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*trigger warning* please help me to decide if I should report my historical rape.

(33 Posts)
KnackardMum14 Fri 03-Jul-15 20:14:12

Please bear with me. My mind is all over the place at the moment.

When I was 11 years old I was sexually abused by my cousin (early 20's, fathers side). It has taken over a decade to cone to terms with the fact that it was rape. I was groomed and therefore believed in a sick weird way that it was my fault and was consenting.

I no longer have any contact with any of my father's family. including my father himself. He has never been a stable figure in my life. It was one of the main things my cousin was able to groom me with. "your dad doesn't love you. but I do. I'm the only person on this side of the family that does."

Over the past 12 years I have had counselling, therapy and have seen a psychiatrist. I thought I had come to terms with it all but I haven't. The other day I ran into him (cousin) whilst out with my husband. We didn't speak but after just seeing his face I couldn't help but burst into tears and it brought all the emotions back to the surface. I've been deteriorating into a depression ever since.

I feel so fucking guilty. my cousin has daughters himself. that are now around the age I was when he abused me. I've kept quiet for so long and so many other girls may have been abused all because I am too afraid.

at the time of the abuse it stopped because I wrote "something suspicious" in my diary, according to my mother. which lead to questioning. I was petrified and admitted he had tried to kiss me and nothing more. I thought I'd get into trouble. contact with cousin was stopped and nothing more was ever said.

About 18 months ago I got a confession from my cousin. He had been contacting me on Facebook (which I had always ignored). I snapped and asked him what the hell he was playing at contacting me after repeatedly having sex with me as a child. He reply was simply "stupidity".

This morning I couldn't take it anymore. I honestly felt like I was going to throw myself out of the nearest window if I didn't do something. I rang 101 and enquired what would happen if I decided to report it. The lady I spoke to was very nice but it has left me even more terrified than before. I can't help but think that like in a lot of rape cases I won't be believed/ I deserved it/ it's my own fault. I'm scared of telling my family. My husband knows but he isn't very emotive and it's hard to talk about this kind of thing with him.

I'm scared what people will think of me. I'm scared how it will affect my mental health/ marriage/ family.
I'm scared of what people will say about me. I'm just fucking scared.

I'm sorry if I am rambling or not making sense. I can't think straight.
I know it sounds stupid but I don't want to go through the emotional trauma all over again for nothing to happen. A recent eastenders rape storyline put me off reporting it even more for fear of not being believed ( I know that makes me sound pathetic. I feel pathetic).

One day I think "ill report it. I have a confession. It's not my word against his anymore".
Other days I think "he was deny, the evidence I have won't be accepted/ not enough".

I honestly can't get this out of my mind and I'm going crazy. will it be worth it? or will I be worse off? will I be exactly the same as I am now except everyone will think I'm a liar/ slut.

Please help me clear my head and make a decision once and for all. I'm desperate.

LaBette001 Fri 03-Jul-15 20:22:40

Didn't want to read and run.

I'm not an expert but it sounds as though you need help making a decision that you can live with - whatever the outcome.

Perhaps you can have more counselling / coaching specifically with a vew to helping you make your mind up and learning how to cope with the changes that either decision brings.

I'm so sorry this has happened to you and that you are in this position flowers

NotTellingYouMyName Fri 03-Jul-15 20:26:20

Sorry you're going through this OP. The facebook messages, if you saved them, seem like pretty strong evidence to me. Have you spoken to rape crisis ? They should be able to tell you more about what will happen if you report / what evidence can be used.

Ver1tyPushpram Fri 03-Jul-15 20:30:56

Hi Knackered I wouldn't know what to adivse you except Rape Crisis have a help line which is open until 9pm here is their website. I would start there.

Hope you get the help you need. flowers

I have no adequately foul words for your cousin, how dare he assume he can impose himself on your life through Facebook or any other way.

KnackardMum14 Fri 03-Jul-15 20:44:05

I will speak to rape crisis soon.

I feel hopeless. I feel dirty. I feel like if I tell anyone they will think I was/ am a dirty person.

I feel sick.

seanbonbon Fri 03-Jul-15 20:53:15

Well, you've just told us now and here's what I think; This was not your fault. Your cousin is an abuser who deserves to go to jail.
That is all. I'm so so sorry that he did this to you. take care of yourself thanks

getyourgeekon Fri 03-Jul-15 21:08:40

It was NOT your fault. In any way. It will only ever be HIS fault.

I don't know if this is helpful but I supported a friend who reported abuse by her father from 20-30 years previously.

The officers who worked with her (she went via 101 who put her in touch with her local team) were fantastic and they visited her 3-4 times before she decided to make a formal statement. They talked through all eventualities and helped her decide if it was right for her to take it forward at that time.
So maybe just see initial contact with the police as starting the process but not comitting to anything?

KnackardMum14 Fri 03-Jul-15 21:09:06

I'm trying to find information about evidence of historical rape but cannot find any.

will the Facebook messages be enough?

AreYouSupposedToBeInIowa Fri 03-Jul-15 21:09:24

You were 11. ELEVEN. OP my heart goes out to you. Speak to rape crisis and also speak further to the police, not just the knobber than answered that call that day. I have recently reported an assault upon myself when I was ten or eleven as I saw the bloke had attacked someone else recently and although I am now 54, I made a police statement just in case mine was the tipping point that may make the police look further into this blokes behaviour. I suspect he has randomly abused women for years. I was treated as if I was believed throughout and was treated with the utmost dignity. Please find it in yourself to take this further as your evidence may stop him abusing others. There may be many more out there that he has done this to and most importantly, it may well help you draw a line under this appalling thing. Go to court. Flare your nostrils at the cunt and have your day! You were eleven. What a bastard! His reply is certainly evidence.

KnackardMum14 Fri 03-Jul-15 21:30:02

AreYou do you mind me asking if your case has gone to court?

I've been to court before as a witness. I wasn't needed in the end but I remember others being cross examined and it scared the shit out if me. I suffer from anxiety and I'm scared I would breakdown under the pressure of it all

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Fri 03-Jul-15 21:39:56

You were eleven. Nobody whose opinion is worth anything would label an 11 year old as a slut. I am so sorry this happened to you. I hope you can find a way through this that works for you. You are doing a very brave thing facing up to it and thinking about others. Good luck. thanks

Salemthecat Fri 03-Jul-15 21:48:45

Hi OP. You were 11 years old, there's is no way you could have been to blame for this in any way at all. You know this rationally, keep repeating it to yourself. Think about if it was someone else what you think/say to them and repeat, repeat, repeat and it will stick one day.

With regards to reporting a historical sex offence to police, I can tell you my experience which is different to yours as I was an adult. I'm also in Scotland where we require corroboration. I knew when I was reporting that there wasn't enough evidence unless he spoke up in his police interview. He didn't so no action was taken. Despite knowing that this would happen (I'm training to be a lawyer) it had a massive impact on me and it's only now 11 months on that I'm starting to get over the ramifications of it.

I reported it because I was scared he would/had done it to someone else and because I wanted to take the control back and show him I wasn't going to stand for him doing what he done for me. While I think in certain respects I did that, the impact of it not going any further and having to give the statement and then the worry and the feeling like I wasn't believed (I actually think in hindsight that they did believe me but there simply isn't enough evidence) were far more damaging than if I hadn't said anything.

Either way, I would speak to rape crisis. They were really invaluable at helping me decide and supporting me after. I also seen a psychologist who helped me do CbT focusing on teaching me self compassion and how to talk myself down when I start having those horrible thoughts.

I wish you all the best. You are so brave to be even contemplating reporting him.

KnackardMum14 Fri 03-Jul-15 22:02:41

Salem, thank you for sharing your experience. I'm sorry it didn't turn out differently. thanks

this is my internal conflict. If I say nothing I'm still in the situation I am now. which feels like it is slowly killing me.
If I do speak out and there isn't enough evidence there is a risk that I will be ostracised as a liar.

my cousin works on my local high street. He lives 5 minutes away. every time I leave the house there us a chance I will see him and it will set me off again. It seems no matter how much I try and get over it, it always finds a way to state me back in the face. A constant reminder.

I tried moving away. I was utterly miserable without my family. I don't want to feel chased out of my own hometown. A place that I love and filled with people I love. bug I also don't want to see his smug stare every other week.

Ratbagcatbag Fri 03-Jul-15 22:02:54

I reported my uncles historic sexual abuse about ten years ago.

He abused me from three to 12. I was 23 when I went to the police. They were amazing, honest about the chances of getting cps to lay charges etc.

To answer some of your questions, my dh still to this day doesn't know the details of what happened (he knows it happened) but he didn't read my statement nor did I give him more details. (Or anyone else for that matter)
The police used my old diary from when I was a teenager as evidence, where I'd written how low I was due to coping with what he'd done. They also interviewed my friend that I'd told at 11. That was my only evidence as such.

My mum also questioned me due to a diary entry, and I said very similar, he'd kissed me etc. please don't worth about this, the police said if they'd have been approached back at the time I said something but then didn't give details then they'd have had to let him go, whereas choosing to do it meant I'd prepared myself for what I had to do so knew I'd have to go into far more detail.

My experience was positive (or as positive as it could be), I knew there was a chance cps wouldn't take it, but I figured if I reported it I'd done my bit. Not once did the police make me feel like they didn't believe me.

Cps charged my uncle with eight counts of indecent assault (one per year they could safely say he'd abused me for) and three attempted rapes. He plea bargained and they dropped the attempted rape charges. He pleaded guilty, got 18 months inside and ten years on the sex offenders register.
Yes his family don't believe me, think I'm a liar and a tramp, he had. An awesome testimony from someone he used to babysit for. Meh. I know what he did and I don't care what they think.

If you go through with it. Ask if they have a solo worker (sex offences liaison officer) that you can deal with. And if there is somewhere more comfortable you can give a statement, my police force uses a rape crisis centre, so comfy sofas, more relaxed etc.

Best wishes whatever you do, please feel free to pm me if you think I can help or you just want someone to talk too. smile

Ratbagcatbag Fri 03-Jul-15 22:06:24

Sorry, ,y post was long. One further thing to add, my dh said after I'd been to the police, (even before the conviction) I seemed lighter, and it felt like I'd closed a chapter in my life. I definitely felt like I'd moved on.

And also recognise if you do this, it is tough, and there are massive mood swings with it, for frustration through to elation that you've done it.

KnackardMum14 Fri 03-Jul-15 22:19:10

ratbag, thank you for sharing your experience too. I'm glad you got a conviction. I'm just sorry it wasn't longer.
Thank you for being honest about the process and moods. This is what I need to hear. I feel like I need to 'arm' myself in order to face it with a strong mind, if that is indeed what I decide to do.

I might take you up on that pm one day, if you don't mind? I imagine the next few days ( weeks?) will be an emotional roller coaster deciding what to do.

Ratbagcatbag Fri 03-Jul-15 22:28:59

Of course not, any time.

I should say he was sentenced to 18months, but served nine months. What I would say is for me the sex offenders register was more important rather than time served. I just wanted it reported.

KnackardMum14 Fri 03-Jul-15 23:00:09

I understand what you mean. I want it reported to so at least there is a chance others won't be affected.

I also want him to rot in prison and have the same done to him but obviously I'm not allowed to say that out loud

AreYouSupposedToBeInIowa Fri 03-Jul-15 23:17:29

Hi Knackard No it has not gone to court so far although I have no idea what is going on in the background. It may do yet. I am sorry you suffer with anxiety, it would make it miles of worse but if you could get some support, blowing the lid off this lot may really help you! I hadn't realised how my assault had affected me until I saw his face in his local paper (which used to be my local paper but I was perusing it for old times sake) I just became absolutely furious. A lot of the anger was directed at myself as I had done nothing about it. My parents knew about it and did nothing (common in those days) and I realised that he may have been treating people like dirt for years and got with it. I would go to court in a heartbeat over this if I had the chance but I have also had anxiety in the past so I sympathise with you. You know you are right though and others may come forward or already have done so. It is definitely worth taking a few further steps before deciding one way or the other.

Fromparistoberlin73 Sat 04-Jul-15 00:13:45

this is such an emotive topic I dare not post dear OP for fear of saying the wrong thing.

here is my opinion, he committed a vile crime. he deserves to be imprisoned.

had you seen him commit a murder would you say something? as both are crimes.

I am so sorry, and I can 100% imagine how scared are you. Get some advice, but from an outsiders view I suspect you need closure.

Its worth discussing your fears with the police , as they will have great advice as to what would happen in the case. How much do you want to bet there are more skeletons in his closet

wishing you the best I am so so sorry this happened to you when you were a little girl

paddymcgintysmum Sat 04-Jul-15 00:45:59

If it makes things better for you then yes.

I had a bad experience several years ago. Mine was merely flashing though several times across town, begging me to look. Turned out he had attacked a girl and was awaiting prison at the same time as he caught me. Reported to police but didn't know who then, but did later.

Saw him this week, laughing and joking as a coach driver with a male and female. I so wanted to ask him if he remembered him begging me to "please look at my prick."?
I couldn't. I was frozen in my car.

If you can, do it. I'm still thinking about it.

Janette123 Sat 04-Jul-15 07:44:08

knackardmum14,
I agree with others that you need to seek professional help about this. Please contact Rape Crisis as soon as you can. flowers

InFlagranteDelicto Sat 04-Jul-15 07:56:54

Not the same situation, but I was raped by xh. Last year, 5 years ago I reported it, and I hope sharing my experiences help.

It was originally to reports different attack, a stabbing. The statement was taken by a normal pic, but a woman who sympathetic and I was ok. I knew that if they asked I would disclose the tape, I'd about come to terms with it. Near the end, she asked the question, and I disclosed. Circumstances meant I wasn't ready to do the full statement, and left that I would call in and get the ball rolling another day (it was shift change, and I was already shattered, been there 5h by then)

Two weeks later, I rang 101, they already had the bare notes in their system, and it they passed out on to a specially trained officer. I met with her at the station, as my home it's my safe place, and we sat in a small room with a couple of sofas and went through it. I had the option of a video statement, but I would have not copied with that. She was ever so gentle, and understood the dynamics of power within the abuse. At no point did I feel uncomfortable. She then took her notes to write up into a statement, and a few weeks later I went back, proof read it and signed it.

They then arrested him, and questioned him. In my case it didn't go any further, but it remains on file.

At no point did I feel uncomfortable, not listened to, or brushed off. They believed me, which mattered. Even the male pc that finished of the first statement was gentle (does that word make sense? I mean not brusque, or rushing, but kind and listening, and sympathetic. Not doubting.) the specially trained officer was fab, and I have nothing but praise for them.

I know this is long, if you need more clarifying, say. I hope explaining my experience helps make an informed decision. And I'm sorry for typos, this phone has a mind of its own some days!

ValancyJane Sat 04-Jul-15 11:18:11

I think you have very strong evidence assuming you still have the Facebook message, and I think you should report it. Others may have been abused by him or be at risk.

I have a friend who reported a historic assault, it comes to court in a few months, and while she is finding it hard with all the uncertainty and issues within the family it has caused I know she is pleased she went through with pressing charges and taking some control over the situation has made her feel a lot stronger.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

KnackardMum14 Sat 04-Jul-15 12:56:54

Yes I still have the messages. I have taken multiple screen shots too. Just in case he deletes his Facebook.

my husband seems to think Facebook messages won't stand in court. If that's true it's back to my word against his.

I'm thinking about reporting it just so I know myself that I've done all I can. I can't carry this guilt around any longer.

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