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

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

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

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

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

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


AnyFucker Sun 11-Mar-12 23:19:53

This is great
Thank you

Tortington Sun 11-Mar-12 23:20:42


EduStudent Sun 11-Mar-12 23:22:34

Well done. I hope this gets the attention it deserves.

PattiMayor Sun 11-Mar-12 23:23:30

Good stuff

LineRunner Sun 11-Mar-12 23:24:23

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.

TBE Sun 11-Mar-12 23:28:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Darleneconnor Sun 11-Mar-12 23:54:36

I think the recent case of Christine Jordan encapsulates all the worst aspects if our current (in) justice system.

Fantastic name for the campaign

NarkedPuffin Mon 12-Mar-12 00:21:13


Nilgiri Mon 12-Mar-12 00:24:51

thanksthanksthanks to MN Towers, and all who sail in her.

IAmBooyhoo Mon 12-Mar-12 01:43:23

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

giraffesCantDonateBoneMarrow Mon 12-Mar-12 06:22:05

<like> smile

ripsishere Mon 12-Mar-12 06:25:09

Great name. Well done.

justabit Mon 12-Mar-12 06:26:55

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 youthanks

msrisotto Mon 12-Mar-12 06:50:25

Thank you.

SpanglyGiraffe Mon 12-Mar-12 07:08:23

This is fabulous, thank you.

TanteRose Mon 12-Mar-12 07:22:59

Nice leader in The Independent

"Mumsnet is, therefore, to be applauded for its efforts to create a climate where victims feel they can come forward."

And main article


EauRouge Mon 12-Mar-12 07:38:15

Brava, MNHQ thanks

LeninGrad Mon 12-Mar-12 08:10:39

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.

BIWI Mon 12-Mar-12 08:12:19

This is fantastic. Good luck with it.


NormaStanleyFletcher Mon 12-Mar-12 08:12:20

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.


thegreylady Mon 12-Mar-12 08:35:35

Excellent campaign with a great title-much needed for so many victims.

Prolesworth Mon 12-Mar-12 08:48:22

Thank you and well done mumsnet

BOMsback Mon 12-Mar-12 08:50:42

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.

mousymouseafraidofdogs Mon 12-Mar-12 08:57:04

thank you
so sad this is needed at all, but I think it is a great campain and hope for much publicity.

Mamasunshine Mon 12-Mar-12 09:14:41

Great to see, well done!

MrsChemist Mon 12-Mar-12 09:16:58

Well done MN! thanks

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...

Nyac Mon 12-Mar-12 09:44:52

Thank you for this Mumsnet. thanks

And thank you Lenin for the campaign strapline. It says everything that needs to be said.

Kveta Mon 12-Mar-12 09:48:12

thanks for this MN - hope you get the publicity this campaign deserves! thanks

Awesome. I am so excited about this.

jenny60 Mon 12-Mar-12 09:56:05

Brilliant and thank you to the posters in FWR who have been running this campaign unofficially for months.

GeekCool Mon 12-Mar-12 10:05:49

Another thumbs up here MNHQ! thanks

Memoo Mon 12-Mar-12 10:11:43

Thank you so much MNHQ. I think I actually love you.

SanctiMoanyArse Mon 12-Mar-12 10:19:37

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.

AnyFucker Mon 12-Mar-12 10:22:36

Sancti, that is awful shock

mypostingid Mon 12-Mar-12 10:32:37

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.

JuliaScurr Mon 12-Mar-12 10:44:48

Well done! Great campaign.

Like Dreaming @ 9:42, Im wondering what the next step is

mypostingid Mon 12-Mar-12 10:46:53

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!

metoosadly Mon 12-Mar-12 10:47:51

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.

Silverthorns Mon 12-Mar-12 10:58:54

So pleased to see this. thanks

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.

LeninGrad Mon 12-Mar-12 11:05:16

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

Zhx3 Mon 12-Mar-12 11:15:05

Thank you MN.

SardineQueen Mon 12-Mar-12 11:15:38

thanks for doing this MNHQ

justalittleinsane Mon 12-Mar-12 11:21:27

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.

justalittleinsane Mon 12-Mar-12 11:23:22

To those who have posted their experiences, I just wanted to say, my heart goes out to you all [flowers].

EnjoyResponsibly Mon 12-Mar-12 11:34:47

The campaign is being discussed on Jeremy Vine R2 at noon.

DustyDen Mon 12-Mar-12 11:37:49

The 'We Believe You' title made me cry with relief and happiness. All I want is to be believed. Excellent, excellent choice.

happygilmore Mon 12-Mar-12 11:43:49

Well done MN, it's great to see finally the truth about sexual violence being promoted.

HelenCupCakes Mon 12-Mar-12 11:43:59

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Nyac Mon 12-Mar-12 11:46:03

Helen have yu read the details of the survey?

Most rapes aren't even reported - rapists are getting away with it all the time.

HelenCupCakes Mon 12-Mar-12 11:47:07

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

HelenCupCakes Mon 12-Mar-12 11:47:34

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

HelenCupCakes Mon 12-Mar-12 11:48:25

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

justalittleinsane Mon 12-Mar-12 11:48:26

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.

sairygamp Mon 12-Mar-12 11:48:36

perhaps that's another campaign then Helen.

Darleneconnor Mon 12-Mar-12 11:48:54

I've reported that post, Helen.

Totally inappropriate.

HelenCupCakes Mon 12-Mar-12 11:50:40

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

bomsback Mon 12-Mar-12 11:52:06

"It is easy for a woman to imagine she has been raped" hmm

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.

cityhobgoblin Mon 12-Mar-12 11:53:35

Very true StealthPolarBear, unfortunately . Thank you for the campaign Mn

SanctiMoanyArse Mon 12-Mar-12 11:53:44

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.

KalSkirata Mon 12-Mar-12 11:54:49

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Nyac Mon 12-Mar-12 11:55:06

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.

justalittleinsane Mon 12-Mar-12 11:55:07

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.

PattiMayor Mon 12-Mar-12 11:57:47

Please let's not make this thread all about 'Helen' as I'm sure that's exactly what they want.

jenny60 Mon 12-Mar-12 11:58:51

metoo sad

NarkedPuffin Mon 12-Mar-12 11:59:01

We believe you.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-Mar-12 12:00:01

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.

NarkedPuffin Mon 12-Mar-12 12:01:40

MN believe you

handbagCrab Mon 12-Mar-12 12:02:33

thanks smile

PattiMayor Mon 12-Mar-12 12:05:11

Good work HelenMN smile

ThisIsExtremelyVeryNotGood Mon 12-Mar-12 12:05:37

Great campaign MN, thank you. HelenCC shows just why it is needed.

ArtexMonkey Mon 12-Mar-12 12:06:19

thanks for this campaign MN. thanks for the title lenin.

Devora Mon 12-Mar-12 12:07:34

Great stuff, well done MN.

PrettyPollytheParrot Mon 12-Mar-12 12:08:56

Excellent news, right behind you!

ArtexMonkey Mon 12-Mar-12 12:10:44

...and thanks also christinedepizan for the rape survey you did a while back.

hihosilver Mon 12-Mar-12 12:12:38

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.

KalSkirata Mon 12-Mar-12 12:14:41

why was I deleted?

Nyac Mon 12-Mar-12 12:14:52

Generally there is a lot more evidence than his word against hers. That's another myth about rape.

NarkedPuffin Mon 12-Mar-12 12:16:50

it will very likely be a case of his word against hers which will never be enough for a conviction.

Rape myth.

Nyac Mon 12-Mar-12 12:19:03

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.

justalittleinsane Mon 12-Mar-12 12:19:45

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.

TunipTheVegemal Mon 12-Mar-12 12:23:36

Thank you very much for the campaign, MNHQ, and for HelenMumsnet's post just then.

messyisthenewtidy Mon 12-Mar-12 12:26:31

Ditto on the thanks! This is a great campaign.

Mouseface Mon 12-Mar-12 12:30:19


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.

Darleneconnor Mon 12-Mar-12 12:40:07

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.

Mouseface Mon 12-Mar-12 12:40:49
justalittleinsane Mon 12-Mar-12 12:42:45


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.

runningforthebusinheels Mon 12-Mar-12 12:49:28

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 hmm Shame on you for that)

Thank you MN. [flowers]

Mary, thanks you for sharing your harrowing story too. [flowers]

SardineQueen Mon 12-Mar-12 12:49:35

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.

Mouseface Mon 12-Mar-12 12:50:40

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. smile

AnyFucker Mon 12-Mar-12 12:54:04

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.

georgedawes Mon 12-Mar-12 12:57:36

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.

Shinyshoes1 Mon 12-Mar-12 13:07:35

This campaign is being discussed on LBC NOW !

SardineQueen Mon 12-Mar-12 13:07:50
TBE Mon 12-Mar-12 13:09:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justalittleinsane Mon 12-Mar-12 13:13:11

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.


PattiMayor Mon 12-Mar-12 13:17:13

You're a very brave woman, Mary. So glad you have come through your horrific experiences

georgedawes Mon 12-Mar-12 13:47:42

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 sad. You should all be proud of being survivors of such trauma.

justalittleinsane Mon 12-Mar-12 13:52:49

New Pathways another excellent service for victims of abuse.

SkaterGrrrrl Mon 12-Mar-12 13:53:38

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

georgedawes Mon 12-Mar-12 13:54:32

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.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 12-Mar-12 13:55:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mouseface Mon 12-Mar-12 14:10:33

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.

Kveta Mon 12-Mar-12 14:19:28

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.

MardyBra Mon 12-Mar-12 14:24:37

Great campaign MNHQ.
So sorry to hear so many sad stories.

mummymccar Mon 12-Mar-12 14:29:17

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.

AliceHurled Mon 12-Mar-12 14:45:42

Thanks mumsnet thanks

PlinkPasta Mon 12-Mar-12 14:57:56

thanks thankyou

LynnCSchreiber Mon 12-Mar-12 15:11:21

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.

Nyac Mon 12-Mar-12 15:19:59

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.

FruitShootsAndHeaves Mon 12-Mar-12 15:25:58

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.

Twit Mon 12-Mar-12 15:33:17

Great news! You have my support, I will go and read the thread now and good luck. smile

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.'

KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-Mar-12 16:16:33

Hi All

Just wanted to say thank you for all the kind comments blush. 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 and do ask a question if you have one.



AnyFucker Mon 12-Mar-12 16:24:26

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 smile

AyeRobot Mon 12-Mar-12 16:37:24

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. thanks

Slubberdegullion Mon 12-Mar-12 16:50:55

Thank you MN.

WhatWillSantaBring Mon 12-Mar-12 16:58:00

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?

AliceHurled Mon 12-Mar-12 17:40:14

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.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Mon 12-Mar-12 17:56:48

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.

vesuvia Mon 12-Mar-12 18:13:05

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.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 12-Mar-12 18:18:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

This is an excellent campaign and one I fully support.

EnsignRo Mon 12-Mar-12 18:35:58

Just wanted to add my post to the list of those supporting this, such a fantastic cause. Hope it makes a difference.

lionheart Mon 12-Mar-12 19:31:17

Brilliant Mumsnet.

Becky0609 Mon 12-Mar-12 19:57:38

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
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.

geekette Mon 12-Mar-12 20:06:46

Thumbs up MNHQ!

Onesunnymorningin2012 Mon 12-Mar-12 20:10:19

thanks MNHQ. This is a great campaign.

Beachcomber Mon 12-Mar-12 20:22:02

Brilliant stuff. The name of this fantastic campaign is perfect.

PattiMayor Mon 12-Mar-12 20:22:30

#didnotreport is also trending as well as #webelieveyou

Shocking stories but I'm pleased to see that the campaign is growing

countessbabycham Mon 12-Mar-12 20:44:35

'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.

Mouseface Mon 12-Mar-12 21:26:49

<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.

lazarusb Mon 12-Mar-12 21:26:49

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.

Silverthorns Mon 12-Mar-12 21:37:42

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.

countessbabycham Mon 12-Mar-12 21:39:34

So sorry,meant to say 'We believe you'.

Thank you Mumsnet.

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!)

Tazjay10 Mon 12-Mar-12 21:57:24

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.

PoppetOne Mon 12-Mar-12 22:08:46

An amazing campaign, thank you thanks

runningforthebusinheels Mon 12-Mar-12 22:59:01

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.

Darleneconnor Tue 13-Mar-12 00:39:26

Yes the fb page is undermining the campaign.

justalittleinsane Tue 13-Mar-12 00:50:46

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.

Wildchocolate Tue 13-Mar-12 07:15:22

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

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 13-Mar-12 07:47:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BIWI Tue 13-Mar-12 07:58:51

I agree. Also makes it look like MN never bother with the FB page.

justalittleinsane Tue 13-Mar-12 08:37:00

I agree with sgm re Mumsnet respOnding to comments - simply deleting them will lead to a lot of criticism though.

Howdo Tue 13-Mar-12 08:49:13

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.

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-12 09:14:39

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

Mouseface Tue 13-Mar-12 10:46:58

Oh Lola sad

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.

FirstLastEverything Tue 13-Mar-12 11:11:55

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.

Mouseface Tue 13-Mar-12 11:19:06

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.

sinisterisland Tue 13-Mar-12 12:10:45

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 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

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Tue 13-Mar-12 12:42:20

bloody well done all of you involved in this. LOVE the myths page and am fbing it for all i am worth.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Tue 13-Mar-12 12:45:43

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.

TunipTheVegemal Tue 13-Mar-12 12:51:44

I really like the way you have done the 'we believe you' words underneath the Mumsnet logo.

Hullygully Tue 13-Mar-12 15:03:37

jolly good show

farrowandballs Tue 13-Mar-12 15:29:27

Thank you mumsnet.

justalittleinsane Tue 13-Mar-12 15:36:49

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.

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-12 15:47:04

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 sad.

Please, MNHQ, can you add something 'official' to the FB page?

SerialKipper Tue 13-Mar-12 16:00:26

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.

SerialKipper Tue 13-Mar-12 16:01:11

there's a chance the

people, doh

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-12 16:05:54

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. biscuit

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-12 16:21:42

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

lolaflores Tue 13-Mar-12 16:22:39

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. smile Thanks and support to everyone involved with this campaign.

Silverthorns Tue 13-Mar-12 16:27:42

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. sad

SerialKipper Tue 13-Mar-12 16:41:59

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.)

SerialKipper Tue 13-Mar-12 16:51:17

shocksad Silverthorns.

Oh. Sorry, SerialKipper, I did indeed misread your meaning. My apologies.
<<slinks away in mortification>>

Mouseface Tue 13-Mar-12 17:20:33

Oh no! shock

Silver - that is absolutely despicable. Can you complain? How awful for you sad xx

Vickiw1 Tue 13-Mar-12 17:43:03

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.

AnyFucker Tue 13-Mar-12 18:36:14

Mary hang on in there, love x

So sorry for everyone's experiences

justalittleinsane Tue 13-Mar-12 18:49:04

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.

justalittleinsane Tue 13-Mar-12 18:50:29

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.

maristella Tue 13-Mar-12 18:59:21

Thank you MN xxxxxx
And to all on here who have provided an emotional lifeline thanks

Mouseface Tue 13-Mar-12 19:08:02

Justa - you are right, unfortunatley. sad

SerialKipper Tue 13-Mar-12 19:10:18

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.

kipperandtiger Tue 13-Mar-12 21:07:36

Another supporter here. Very timely. Thank you and well done for organising it.

Diamondback Tue 13-Mar-12 21:39:53

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.

funnyperson Wed 14-Mar-12 01:46:13

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

sparrowmina Wed 14-Mar-12 05:32:43

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

fotheringhay Wed 14-Mar-12 07:56:04

Brilliant campaign. So sorry for you Sparrow wishing you all strength.

justalittleinsane Wed 14-Mar-12 08:15:33

Sparrow sad ((hugs))

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Wed 14-Mar-12 08:38:40

<squeeze> sparrow.

Frazzledredhead Wed 14-Mar-12 09:29:04

Wonderful campaigning by MNHQ again grin

GentleOtter Wed 14-Mar-12 09:42:00

I have kept a secret for almost 37 years.

It is shared now and hope it helps someone. x

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Wed 14-Mar-12 09:51:14

oh Gentle... sad

NormaStanleyFletcher Wed 14-Mar-12 09:51:47

Oh Gentle Otter ((sqeeze))

SerialKipper Wed 14-Mar-12 09:54:45

Oh GentleOtter, I am weeping weeping weeping.

((( GentleOtter )))

JuliaScurr Wed 14-Mar-12 10:08:11

Gentle Hope you are one of the women it helps thanks

justalittleinsane Wed 14-Mar-12 10:14:14

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.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 10:24:44

sparrow and gentle, I am so sorry x

GentleOtter Wed 14-Mar-12 11:01:50

Thank you.

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.

LeninGrad Wed 14-Mar-12 11:21:03

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.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 12:01:58


Hullygully Wed 14-Mar-12 12:02:36

oh oh oh Gentle Otter

big love

jenny60 Wed 14-Mar-12 12:28:38

So sorry gentle otter. There are no words for the wrongness of these crimes. sad
much love.

BerryLellow Wed 14-Mar-12 13:06:37


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.


PattiMayor Wed 14-Mar-12 13:54:32

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

Lemonylemon Wed 14-Mar-12 14:01:40

GentleOtter {{{{hugs}}}} sad

CafeLady Wed 14-Mar-12 14:12:51

If Someone Loves You

A cover’s 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 else’s 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 didn’t 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 can’t 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 won’t do
All these dreadful things to you
No person should endure this hell
Stop it now, it’s time to tell.

Igmum Wed 14-Mar-12 14:31:05

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.

Mouseface Wed 14-Mar-12 15:03:10

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

LucyManga Wed 14-Mar-12 15:16:28

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'

Mouseface Wed 14-Mar-12 16:02:16

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 blush 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.

dogparadise Wed 14-Mar-12 16:07:47

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.

StripyMagicDragon Wed 14-Mar-12 16:12:26

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?

LucyManga Wed 14-Mar-12 16:23:00

'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 sad

SerialKipper Wed 14-Mar-12 16:32:32

<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.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 16:35:55

So, so shocking what some women have to go through in the name of upholding men's right to have the sex they want angry

Mouseface Wed 14-Mar-12 17:05:40

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 shocked and saddened.

<<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

Mouseface Wed 14-Mar-12 17:22:55

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. sad

Sorry, I keep making this about me blush

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 sad).

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.

PattiMayor Wed 14-Mar-12 18:08:34

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>

Mouseface Wed 14-Mar-12 18:09:14

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.

dogparadise Wed 14-Mar-12 18:15:06

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

Nyac Wed 14-Mar-12 18:18:38

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.

dogparadise Wed 14-Mar-12 18:26:06

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.

SerialKipper Wed 14-Mar-12 18:28:29

Oh my god, it's started again now you're home, dogp?! shock

I believed you when I first read about your case; I believe you now.

LucyManga Wed 14-Mar-12 18:31:01

Christ, that is horrific dogp

Can you not take some sort of legal action against the police? bastards.

Nyac Wed 14-Mar-12 18:32:19

It's evil that they put you in prison dogparadise, simply evil. i can't think of another word.

justalittleinsane Wed 14-Mar-12 19:09:01

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 sad

NormaStanleyFletcher Wed 14-Mar-12 19:09:58

Dogparadise - I believe you

BerryLellow Wed 14-Mar-12 19:20:59

I believe you DogParadise

runningforthebusinheels Wed 14-Mar-12 19:24:37

dogparadise I have read your story before. I believe you.

TunipTheVegemal Wed 14-Mar-12 19:32:56

I believe you too.

LineRunner Wed 14-Mar-12 19:34:30

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.

Mouseface Wed 14-Mar-12 19:35:28

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. sad

I am appalled by the way the police have treated you, utterly shocking. sad

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. sad

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 wink she's not bothered!

Stay safe xx

Massive hugs to you all. xxxx

LineRunner Wed 14-Mar-12 19:46:36

Thanks for the link.

dogparadise that is horrific. I believe you.

Much hugs to all who have shared their awful experiences.


muvs Wed 14-Mar-12 19:53:05

My DD's are the third generation to suffer from these events that I know of. It's time something changed. Good job!

LineRunner Wed 14-Mar-12 19:58:57

I hope a good journalist is reading this.

justalittleinsane Wed 14-Mar-12 19:59:16
AyeRobot Wed 14-Mar-12 20:08:59

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.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 20:58:50

wow, butterfly, that is brilliant !

PuffPants Wed 14-Mar-12 20:59:37

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.

BasilFoulTea Wed 14-Mar-12 21:00:30

Dogparadise I believe you

LineRunner Wed 14-Mar-12 21:01:21

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?

Thank you.

Beachcomber Wed 14-Mar-12 21:03:41

I believe you too dogparadise.

Massive hugs to everybody.

Mouseface Wed 14-Mar-12 21:05:57

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

LynnCSchreiber Wed 14-Mar-12 21:10:21

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.

LineRunner Wed 14-Mar-12 21:13:10

Would you ask Keir Starmer to review the case, while the 'MN live webchat' thread is still there?

Mouseface Wed 14-Mar-12 21:13:46

<applauds MmeLindor>

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.

LucyManga Wed 14-Mar-12 21:14:40

I believe you, dogparadise

Mouseface Wed 14-Mar-12 21:16:58

Good idea LineRunner

dogparadise Wed 14-Mar-12 21:20:42

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.

dogparadise Wed 14-Mar-12 21:29:15

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?

DharmaLovesDraco Wed 14-Mar-12 21:38:55

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

LineRunner Wed 14-Mar-12 21:39:31

Keir Starmer DPP thread

Whilst this visible, prominent and tracked thread exists on MN, please go on there and ask for a review.

SerialKipper Wed 14-Mar-12 21:39:46

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? shock

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.

justalittleinsane Wed 14-Mar-12 21:46:20

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. thanks thanks

LucyManga Wed 14-Mar-12 21:48:55

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 sadangry.
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 blush

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 22:00:28

there are no words

Nyac Wed 14-Mar-12 22:01:25

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

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

Well done for speaking up everyone xxxx

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, I'll read it. Thanks.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you all for your support of the guest blogger.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Somewhat - yes, that was rape.


I believe you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

dogsparadise and MerlinScot I believe you.

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

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

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

PattiMayor Thu 15-Mar-12 09:54:14

dogparadise and MerlinScot - I am reading your posts with a slack jaw. You are being punished for having the courage to speak out sad

I believe you

cityhobgoblin Thu 15-Mar-12 09:58:33

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 downangry

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

DillyTante Thu 15-Mar-12 10:23:55

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!)?

LucindaE Thu 15-Mar-12 10:28:55

Just coming on to say what a great thing it is that this campaign is underway.
Much needed. Well done!

LineRunner Thu 15-Mar-12 10:32:00

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 sad.
You are amazing strong women, all of you, to still be standing. And to share your experiences.

BIWI Thu 15-Mar-12 10:47:50

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 angry as well as sad

Nyac Thu 15-Mar-12 10:49:48

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 grin 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.

LucyManga Thu 15-Mar-12 11:07:19

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? sad

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.

justalittleinsane Thu 15-Mar-12 11:13:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LucyManga Thu 15-Mar-12 11:15:13

I wasnt meaning to criticise MN's campaign, btw...the rape myths thing is great.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 15-Mar-12 11:22:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nyac Thu 15-Mar-12 11:24:36

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.

Nyac Thu 15-Mar-12 11:25:15

He came across as very corporate in the webchat.

LucyManga Thu 15-Mar-12 11:26:24

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.

justalittleinsane Thu 15-Mar-12 11:34:38

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.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 15-Mar-12 11:36:24

all the best Justalittle x

doggiesuefromStroud Thu 15-Mar-12 11:43:24

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 15-Mar-12 12:07:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sherbetpips Thu 15-Mar-12 13:22:05

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.

LucyManga Thu 15-Mar-12 13:23:58

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.

LearningDisabilityMums Thu 15-Mar-12 13:30:30

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 don’t 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.

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."

Mouseface Thu 15-Mar-12 13:55:57

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

GentleOtter Thu 15-Mar-12 14:06:50

My personal emails have just been hacked and some sent out to places where they should not have gone.

DillyTante Thu 15-Mar-12 14:09:06

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.

Mouseface Thu 15-Mar-12 14:09:37

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!

DillyTante Thu 15-Mar-12 14:10:01

Learning disability mums, the chat moves pretty quickly. Your points are very worthwhile though.

DillyTante Thu 15-Mar-12 14:10:51

Shit Gentleotter, do you know what has gone where?

SerialKipper Thu 15-Mar-12 14:12:13

shock GentleOtter and Mary!

The Windows one is a very common scam, but still...

Mouseface Thu 15-Mar-12 14:16:32

Serial - I had no idea! I honestly had no idea, I feel blush 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!

SerialKipper Thu 15-Mar-12 14:19:30

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?

GentleOtter Thu 15-Mar-12 14:25:26

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.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 15-Mar-12 14:26:04

OMG, poor you!

MerlinScot Thu 15-Mar-12 14:30:10

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?

SerialKipper Thu 15-Mar-12 14:31:29


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.

LynnCSchreiber Thu 15-Mar-12 14:38:58

ARe you ok? Maybe post in geeky stuff to ask advice. What have google said?

cityhobgoblin Thu 15-Mar-12 14:46:13

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

Mouseface Thu 15-Mar-12 14:52:20

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? sad x

GentleOtter Thu 15-Mar-12 15:03:32

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.

Nyac Thu 15-Mar-12 15:05:43

How awful GentleOtter. Hope you're OK. It sounds like a good idea to contact the police.

SerialKipper Thu 15-Mar-12 15:06:34

Oh well done on password change. And even more well done on not being intimidated.

MerlinScot Thu 15-Mar-12 15:08:15

This is so awful! GentleOtter, do you think it's something concerning your involvement in this campaign? Hope you're OK.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 15-Mar-12 15:08:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cityhobgoblin Thu 15-Mar-12 15:39:56

You are amazing , GentleOtter . Hope police are helpful

Mouseface Thu 15-Mar-12 15:39:58

shock sad Otter x

LynnCSchreiber Thu 15-Mar-12 16:11:42

another brave survivor's story.

What incredible, inspirational stories these women have shared.

SerialKipper Thu 15-Mar-12 17:33:20

Right, have heard from techie, will PM you GentleOtter.

somewhatlostandalone Thu 15-Mar-12 19:52:29

thank you for believing me x

Mouseface Thu 15-Mar-12 20:00:09

I believe you all

DillyTante Thu 15-Mar-12 21:45:38

MNHQ, the link to the first reference on your campaign page isn't working, but the report can be found here. I'll report this post to flag it up to you.

By the way, I've started my craftivism campaign here.

PattiMayor Thu 15-Mar-12 21:49:43

Wow, dillytante! That's excellent smile You rock, truly

DillyTante Thu 15-Mar-12 22:09:00

blush It's the very least I can do.

MerlinScot Thu 15-Mar-12 22:23:53

Dilly, I commented on your blog! Nice artwork! x

OG, I hope you (and your virtual life on-line) are ok.

DillyTante, brill smile. Well done, you. I hope you did not get a parking ticket...

LynnCSchreiber Thu 15-Mar-12 22:48:51

I just saw this video on TV (Trigger warning)

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.

Darleneconnor Fri 16-Mar-12 00:40:09

The #ididnotreport hashtag seems to be getting spammed by multiple posts of female to male rape (not that such a thing legally exists)

BackPackBackPack Fri 16-Mar-12 00:44:08

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. sad

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. smile

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.

AnyFucker Fri 16-Mar-12 07:43:43

sad sad so sorry, BPBP

BIWI Fri 16-Mar-12 07:52:04

sad BPBP

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!

DillyTante Fri 16-Mar-12 09:33:52

Backpackbackpack, what an awful trauma for you sad

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?

sunshineandbooks Fri 16-Mar-12 09:55:07

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.

Nyac Fri 16-Mar-12 10:15:10

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.

sunshineandbooks Fri 16-Mar-12 10:32:36

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%.

DillyTante Fri 16-Mar-12 11:33:31

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.

DillyTante Fri 16-Mar-12 11:35:00

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).

BIWI Fri 16-Mar-12 11:43:34

I know - I remember you both well. Those shoes ...

Treats Fri 16-Mar-12 12:14:11

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 woman’s love, a woman’s attention, a woman’s flesh. After all, when you announce your son’s 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 it’s the parents who need locking up.

The Rape Crisis Centres in Britain say they receive more than 170,000 contacts every year. There isn’t 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.