Does anyone know much about the rape process?

(144 Posts)
HeartHotWaterBottle Sat 26-Apr-14 04:02:09

I can't sleep and am in a state of terror about all this. Basically I had an incident last year where I was chatting to a married man (I am single) and he followed me home and raped/assaulted me.

I didn't report it but tried to pretend it was a one night stand. Eventually I got really angry and asked the police if I would be out of order to warn the place where he was staying. I wasn't expecting them to insist on taking me to the police station and after that do a video interview. There wasn't enough to go on so it wasn't going to go further. However he came back for me this year late at night (I wasn't there, fortunately) and so the case is reopened.

I googled an old rape thread on here and am now absolutely petrified.

I'm starting to want it to not progress it and I have told the police that my main goal is that I don't want him anywhere near my old house (I left after that, it really destroyed my world) but they can actually arrest you for that? And if it goes to trial they will pull you to pieces?

I guess the main features with this are that:

- I was drunk
- I wasn't wearing anything provocative
- No forensics
- I tried to pretend it was a one night thing at first, it took me a few days to start to try to talk to friends
- There weren't any witnesses/CCTV because of the time lapse
- I went through MH problems with bereavement
- I'm having counselling via a rape centre
- He doesn't have a record
- He is married with kids, weirdly enough I trusted him because of that, he was talking about his wife's PND so we ended up talking for ages. I wasn't expecting him to follow me home.

I am so, so scared now and wish I had never agreed to go down the police station

goodasitgets Sat 26-Apr-14 04:14:11

Ok, I can't give much advice except breathe. And step away from google
Plus it's 4am and things are always worse at 4am, have a hot drink and try to stay calm
Being drunk/what you were wearing does not matter in the slightest. You are not responsible for his actions or to blame in any way. I'm so sorry this happened to you but please try not to think "I should have done this or that"
If it's in the hands of the police, it's best left with them. It's understandable you took time to tell people, you must have been very shocked
I've done a video interview before and given evidence that way but was for a child abuse case so slightly different

goodasitgets Sat 26-Apr-14 04:16:24

Sorry just rereading your post. Well done on the counselling too
He came back for you? Get angry and stay angry if it helps. Not scaring you but I think that's worrying that he would contemplate doing it again (not that once isn't bad enough)
Talk to the police, also contact victim support

HeartHotWaterBottle Sat 26-Apr-14 04:19:03

Sorry to hear that - I found it a bit heart-wrenching in the video room that there were toys, and children's DVDs in the waiting lounge.

I'm not sure I want this to go ahead now but I don't want to get arrested, I think I would die of fright.

Hot drink is a good idea, thank you

goodasitgets Sat 26-Apr-14 04:21:53

Arrested for not going through with it? Honestly, talk to them. They will have seen people worried and scared before, tell them exactly how you are feeling. You've done nothing wrong at all, you've been unbelievably strong so far

HeartHotWaterBottle Sat 26-Apr-14 06:24:06

This thread is horrific - I was googling last night and found it terrifying

LoveSardines Sat 26-Apr-14 17:17:46

I don't think that the police can force you to go to court can they?

I have no idea to be honest. Hopefully someone who knows will come along.

OP I am so sorry for what that man did to you, and really angry on your behalf about the whole thing.

JustTheRightBullets Sat 26-Apr-14 17:52:44

I'm currently going through the process. I have a trial scheduled for October. I can't say what the courtroom experience is like yet, but my experience of the police (2 different lots of them, as the case was dormant for 15 yrs), and the support provided to victims, has been very poor. Feel free to pm with if you have specific q's.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 26-Apr-14 21:45:23

Talk to the police, they should answer your questions.

Ring Rape Crisis for advice.

So sorry this happened - we believe you flowers

HeartHotWaterBottle Sat 26-Apr-14 21:52:34

Bullets I will message you - it feels strangely comforting to know someone else knows what it's like. I don't know if mine will go to trial though yet

Doctrine I tried to phone the police earlier, my two contacts are not there today. But they have been evading questions so I might contact the local MP because I'm starting to find this all extremely stressful.
The man I spoke to earlier told me to step away from the internet and stop worrying!

VashtaNerada Sat 26-Apr-14 22:08:14

Victim Support may be able to help. Good luck thanks

YoniMatopoeia Sun 27-Apr-14 19:13:39

I believe you Heart.

Have you got any rl friends or family supporting you?

I think rape crisis or victim support would be a good source of help.

And if you ae in south oxon, I will be a rl friend smile

HeartHotWaterBottle Sun 27-Apr-14 21:47:32

That's sweet of you Yoni, thank you. thanks Yes I have SARC who have been pretty good, I like my counsellor.

Should speak to my contacts at the police tomorrow and I think I will contact my local MP about how difficult I'm finding the process - he might not be able to help but who knows.

Arkina Mon 28-Apr-14 00:26:41

tbh honest your MP most likely wont be any use. I take it its the rape unit youre dealing with at the police not just with a couple of cops who were on duty at the time.

If youre not happy with how they're dealing with it go up a stage. Ask for the DS or officer in charge of the unit to call you. Youre best trying to deal with this aspect yourself because really all an MPs letter will do is probably prompt the DS to call you.

theres no way you're going to get arrested so forget that. if you decide not to proceed thats your choice you're not going to get into bother

If you do go ahead you could ask for conditions to be set that he cant contact approach or even be in your street.

Do try speaking about your concerns to your police points of contact. Believe me theyll want a conviction almost as much as you do x

JustTheRightBullets Mon 28-Apr-14 06:43:13

Tbh, you won't need to ask for bail conditions like that - it's standard for the defendant to be prohibited from attempting any sort of contact.

ThreeBrokenOneGutted Mon 28-Apr-14 07:09:16

DD is currently going through the process too. She has had some counselling (organised by her primary school). No forensics as it happened three years before she disclosed. Trial will probably be in June.

My only advice would be to try to take one step at a time.

HeartHotWaterBottle Mon 28-Apr-14 07:10:17

Hello Bullets waves

Arkina I'm finding the police aren't being very clear with me and not answering direct questions, and I got terrified about the whole process after reading the other thread on here, so I would like at least to try to ask the MP to see if that got me a better response.

HeartHotWaterBottle Mon 28-Apr-14 09:25:02

I'm starting to get really scared again - the police said that they're reviewing it and 'have to be sure that it's not malicious slander'. I really wish they hadn't pressurised me to go ahead with it in the first place.

JustTheRightBullets Mon 28-Apr-14 09:49:37

They have used similar language with me. I think even the trained police specialists don't think about or realise the impact of their off the cuff remarks. Please don't take it personally.

Also, you're probably better off chasing for an update yourself. Can you email your case officer with a list of your queries? (So you have it in writing)

HeartHotWaterBottle Mon 28-Apr-14 09:54:27

Ohhh ok, that's a relief - I was waiting for a bang on the door! I did put some queries in writing 2 weeks ago and have had no response.

I phoned SARC earlier in a panic so they are chasing them up and will get back to me.

I don't know how you got this far bullets, this is harrowing! My mum seems to think it's as simple as you say 'it's that one over there, Officer' and then the policeman marches off and grabs the culprit by the ear and hauls them off.

JustTheRightBullets Mon 28-Apr-14 10:12:56

Everyone thinks that until they're in it, I think. My DH and friends have found it very eye opening hearing about my experience of the process!

Arkina Mon 28-Apr-14 14:02:30

if theyre not being clear as I already mentioned take it to the next step. Ask for a more senior officer. Honestly thats far more effective than an MP who doesnt actually carry that much clout. If nothing else you could be speaking to a DS this afternoon going through an MP could take weeks

If a more senior officer is no use youd be far better getting one of the rape support organisations to help you. or have you said to the ones you deal with that you're finding them unhelpful and theyre adding to your stress. They may be unaware of how they're coming across.

is it the rape investigation unit youre dealing with?? If it is then definitely ask for a Sgt or Inspector. These officers are meant to be well trained in dealing with victims which is why I was wondering if it was just uniformed officers you were dealing with. Dont worry about the comments made by the officer about slander. its not the most tactful way of putting it but its something they do have to consider especially when presumably the suspect will deny it.

Its a sad fact but police officers probably see more made up rape allegations than true ones. I know that in the past year or so numerous have been reported when ive been working of those only a handful were genuine. So they do have to look at all possibilities despite how distressing it is

Hang in there youve done the hardest part in reporting it.

HeartHotWaterBottle Mon 28-Apr-14 14:19:53

That's really strange - do you get any inkling about why people make it up? I'm surprised to hear that there are more madeup allegations than true ones.

I'm finding this all really odd because first time round I was told I was really honest, a really nice person, naive; after it had been shut and then reopened the police's attitude has changed, after he came back for me late at night.

Yes it's uniformed police, the DS is supposed to be calling me. The rape centre (who have been really good) are also callling them today then getting back to me.

Thanks smile

Arkina Mon 28-Apr-14 14:31:58

Numerous reasons for made up stories its shocking. We've had ones where people have met someone at a night out had sex then either regretted it or been caught out by a partner when they got home. Only the other week when I got to work I was told there were 2 alleged rape calls being dealt with. My first question was genuine? And was told one definitely not the 2nd unlikely. Its appaling.

Id say then the first thing you should do is contact the station dealing with it and ask to speak to a supervisory/senior officer. Explain your concern and ask that you get passed to the rape investigation unit. Im shocked that hasnt been done. All ours are as a matter ofcourse. To be fair the uniformed cops will be out their depth most likely and aren't being evasive they probably don't know the answers to your questions.

the rape unit are plain clothes specially trained officers who know the process inside out. They should be dealing with you.

Feel free to pm me if theres anything else I can with my limited experience help with. I know how our force deals with rape but clearly other forces are different.

HeartHotWaterBottle Mon 28-Apr-14 14:38:36

Oh god this is confusing! Actually the rape centre were surprised it wasn't being dealt with by this rape investigation unit as well.

I've lost my nerve a bit and need some reassurance so I'll have to wait for the rape centre to get back to me.

I might pm you, thank you

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