 14-Mar-12 23:01:17

Could I ask you to read the guest post on my blog and post a word or two of support for the brave woman who felt she would not be believed. here

LineRunner Wed 14-Mar-12 23:16:33

Yes, I'll read it. Thanks.

justalittleinsane Wed 14-Mar-12 23:22:25

done

MerlinScot Wed 14-Mar-12 23:22:40

Dogparadise,
I read your post, and I'm living through this hell at this very moment. I think it's very important to remember that the percentage rate for rape victims accused of false allegations is higher than the conviction rate for the rapists. This IS unacceptable in a so-called democratic society. It's also true that we're living in a society that condones rape... 98% of men know that if they rape a woman theyll get away with it! shock
I reported my ex boyfriend after being abused for one year and during this abuse I got raped four times. I had decided to come forward 3 months after the end of the relationship, being pushed by various association to report him. Especially because he was a trainee abuse counsellor, and he was in a position to access and abuse more vulnerable women.
Despite I thought I wasn't going to be believed, police accepted the report immediately and I gave them my statement. I went to the police station countless times to give them evidence over evidence. My ex was questioned only once and after 2 days police turned on me.
I'm still waiting, after nearly 3 weeks, to know if I'll get prosecuted. This after 40 years of being a law-abiding citizen, not even a driving fine on my record, I never got drunk and never tried drugs either. But.. police found a way around it anyway.. they said I remember the dates when I had been raped, an evidence that I was lying! They can't even say I was trying to get vengeance, I'm in a happy relationship and couldn't care less about my ex anymore.
I'm just crying out myself all days because this is so unfair. It's like I've been now abused countless times.

LineRunner Wed 14-Mar-12 23:29:44

So sorry, MerlinScot, please post across to the Keir Starmer thread if it would help to make a statement to him on MN that you want to be believed, you want the DPP to act like he believes you, and you don't want to have to take this crap any more.

LineRunner Wed 14-Mar-12 23:31:03
LynnCSchreiber Wed 14-Mar-12 23:39:45

Merlin
The way that women like you and Dogparadise have been treated is disgusting. I hope that Keir Starmer returns to the webchat thread.

Thank you all for your support of the guest blogger.

LapsusLinguae Wed 14-Mar-12 23:51:14

dogparadise and MerlinScot and others who have posted their stories here - I believe you sad

I have reposted the Q that Keir failed to answer which was about false hmm rape reports

MerlinScot Thu 15-Mar-12 00:03:04

LapsusLinguae, you've no idea how many women don't report rape and domestic abuse where I live. The percentage of women prosecuted for "wasting police's time and energy" (i.e. false rape/domestic abuse accusations) is nearly double than the one concerning the rapists in the Highlands. Police made my life hell. I was getting back my selfconfidence and my joy of life through counselling and I got emotionally shattered after being detained at the police station, it's like I went back 6 months in my therapy. I had never been at a police station in 40 years and cried for days.

sunshineandbooks Thu 15-Mar-12 00:06:35

Bit late getting to this, but a great big THANK YOU to MN for this.

To everyone who's shared their experiences, another big thank you; I know it can't have been easy. I believe every word.

I wish this campaign all the success it so rightly deserves.

somewhatlostandalone Thu 15-Mar-12 00:49:42

Im a bit upset. reading these. actually very upset. Im so sorry for all of you who have suffered and my heart goes out to you all.

when I was 16 and a virgin, my then boyfriend - first one ever - even my first kiss - invited me to dinner and unknown to me, drugged my dinner and I woke up to him trying to penetrate me. I was naked and he was too. I was so shy I was only able to kiss him (just!) and I was mortified - I kept coming in and out of consciousness as I was out cold. I still dont know what happened that day and I have blocked it out. Was that rape , I honestly dont know. sad

All I know is I stayed with him for years and allowed him to treat me very badly including sexually, I felt defamed and like who else would want me. I still suffer and I champion this campaign therefore.

somewhatlostandalone Thu 15-Mar-12 00:52:53

I meant, previously I had only ever let him kiss me, not that I had kissed him at the time, I was far too drugged which he had obviously planned sad

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 15-Mar-12 06:15:09

Somewhat - yes, that was rape.

((hugs))

I believe you

LynnCSchreiber Thu 15-Mar-12 07:17:37

Somewhat
Yes, it was rape. Don't blame yourself. I believe you.

This is excellent - how to avoid being raped. And who is to blame.

GentleOtter Thu 15-Mar-12 08:26:33

I want to say thank you for believing us. That is the singularly most important issue to those of us who have been raped.
Sometimes, it is difficult for victims to believe it themselves as they are in shock. Denial, pain, anger, confusion, shame, guilt too.
So many emotions to deal with.

Would Rape Crisis be willing to come to MNHQ and talk with us?

I agree with Merlin that Highland police need to have a serious and immediate look at how they handle rape cases. I know at least four other women who never reported being raped as they felt it would 'be like getting raped all over again and they would not be believed anyway'.

My mother attended an interview once with a serial rapist. There were other health professionals there, police, sw etc. She asked him when he first saw his victims as a sexual target.
He replied "From birth".

We need better protection from these type of people. We need to be believed and treated with care. We are neither liars nor time wasters. We are women who have had our lives devastated and need a better system to protect others from suffering the hell which is rape.

Kveta Thu 15-Mar-12 09:25:03

dogsparadise and MerlinScot I believe you.

how absolutely horrendous for both of you though - the system that is supposed to protect victims of crime is doing exactly the opposite. It makes me sick to my stomach. sad

MerlinScot Thu 15-Mar-12 09:43:49

Thanks for all your messages of support, it means a lot to me.
I'm holding on thanks to the support I'm receiving everywhere. Otherwise..I'd go crazy.
Yeah it makes me feel sick to my stomach too that I'm seeing my life destroyed thanks to a miscarriage of justice. With a conviction on my record, of any kind, my life would be hell, couldn't even go to visit my family who lives in another european country, my passport would be affected by a lie decided by the state.
It grates on my nerves that a rapist and 100%abuser was let free to get away with everything and I got accused of a crime instead.
I can't even think of how a procurator fiscal could even doubt my statement, it was 11 pages, full of details and evidence, not something you can make up for fun.
I think I've not even the strength to cry anymore.

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