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We Believe You: we're launching our rape awareness campaign today.(522 Posts)
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.
Well done. I hope this gets the attention it deserves.
I would to thank MNHQ for all the work that they have put into this, all the questions they have asked, all the listening that they have done, and for the commitments they have made to this campaign.
It means a lot.
I hope the CPS takes note. I hope people who serve on juries take note. I hope the government 'trackers' take note.
Onwards and upwards.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I think the recent case of Christine Jordan encapsulates all the worst aspects if our current (in) justice system.
Fantastic name for the campaign
to MN Towers, and all who sail in her.
brilliant. i am so pleased this has come about. lets hope MN/we/it can do some real good in bumping up those reporting rape/sexual assault figures AND maybe/hopefully it will have an impact on conviction rates too in the long term.
thank you MNHQ
Signed up. Spending time on Mumsnet (both relationships thread and elsewhere) over the last few years has been a shock as I have realised what some women are experiencing.
The name of the campaign has just brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.
This is wonderful. Thank you
This is fabulous, thank you.
Good stuff, I've been thinking for a long time about how you remove the issues with discussing (and reporting) rape and sexual assault without minimising their impact and it simply boils down to talking about it and being believed.
This is fantastic. Good luck with it.
Brilliant, just brilliant.
Thank you MN, and those posters (mostly from the FWR board IIRC) who suggested this and helped to get the ball rolling.
Excellent campaign with a great title-much needed for so many victims.
Thank you and well done mumsnet
The title is spot-on. Thank you. I think this of most problems but this is something that needs talking baout in schools so that girls and boys are growing up with the right message. Not the "how to avoid getting raped" rubbish but more the "we beleive you" stuff.
Weel done MN.
so sad this is needed at all, but I think it is a great campain and hope for much publicity.
Can I be dense and ask what the campaign actually entails?
I've seen the homepage, and obviously there is the social media element which MNers can contribute to, but is there anything else, like an ad campaign or lobbying of some sort?
I think We Believe You is great but I'm interested in how you plan to disseminate this...
Thank you for this Mumsnet.
And thank you Lenin for the campaign strapline. It says everything that needs to be said.
thanks for this MN - hope you get the publicity this campaign deserves!
Awesome. I am so excited about this.
Brilliant and thank you to the posters in FWR who have been running this campaign unofficially for months.
Thank you so much MNHQ. I think I actually love you.
Wow. What a campaign name. When I was raped age 18 I didn't bother doing anything because I thought nobody would believe me. In fact he told everyone I had let him get away with it and I was laughed at openly by people in a position to help me.
The title brought tears to me- nice ones, because I hope nobody has to go through the same thing. Time has moved on 21 years, I hope other things have too.
Well done Mumsnet, and thank you.
Having going through the experience of being beaten,attacked and raped by 2 animals and having to deal with lots of different agencies just to be told that although the police put a good case together the CPS couldn't guarantee a conviction so were reluctant to take it to court as there was 2 peoples words against mine. I welcome any campaigns to raise this subject. Rape shouldnt be hidden away. The police told me less than 5% or all reported cases even make it to court!! This needs to change!
Do you know reading these sorts of threads on mn has horrified me, how many people have rape or abuse in their past. I honestly had no idea, am lucky enough to have no experience and I suppose I thought most people were the same apart from an unlucky minority.
Well done! Great campaign.
Like Dreaming @ 9:42, Im wondering what the next step is
I have made friends with a few people who have also been raped in my area, and we support each other. Although a small area of less than 5000 people there is 18 of us who meet/chat etc everyone of us reported it to police and not one of us managed to get a case to court!! This campaign is so needed!
Just jumping on under a quick namechange to say this happened to me too. I was 19 and on a date with a guy I'd met the night before in a pub.
We went for a drive and he raped me in the back of the car.
I got in to the back of the car, I was wearing a low cut top and a push-up bra, and I'd allowed him to drive me down a dark lane next to a park at night time.
I didn't for one second imagine that anyone would believe it was rape. In fact, I thought it probably wasn't... despite the fact that it was brutal and I said "no" repeatedly. I was behaving exactly in the way I'd been brought up not to, what did I expect? (That was my thinking at the time)
I haven't told anyone about this, not even the father of my DD or my best friend.
In fact, that is not true. I told a boyfriend when I was about 21.. he broke up with me and said he couldn't look at me the same again knowing that had happened to me.
Good on you MN for bringing this in to the light.
So pleased to see this.
metoosadly - so sorry that happened to you. It's not too late to report it if you want to- I've recently reported a "historical" rape and whilst it will probably go no where I feel better for having done so.
Been thinking more, the point I was trying to make earlier is we need to remove the associations with shame, that is not what necessarily silences women, it's not being believed and being blamed that silence women.
thank you for this on behalf of my poor DD
While I think this is a laudable campaign - I was wondering how it ties in with other campaigns and work that has been carried out, such as the Baroness Stern Report and subsequent government response.
Her report raised significant concerns about the perpetuation of the 6% figure as perceptions around it lead to further under reporting.
Also, although this is mumsnet, and sexual violence against women is wrong, male sexual violence is also wrong.
I'd also like to see a campaign that involves challenging the ridiculous and antiquated step of referring a defendant to magistrates, simply in order for that to be referred to Crown, adding a significant length of time to a ridiculously lengthy process (average 10-12 months here), given that a plea isnt even entered in Magistrates.
We believe you is a hugely important message and anything that sends that message out to victims and to those who dont believe, can only ever be a good.
To those who have posted their experiences, I just wanted to say, my heart goes out to you all [flowers].
The campaign is being discussed on Jeremy Vine R2 at noon.
The 'We Believe You' title made me cry with relief and happiness. All I want is to be believed. Excellent, excellent choice.
Well done MN, it's great to see finally the truth about sexual violence being promoted.
Message deleted by Mumsnet.
Helen have yu read the details of the survey?
Most rapes aren't even reported - rapists are getting away with it all the time.
Message deleted by Mumsnet.
Message deleted by Mumsnet.
Message deleted by Mumsnet.
Helen, if lots of surveys ae exagerated, why on earth are you quoting them, and using Wikipedia, that well known factually based site, to back up your (in some places) ridiculous points.
FWIW rapists have far more rights than their victims.
perhaps that's another campaign then Helen.
I've reported that post, Helen.
When females do make false allegations and they are prosecuted they are often not even put in prison. That is outrageous since a man would get 5 years for rape. the woman should get the same punishment
No don't report. Thisbis what women have to deal with
"It is easy for a woman to imagine she has been raped"
Helen, your cause and this one are two very seperate things. If you want to start a campaign about yours then please do so. Otherwise, please allow the good work of MN to go on without tangent as it has already clearly helped people on this board and will help many others.
Very true StealthPolarBear, unfortunately . Thank you for the campaign Mn
Men may well be falsly accused
Why does that make any difference to those of us who have been raped?
It dosn't, it a different campaign, one worth havung maybe, but in no way one that would take anything from this.
However, women who 'imagine they have been raped'- really? I doubt it. I seriously suspect a women knows, if she chooses to make up an allegation one would assume she is aware of that- either that or she has MH difficulties anyway.
There have to be wide definitions because rape is not one single scenario, but ultimately sex without permission = rape: there are no excuses, men are not stupid beings who can;t help themselves if a women ahs given off wrong signals or whatever- I have taught my boys that they should get a yes (and not one under duress either) before sex, and that any chance of alcohol or drugs or anything else impairing reasoning = an automatic presumed no.
Well here is Helen showing exactly why this survey and campaign is needed.
Women who've been raped don't report rapes becaues they know they won't be believed and it will be them who is attacked. Other victims of crime do not face this level of disbelief.
Helen, you are aware some men are found guilty of rape and get suspended sentences, some child abusers are put away for less time than they actually abused their victims, that sentences are reduced by 50% for a guilty plea, giving a 50% reduction in time served, despite the victims have gone through years of abuse in some cases, followed by more years of living in fear and silence and then another year while the case gets to court.
You are aware that this reduction in sentencing leads to less time on the sex offenders register and that the victim can have every aspect of their lives disclosed to the defence, including medical, counselling and therapy records, while the victim doesnt even have the right to know where their attacker is living.
Please let's not make this thread all about 'Helen' as I'm sure that's exactly what they want.
Morning all. Just thought we'd make it clear that, while we're happy to see debate about our campaign - both positive and negative we will delete posts that propagate the unpleasant rape myths we're specifically campaigning against.
Great campaign MN, thank you. HelenCC shows just why it is needed.
thanks for this campaign MN. thanks for the title lenin.
Excellent news, right behind you!
...and thanks also christinedepizan for the rape survey you did a while back.
The trouble with getting justice for rape victims is that it is not just a case of the jury weighing up who they believe.They have to think that he is guilty beyongd all reasonable doubt.Given there is very often no witnesses present this is a very very difficult thing to do.
in the new rape awareness ad the girl is kissing the boy goes up to the bedroom with him. she haas no bumps or bruises and althouigh we have seen she was raped, how is a jury going to know BEYOND ALL REASONABLE DOUBT.
So whilst all the 'we believe you' campaign might be very nice and reassuring for the victim.I am not sure it really helps her in the lomg run what would be the point of that girl coming forward being cross examined, having her story crawled over , pulled to bits trying to trip her up (all of which of course are very necessary to ensure justice is done).She would have to relive it again and again and in the end it will very likely be a case of his word against hers which will never be enough for a conviction.
Generally there is a lot more evidence than his word against hers. That's another myth about rape.
it will very likely be a case of his word against hers which will never be enough for a conviction.
Also "her word" is witness evidence which is in fact enough to secure a conviction in a court of law. It's the reason why the defense attacks victims because they want to make them seem like unreliable witnesses.
A huge problem is understaffing of the Criminal Justice System, there are all these guidelines published on the internet, but not enough staff to even come close to them.
The government (current and previous) have all these marvellous ideas, but there are little resources to put them in place.
And while this long winded process takes place, the victim is told, not to post on forums for support, not to text, that they must be careful what they say and who they talk to for fear of damaging their case.
Family members arent even suppose to talk to each other. This creates more fear for the victim while allowing the rapist to walk free, the victim (and family) live a life of fear, while the rapist isnt even obliged to tell those he is living, or his employer, he is charged with rape.
The system as it stands, is an agonising, long winded process or lurching from one date, to the next, to the next, to the next.
Thank you very much for the campaign, MNHQ, and for HelenMumsnet's post just then.
Ditto on the thanks! This is a great campaign.
I am 'Mary' the case study in the Independent. I have been in contact with Nina, who wrote the article, and KaiteMNHQ all weekend.
To read my experience in black and white this morning made my stomach churn. But it needed to be shared. There is a lot more that they didn't print and I guess I'm pleased that it was direct and to the point.
I have seen in the last few years on here, that I am not alone, reading posts from those who have been raped, abused for years on end and told that they are worthless, dirty and shameful brings home the very real and raw hard hitting truth that not enough rapes are reported. Maybe for the simple reason that we are told, as a society, that we will not be believed when we do report.
The accounts we read in the press tell us that it's usually a waste of time to report a rape or abusive attack. The Powers That Be are keen to pull a victim apart and scrutinise every single detail but by doing so, place doubt into both the jurors and the victim.
People think that rape only happens to women down dark alleys, alone and in the dark of night or in the middle of nowhere in broad day light.
I was raped and abused by my partner. For years. I didn't tell a soul because of his threats and his promises to change. Eight years on, I am only just coming to terms with what really happened to me, which is why I agreed to be the Case Study for the Independent.
No-one should have to live with the silent fear of rape and abuse. It is time to let that little, tiny voice shout loud and clear. We (the female race) are not 'fair game' should we choose to go out at night alone, or wear a short skirt, low cut blouse, high heels, we're not 'asking for it'.
After all, isn't it the case that most rapes are by people we know? We know our attackers. We live with them. We're married to them. They are part of our family.
The more we keep quiet, the more our rapists will walk away. I know that they actual conviction rates are poor to say the least but surely, the more we report, the more we challenge, the more courts and jury's have to listen?
Good for you Mary. I'm afraid I haven't read the article but sorry you went through that. Glad you see it for what it was.
Men don't 'get 5 years for rape'.
I don't have stats for % of convictions for false allegations which receive a custodial sentence but the only ones I've heard of have been imprisoned- and worse ie had children permanently removed.
Also as bad as false allegations are it is a crime of dishonesty not a crime of violence. IMO violent crimes should have harsher sentences.
independant with Marys story
There are 2 articles.
Mary - thank you for sharing your story, Im so glad to read you are now happily married and so sorry to read the terrible things you experienced.
I have linked for anyone who is interested but if you'd prefer the links not to be here please report them and ask HQ to remove.
MN I am completely bowled over with what you have done in this campaign - thank you so so much.
Reading the rape myths being challenged, here in black and white, has brought tears to my eyes because I am so used to seeing these rape myths perpetuated everywhere else. (Oh, and welcome to those who have done just that already on this thread Shame on you for that)
Thank you MN. [flowers]
Mary, thanks you for sharing your harrowing story too. [flowers]
Thank you Mary for sharing your story and the other women on this thread who have done so.
I totally agree that talking about this, bringing it into the open, is the way forward. Most women never tell and so as far as people at large are concerned it's not happening.
Just - not at all, I am happy for the links to be there. I am also happy to PM anyone with the full story if they want it.
Mary, thank you for doing what you did with your case study. I am just so sad you had to go through it in the first place.
Name changer here too.
My sister was "date raped" (awful, awful term). She reported it to the police and was one of the few cases where it went to court, but of course he was found not guilty (we now know that only 5% of men accused at court are actually found guilty) despite there being medical and other evidence to support what really happened. The defendant (sorry, the RAPIST) had 18 months to come up with a defence that was just laughable and find a medical doctor prepared to offer some reasonable doubt. My sister had no idea what was happening and never met the prosecution barrister until she gave evidence (as victims are just treated as witnesses).
The jury never knew that the two women in the public gallery were from Rape Crisis, they can't be told that in case it prejudices the outcome. She only reported it to try to stop it happening to someone else, but frankly, she was raped again in court, and this time in public. The rapist was also given a clear indication that this society tolerates despicable violence against women.
He was so confident, no doubt on the advice of his solicitor, that he would walk free. He did, and did not have one family or friend with him, and no doubt he lives his live, happy to attack once more, if indeed he hasn't already.
I hate to say this, but the truth is - if you are attacked by someone you know (and most people are) then it is not worth reporting it to the police. 95% of cases that go to court will end in a not guilty verdict. In some forces, it is an even lower figure. This doesn't even cover the fact that the CPS will now only take cases to court where they think they have a realistic chance of conviction, most never get that far due to 'lack of evidence'. All the legal system does is harm women more.
So sorry for all that have shared their experiences here.
This campaign is being discussed on LBC NOW !
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
george, thats a terrible thing to happen to your sister, I have seen the legal system referred to as a "double rape", it must be even more traumatic, a not guilty verdict.
18 months is a disgusting timescale.
The rate once in court is around 58%, getting to court is a massive hurdle of its own, as govt cuts strike deep and only cases were there is strong chance of conviction actually get to court.
This is the first link I can find, but it is well documented.
You're a very brave woman, Mary. So glad you have come through your horrific experiences
I can't praise Rape Crisis highly enough. If anyone is affected by sexual violence (even if you don't think of it in that way), please try to call them. They will listen, they will believe you, they do understand.
Just adding my applause at getting this campaign off the ground. Well done, MNHQ!
So many horrible stories here . You should all be proud of being survivors of such trauma.
New Pathways another excellent service for victims of abuse.
Thank you for this campaign Mumsnet. I have a baby daughter and hope we will have changed our attitudes to rape by the time she is a teenager. x
I wouldn't report it if it happened to me. Whether we like it or not, reporting a rape to the police means the victim (and their family and friends) are on trial. The main chance the rapist has of walking free is for their barrister to undermine the victim and the other witnesses. Like it or not, this is what happens.
My sister had witnesses who saw her after the attack. They were all ridiculed in court. Why would people put themselves through that because of jealousy (as the defence team argued)? Why would they be ridiculed in open court and then have to live with it for the rest of their lives that if they had said X or done Y perhaps he would have been convicted. I really do think that actually he (and men like him) are actually encouraged by the low conviction rates.
I don't want to sound too much like I am attacking the police, by the way. They made mistakes in our experience, but they did believe my sister. The problem lies with society, with the perception of rape and women in general.
Please understand - rape is about power and control, not men getting carried away.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I think that's the key here Pacific - 'survivors'
We are aren't we? All of us here, posting are the ones who survived. The thing is, there are those who do not survive rape and/or abuse.
I can't even begin to imagine how the families and friends of those victims must feel. Then again, there of women who I have spoken to about rape and abuse who have said that they wish they'd died instead of having to live through the hell, memories, horror, blame, self loathing, the shame, the feeling of being damaged goods, the insecurities.........
When I left, I was scared to death that I'd bump into him all the time. I did once, I walked into him and almost vomited there and then.
He had the gall to ask after my DD. He asked how she was. Apparently, a friend told me that for years he had a picture of her (my DD) on his mantel piece, he told people that she was his DD and that he's 'lost her' when I left him.
My blood ran cold when I found that out.
The best thing I ever did was to open up and talk about it. Once I did, I found that I saw him as ugly and small. I found that the power he held over me was ebbing away.
I'd see him, not up close, I'd see him in his car and wonder what I ever saw in him.
But at the time, he had complete control over me. He'd groomed me for months before the first rape. He was the one to rape me first, his friend came later on.
By that time, I had become withdrawn, he'd cocooned me into his world, he held every part of me in his control. He promised every time that it was the last, that he was sorry, so so sorry.
It didn't stop. Not until I left.
yes, we are suvivors Mary - not victims!
I was raped by my then-boyfriend, and the following day, asked him why he'd done it. He never answered as such, but said he didn't hear me say no. Despite the bruises I left on him... He was so well liked by everyone around us, and so well respected, I didn't dare say anything to anyone. I was 17 FFS, who would believe a 17 year old girl over her 17 year old boyfriend (who happens to be captain of all the school teams/clubs/headboy/army cadet etc etc)?
And what 17 year old is strong enough to tell her parents that she has had sex even when some of it is non-consensual?
I spent a long time being terrified I'd bump into him, or seeing someone who looked like him and having a panic attack. Once I'd told a few people what had happened to me though (7 years later!) I started to feel much better about myself and much more like I would laugh in his pathetic face if I saw him again.
I just listened to the Jeremy Vine discussion on this campaign and was reduced to tears to hear other women describing why they didn't tell anyone.
And it brought it home to me why this campaign is so desperately needed.
Great campaign MNHQ.
So sorry to hear so many sad stories.
Thank you for this campaign MN. When I saw the title it brought a tear to my eye - during the aftermath of what happened to me I remember wanting just one person to look me in the eye and say 'I believe you'. It would have given me so much more strength.
Great campaign MN. Am totally behind it.
massive kudos to you for talking to the Indie about your experiences. That must have been hard for you.
It really does say so much for Mumsnet that you're paying attention to the people who post here and reflecting what you've heard in Mumsnet's campaigns.
Also, your ability to launch campaigns and generate large amounts of media coverage is incredibly impressive. And you don't even have to dress up in Spiderman outfits to do it.
I couldn't do the survey. I tried but I just couldn't finish it.
Feel a bit guilty now as my experience is nowhere near as bad as some of the others I have read or heard about.
I think it's a great campaign but I can understand why many victims don't report a rape or sexual assault.
Great news! You have my support, I will go and read the thread now and good luck.
Am I reading this wrong, or should it be without ? <sorry>
'We hope this campaign will succeed in showing just how many lives have been blighted by sexual violence. We hope it will explode the myth that most rapes are carried out by strangers, and that the testimony of women who have been raped by men they know should be viewed with suspicion. We hope it will show that there is no 'typical' rape survivor, and reassure those who have experienced rape that it's never your fault.'
Just wanted to say thank you for all the kind comments . We really wanted to do you all proud with this campaign - and of course couldn't have done it without you - so it really does mean a lot to know it means a lot to you (if that's not too confusing).
Thought you might also like to know that we've got the Crown Prosecution Service's Director, Keir Starmer, coming in for a live webchat at 0930 tomorrow morning, so pop over www.mumsnet.com/Talk/mumsnet_live_events/1426525-Live-webchat-with-Keir-Starmer-Director-of-Public-Prosecutions-Tuesday-13-March-9-30-10-30am and do ask a question if you have one.
Fruit hope you are ok, I am sure you are not the only one who found the survey triggered a few really bad feelings
if I could "like" Nyac's post just now, I would
Well done, Katie, all the brave contributors and MN. Katie, was that you I heard speaking with such clarity about this on 5Live this am?
Piece of advice - don't read any of the comments under any article about this, unless you want to confirm to yourself why this campaign in necessary.
Oooh, Keir Starmer. I have lots of questions for him - will post later.
Thank you MN. This is a great campaign.
Thank you MNHQ - what a great campaign.
Getting people to talk about it and understand the myths is so important, because it may help girls/women protect themselves. I speak from experience in this too. I thought, that because I'd consented to sexual contact, it wasn't rape, even though I said no. I also, in my 17 year old naivety thought that because it wasn't rape, I couldn't try to stop him aned that if I did that would be "unfair" on him. It was only five years later when studying criminal law that I discovered that no means no whenever it gets said. I wish I'd been more aware of the myths so I'd have felt more empowered to try to stop it.
One question for you though, MNHQ, were respondants selected at random (e.g. in the manner of a yougov poll) or were respondants just those who chose to answer your questionnaire?
Are MNHQ keeping an eye on the facebook page, to deal with rape myths there too? As there's a post with them there currentlty.
Awesome - i can't believe this has finally happened!!!!
Well done MNHQ, all the feminist boarders and everyone who's supported it.
Crossing my fingers so hard for it changing things.
This is a fantastic campaign.
I was raped by a male "friend" when I was 16 & no-one would have ever believed me if I had told them. I did tell my so called best friend & her reply was "wish we all could be so lucky"!
I can't blog about this openly as my family know nothing of this but may do it as an anon guest blogger post.
Thank you for helping to help the victims.
Thanks to everyone who got this campaign up and running.
Well done Mn, I am so pleased you have taken on this campaign. I really hope this is a first important step to change things. For my beloved friend who has been through this, you are always in my heart xx
I am really pleased to see this campaign get going. I'm going to repost something I posted on Mme Lindor's thread last night, because it explains why I support the campaign:
"I never reported the years of sexual abuse that I suffered [between the ages of 9 and 14]. This was mainly because I was convinced that noone would believe me and that I would be labelled a trouble-maker and ostracised (and at school I already was for other reasons).
Looking back I realise that my conviction came from the attitudes to rape that I heard. My rapist (he was only a few of years older than me) told rape jokes all the time within his circle of friends within my hearing; his friends laughed and told other such jokes. In fact, I was pretty certain they all knew but didn't care. At least one lad used the abuse i suffered to harass and bully me whenever he could. I was made to feel intimidated and the source of humour and scorn."
The way I felt; the bullying I went through etc are a direct product of a society which does not think that rape is an important crime and that victims are in some why to blame for what happens to them. This is why I think the campaign is important, because if it helps only one person like my younger self it will have been worthwhile. (And I think it has the potential to help many many more).
So [flowers] and thanks to all involved.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
This is an excellent campaign and one I fully support.
Just wanted to add my post to the list of those supporting this, such a fantastic cause. Hope it makes a difference.
I am really glad to see this campaign I am a Mum and I also co-orodinate a not for profit project for people who have experienced sexual abuse and those that support them called into the light www.intothelight.org.uk
It has been really hard work over the years getting the attention and resources put into help people who have experienced sexual violence that they desperately need and deserve.
MNHQ. This is a great campaign.
Brilliant stuff. The name of this fantastic campaign is perfect.
#didnotreport is also trending as well as #webelieveyou
Shocking stories but I'm pleased to see that the campaign is growing
'I believe you'.
All of you,and we are many.
As a survivor,I want to stand shoulder to shoulder, for us all, and for our daughters.
<stands shoulder to shoulder with countessbabycham>
It's been a tough day for me as it turns out, reading the comments following the article they used about my abuse...... I have to say that there are some very sick people in this world. Very sick.
I'm so very pleased to see those little voices shouting out loud on here today. I want to hold so many of those voices and tell them that it's over, does that make sense? I want to say 'look, you did it, you got out' even though I know that there are posters reading this thread and others and nodding in the very raw realisation that this is their life too.
Sorry, I'm not being patronising, I'm trying to get across that the sudden lifting, the sudden light and air that you feel once you say it out loud really does free you. It takes away the control they have, it takes away the power, the strength that they have. It's not always physical power. The mental abuse is sometimes worse. The two together is so very hard to let go, to move on from.
But once you are out, safe, gone from that situation, then the light dawns. The pain fades, the scares remain, physical or not but they fade too.
I wish that I had a time machine at times, to go back, to never have met him. To never have worked in that place, been in that bar, walked that path home.....
One day, one day it stops.
I'm off to enjoy some tv with my gorgeous husband now. My DS is fast alseep and my DD too. Tonight I am safe in my home, I am safe and I am loved. I know that I am loved because I can feel it.
I'll be back tomorrow. Keep posting please.
Keep supporting the campaign so that we/you/MN/ can keep fighting to stop these animals. Keep fighting the justice system that fails so many of us. Just Keep Fighting.
I think anything which raises awareness of rape and who does it is excellent. The statistics are distressing considering how often rape occurs. I sincerely hope this encourages more people (male and female) to come forward and hopefully the legal system will realise how devastating it is and act accordingly.
Then maybe more of us will identify it for what it is and report it.
I'm so grateful for the support I've had from MN in the last few years. Made me realise that yes it was rape and that I could do something about it.
So glad this is trending on Twitter.
So sorry,meant to say 'We believe you'.
Btw this campaign got a mention in the Daily Mail today, I believe. Was a positive article. (I think it was the Mail - I work in a newsagents' & read them all!)
Hey, I have been reading all of whats been going on with this discussion and I am glad that finally people are stepping up to help rape victims. I myself am a British citizen living in the USA, and when I got with my now separated husband was subject to rape at his hands. I admit, I should've said something, but I was scared and alone in a place that I didn't know. Its been two years, but despite that, I am trying to work past it.
An amazing campaign, thank you
Hi MN, could you take another look at your FB page please? There are a few posts on there that are perpetuating the very myths that MN is campaigning against. Thanks.
Yes the fb page is undermining the campaign.
Having just read the FB page, I dont think the debate can be stiffled, so best to let it stand and allow individuals to provide answers, I think the posters there are doing really well at non aggressively tackling the myths being perpetuated.
Well done Mumsnet. The Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) in Guildford, Surrey I know is delighted that you are taking such a public stand.
If we can all change the myths and stereotype ideas that everyone has, talk about it and make rape and sexual abuse completely unacceptable to any person, then the world will be a better place.
I know the Surrey RASASC answered +3,000 helpline callers last year and sees 50 people every week for face to face counselling. It is a huge problem and people prefer to ignor it. Check out www.rasasc-guildford.org
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I agree. Also makes it look like MN never bother with the FB page.
I agree with sgm re Mumsnet respOnding to comments - simply deleting them will lead to a lot of criticism though.
Well done for doing this.
I am an older Mnetter and was raped by my first husband. This was in the late 1980's when the law pretty much let a man rape his wife with no comeback. I can't remember when the law was changed. He is still regarded by all as a sucessful professional. Whereas I have struggled to trust men ever since.
am struggling with a rape of 13 years ago by a man I knew. i go through cycles of forgetting and burying, only for it to make up for lost time when it remerges. The ongoing impact from a 15 minute event is breath taking sometimes. it has taken m e this long to even tell someone and I feel ready and it would seem that this campaign to me is a harbinger of a light to swim for.
Many thanks to MN for doing this. For the women who are lost and looking for a way to peace
I know for many that this campaign will trigger feelings of fear and loathing that have long been buried. I'm struggling today if the truth be told. The FB page is upsetting me so much that I'm not going back to read it.
Last night was hard, I dreamt about my XP as I often do but last night was somehow different in the fact that we were married, we had children, we lived together and the rapes had never taken place.
I woke this morning shaking and scared, it took a few moments for me to remember where I was, who I was.
I wondered if others had the same? I wondered if there are women out there who also dream of a change of event. I know that when I was with my ex, I thought I could change him, love him enough so that he's no longer hurt me, rape me, punch me. I thought I'd be the one who would stop his pain.
I blamed myself for not loving him enough, not caring enough. I blamed myself for being weak and feeble. I didn't tell a soul and those who asked about my weight loss, were lied to. Those who asked why I was limping, were lied to.
After all, it was my fault. I wasn't good enough for him. He had money, a nice house, a great job with a huge blue chip company, a flash car, holidays abroad......
I know that it was all a web of lies and deceit. Like a spider with a web, waiting for the fly to land. He just completely took over my life and my own self worth. The power and control that he had over me was so intense.
I suppose that's why I still have days where I wait for him to knock on the door, and doing this campaign did make me wonder if he'd be able to track me down.
The thing is, I know that is he did ever find me, if he did ever come looking for me, he can not hurt me any more. He has no power over me. He no longer has control over me.
I hate him, he is an ugly, pathetic man. He's small and weak and has no right to be in my life. He will never be able to hurt me again. I know that the dreams will subside and they are getting further apart.
For each day I walk forward, he takes a step away from me.
MN please sort out all the crap on the FB page - it is undermining this excellent campaign.
Statements such as this:"It does not take into account that many of these claims are false and one of the primary instigators of these false claims is the family courts. It does not take into account that the statistics often quoted are false and misrepresented" should not be allowed to stand. That was 11 hours ago.
The other thing I found out once I'd left, is that XP used to 'brag' about it to his friends. He'd tell them all about his conquests, he was sleeping around as well as abusing me.
He got his XP pregnant when we were together and she kept the baby. He made me terminate our child saying that he'd kick it out of my if I didn't.
The initial article that I wrote for the Independent was pages long but they took the really important points and printed them, the full 'story' builds a much better picture as I'm sure a lot of you can relate to.
The fact that I knew my abuser. He didn't start off that way, no at all, far from it in fact.
Again, I can imagine that there are a lot of victims out there (men and women) who know the person who assaults them before the event even takes place and therefore, when that is the case, I think the fact that the abuser is known makes it harder for others to believe you/me/us.
i'm proud to be a mumsnetter at times like these, TBH i started to piece together my own history from reading many threads over the years here on MN that struck a chord and I've never posted about my own self even though i've come to realise that my first time, tricked into a bush just 13 by an 18 year old who wouldn't stop when i pleaded for him to was actually rape. simply because he knew it was, even if i didn't..
thankfully as a mother of girls i'm acutely aware now of the significance of this as it sent me hurtling along a path of submissively having sex with whoever wanted me to... which has had many profound effects on my life in the short and longterm and it's only through the collective wisdom and experience shared on MN that I have been able to admit to myself what has happened throughout my life.
i recently found a diary i wrote at the time of the first rape. i only mentioned that i'd sex, i was surprised after when i realised that's what it had been..my mum read my diary and teased me relentlessly for a long time about the guy, he told many people and of course it makes sense now years later why i was constantly pursued by lowlifes wanting to have sex with me..duh! at that age i had no idea he told them that's what i was there for. i also became hated by girls as i was a 'slag' so was even more easy to abuse
i think there is a typical story here, i wasn't savagely abused but i was used for sex systematically at a young age when i was unaware, by people who were old enough to know what they were doing and enjoyed it
i even cheated on my lovely husband as i was still in a mindset of automatically having sex with people who tried to
i didn't understand my own actions/ passivity more clearly
now at nearly 40 i have come to an understanding of the fuller picture and at leat feel armed with knowledge to protect my girls from similar abusive situations. thankyou MN collectively a group of wise sisters/ aunts/ mums
bloody well done all of you involved in this. LOVE the myths page and am fbing it for all i am worth.
sinister, well done also to you and the other women who are speaking up about what has happened to them and educating their sons and daughters to behave differently.
I really like the way you have done the 'we believe you' words underneath the Mumsnet logo.
I was thinking about this today - perhaps mumsnetters could boycott solicitors who have specialist solicitors dedicated to getting these scumbags off. I'm going look around for a firm that doesn't.
all are innocent in the eyes of the law, the scumbags are allowed representation too and as we have cockroaches we also have solicitors who handle the low lifes. sad but true.
I occasionally deal with peopel who have survived all kinds of abusive relationships and it is staggering how pernicious sexual violance can be years and years after the attack happened. I have absoutely no desire to downplay how awful and dangerous physical abuse in general is, but there is an added dimension of visciousness when the violence is directed sexually .
Please, MNHQ, can you add something 'official' to the FB page?
It's also entirely possible to be wrongly prosecuted for rape where the identity of the rapist is unknown - especially when forensics cock up the DNA.
Cases where one's not quite sure have to be allowed to go to trial to thrash it out. At which point there's the man in the dock is innocent and the rapist is still out there.
having said all that, we have a disgusting level of actual succesful prosecution for rape. i believe it gets worse every year. is it the process? is it a mind set? PacificDogwood that is the terrible terrible legacy of rape. it just keeps giving, it destroys utterly in so many ways that are difficult to put a shape on. it never stops hurting. a solicitor can walk away, a rapist can walk away, but a victim well, they are in there for ever. I speak from personal experience and it is with me like a scar
SerialKipper, the situation you're describing is of course possible, but not hugely likely or common, non? Whereas a low reporting/prosecuting/conviction rate for sexual assault/rape is disgustingly real.
People get occasionally falsely accused of/prosecuted for theft/fraud/murder/whatever and that fact is not used as an excuse to not accuse/prosecute suspected thieves/fraudsters/murders for their crimes.
Ah, but when murder trials go wrong whatever, there are calls for shake ups and reforms, it is constantly under review, but from where I am sitting shite all is being done to improve the prosecution outcomes for rape. why is it still so bad? is
or even why is the report of rape so low? Wee have no confidence in the system and I for one would not put myself in its hands. and then some of the tarifs handed down to rapists are an insult
Fantastic stuff, Mumsnet. Thanks and support to everyone involved with this campaign.
I've just posted on another thread about this, but I'm feeling a bit let down at the moment; after finally having reported my attacker he's just been told by the police that he'll probably be spoken to at some point in a month or so because of how far away he is from the police dealing with the matter/how busy he is.
I was initially told that he'd be picked up (with no warning) and have his PC taken away. Feels like he's got all this time to come up with a cover story/get rid of any evidence.
Eh? You've completely misunderstood me, PacificDogwood.
I utterly agree that people accused of rape should go to trial, and that the possibility they've been wrongly identified should not be a barrier to this.
But because wrong identification can occur in certain types of cases, it's wrong to do as justalittleinsane suggests and attack solicitors who defend people accused of rape. (It's probably also wrong for ethical reasons, but the practical one sprang out.)
Oh. Sorry, SerialKipper, I did indeed misread your meaning. My apologies.
<<slinks away in mortification>>
Silver - that is absolutely despicable. Can you complain? How awful for you xx
Can mumsnet bring this campaign to the Leveson enquiry as the majority of these myths are regularly disseminated by the media which also reports false accusations in a wholely skewed fashion, thereby perpetuating these myths and building on them. If the media was forced to report sexist violence, of which rape and DV forms a part, giving total figures for rape, unreported rape and sexist violence in the home, this would give a far more accurate representation and begin to eradicate the myth that women must first and foremost clear their gender of being automatically the liar in a case where they have to prosecute a man. If the figures for both sides of the issue had to be reported as part of any media coverage, it would bust the underlying and most pernicious aspect of sexist violence coverage, that of the fact that women lie more than men around sexist violence.
Mary hang on in there, love x
So sorry for everyone's experiences
serial and lola, the solicitor that sprang to mind was one I stumbled across, and I cant remebmer what firm, who was boasting on his website about how many cases he had managed to get evidence suppressed in.
I cannot tell you how much it incenses me that the rapist has the whole of the long drawn out process to prepare his defense, with the best that money can buy and the ability to question everything about the poor victim and their witnesses while the victim, can expect - and I quote "to be lucky if the Prosecuting Barrister sees the evidence more than half an hour before entering court".
That is not an even playing field.
also tbh, I'd prefer to simply take my business elsewhere, at the end of the day, solicitors and barristers dont care if their clients are guilty, they only care about the best defense they can provide.
Thank you MN xxxxxx
And to all on here who have provided an emotional lifeline
Justa - you are right, unfortunatley.
There was a thread about Leveson and media portrayals of violence against women, Representations of Violence against women in the media, if anyone's interested.
Women's and transexual rights organisations gave evidence in the morning session, Tuesday 24 January, from about 104 mins in, and their testimony lasts about 80 mins.
Another supporter here. Very timely. Thank you and well done for organising it.
I would say the main question is how do we move this discussion from being a 'women's issue' to being an issue for the whole of society? It affects everyone - not just because of the 10% of victims who are male, but because it distorts the whole of society.
And the sad fact is, for as long as this is seen as a 'women's issue', only of interest to '
man hating feminists' it will never be taken seriously.
Yes I think it is an issue for society. I am concerned at how common it is to ply young ladies with alcohol at parties and clubs so that they are really very vulnerable. Said young ladies and their 'friends' seem to accept it is culturally the norm to drink to a level where they cannot look after themselves, especially when they are young. Indeed sometimes I wonder whether the whole thing is self perpetuating- alcohol leads to rape and then the poor young things drink so they can face the rape aka known as 'pulling a guy'. Not to mention drinking to cope with the sex games at parties that are supposed to be culturally acceptable but are actually very demeaning. The whole thing begins at an early age thats also my worry. I was shocked when my 17 year old daughter was plyed with drink at her friends 18th by that friends mother My daughter was left totally vulnerable and luckily someone spotted that a stranger was leading her away from the 'posh hotel' and so she was alright. In fact it was a wake up call for her and she has been very careful about her drinking ever since.
I also think the talks at uni are fantastic. My DD had a fantastic talk with her freshers group in her first week on campus rape and what does and doesn't constitute consent which she found really reassuring. It helped the guys too, to know what the boundaries are. The campus also had a 'running away' room where students could stay the night if they found their college room was being a bit invaded
Thank you for this campaign
It happens to you in your own home by someone who who says they love you
It happens at any age (I was 40)
Half asleep in your chair in front of the Christmas tree you get punched three times with no warning
You crawl off to bed and lie there frozen with fear and shock
It happens in a place where you've gone to feel safe and you feel guilty because you think you 'allowed' it
You don't react for three days and when you tell him to leave, he doesn't, because he doesn't acknowledge that it happened
And you tell no one for 10 years, but when you do, you realise how it has overshadowed your entire life for all that time, how it's isolated you and continues to do so
Because he still won't leave
Brilliant campaign. So sorry for you Sparrow wishing you all strength.
Wonderful campaigning by MNHQ again
I have kept a secret for almost 37 years.
It is shared now and hope it helps someone. x
Oh Gentle Otter ((sqeeze))
Oh GentleOtter, I am weeping weeping weeping.
((( GentleOtter )))
Gentle Hope you are one of the women it helps
Mary and Gentle, and all the other who post tales of their traumatic times, I would like to say this.
Thank you for sharing your stories but mostly, thank you so much for sharing the knowledge that you survived, that you are now happy, that life for you is good.
Yes, it helps.
sparrow and gentle, I am so sorry x
I had a cry for a while then a big hug from my dh and my eldest son. They made me some tea and told me they loved me. My son said he was strong because I taught him that strength.
This campaign will hopefully help each other to feel strong and heal one another.
GentleOtter and sparrow, wishing you strength and sending you love.
I think there should be another message, alongside We Believe You, and that's It Wasn't Your Fault. People who experience rape and those friends/police/others who are told about it need to get the 'I/she may have somehow led him on, given out the wrong signals' thing out of their heads. That doesn't excuse rape.
My 2nd cousin was raped by her father and a couple of his friends. Not sure how old she was when it started (early teens? earlier?) but she got married aged 19 and it continued after her marriage for a couple of years. This has only come out now, 30 years later, now that both her mum & dad are dead. The person she told (not me - another relative) doesn't understand how a married 20 year old can still - quote - "let this happen". I do. If you're brought up, as she was, very strictly to think that your father is the fount of all rules and right, then it's very hard to kick against that or stop it. He must be right & you must be wrong.
She told her DH but he couldn't believe her at first. An awful realisation for him too. But she is left with the terrible guilt and shame that she "let it continue", that she didn't do enough to stop it. She did, eventually. But there was still that little girl inside, doing what Daddy told her was 'right'. Which is what that bastard did tell her.
If you're reading this, dear 2nd cousin, It Wasn't Your Fault.
Repeat to self 20 times:
It Wasn't My Fault.
oh oh oh Gentle Otter
So sorry gentle otter. There are no words for the wrongness of these crimes.
Gentle Otter, I gasped, I'm so sorry you went through that. And to all of you, love.
A change needs to come, thank you Mumsnet for getting this going.
Oh GentleOtter, I am so very, very sorry. I am sending hugs to the girl you were then and the woman you are today. (((GentleOtter)))
Thank you for being brave enough to write that down
If Someone Loves You
A covers no way to judge a book
The first few words is all it took
To open up the memory chest
Of a dark past so long suppressed.
Like a dog let off its lead
The words are sticks I must retrieve
To read of someone elses pain
The threats, the violence and the shame.
Lying curled up in a ball
Drunken menace in the hall
Racing heart cannot prevent
Looming shadow, no consent.
Calloused hands move from neck to arms
Leave no bruise or signs of harm
I didnt hurt you, you are mine
Say no again, I will next time.
Each leaf turned brings back a time
When this memoir echoed mine
Tale unfolds upon each page
Tells of horrors, threats and rage.
I cant take this anymore
Throw the book down on the floor
Sitting reading will not stop
All the heart ache and the rot.
If someone loves you, they wont do
All these dreadful things to you
No person should endure this hell
Stop it now, its time to tell.
Thank you Mumsnet for this campaign and let's hope it achieves something. Massive hugs to the very brave women who have already contributed their own experiences.
Many years ago when I was a postgraduate student I was sub-warden of a student hall of residence on campus and got to deal with far too many student victims of rape. Only one of the ones I dealt with was ever reported to the police and it was a harrowing experience. When she first went in the victim was kept in for nearly twelve hours (two of us waited for her outside) and the police kept all of her clothes, including her shoes. After a few days they told her they would not be prosecuting (too much of a he said-she said case) so her attacker was let back on campus because the University could not take action against him when the police had not. We caught him a number of times standing below her bedroom window and staring up at it but again the University told us that it could not take action beyond us telling him to go away. He was training to be a social worker and is probably quite senior now.
Sparrow and Gentle - my heart goes out to you. And of course to all of you who have been raped, abused and hurt. This campaign is just fantastic and I really hope with all my heart that the voices on this thread, get heard. xx
Thanks for this campaign, MN, and I hope we can push this in the media and get the message heard.
I am also touched by reading the experiences of other women shared on this thread, as horrifying as they are. It takes real bravery to speak out about rape and sexual assault. I take my hats off to you.
I have been raped and had attempts at rape made on me. It is such a frightening thing to happen and the confusion of feelings you are left with afterwards - anger, guilt, shame - make it very difficult to speak out.
I am glad you are focusing on 'rape myths', as for me, the most brutal rape I have suffered was at the hands of a partner, someone I had had cosensual sex with many, many times. He laughed at me when I used the word 'rape' and told me to go to the police and watch them laugh me out of the station. He was possibly right. It is part of the whole idea of 'domestic violence' being something different to actual violence. Disturbing.
So I never went to the police, and have neer reported any of the assaults that have happened to me. Much of this was down to watching a horrific experience of a friend who was raped and hauled through the most horrendous court case, ending in her rapist walking away a free man. This appalled and frightened me so much that I couldn't find the strength to put myself in that position. I know several other women who have been raped but havent reported it, also, and this is massively down to the 'rape myths' of a woman dressed up, drinking alcohol, being out late, or with her own bouyfriend etc 'asking for it'
I hadn't realised that the first time I had sex was rape.
My first boyfriend had raped me at 15years old. I guess some might think that I clearly attract bad men, or even enjoy lying for the attention, that's why I never told a soul about my first attack, I had no idea that my very first sexual encounter would be rape.
We were lay in his bed, fully clothed, kissing and gently touching one another. I had never been with anyone before I met him. He was getting more and more worked up. I asked him to stop but I remember thinking that it was a nice feeling.
He wasn't talking to me, he was just kissing me, hard on my mouth. Time seemed to slow down, I could see the ceiling in his bedroom. I remember thinking that it needed a fresh coat of paint, as if I'd shut out what was happening.
Then, suddenly, he felt heavier, I could feel more pressure down there, it suddenly felt sore and very sharp, like a stinging, pushing, stabbing pain.
He let all of his weight land on me (he was a rugby player) and I remember that I started to struggle to breathe, I realised with horror that he was inside me and I panicked. I wasn't on the pill and all I could think of was my mother being furious with me if I got pregnant. I was trying to wriggle out from under him but I was pinned to the bed.
I remembering saying 'shh, sshhh, it's okay, it won't hurt'
I couldn't move from under him and eventually decided to just go with it, after all, he was my boyfriend so it was okay for him to do that, wasn't it?
I asked him to pull out before he came which he did and then he got up and walked over to a box of tissues to clean himself up sorry, TMI. He praised me and said that I was 'really good', and that there was no way I was a virgin because I knew .
He laughed when I asked him if he loved me now I'd let him do that. He told me I hadn't 'let him', that he was doing it because he could.
It took a long time for me to realise that that was the first time I was raped. I had always believed that if you were in a relationship with the man who forced sex onto you, that it wasn't rape, that they had a right to have you whenever they wanted.
I have no idea where that mentality came from.
Read about you in the Telegraph. You have no idea how emotional it made me feel to read 'we believe you'. I have just finished a two-year prison sentence accused of 'fantasising' about being stalked and raped by a stranger when all I did was tell the truth. So did my daughters, partner and friends and they would not believe any of us. We have lived a life of hell since from 2001 - 2002 and then 2007 to present day. We are still pursecuted by this male but we have no-one to turn to for help as the police didn't want to know. Worse still we think he is/was a policeman or connected to them and so buried me to shut me up. Being stalked and raped is horrifying enough but being imprisoned for standing up and speaking the truth is the most despicable deed by our police force and justice system.
It is so good to hear that someone is prepared to start looking into an extremely serious crime but which the police no-crime for statistics sake.
I know I'm not the only one had this happen to them and I can understand why so many women won't report this crime, as they know they probably won't be believed, which means so many monsters walk free.
Anything I can do to help with this campaign, I will. What a wonderful campaign.
Thank you so much for this campaign.
I was abused my uncle and was first raped at 8. It ended when I was 14. I didn't think it was abuse because it was my uncle who loved me. Then I thought no-one would believe me. That my family would hate me. I cracked a year later and went through a horrible time. I still suffer from my memories.
I have a daughter, who is still a toddler, and am determined that she grows up safe, protected and not with a world that accuses victims.
Why is rape the only time the victim becomes the accused?
'I guess some might think that I clearly attract bad men, or even enjoy lying for the attention, that's why I never told a soul about my first attack'
I think this is such a common feeling/fear, Mary. I have had two partners now who not only raped me, but turned out to be serial rapists - had done it before they met me and did it again to others after I left. At times, this has made me feel that there is something very wrong with me, for not seeing the signs, for getting involved with these men. Rationally, I know that both men were extremely manipulative characters who could charm the birds from the trees, and they pulled the wool over the eyes of several intelligent women, me included. But it is hard to shake the feeling that you have been preyed on for some sinister reason
<reaches out to hold all the posters sharing on this thread>
dogparadise I think I remember your case - at least I hope to god there aren't more like this. I'm profoundly glad to know you're out now.
The unwillingness to prosecute seems to be limited to accused males, doesn't? Accuse a woman of something that, even if true, would be a much lesser offence, and the urge to punish is there.
So, so shocking what some women have to go through in the name of upholding men's right to have the sex they want
dogp - what? You were imprisoned for speaking out? For outing your attacker and telling the truth?
I had no idea that that happened. I know I might be being naive her but why on earth were you jailed dogp? Can I ask you to tell me a little bit more about what happened and why you ended up the way you did?
I'm really ed and dened.
<<it never stops hurting. a solicitor can walk away, a rapist can walk away, but a victim well, they are in there for ever. I speak from personal experience and it is with me like a scar>> Yes, this is true.
Also the poster who said that she felt that it was pointless saying 'no' -
<<it sent me hurtling along a path of submissively having sex with whoever wanted me to... which has had many profound effects on my life in the short and longterm>>
Yes, me too. I had no idea that someone else had had that result too. I ended up on a path of 'self-destruct' and it was after setting off a chain of events, a cry for help, that my DH woke up to the fact that this had been with me for all these years - over 30 - that he listened - and convinced me that it wasn't my fault that someone who was in a position of authority and trust could -and did - rape a 16year old.
The cry for help was that I wrote to the Police. They were fantastic. They believed me, tracked him down and arrested him (yay!). But he said it had been consensual (yeah right, a 16yr old virgin decides to give herself to some random older married bloke who she's known at work for five minutes and who she's never even/would never go out with). So I decided to drop it. But this provided closure for me, and they are watching him!
We must all stand together - remember that you have no need to feel shame or guilt if this awful crime has happened to you.
Love to all
Oh Miranda - that is so brave of you to write to the police all those years later. I'm sorry that he lied but not at all shocked that he did. Even now, after all these years, my very first boyfriend, the one who forced himself on me, refuses to agree that he raped me.
I didn't report him but we did meet when I had my DD years later. We met quite by chance and one of the things I told him was that he had raped me. He was a violent bully too but never actually hit me, more of a promise to if I didn't do as he wanted me to.
He laughed at me saying that I 'was up for it at the time'. I pointed out that I had tried to move away from him but he'd pinned me down. His face was just one huge grin. I wasn't getting through to him at all.
Sorry, I keep making this about me
Thanks Mary. Nice to have feedback from someone. It didn't feel brave - it had been weighing me down for so long that I couldn't think of any other way of resolving it.
I would urge everyone with a 'secret' to pick a trusted friend and tell them. This helped me to understand how that girl - the 16yo me - was not responsible for what happened.
Talking about it is really hard at first - I used to think of my 'attack' because I couldn't bear the R word. But it's easier as you get older and understand more. I told a friend at the time but she didn't understand. I tried to tell my Mum but I think she just thought I was admitting I'd had sex, and changed the subject - I couldn't tell her properly (and she didn't ask ).
Hugs to you. It was very brave of you to let the papers know your story. Much easier to hide.
But I want people to know that they don't have to carry this burden - this scar - around with them. Take steps to get rid of the burden - admit what happened and explore it honestly. Therapy/friend.rape crisis/police, whatever is appropriate for you and helps you.
Mary, is this the first time you've talked about it? It will get easier as time goes on, will fade, once you've explored it & resolved it, IME.
You're right Miranda. I spend a lot of time saying I'm not ashamed that I was raped. But that's not actually true - I am ashamed. And logically I know I shouldn't be but I was in my 30s when I was raped (on two different occasions by two different men) and feel I should have been old enough to know better and if I hadn't put myself in those situations (one was a new boyfriend, the other an acquaintance) then it never would have happened.
If I keep saying it, it might come true one day.
<holds hands with the legion of survivors>
Miranda - this is the first time that I had written as much as I had (i did a much fuller article but the Independent only printed the relevant parts) but I've posted about my abuse before on MN.
I told my husband about a year after we met. I was shaking when I said the words out loud to him, that I'd been raped at knife point, raped by his friend, spat at, punched, kicked, made to terminate his baby.......
Years of torture, both mental and physical all came spilling out.
For the first time in my life, since the age of fourteen, I finally feel safe. Even on wobbly days, I feel safe. I feel loved and wanted for all of the right reasons. I still blame myself for lots of things, stupid things but that's how the brain works I guess.
Anyway, it's time I went and fed the hungry tribe. Be back later.
Hi Mary. My/our story would take hours to relate but I was stalked by a stranger & received 50+ cards, flowers and gifts left on my car or at my home - he knew my every move. The police became involved when he chased me and tried to stop me one night in my car - I was terrified. After months of stalking he attacked me at the end of a dog walk. With the threat of a knife he took me down the valley, tied me to a sheep fence and raped me for at least an hour. Using a police-type radio, he knew when people were looking for me and left me tied and gagged there to be found by the eye-in-the-sky helicopter. This was just the start of the nightmare. He came back and raped me again and regardless of the police having him on cctv coming into my house 20 mins before the attack, they claim I made it up. All the knife wounds they claimed were self-inflicted and I am just a fantasist. They arrested me and threatened me to withdraw the allegations or they would make sure I go to prison and my children into care. My daughters have all seen him, my partner has chased him from our roof more than once, friends have been with me when gifts have been left on my car - but apparently I made it all up and we are all liars.
We decided, unitedly as a family, that he couldn't be allowed to get away with this and so stood against the police. I spoke nothing but the truth in everything I told them, we all did but they said we were going to court for perverting the course of justice. They tried repeatedly to threaten and brow-beat me to withdraw the allegations and I would get a slap on the wrist.
Whilst we waited 19 months for the trial, he hid at the back of my house one day and attacked me again when I returned from the school run.
We had to endure a six week trial. 5 weeks of prosecution and 1 week for defence because the judge wanted it finished as he had another case to hear.
The prime evidence/DNA all went missing from the police headquarters before the trial started!!!
With a jury of 75% young women, 1 older lady and a young lad I was found guilty of making it all up and sentenced to a 2 year prison sentence.
I did not get any pre-sentence reports (which my probation say is unheard of) and my two younger daughters, who had only ever had me as a single parent went through the worst hell seeing me hand-cuffed and taken away from them.
I have lived through night-terrors, sleep walking, the trauma and filth of prison life and now home and still receiving gifts, cards and phone calls and we can do nothing. My partner has made our house like fort knox, cctv and large movement cameras adorn the place, in an effort to keep us safe.
All my friends and family have stood by me because they know me too well to ever think that I could have lied about something so horrendous.
I haven't been able to fight back because all the time I was on licence, if I was seen to be campaigning or doing anything, they would have put me back into prison. My licence finished nearly two weeks ago - now I can speak out.
Women need people to believe them. Except for mental health issues etc., why on earth would a woman want to make up something so horrifying, there is nothing to be gained.
We live a life locked up in our home and I never go anywhere - that is what my life is - all caused by a monster who walks free.
My heart goes out to all women who have been raped, no matter what the circumstances. Rape causes a trauma which lives with you forever. Not being believed and sent to prison is like being raped over and over again.
Love to all of you who have suffered. xx
Dogparadise, was your story in the papers or have you talked about it here? I think I recognise it.
If it is your story I'm thinking of, I believed you then and I believe you now.
It's terrible what the police did to you. I hope the man who attacked you receives the justice he deserves as soon as possible.
Hi Nyac. It was all over the papers - at least all the prosecution allegations - strange how when the defence came out the journalists didn't bother to put our side in the papers.
The Guardian was the only one who came to our home and asked us for the truth and ran it in their paper.
When first attacked I contacted a centre in London called Women Against Rape. They were fantastic. They believed us, supported us (still do) and one of them came to court to support me every single day. For anyone who has had to go to court and had to publicly stand up and speak of and listen to details of your rape - my heart goes out to you. I was 50 yrs old. What would I want to put myself through the hell of all that for if it hadn't been true. The jury had to be crazy, they yawned a lot and sat cross-armed and bored and they are the people who decide your future.
I have no trust in the police or our British justice system.
Oh my god, it's started again now you're home, dogp?!
I believed you when I first read about your case; I believe you now.
Christ, that is horrific dogp
Can you not take some sort of legal action against the police? bastards.
It's evil that they put you in prison dogparadise, simply evil. i can't think of another word.
dogparadise, I am so so so so so so so very sorry, I believe you, I dont recall the initial case, but no-one would make up something like this, and your friends and your family.
Terrible, terrible, for you all.
Iwish there was something to say, to ease the pain you have been through and are still going through.
This man is a monster
Dogparadise - I believe you
dogparadise I have read your story before. I believe you.
I don't know this story. Would someone be kind enough to PM me a link. I think it is important to find justice. Thanks.
dogp - your story rings a bell with me also in terms of being in the press. You must take each breath wondering if it's going to be your last.
I am appalled by the way the police have treated you, utterly shocking.
I think that's what I liked about the article the Independent ran, they used my 'story' word for word, they didn't twist anything or make me out to be a liar as we all know other media sources have done in the past.
I can't imagine how you and your family live day to day like that, locked away in your own home. I think you're incredible, I really do.
I also hope that one day, justice will be served and you will be able to step out of your door safe in the knowledge that he can't get to you, he can't touch you or your DD's, or anyone else he may choose to target.
Keep going brave lady. I always thought that if/when I do tell my 'story' that if it saves Just One Woman, Just One Child then it's worth every single stabbing, painful memory.
I noticed that from the day I was raped in my twenties, I changed. I became hardened a little, became quieter, you became small. It was as if he'd taken part of me with him, if that makes sense....
I lost part of me. A very important part, I lost my own self worth but then again, that's what they do isn't it? Regardless of how the rape/s come about, if it's a regular rape, a series of attacks, it makes you shrink and become a tiny voice.
When it happened over and over, I became more numb. I'd imagine that my body wasn't mine. I decided that I'd try my hardest to forgive myself for letting it happen but that was impossible for a long time.
dogp - I hope that you have some strong support out there, do you have close friends who you can rely on to come and see you, talk to you, help you?
It's great that your DP is standing firmly beside you. I wish that I could take the pain away. I should imagine that we'd all do that if we could.
I'm off to eat dinner and cuddle with my son and husband, long gone are the says of snuggling DD! Unless it's Faceache or Blueberry she's not bothered!
Stay safe xx
Massive hugs to you all. xxxx
dogparadise that is horrific. I believe you.
Much hugs to all who have shared their awful experiences.
My DD's are the third generation to suffer from these events that I know of. It's time something changed. Good job!
I hope a good journalist is reading this.
I believe you too, dogparadise. I always did and I agree that there is more than a whiff of cover-up involved. I hope that you can find a little bit of peace in knowing that your story was one of those that made me (and others on this thread, I know) so very unequivocal about believing the victim AND become active in smashing rape myths apart whenever I see/hear them. Ans one person prepared to do that leads to another and another and another. I know that doesn't directly change your situation, but please know that what you have gone through has made a difference.
And to the rest of you - I believe you too. And it's for you and women like you that I keep on fighting. Shoulder to shoulder. I have been lucky (so far) but still not immune to a sexual power dynamic that is out of kilter. I don't want luck to come into it for any of us.
Thank you, LeninGrad, for the slogan. Actually - you have two, don't you? I often think of the "Millwall of Mumsnet" one. Please tell me that "Patriarchy - YABVU" was yours too and I shall appoint you Queen.
You've inspired my 13 year old DD to write a piece for her school newspaper about the facts and myths of sexual abuse and rape. She feels it's important for teenagers to know these facts as well - it's a little disconcerting for me that she should know these things at such a young age, but I'm also very proud of her maturity.
wow, butterfly, that is brilliant !
dogparadise your story is absolutely terrifying, both the attacks and the aftermath. I am so upset just reading it.
Do you mind if I ask a potentially insensitive question? Are you still living in the same house as before? I only ask this because I think my instinct would be to pack up and move far far away - yes, I know, to hide. Did you think of doing this? I just wondered what has made you stay.
I've just posted this on the Keir Starmer thread, while it's still stickied.
Please feel free to add to it, whilst we have the eyes and ears of the DPP looking in. (It will still be getting 'tracked'.)
On the We Believe You thread on Mumsnet, a poster with the nickname dogparadise reports a miscarriage of justice which saw her jailed for allegedly lying about being stalked and raped.
Many Mumsnetters have rightly expressed their concerns about this, not least the verdict, the reporting, the behaviour of the judge and the jury, the sentence, the alleged failings in process, and the lack of self-review by the CPS.
Will you agree, in the spirit of this campaign, to review this case and report back to MN and the wider public on lessons learned?
I believe you too dogparadise.
Massive hugs to everybody.
Oh, Butterfly - that is fantastic. How wonderful of your daughter to have an insight like that. And, on the other hand, it's a shame that she is aware of rape and abuse.
I hope that the children in the school learn from her article in the school newpaper. I hope you will thank her on 'our' behalf xx
I remember reading about your case and thinking that it seemed so incredible, how could anyone make it up? Why would anyone make it up?
I believe you.
Would you ask Keir Starmer to review the case, while the 'MN live webchat' thread is still there?
That's the thing isn't it? Like in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street, the only way to get the message across was for everyone to believe. Let's hope that we can do it here, let's hope that we can get others to believe.
Hi PuffPants. I do still live in the same house. Many weeks were spent considering moving. Firstly, financially I couldn't afford to. When I was first stalked the police reported me to Ofsted because I was a registered childminder - I asked them not to as I could lose my job but they went ahead and lost me my job. Secondly, my two younger daughters were at the local secondary school and didn't want to lose their friends - they had been through so much at 11yr and 13 yrs. My 13 yr old (who was the first to ever see the monster at 2am one morning trying to break into her bedroom window) took my incarceration and absence so badly she started self-harming and attempted suicide 3 times. Neither of them wanted to move. Graham, my partner, didn't want to lose his job - at 60 yrs old he probably wouldn't have been able to get another. All in all I had to make the right decisions for all of them - not me. They have had to live the worst life possible and I just couldn't put any more stress on them. When I came home I couldn't go out the back of my house for ages - I still swallow hard before I can go out, even
with all the dogs with me.
We've lived here 20 yrs, the girls were born here and we took the decision that we couldn't let the b*****d drive us from our home, showing our weakness and letting him win. I hope that helps you to understand.
Hi Mary, Women Against Rape contacted Keir Starmer and I emailed Baroness Sturgeon but as the case was on-going nobody wanted to help us.
Still being on licence until the 3rd March, 2012, I kept a very low profile. I know I couldn't possibly have survived being sent back to prison.
Sadly, I know of others here, one in particular out walking her dogs and was attacked and raped. She went to the police and after a few weeks told her she had no evidence and they didn't believe her. They told her to withdraw the allegations or risk prison. She withdrew and since lives an awful life as she believes that if the police didn't believe her - no-one else will and has had two nervous breakdowns.
Another woman was attacked in the same area of my first attack - she managed to get away and fled to the police who basically told her to go away. She showed them her injured arm and they said she could probably have injured that herself. She is also in her 50's.
What sort of police state are we now living in?
I believe you dogparadise
I believe all of you
This thread has been both heartbreaking and awe-inspiring, there are some amazing women on here
Much love to all of you x
Keir Starmer DPP thread
Whilst this visible, prominent and tracked thread exists on MN, please go on there and ask for a review.
So all these crimes are happening in the same area? And the police are telling them all the victims to bog off and that they must be doing it to themselves?
I'm sure you're very genned up in avenues of complaint, and have already thought of this, but the Independent Police Complaints Commission springs to mind, as does the way John Worboys was left free to continue attacking women.
here is dogparadise story, I have pm'd her to check she is happy with the linking and she has told me to post it.
There is so much I would like to say, but for legal reasons can't. One day ........
There is an awful lot of strength to be drawn from the support shown on this thread.
dogparadise, I knew who you were as I remember the story on the news and remember thinking how horrible and inhumane the coverage was, even from the bloody BBC - they basically tried to make you look like a nutjob. I absolutely believed you then - I had a horrible cold feeling in my stomach - and I believe you now.
I hope you get justice one day soon. You are unbelievably strong to still be standing.
dogparadiandise, I believe you too .
It is un fucking believable this should be allowed to happen, but sadly I have no trouble at all believing you and others.
dogparadise, not sure what I did to your name there, sorry
One of the reasons the police may be doing this to rape victims is to keep their crime figures down.
Keir Starmer was not impressive on his web chat and didn't provide answers that would give any confidence that the legal system has improved in any way in its attitudes to rape victims. His line appears to be encouraging victims to come forward, but why would they do that when they know there is actually a risk of being prosecuted, it's unbelievable.
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.
I did like his answer to me, as in he didnt agree with the current process, but he didnt suggest change was immenent either.
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.
Well done for speaking up everyone xxxx
Turnip, in a thread of heartache the tale of the 2 12 years old linked in that blog absolutely broke my heart.
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?
I believe you dog seaside and I am so so sorry for what you and your family has been through
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
dogparadise and MerlinScot and others who have posted their stories here - I believe you
I have reposted the Q that Keir failed to answer which was about
false rape reports
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Somewhat - yes, that was rape.
I believe you
Yes, it was rape. Don't blame yourself. I believe you.
This is excellent - how to avoid being raped. And who is to blame.
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.
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.
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.
dogparadise and MerlinScot - I am reading your posts with a slack jaw. You are being punished for having the courage to speak out
I believe you
Another one thanking GentleOtter,dogsparadise and others bravely telling their stories ... think you may be right Nyac about police forces wanting to keep their crime figures down
After reading your account ,*dogparadise*, I think we're all very concerned for your safety .Thank you so much for the details of the investigation & trial as they have exposed new dimensions of the maltreatment of women who have been -repeatedly - attacked
Is the main aim of this campaign to get information out there? I'm working on a yarn bomb with the #webelieveyou twitter hash tag, but I could also stitch up some little craftivist banners like these. The problem is between work and the kids I'd struggle to get very far to get many out. Would anyone like me to send them one that they can 'deposit' somewhere?
What sort of things could they say (short things!)?
Just coming on to say what a great thing it is that this campaign is underway.
Much needed. Well done!
DillyTante, that's a great offer.
Have you got your own suggestion for a banner message?
I have only this morning read back most of the thread I missed yesterday.
So, so sorry to read more horrendous stories .
You are amazing strong women, all of you, to still be standing. And to share your experiences.
I believe you
How horrible to be treated by the exact same authorities who should be there to support you. This is unbelievable and it makes me very as well as
Why are they telling women who have been raped to come forward when this is how some of them will be treated?
Yarn bombing - I love it and have just learnt something, too.
Banner messages: 'No means No'
'Fuck the Patriarchy' - perennial favourite of mine
Or less controversial 'Do upon others etc'
Nyac, one can only live in hope that if every sexual attack were reported that the shere numbers would force a change in attitude? Having said that, I don't know where/whether I'd find the strength to put myself through what some of the posters here have been through and are still going through after an assault that shakes the very person that you are to the core.
Nyac, this is the (huge) problem with campaigns that urge rape victims to 'come forward'.
I know two women (personally) who have 'come forward' - both women were actually treated quite well by the police, but dragged through the courts and humiliated in the worst way by the legal system. Neither rapist was convicted (both were men known to them, btw).
I know another woman who was gang raped by a group of male 'friends' on a drunken night out. A police officer told her 'off the record' that because she was drunk when the attack happened and had been accused of being promiscuous by one of the lads (who she had previously had a casual sexual relationship with), the case would likely not stand up in court and there was little point in pursuing it. These beasts raped her for hours and hurt her very badly. How could it be that they walk free? That even the police didn't think it was worth following up?
I find this so depressing.
I know that when I was raped the first time, the furthest thing form my mind was going to the police. I had been drinking and taken some drugs om the night it happened (this was years ago - I was young and a bit wild) and the rapist was my boyfriend. I had no idea how I would 'make the case' to people I knew - let alone to the police - that I had been viciously raped - yet I knew in my heart of hearts this is what had happened.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I wasnt meaning to criticise MN's campaign, btw...the rape myths thing is great.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I don't think anybody said that the Mumsnet campaign was about telling women to come forward.
But the authorities, including Keir Starmer, who was on a web chat about this, are telling women they can report their rapes. Then some of them will get prosecuted rather than the rapists going to jail.
He came across as very corporate in the webchat.
The rape conviction rate is so piss poor, what is the point really of coming forward?
I am wholeheartedly behind the MN campaign, but i think the biggest problem is within the institutions who deal with rape and rapists - the police and courts.
Ladies, I need to leave the thread now.
Too much I want to say but can't.
I am going to ask for my last post to be deleted if no-one minds, I over shared for the moment.
My last comment is to say, to those who have posted, have yet to post, or are holding their pain inside and not telling anyone.
I believe you, each and everyone of you. You are all brave and wonderful, women, girls, men and boys (I have no doubt both genders are reading this thread).
Good luck and much love to you all.
all the best Justalittle x
Message deleted by Mumsnet.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
dogparadise The police didn't protect you when they should have done, so they turned on you. What a load of pathetic cowards, that there isn't one, amongst those who really know what happened (and there will sadly be women in that group) that cannot now stand up and say - we got it wrong is pathetic. I hope the evil little sod is scared now that there are literally thousands of women who would like to apply there own level of justice, where the legal route so clearly failed.
I wasnt criticising the campaign, please read my comments again!
I was just highlighting that the 'dont be afraid to report rape' strategy employed by the government, police etc has failed.
Hi I think our message got lost in the general mumsnet chitchat. We are new to this. LearningDisabilityMums represents parents with learning disabilities at CHANGE who campaign for the right support to keep their children. We just wanted to say that we like your 'We beleive you' campaign but would like to ask that you please dont forget women with learning disabilities who are doubly discriminated against.
More than 9 in 10 people with a learning disability are sexually abused at some point in their lives. Half will experience 10 or more abusive incidents. Women with learning disabilities who have been sexually abused are even less likely to report to the police or access any kind of support. Services are hard to access because information about them is not accessible or the services themselves are not aware of how to support someone with a learning disability appropriately. Women who report rape are less likely to have their testimonies beleived.
Many women with learning disabilities are abused by partners, but keep quiet because without them there is a very real danger that their children will be removed, because Mum is not deemed capable of looking after her children alone. Those who are brave enough to go it alone often have their children taken away from them because it is beleived that they will 'fail to protect' their children. These women struggle to access mainstream services that might support them to care for their children, like family centres, mums and toddlers groups, or just the mums at the school gates group. Many have tried but felt unwelcome and so they have withdrawn leading to allegations that they are unable to support their childs social inclusion and development.
"We went on a day trip with Sure Start and nobody spoke to us all day".
So next time you see a mum who seems a little withdrawn please make an effort to make her feel welcome. CHANGE is a national organisation campaigning for equal rights for people with learning disabilities. We are currently working to support Rape Crisis services to be more accessible to women with learning disabilities. www.changepeople.co.uk
Interesting quote from the Telegraph, in an interview with a woman called Kathryn Bolkovac who exposed a sex trafficking ring in Bosnia. Her story is being made into a film with Rachel Weisz, called The Whistleblower.
Anyway, the quote: "Bolkovac, 51, was [previously] a police officer in Nebraska. She specialised in Sex crimes. Was nicknamed Xena Warrior Princess, and had a 95 per cent conviction rate... I tell her that in Britain the rape conviction rate is more like 6 per cent. She laughs, amazed. "You have to get confessions. That's the trick - knowing how to interview people."
Mme - I have read the guest blog you linked to, and I'm sat here in tears, nodding my head in recognition at the events as they unfold. It's heartbreaking to read.
It sounds so similar to my abuser, so similar to the full version of my abuse. Everything about her abuser rings bells with me. The lies, the cocooning, the cutting off her social life, friends, family. The way that he convinced her he was all that she ever needed.
My heart is hurting, physically hurting reading all of the posts on here, all of the pain and abuse that the women on here, who have been so very brave to post their experiences.
There are no words to ever take away the pain. There are no ways to let it go, it stays with you, it's almost like a physical scar, you wear it where you hope no-one can see but you know that it's there.
It's ingrained into your mind, into your heart. The shame stays. No matter what is said or even not said, the shame of an attack or attacks stays.
I just hope with all my heart that this campaign takes the tiny voices that are brave enough to speak and make them the LOUDEST EVER.
Keep posting brave ladies xx
My personal emails have just been hacked and some sent out to places where they should not have gone.
Ok, I have put a couple of banners on my profile. I have been able to spend the morning doing this because my lovely husband wanted to give me a break for a couple of days so spend the last 2 days while at home with the kids emptying the laundry basket, cleaning the house and making dinner in advance so I don't have to do anything except ignore the kids! If only all men we like that.
Otter - I've just had a call telling me this guy was from Windows and wanted me to remote control my PC. I said I didn't believe him and put the phone down, he wouldn't tell me where he was from (number came up 'calling') so that made me suspicious.
What a nightmare for you!
Learning disability mums, the chat moves pretty quickly. Your points are very worthwhile though.
Shit Gentleotter, do you know what has gone where?
GentleOtter and Mary!
The Windows one is a very common scam, but still...
Serial - I had no idea! I honestly had no idea, I feel but I'm so glad I told him I didn't believe him and put the phone down. As if there isn't shit in the world without that!
Gentle Otter, I'm trying to raise someone who can give emergency tech advice in this area. If I hear from them, I'll PM you.
Q: did it just create and send out new emails from your account? Or did it forward your old emails somewhere?
my entire Googlemail account has gone. My sil alerted me that she was being bombarded with my emails. They opened personal emails to dd.
I feel sick.
The account has just vanished - 5years of emails.
Miranda, I joined an American forum about emotional support and rape support even before reporting my abuser/rapist to police. Members are still speechless after I nearly posted updates every day about my story and case. It's shocking for them that women's rights are still "zero, nada, zilch" in front of the police and courts.
That American police officer was right, the key is in the interview with the rapist/abuser and get them to boast about how they felt about the abuse/rape. Because they're gloating inside, they feel powerful because they could get away with it and sooner or later they'll explode. It's a pity that our police is more worried about pushing the victims to their boundaries and extract a forced recantation from them, easy to accuse a rape victim of lying to the state than to try to convict a rapist.
I was appalled to see how little they investigated. They didn't care about previous allegations, nor to contact the previous girlfriends. It's a lot easier to convince everybody that a raped woman is a crazy, vindictive liar, isn't it?
New messages would just be a botnet getting in and using you to send its own spam. Reading your old messages is much more serious.
I'm waiting for tech friend to contact, but maybe put up a distress rocket in the Geeky section here?
This may be something actually criminal, under the Computer Misuse Act, but IANAL.
ARe you ok? Maybe post in geeky stuff to ask advice. What have google said?
So sorry to see this , GentleOtter , and am sure Geeky stuff will advise , but I agree it does sound as though it might be a criminal matter
Is it worth reporting this to your local police station Otter? I know a few friends who's Hotmail accounts have been 'hijacked' and had pornographic and viagra e-mails sent to their entire contact list.
It wasn't the sort of e-mail I expected from my FIL.
I really hope someone can help you, I'm so sorry that you've lost five years worth of e-mail, no doubt they contained some happy memories too? x
Have managed to retrieve my old account, change passwords and then flopped at the security check bit but very specific emails hacked.
I do think this is worth passing on to the police and will phone them.
And this is just to say to anyone not involved with this campaign who is following my user name with any sort of malicious intent - I refuse to be scared or intimidated.
How awful GentleOtter. Hope you're OK. It sounds like a good idea to contact the police.
Oh well done on password change. And even more well done on not being intimidated.
This is so awful! GentleOtter, do you think it's something concerning your involvement in this campaign? Hope you're OK.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
You are amazing , GentleOtter . Hope police are helpful
another brave survivor's story.
What incredible, inspirational stories these women have shared.
Right, have heard from techie, will PM you GentleOtter.
thank you for believing me x
Wow, dillytante! That's excellent You rock, truly
It's the very least I can do.
Dilly, I commented on your blog! Nice artwork! x
OG, I hope you (and your virtual life on-line) are ok.
DillyTante, brill . Well done, you. I hope you did not get a parking ticket...
I just saw this video on TV (Trigger warning) thisisabuse.direct.gov.uk/videos/view/11/if-you-could-see-youself
Am I over-sensitive or is this a crap video? To me, it perpetuates the "he got carried away" myth, the accidental rape. The decent guy who made a mistake.
Just saw that advert and was thinking along the same lines Mme. Having thought about it, I think it actually delivers the message - even if it may appear as this is a decent guy, it's still rape.
At least that's how I took it.
The #ididnotreport hashtag seems to be getting spammed by multiple posts of female to male rape (not that such a thing legally exists)
I also couldn't do the survey as it brought back a lot of bad memories for me.
I was sexually abused from aged 6months - 2years old by someone very close to me. I was questioned at length by police and social services from a very young age, I got to what this animal did to me but never named him so he got away with it.
I was then raped by my ex when I was 18 and pregnant with his baby. I was forced to tell the police that I was leing or he and his family would throw me over the bridge pregnant or not so to protect my unborn child I had to drop the charges and say I was leing and nothing happened. There was nothing I could do. The police and Social Services knew what I was going through with him but they would not help me at all. I ended up being raped and abused daily by him until I was 20 years old. The police was called 56 times in 3months, Not just by me but by the neighbours as they could hear my screams. The Police and Social Services would not help me get away from my ex so I was locked into him. Even my own "family"
If I could call them that dissowned me. I had no-one.
When my ex finally did leave me I was heartbroken at the time as I knew I lost everything so I thought I would kill myself. I was lucky that my child was now adopted to a loving family even though I was missing my child.
When I got out of Phychiatrist hospital I was put in a hostile in a new town for a fresh start. This was a big mistake to make to me.
As soon as I "landed" in this new town I was targeted at by a 18year old female. who was one of the ring leaders of the town "gangs". This 18 year old made friends with me and introduced me to her friends. Little did I know what they were doing.
Withing 6weeks I was being raped by all of the men in the "gang", hit, threatened to be pushed in front trains, nearly got drowned. I was then forced into prostitution.
I was living in squats with these animals and other vunerable (sp) females. We were all forced into the same things, I was a lucky one I never got forced to move to another town or into drugs. This was mainly because one of the men
I thought "loved me" and would protect me.
I arrested one night by the police for being a prostitute and the police took
after a lot of questioning me to a Reguge to get me out of the place. I told them about the rapes, I even showed them all of the marks on my body (the marks of having my face, arm, neck slashed, ciggerettes put out on me, bite marks and lots of brusises) I had an examination and with my last "fake" (it was not fake I had to drop the charges as I was scared) it went against me. As the police were not taking things further I was sent from the Reguge to the men. I was told all of the marks did not count towards anything happening illegally. I apparantly allowed them or I slashed myself, the brusises (they were handprints) on my legs were not consistent with rape, the damage I had internally also was not consistent with rape.
I was once again Arrested a week later and went through the same (going to a refuge and sent back)
A week after that the same policeman took me to a new town (he risked his job for me) and he dropped me off with one of his friends who owned a Hostel.
Ever since then I have gone strenght to strength. 5 years down the line I am with a loving partner and a 3 year old little girl.
I am so gratefull to that policeman (I still see him sometimes) if it was not for him I would most liekly be dead now.
I am so pleased MN has done this campaign. I just wish I never dropped the charges the first time and maybe I would have been believed the 2nd time. If I was ever raped or sexually assaulted in the future, I would NEVER NEVER report it and jsut get over it in my own way.
Dilly - I'm loving your work. Not just your craftiness, but your bravery in 'bombing' with them. And, oh, what a lovely husband you have!
Backpackbackpack, what an awful trauma for you
This campaign is great, but it's very much to do with after the fact. Does anyone know if there is any research into what sort of things can prevent rape in the first place? What sort of social structures need to be in place to reduce rape?
Dillytante, I think the main thing that needs to be done to reduce rape is to change the focus of campaigning. Most campaigns/posters, etc to date have focussed on the victims - don't drink too much, don't walk home alone, etc.
Fact is, you could be pissed as a fart, wearing a belt instead of a skirt, and walking home at 3am completely alone, and if the only men you meet AREN'T rapists, you won't get raped. Only rapists rape. Men don't BECOME rapists because a woman drinks or wears a short skirt. If you stay sober and walk home in a group, you may protect YOURSELF in that particular instance but the problem of rape doesn't go away - it just means someone more vulnerable is made a victim instead. Rape itself doesn't reduce.
Not to mention the fact that only 1 in 9 rapes are stranger rapes - the vast majority are committed by people known to the victim - quite often a partner or ex-partner.
So let's focus the campaign on the perpetrators. Let's get the conviction rate up for rape so that rapists really do fear getting sent to prison. Right now, despite the level of false allegations being somewhere between 3 and 6% (meaning that some 94-97% of accusations are TRUE), the conviction rate stands at 6%. That's appalling.
More rape awareness courses made mandatory for juries and judges and a strong myth-busting rape awareness campaign for the general public could do a lot here.
More needs to be done about consent. All too often, the accepted default position is that a woman is up for it unless she says no. The default position needs to be no unless a woman makes it absolutely, unequivocally clear that she means yes.
Personally, I find campaigns against rape inextricable from feminism. The whole notion of women having equal rights and autonomy over their own bodies is central to the idea of removing the male sense of entitlement over access to a woman's body. Even today the talk boards are full of women who have sex with their partners not because they want to but because they've internalised the idea of conjugal rights and believe their marriage may suffer if they don't have sex. A wife has sex to avoid upsetting her husband. It never occurs to her that perhaps her husband should stop pressuring her for sex so that the marriage doesn't suffer because she is upset.
Backpack, I'm so sorry what happened to you. Thank goodness for that policeman acting like a human being and reaching out to help you.
Backpack (and other who have talked about what happened to them), I am really, really horrified by what you've been through. I don't know what to say that doesn't sound hopelessly inadequate TBH, but I definitely believe you 100%.
What I mean sunshine is that instances of rape (however they are measure) must differ between countries. I wonder if there is research into what the differences are among these countries that might explain these differences? Probably easiest to compare would be European rates.
Thanks for the support btw the way BIWI, and yes my DH is lovely - you've met him actually. I was at the MN party with him (name changed - usually B U M P E R).
I know - I remember you both well. Those shoes ...
Excellent article in yesterday's Times by David Aaronovitch, referencing this campaign link here (but only if you're a subscriber I'm afraid).
To summarise for those of you who don't wish to enrich Mr Murdoch any further, he recounts the experiences of three women he knew when he was younger who told him they had been raped and not reported it. Now that he has three daughters of his own, he'd hoped things had changed, but the Mumsnet survey shows that they haven't.
He acknowledges that the MN survey isn't statistically valid, being based on a self-selecting sample, but notes that the British Crime Survey (a much more credible source) has the same finding - that one in ten British women have been raped. He also mentions the #ibelieveyou and #ididnotreport threads on Twitter.
He predicts that there will be a wave of responses saying that women lie about rape - and makes reference to Ian Martin, who lost a sex discrimination case against the LSE this week, who claimed in a debate that "50 to 90 per cent of rape claims are made up".
Quoting his last two paragraphs directly:
"Some men men we must know personally, men on buses and in offices are pretty rapey or pretty gropey, after all these years of progress. They still conveniently confuse no with ambivalence. They take what they want. Theirs is the ultimate entitlement to a womans love, a womans attention, a womans flesh. After all, when you announce your sons birth with a card warning friends to lock up your daughters (oh the yohoho of it) what are you really threatening the world with? Lock up your bloody son, one wants to retort, but actually its the parents who need locking up.
The Rape Crisis Centres in Britain say they receive more than 170,000 contacts every year. There isnt much money and the number they can help is limited, leaving plenty of right-now Suzies to be hurt and unheard. The shame of it."
(Suzie was the pseudonym of one of the three women he referred to at the beginning of the article).
I believe all of you and I am so sorry for all that you've been through.
So sorry for all those terrible experiences you've been through backpack
Makes you realise even more how awful child abuse can be as it seems that things often go from bad to worse in women's lives after such a difficult childhood
I'm not necessarily happy though with the emphasis on women not reporting rape and particularly sexual abuse. I think it's at least as important that women are looked after and counseled, and supported on their journey to be survivors.
Women should do what is in their own best interests after these horrific incidents. If society wants women to report it had better "believe us" & support us in becoming strong survivors, otherwise surely many women will continue to make the very reasonable decision not to report.
very timely as have just served on a jury on such a case! I couldn't reiterate more how important it is for women to come forward and report it as soon as it happens as it not only helps provide peace of mind that they are doing something positive about it, but it is more likely to be believed by the jury if it comes down to 'his word against hers'. As most rapes happen behind closed doors with people that we think we know, it is imperative that positive action is taken quickly otherwise they could easily do it again.
I have to say when I went to the police they were absolutely excellent and really supportive - I know some on here had really poor experiences but I did want to say that sometimes they can be fab, and mine was a historical case which can be really difficult.
I believe you all and hate how many women have suffered through this trauma!
Oh BackPack, I'm so, so sorry that you went through all of that. There are no words to make it better. I'm just glad that you are finally safe. x
My 7 year old daughter arrived home from school very upset one day. eventually she told me that a boy she knew had put his hand down her trousers. when i reported it to her form teacher she said they would talk to the boy. i had no further update so i asked what had happened she said it was my daughters word against the boys. So there were no consequences for him. don't think this is an issue restricted to teenage girls unfortunately.
I am blown away by this thread.
I have no experience of rape, either personally, or through friends.
But this is the most empowering thing I have ever read.
All of you are baring your soles, talking about secrets you have kept, facing your demons, confronting what was done to you.
To other women who have also been through it.
My god, sometimes technology is so amazing.
How would you all have come together, to stand side by side, without a site like this.
I am, as I said, just blown away.
You are all amazing...............................x
Well done MN! Sorry for all the posters who have first hand experience and shocked by the numbers.
I starting reading this thread yesterday but I couldn't read it all in one sitting, just too harrowing.
To all who have shared I believe you.
The figures for conviction are horrifing and a shame on our society.
you can still post your comments on the Keir Starmer thread
He is the Director of Public Prosecutions and by his own words, at the the start of his contribution to that thread, responsible for all this.
Message deleted by Mumsnet.
And again/ Didn't know Ken Clarke was on MN.
Good job it is a discussion forum then xx
Like I've said I'd been in both position's. Thank the Lord it didn't turn out worse then it did. I behaved like a complete twat in both episodes. Me not them.
Rape is taking advantage.
Nothinggoldcanstay your post is an absolute disgrace in view of the stories women have shared on this thread. This is a campaign thread, not a thread where you can 'discuss' your deluded views on rape.
You are totally and utterly WRONG.
Message deleted by Mumsnet.
you can blame yourself, nothingold, (many women do, misguidedly) but don't expect anyone on this thread to collude with you in that and don't do it to other women
Well Ok but it did say "discuss" on the link I read. If you can't think of anything better than "you are wrong" because of the examples that people that post on here then good luck in the long run.
It does need to be discussed though although this might not be the thread in retrospect. Mainly in respect to not being defined by men.
what is not "being defined by men" ?
Not being defined by men is not going along with their "rules". You don't have a good night by pulling a bloke, you don't have to look lovely all the time , you don't need to get rid of all your fat and look like a skinny bloke, you can earn lots of money and be a woman.
Anyway, sorry this is not a discussion forum goodnight all.
I'm soooo glad nothingoldcanstay that you can help catorgorise (sp) what is serious rape and what isn't. Maybe in your infinite wisdom you can advise me where mine sat. I actually didn't say no, not once, not for many years, I was bribed with sweets and toys. Great huh? That was his excuse as well, she never said NO, oh wait hang on, it was between the ages of three and twelve, he told everyone I was a slut that came onto him. Boy I hope you don't get on a jury for this, ever!!!
If I have a drink, if I kiss a guy, if I engage in groping this still does not mean I am going to had sex with him there and then, and NO means NO.
totally misguided and mistimed
some people really are that obtuse
On balance I think it would be best to leave off hassling nothingold in view of the impression I'm getting she may be a survivor too (as are others on here)
I agree her views are misguided, but maybe they're helping her survive.
Others may find different views more helpful !
Whilst I don't disagree with you juggling, the very real fear people have of not being believed isn't helped with comments like that, and anyone wanting support may see that one comment and start questioning themselves all over again.
I think on this thread of all threads, the rape myths should be challenged
what is the point of any of this, if not ?
I can't see that this is the place, or indeed, that there is any place on MN, where it is appropriate to perpetuate rape myths. Even if that person is, sadly, a victim as well. It just flies in the face of the whole point of the campaign.
I also think its a good idea. Not being believed can be more traumatic than the rape itself. Emotional scars like this never heal.
oh dear, nothinggoldcanstay....
Putting yourself in a dodgy situation and finding yourself in one maybe two different things but the end result is the same: someone has been violated and someone else is the perpetrator!
I'll put it this way, most of us drive fully aware that road transport is the unsafest form of transport. Getting in your car or motorcycle is equivalent to putting yourself in a compromising position. We can aggravate the situation by using a road we know is dodgy. And if someone hits you by trying to overtake on a hidden dip, for example, , you are not at fault, no matter how well you know how dangerous that stretch of road was! If someone is severely injured, you may consider never using that road again but you are always aware that the offence of dangerous driving has been committed. that doesn't change.
For completeness of the comparison, a pedestrian, on a pavement, who is hit by a car parking on the pavement, finds himself in a compromised situation which is not of his making. The driver is at fault of dangerous driving, no question about it.
'The campaign is great but women really need to stop thinking shagging a footballer/banker/doctor is the same as working before this will work in real life.' What do that have to do with being raped???
nothinggoldcanstay - I think you are missing the essence of this campaign not to mention insulting the women who have been raped.
Rape is rape.
If you click on the links provided by Mumsnet at the top of the page, you will find clarification to your theories.
Rapists do not come with a tattoo on their head stating their intention. They can be found in all walks of life including footballers/ bankers/ doctors for example.
We are here to offer support to one another. I think that your statement is crass at best, deeply offensive at worst.
Definitely a much-need campaign. Good luck.
Gentle - how are you today? Have you managed to do anything about your e-mails? I was thinking of you last night. xx
nothinggold - The campaign is great but women really need to stop thinking shagging a footballer/banker/doctor is the same as working before this will work in real life - really? Have you READ any of the links and posts on here?
Maybe you should read MY experience of RAPE
I think you need to think about what you've posted. I've reported your post but doubt it will get deleted because in actual fact, YOU are the very reason this campaign will be a success!
Do we have any idea how widely the campaign is spreading, and what is our measure of success?
Thank goodness there is this!
It is exhausting going through as well as justifying your feelings to everybody.
More people need to understand the aftermath of rape and what it does to someone.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Just thought I'd post after seeing the publicity.
I'm a male survivor of rape. It happened a long time ago and I don't want to go into details. What I do want to say is that I am disappointed that the mumsnet campaign doesn't seem (I may have missed it) to acknowledge that men can also be victims of rape. I know this is a women's focussed site but there are currently virtually no support sites, let alone services for male victims. In the absence of such services male victims do come to these sites for support. By not even acknowledging males can be victims it does feel that our experiences don't count and that we should just 'deal with it'
That's it isn't it? It's what comes later in life. The memories, the mental scares, tears and wounds. They never leave you. They are there for the rest of your life.
They fade, a bit, of course they do but YOU know they are always going to be visible to you, a part of you.
On a selfish note, I have found talking about my experiences of abuse and rape really hard to deal with this last week but now, six days on, I think that I can finally see a tiny light at the end of this dark and twisted tunnel.
I have learnt so much this week, just by reading the accounts of others. The biggest thing I've learnt is that I AM NOT ALONE and IT WAS NOT MY FAULT.
Rape can happen ANYWHERE and to ANYONE.
I'm sure many of you will remember the shocking and totally horrific attack on an elderly lady in the news not that long ago, before she was left for dead, she was violently raped. She was in her 90's.
The rape myths are finally being challenged, they are beginning to be replaced by facts which is what we, as a society, desperately need.
Women are raped. Married women, single women, women who work in high powered jobs, or those who stay at home. They are women and they are all at risk of being raped, just as much as a women jogging in the woods alone, a woman walking down a dark alleyway on her own.
There is at times the misconception that a woman wearing high heels, low cut top and a short skirt is surely gagging for it, so needs to be raped
It's not always a one off attack, it can be her husband, her father, an uncle, brother or boyfriend. Even just a friend she meets now and again or a total stranger.
There's nothing set in stone here, there is no code of conduct. Rape is abuse. Rape is illegal. Rape is a violation of a woman's body and her mind.
Rape was my prison, my own mental and physical prison. I was unworthy of any kind of love, respect or equality. I was a 'slut and a whore' in his eyes, my body was used for his pleasure once the cycle began.
Lured into his web, his lies, his deceit, This Charming Man of mine. On the outside no-one would know, not at first, not after the first time. It's a one off, a mistake, he was too drunk, had taken drugs, wasn't in control of himself. He's sorry, he'd convinced himself as much as me that it's not going to happen again.
There are no warnings, you don't even have to 'Do Anything Wrong'. Just being there is enough to them.
I'm lucky, I got out. I left him and ran. Of course I looked back, he was my lover, my partner, I loved him, even the day that I left, I still loved him. I was grieving for the man I had lost, the man I had when we first met, before the rapes and beatings began. I wanted that man back.
The self loathing and hatred came soon after I left. I thought about taking my own life at times, giving my DD to my parents, she deserved better than me to raise her. I wasn't worthy of her love. I'd risked her life at the hands of this monster. I'd let him into her life and mine.
But I got us out. Thankfully, I got us out.
Sorry for the long post. I just want people to know that there is Life After Rape.
anonmale - the current campaign is geared towards women in my opinion yes, but I personally don't believe that Mumsnet is focused mainly on women, not at all.
There are plenty of male posters on here but I do see your point with regards to men being raped. There's no mention of it in my own posts as I have no experience of it personally.
However, I do know it happens
anonmale I am deeply sorry for your horrible experience
A quick google had these two links at the top of the page
links for support here
I think Mumsnet does acknowledge that males can be victims too, but this is a specific focus brought into life originally by and through the Feminism/Women's Rights topic
Perhaps you could suggest that one of the male-focussed online support groups could do a similar conscienceness-raising campaign, along the lines of what MN is doing ? There is room for everyone. But I do strongly feel that the issues are very different and that by trying to piggyback a female-focussed campaign, there is the danger of diluting the real problem of men's entitlement to hurt women
I'm sorry to hear of your awful experience too anon
I hope you can find further helpful support, whether here or through AnyFucker's great links.
Brilliant links there AF, I hope that anonmale find some real support for what he went through.
anonmale we believe you
I have just read through the whole thread and am weeping at the experiences written and linked to. All I can say is "I believe you" at all the survivors.
One of the really invidious rape myths that surfaced during the 1980s-90s occurred when sociobiologically-based research - especially that from some [misguided] academics in the USA - used 'evolution' to 'explain' all kinds of structural and cultural inequalities. (You still see this approach around, sadly.)
Rape was at one point declared to be an 'adaptive male reproductive strategy'.
One of the best demolitions of this argument I ever saw was painstaking in its discussion of the issue of male rape - its prevalence especially in conflict zones, and the underreporting - as well as discussing the prevalence of the rape of children and older people in particular social and historical settings.
So, I certainly think that being aware of male rape is really important as part of the context of demolishing rape myths, such as the myth that 'It's men being attracted to fertile-age women.'
I also however think that it's right to focus this particular campaign on female rape, because there is just so much work to do in this area; but whilst assisting with links to the best help and giving support and credibility to a future campaign about male rape and male rape myths.
anonmale I can imagine that there is big battle in getting people to acknowledge male rape. I don't want to belittle you experiences, but AF is right, this, for us is a feminist campaign. I imagine the issues surrounding male rape are different to rape of women. Rape of women is part of a much wider culture of female subservience.
That is not to say that we aren't here to support you if you need it.
And anonmale, I am so sorry about what happened to you.
I would support any campaign that was forged to highlight rape on males
Will there be a proper report of the results of the survey? One that describes the methodology and results in full, I mean?
Thank you on behalf of my beautiful daughter both of us are incredulous and bitterly disappointed that the rest of the family could not believe her or support her. This campaign is of vital importance.
Elsbet, I believe your daughter, and I believe you x
Me too Elsbet
I hope your daughter gets the support your family won't give her.
I believe you and your DD Elsbet
To all the posters who kindly commented on here, I'd like to make them notice that only posting on this thread saying * "we believe you"* means a lot to women who have been raped.
As someone posted earlier in the thread, for me not being believed pulled me back months in the recovering process, I'm so shocked about what is happening to me that I'm in a tearful spell all the time.
When rape occurred I had been already in an abusive relationship for 7 months and I realised only later that the source of my deep depression and nightmares was indeed my partner/abuser/rapist.
Good luck to MN in this campaign.
I hope more people speak up about there awful experience of being raped
I didn't even know that I had been raped at a young age as didn't understand what was going on! Realised that something wrong had happened but was only worried that my mother was going to go mad at me as I would be late home from school and she would want me to go to the shops. Never told anyone. It was a long time ago.
I believe you, blow and I am so sorry that happened to you
Its taken me all weekend to read this thread as I just couldn't stop cryin, but seeing the words "we believe you" gave me the strength to tell my DP about the terrible thing that happened in my past that still affects me now, I have never told anybody and couldn't even look at him when I told him as I was so convinced no one would believe me or worse that they would think it was my fault, when I finally got to the end of my story and looked up it was to see my DP with tears streaming down his face, the first words he said were " it wasn't your fault, I believe you" I can't describe the relief I feel at knowing its not my 'dirty' secret anymore and I want to thank MN and all the people who have posted their stories for believing me x
Nobody should have to just get on with it after rape. Rape is about power not sex and anybody, male, female,child, OAP is at risk. It doesn't matter what you wear , where you are, drunk or sober, nothing is a precursor to rape only the sick mind of the perpetrator. There needs to be available centres all over the country that are set up ready to support victims whoever they are. At least campaigns like this blow open the secrecy and shame so others can come forward. Stand proud people you did nothing wrong let's point the finger at the people who have! Big love to you all x
I believe you, it's not a dirty secret its a terrible crime that has been committed against you. Big proper nice motherly hug from me x
smiling I am glad you found some validation through MN, and you have done a good thing for yourself to talk about what happened to you with your DP.
it wasn't your fault, and we believe you
< stands shoulder to shoulder with Elsbet against the victim-blamers >
Hi smiling - glad you were able to tell your DP and to hear of his great response - he sounds like a good man.
Wondering if you might even consider changing your NN now that you've been able to do this ? Just a thought ! Smiling somethingelse perhaps ?
- through sunshine and rain ?
- through the tears ?
All the best to you and all survivors anyway
Thank you my DP is a good man and I am forever grateful that he is mine this just proves how amazing he is.
Telling him is the hardest thing I have ever done and for now its where I draw the line, maybe one day I will (with his support) feel able to tell my family.
I'm rather attached to my nn for now but my smile feels much easier than it did.
That's good to hear ...
As my NN suggests I was just going off on one of my tangents !
Please ignore !
Smiling and blow you are both very brave women. And I believe you.
I found that this campaign, in only one week, is raising more awareness all over the U.K. than all the previous attempts from different organizations combined together. This thread has already 445 comments!!
These days I was also thinking to give my contribution to "our fight", in order to make more people aware (including the justice system!!) that we're ready to fight against injustice, mistreatment and investigations led in a hurry!!
WE NEED TO BE BELIEVED. Or otherwise abuse and rape will always be considered "legal" because too many abusers and rapists get away with it.
I opened a forum for women who live in my county and area:
I don't know where to begin telling my story......Subjected to endless molestations by my father from aged eleven. Raped at fiteen. Got into trouble at sixteen - drug offence - and sent to a remand home. Sexually asaulted by a senior member of staff.
Got pregnant soon after release and miscarried. Treated like dirt in hospital.
Pregnant again at seventeen. Dumped by boyfriend.
Married ten years later and subjected to forced sex whenever husband wanted it.....
Oh, megfox, I'm so sorry for everything you've been through.
All those people who should have treated you better.
All those offences against you.
We believe you.
I hope the future holds better things ...
I believe you, and I hope you can get some support in RL to help you get through this.
I am glad that you were able to tell your DH and that he is a good man, and a wonderful support to you.
((((hugs)))) to all who have been through rape and sexual assault.
I believe you.
I don't know if you will come back to this, but I have been thinking about your post for days. Today, I did a little bit of research into male rape and blogged about it. I know it is not officially part of the MN campaign, but I wanted to say that I believe you, and that I would support a campaign to raise awareness of this issue.
Meg . Hope you are OK ans you are safe from those dreadful men.
This is a great start but can i ask what happens if the protectors are the ones responsible? Before they get justice, women need to feel able to ask for help. Employers play a key role, perhaps being a place where women feel safe. We have the Public Equality Duty for public sector workers, but what of those in the private sector? Private sector employers are failing abused women with the attitude that what happens to them outside of the workplace is simply "a private matter". My ex employer tried to discipline me for asking for help when a colleague was abusing me. My ex employers are a large firm of solicitors. When I contacted Womens Aid, they told me that they were not surprised, that statistics reveal that the legal profession is one of the worst offenders for failure to support victims of abuse and rape amongst their own employees. How can women trust the CPS, the police or the legal profession if this is how they treat their own??? What if the 'experts' are perpetrators themselves?
juliaG40, I am so sorry that happened to you. Did you take the complaint further or did you end up leaving.
To Julia and everyone else posting their sad stories, I believe you and I am so sorry.
Thank you SweetTheSting, you have no idea how much it means to me to be believed. Yes I have taken further action through the courts but what was most shocking is that a colleague who encouraged me to confide in her went to the partners and complained about me, even signed a statement to say that i was being "disruptive". I showed her some information I had found on the Equality and human Rights Commission website about how employers should treat victims and how to help them, she said in her statement that she found what I showed her to be "offensive". How can information about how to help victims ever be "offensive"? How can a woman do such a thing to another woman? I am sorry, I don't wish to rant on here, I am just so shocked. Please help me restore my faith in the women around me. x
julia, what she did was wrong and she betrayed you
you were let down by your employers, and I believe you
and you rant all you like, you deserve the safe space to do it in
TBE - It was a while back upthread but I just wanted you to know I saw what you said, you won't always be ignored, and I believe you.
Sorry that you have been so badly let down, by your employers, by someone you trusted.
I believe you.
I believe every single one of you, unconditionally and absolutely.
I want to send love to everyone on this thread or to those who may be reading it without posting but who understand.
You are all amazing.
All of you sharing stories, I hear you and believe you.
One small voice, stood next to another, and another, and another will soon turn into a very BIG voice.
The stories that have been shared here are so very sad. I hope that there is more to come from MNHQ in terms of getting the message out there.
I hope our voices all together will soon turn into a very big one, so loud that it will be heard everywhere.
Proud to be a rape survivor, proud to support this campaign!!
I believe you
I had a really uncomfortable conversation at work about the campaign. I was meeting some colleagues who I don't know v well for a crafty get together at lunch and was telling them about my craftivism for the campaign.
They seemed really uncomfortable with the campaign and one woman said it seemed very one sided, and what about the men who are falsly accused. I said that is no more likely than in any other crime, and she said well, you can make statistics say what you want can't you, and people's lives are ruined by being falsly accused of rape.
She seemed pretty offended at what I was saying basically. I had no idea how to deal with it, and it was really uncomfortable, on both sides. Makes me feel like I can only 'preach to the converted'. I have to remember that MN isn't always a good reflection of RL
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Dilly - that is so sad
Oh - and what SGM said.
Dilly Well done for talking about it. Even if it hasn't sunk in now, it might later. I know that not so long ago I would have been arguing for girls to dress more decently etc as a preventative measure. It was, as SGM says, a totem against my being a victim. I have changed my views a lot now, thanks to other women speaking out and educating me.
Good for you, Dilly. I agree with SGM, only when we talk about these things do others have the opportunity to learn about them.
And it is so important. I had another guest post today, and it brought home to me how good this campaign is. How needed it is.
A brave post
After writing that post, I have two readers contact me and ask me to tell their stories.
They are really sad but they deserve to be heard and believed, so if you would read (if you can face it) and comment, I would be very grateful. It would be fab if they could see some comments on the posts that must have been terribly hard to write.
These posters made me realise that #webelieveyou is only half the battle.
Those who were raped must first accept that they were raped. Which is why I am using the hashtag #IbelieveMe
How many people think that they made a mistake, that they went too far and could not back out, that they "led him on" in some way and chalk the experience up to a bad decision?
That's a very empowering thing to say MerlinScot - That's the first time I personally have seen that expressed
This is astonishing
A possible breach of his human rights?
Yet another reason why rapes go unreported. It does make you wonder if there is any point reporting when the rapist's human rights may be compromised.
I notice that there are no references to those he raped having their human rights violated.
FFS. That is utterly appalling.
Do we really need someone to suffer at his hands afresh before he is given the LRO?
@MmeLindor, could I send you my story too? Maybe posting stories all over internet will push people to be more aware of this issue?
@Dillytante, you've no idea how many times, in the past years, I've heard people speaking like that.. Once a long time ago I had an argument with my (ex) fiancé who was supporting the idea that it was outrageous that women could ruin a man only declaring they had been raped.. given that, in theory, only 6% of the rape allegations are false, why doesn't anybody think about the 94% of women who have been raped? I'm always more shocked by people's obtuseness!!
@JWTO, I'm always more proud of being a rape survivor!!
Of course you can. If you PM me, I can give you my email address and then you can send me it in an email.
I am currently trying to find out what (if anything) is taught in schools about consent and rape. Not a lot, from what I can gather.
Why do so many young girls feel that they have to give in to the demands of their boyfriend/partner? Why are they not being told that it is their decision to make. And why are boys not being told that unless the person gives their consent, that they are on shaky ground and should ensure that they truly are happy to proceed.
If we taught teens more about consent, about not being pressured, then the lines would be much more clearly defined and there would be no way for a man to wiggle out by saying, "I thought she was ok with it, she didn't object".
I would also like teens to be informed about abusive and controlling behaviour - not just in sexual relationships, but in friendships and with family, so that they can better recognise the signs of an abusive person.
MmeLindor, i could not agree more!!! And the problem is that once a woman has been abused she is much more likely to allow it to happen again in the future. Her sense of self-worth is damaged and she questions her own judgement of what is clearly a harmful/degrading situation. I want the exact same thing as you, to raise awareness at a younger age and also to stop women betraying their sisters by perpetuating the myths. Is there any way we all can shout this out together? Awareness is rising but it is rather piecemeal, we need to be more 'joined up' about this. What do you think? What do the rest of the I Believe You campaigners think? What about you, Mumsnet?
I believe you all. An eternal thank you for believing me.
I am writing a blog post about this, and will ask MN what they think.
I asked on Twitter if there are any teachers who could tell me if rape awareness is taught in school. This was the reply from RapeCrisisLondon
"Not a teacher but we give workshops in schools on what enthusiastic consent is. Can be quite hard to get schools to engage."
It is a tricky subject, cause Sex Ed in school is soooo fraught with parental interference, but it is certainly worth a shot.
Oh, I am so dim
MNHQ are already on this. I hadn't noticed this for some reason. Will write a blog post and link to this campaign.
MN are indeed campaigning on this issue
Get writing to David Cameron.
MmeLindor - I have to thank you for sharing my story on your blog. Thank you.
I hope that those who do comment on your blogs, are factual, honest and don't fill it up with nasty remarks.
I hope more than anything that the voices are getting louder, stronger and braver.
No-one is alone in this, no-one needs to feel isolated by the circumstances that they find themselves in.
We should stand together, side by side, holding hands, shoulder to shoulder, all feeling the same, hoping for the same outcome.
"We Believe You" are the most important three little words that we should be saying to the survivors of rape, to the survivors of abuse, to those who have been brave enough to speak up, to turn up their tiny voice to an audible level.
Three. Little. Words.
I have the blog set that I have to moderate the first comment from a user. Without exception, all comments have been 100% supportive, both directly on the blog and on FB and Twitter feeds.
I keep seeing the campaign referenced on other websites, even those unconnected to MN, and it is clear that it had a big impact.
To all who shared their stories, who were brave enough to come forward and talk to me, I would like to say that you are inspirational women. You have shared your stories, without self-pity, with so much dignity and courage.
I am proud to have been part of the campaign.
This is a great campaign. I always thought what my ex husband did to me was acceptable because we were married, but now, thanks to Mumsnet and Women's Aid, I found out that it wasn't. Keep up the good work!
Thank you MmeLindor - that's a relief to read.
I have found great peace, cant explain, from having just told my story and well, been believed.
It has really really helped, thank you.
(and just think of all the readers and lurkers out there who also believe you as their default position. gerzillions of them. just because we're not posting every day on this thread doesn't mean we aren't all here).
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
<joins arms with BIWI and aitch>
I believe you and it was not your fault
not only was it not your fault, it was the rapist's fault, squarely and unequivocally.
<links arms with BIWI, NSF, SGM and Aitch & all the other>
I'm here too. Lurking but here
I'm here too.
I'm watching this thread with a feeling of calm and ease. It's hard to explain really, I just feel 'better' knowing that there are others out there, just like me, in a relationship (or out of it now) who accepted their abuser.
I don't mean accepted, I don't know what word to use. What I'm trying (and failing ) to say is that I accepted his behaviour because we were in a relationship. I loved him, and he said he loved me too. I wanted him to love me.
It's strange to look in on my past, it's as if I'm watching that advert for rape that's running. I can sometimes visualise myself screaming at the me in the past, 'get out, get out, get the hell out of there'
I didn't. I stayed and I kept my DD there too. That's the hardest thing for me to come to terms with, that I put her through all of that. I didn't protect her from him, I'd often 'bribe' her to want to stay with him and not see her real father.
I would plead with her to be good so that he, the ex, didn't get cross with her. I was so scared that he'd hit her on one hand but on the other, I wanted him to love her and treat her as his own.
I wanted to marry him, have children with him, he was slowly grinding me down and using my desires against me. He would play so many mind games, he'd blackmail me, emotionally.
Promises of marriage, children, time together...... I used to wonder why I didn't see what he was doing. The simple answer for me is that I didn't want to.
Thankyou Mumsnet for this campaign. And a huge thank you to Rape Crisis for all the help I have had over the years. To any one thinking of asking for help please keep trying, and it can take months, when you do get through it will be worth it.
The counselling I received restored my belief in myself. Really gives you hope, just having someone listen, believing you and support you through all the emotional and messed up feelings.
To everyone who believed in me when I did not believe in myself, including DH. Rare and special people. Thank you
With me I had hidden all of the memories (its what I did to survive) and was scarily horribly angry when DS was small. After shutting myself in a room on my own and banging my head on the wall, I realised that this was not right, felt a bit weird to go to GP with it, so I rang Rape Crisis.
Got to the bottom of what I was angry about, abuse at age twelve, rape at age 20, never reported, thought nobody would believe me because I was a drunk punk I had every right to be angry.
Very proud mum of DD, DS, both at uni, both brilliant lovely people.
To any one just starting out with healing from any of this stuff, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Its not your fault, its theirs. And I BELIEVE ALL OF YOU.
I just wanted to post my daughters story, she was raped in the summer, she was almost 15 and a virgin. When she finally felt strong enough to tell us, it broke our hearts. We gave her all the support we could and got her all the external support and advise we could and as a family decided we would get through this. The part we have struggled with the most is my daughters peers at school, she has been bullied on such a level we had to with draw her from school as she was close to having a break down. A group of girls have decided this could not have happened so she must have made it up!! I really wish they could have witnessed the trauma, grief and complete helplessness I have seen, and how their cruel comments have effected her. Her School said they do not know what to do and she should just keep coming to school!!,bit hard when you are at total breaking point. The thing that keeps me going, is my daughter she is totally amazing and getting stronger. We need to educate girls that victims do not deserve this treatment, that they can speak out and will be believed. This can be done at school. Thank you MN for giving all these strong beautiful women and girls, a voice to speak, WE DO BELIEVE YOU. I am still having meetings with the school to try and work with them about educating about rape and consent but they seem unwilling to do anything. Please anyone who has any positive advise pass it on to me.
Oh smiler I'm so sorry
That must be heart-breaking for you all, but so glad your daughter is getting stronger all the time. She does sound amazing. She is so lucky to have you and your absolute support. Am so sorry she has experienced bullying at school after her terrible experience. That is awful too. You must be so angry and upset I imagine. I hope she has some good friends though who can support her through this.
We believe you both.
Smiler what an utterly horrid thing to happen to your daughter.
I have no words of advice as such but PLEASE keep going, keep fighting. I'm appalled that the school have not acted on the bullying, that in itself is hard to live with, let alone what your DD has been through.
Can I ask, please don't answer if you'd rather not, did you or your DD report the rape to the police? If so, what was the outcome?
If you'd rather not say, I understand completely. I just wondered what action they had taken.
I'm so upset for her, your DD. I hope that as time passes, she will realise that this is NOT her fault, she didn't 'ask for it' or any of the other remarks that get bandied about with situations like this.
Has she or you spoken to RAPE CRISIS or WOMENS AID?
Maybe you could both look on the website?
Why not stay on this thread and talk about it for a while? I should imagine that you are also suffering with this. And, I have little doubt that if you could swap places with her, you would in a heartbeat.
Thanks for your supportive messages and I will keep going!!! it is so important that every victim is offered support and compassion and made to feel they made the right choice by reporting. We did go to the police but after a lot of heartache and the police telling us they would take it as far as possible but convictions are hard to get, we made the choice to drop charges, which was a horrendous choice to have to make. We have had wonderful support from the agencies. If only I could trade places with her or make it all go away then yes I would do it in a heartbeat, but the best I can do is offer support and hopefully the knowledge that things will change and her story can help others.
School would def be a good place to start, sex education is not complete without coverage of this subject. Recently my daughter revealed her uncle had shown her porn when she was a teenager she had no idea it was sexual abuse so maybe outlining the legal perameters might be a good idea. When I warned my 15 year old son about his uncles behaviour he said he didn't know what the fuss was about! Teens are easy picking if they don't have knowledge.
School would def be a good place to start, sex education is not complete without coverage of this subject. Recently my daughter revealed her uncle had shown her porn when she was a teenager she had no idea it was sexual abuse so maybe outlining the legal perameters might be a good idea. When I warned my 15 year old son about his uncles behaviour he said he didn't know what the fuss was about! Teens are easy picking if they don't have knowledge.
Smiley my daughter is older but found terrific help through solace women's centre in Camden she has received counselling and body therapy they have been intelligently supportive helping her to realise she was not at fault in any way and helping relieve her trauma.
That's all very well from the BBC, but I was shocked to hear the R4 afternoon play where a woman faked a rape to discredit a global warming denier. I know it's fiction but that sort of thing really undermines our message, sewing the seed of doubt towards other women. I was pretty shocked, especially to hear it played out. Disappointed really. Still, I guess it makes for more interesting radio than a story about a women who has actually been raped, and no one believes her.
The play was today btw in case anyone wants to listen on I player.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I just saw your 'OMG what were your first thoughts after you POAS?' thread
I'm not sure if this has already been covered on this discussion but my only experience of doing this was when finding out that I was pregnant after I'd been raped.
It's already been established that most women are raped by men who they know
In my case he refused to leave my home and I was faced with the prospect of having another child within a violent, bullying, repressive environment.
Being in a position where my attacker could have serious negative effects on my child from birth lead me to 'protect' it by having a termination.
It has taken me years to forgive myself for this decision, made when I felt trapped, shocked and terrified of the future.
A positive POAS result is not always a pleasant surprise
I wonder what help is available to victims several weeks after the attack when they may find that they are pregnant but are still suffering from the initial trauma of the attack?
I found it easy to give stock answers to my GP and doctors at the clinic in order to obtain a termination. I often wished that I'd been abale to find another way out or that the questions asked had been a little more searching
Thank you for the campaign and support and your stories
I saw the item on Breakfast News and this is what prompted me to talk about what had been happening to me for the first time ever.
I am, today, exactly one week free from a 14 year long abusive relationship.
I feel like telling everyone I meet, but realise that nobody would ever have guessed what I had been going through. So I'm smiling at strangers in passing cars instead!
I'm unbearably sad for all that has been lost during this time but hope that I can make my future a meaningful and valuable one
Thank you mumsnet
I am very pleased to have come accross this site.
I was a tenant in a rented property in Bexley borough. I thought the Estate Agent i rented it from was a nice and sincere man.( He owned the company) However he turned out to be a wolf in sheeps clothing. I was terribly abused by him and he committed a dreadult sexual assault upon me and i had to go to hospital and to theatre to be stitched up.
He was never prosecuted and even though I put an appeal in, it has been confirmed that it was never read. As for Keir Starmer he did not care that I had lost my appeal for the CPS to look at convicting the Estate Agent without it even being read. In fact Keir Starmer was not even bothered. ( My MP David Evennett and myself wrote to him)
This Estate Agent has now moved offices to Plumstead (Greenwich borough)and bought out a well known name there that he uses. He is still dealing with vulnerable people with children. I know for a fact he likes women who have children. I think it turns him on to abuse mums.
All this happened to me a few years ago and now I am still being abused by him as he shouts at me from cars, but the Police just do not care.
There are going to be young adults who looks for rented properties and I know full well they they will be looking upon him as a kind man. But once he sucks them into his charms then some of them will fall prey to his evil ways.
He will be an estate agent for a long time to come and those who may be in their teens now will in the next few years be looking to leave home and rent a property. I just hope that it wont be through him!
BexleyFemale, thanks for posting your story!! And thumbs up for your courage in trying to get justice. You're not alone in that, justice was denied to many. Big hug
Dear Merlin Scot,
From my heart I thank you for your kind words.
Whe I talk to the public they do care and understand and it does mean a lot to me.
However when it comes to being listened to by the Police then I am humiliated and degraded by them. I am mocked and laughed at.
The Estate Agent i spoke of is very very rich ( probably a millionaire by now),and I am of no equity or social standing. When you are poor and have nothing then it does seem that you are an easy target to both abuse and dismiss within the legal system.
Now that legal aid is being taken from us, we have no chance of ever being listened to or helped. I am not young and my age now is a big factor in no one in the legal field listening.
I cannot come on here that often, but I wish you all well and hope that your lives will be healthy and happy. I will keep fighting for justice and this site has helped me to feel that some one cares about us and does listen to us.Thank you again Merlin Scot xx
I am sorry, Bexley and sparrowmina. I believe you.
Bexley, I should have thanked you too. I also was in a terrible position. My ex bf, the rapist and abuser, was a conman who was volunteering for a rape and abuse line. I had everyone against me from the start, I got humiliated and degraded by the police and many ordinary people too.
Today, reading your post, I felt less alone. So that's me also thanking you for having posted here.
Big big hug xx
I'm finding hard to recover from being raped and beaten...what is making even harder is that the police said they didn't have enough evidence and didn't even take it to CPS. What can you do if they just dont care about this????
Great campaign. Well done to all involved. The healing effect of being believed is very important to a victim's recovery. In order to make sure female victims' voices are heard, we need to resolve the issue of the top tier male dominated judiciary and police force. For far too long, sexual violence against women, in all its forms, has contributed to women being under-represented in the decision making levels of our society.