Raped many years ago - any practical steps I could take now?(45 Posts)
I now have a lovely DH and DC, but over a decade ago I spent a couple of years in an abusive relationship. My boyfriend at the time never hit me, but he forced me to have sex on numerous occasions (sometimes violently, sometimes just hideous constant pestering to wear me down).
I never reported any of it at the time. But it does prey on my mind that he is very probably still behaving in much the same way towards women, and I do feel some responsibility that I did not take any action at the time. I am sure that he is still behaving in a similar way as his actions were based on a strong belief system of his (whereby he was the centre of the universe, women were only really appreciated for their looks, and he felt that he was 'owed' sex on a very regular basis). He also believed that once physical contact had reached a certain point, there was no going back in that the man 'had to have sex'. He refused to acknowledge the word rape in relation to how he behaved (to the point where I questionned it myself at the time -and still do really - I don't consider that he raped me he just forced me to have sex - though I know that doesn't really make sense).
Every few months I google his name, just to check there are no news articles about this person being charged with rape.
Does anyone know if there are any practical steps I could take now? Would the police think I was being ridiculous if I reported him now? What would happen if I did (I wouldn't want friends/family knowing what happened to me as I still feel ashamed that I allowed myself to be treated that way by him)? Ideally I would like to just be able to log this information with the police so that if he is ever accused (by someone else) of rape, then perhaps it would be of use to their case if the police had a statement from someone else who had been through something similar with the same man??
I am so sorry this happened to you, and yes you were raped. It can be scary to admit that is what really happened to us. You are not to blame for his abuse and rape of you, or any other subsequent abuse or rape he has went on to do with any other woman.
I cant advise you what is best to do legally. But perhaps rape crisis would be the best port of call. You dont have to call it rape to ring them, and it doesnt matter if it happenred 60 years ago, you can still contact them. They will have a much better idea of the both the legal processes and realistically what you can do.
Yes you were raped, I am so sorry.
I think from other things I have read you could make the kind of statement you mention but Rape Crisis would know for sure so I would agree with Eats that it would be good to call them.
We believe you x
Thank you for your kind replies. If anyone is still reading, I have one other related (but more sensitive) question.
I hadn't thought of contacting Rape Crisis, as I thought they were more for emotional support in the immediate aftermath, rather than legal info at a later date. However, when I do contact them, there is something else that may (or may not) be appropriate to talk to them about, and I am wondering whether this is something that I could raise with them or not.
Sorry if TMI, but as well as raping me my ex partner would (much less frequently) make me take part in oral sex. Although it was much less frequent, this is something that is affecting my current relationship. Basically DH and I have not done that for at least 5 years, mainly because I could not enjoy it because it reminds me too much of my ex partner (I think I am fine with 'normal' sex as DH and my ex partner have such different body shapes so I feel perfectly safe when I have my arms around his torso, but the differences are not so different 'down there' so I end up being reminded of my ex partner and find it so suffocating, espcially if DH tried to touch my head/hair). As time goes by I am feeling more angry that the way my ex treated me is affecting my marriage. DH is very understanding and is aware of how my ex treated me, but I still worry about this. DH is the only person I have ever spoken to about this and I wonder if it is something that it would be helpful to talk about with someone from Rape Crisis, or whether it is not really relevant to them?
I guess I wonder how relevant it is because (as far as I am aware) rape refers to normal sex not oral (for example I've never seen media coverage of stories about rapists where oral sex is mentionned), and I think it must seem odd to some people that it is possible to force someone to perform oral sex. Also, this information is obviously really personal and sensitive, and I wouldn't want to go into the detail only to have someone say that this is not really something they would usually see as relevant to them?
Sorry if I have upset anyone with this level of detail, and sorry it is a bit long, thanks for reading.
Maybe counselling or CBT could help with that issue? Rape Crisis could probably advise.
Sorry you had to go through that experience, what a disgusting man glad you got away from him.
As others have said, contact Rape Crisis. Nothing you've mentioned above will be considered or treated as irrelevant and they will be able to direct you to other organisations and support systems if they are not the most appropriate to provide the support you need.
Warm wishes and good luck.
Beth, forced oral sex is rape too. I'm so sorry that happened to you xx
Thank you, this is all very helpful.
I have to say I am very surprised to have found that forced oral sex counts as rape, as I really had thought it would be called sexual assault (at the worst). I thought that most people would not think it was possible to force oral sex - I would expect most people to take the view that the woman should just bite/keep their mouth closed. I wonder how many women (and men) are aware of how broad the definition of rape actually is (as I would consider that I am a reasonably well educated person!).
I had also expected that forced oral sex happens to very very few people, but perhaps that is not actually the case at all (hence why I had imagined it may not be something that I could talk to Rape Crisis about as I would worry about shocking or upsetting them).
Thanks again x
Hi Beth, the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 defines rape to include penetration of the mouth. I don't think all countries do but English law does.
Some people might think what you suggest about biting etc. Those people believe in rape myths. The person penetrating needs to have consent. The onus is not on you to defend yourself, it was on him to check you consented first and if you didnt freely consent then the onus was on him to stop.
On phone so can't link to MN's We Believe You campaign but you might like to search for it.
Do you think you will call Rape Crisis? Xx
Hi beth, sending you so many hugs xxx
Im so sorry this has happened to you,
I wanted to say how brave you are posting here, as it is difficult to talk about something so sensitive and personal to you - and when you are unsure how the reaction will be.
Your ex partner's behaviour was so unacceptable and if he did make the decision to hurt someone else that choice and responsibility lies completely with him, you should not feel responsible in any way at all. xx
I recently reported a historic rape (3 years ago).
My situation was different in that I was in denial and stayed in a relationship with the perpetrator, we had a child together.
In my circumstances, I found it very difficult and a hard process, it was very painful to go back.
The outcome in terms of the police was a decision not to prosecute, which was a difficult thing to hear, as it was a decision that told me he had gotten away with it.
However I focused on beyond the decision (as it wasn't something that was in my control.).
This was very important for me as in relation to the crime I was reporting - it took me back to a time of feeling vulnerable and scared.
I decided whatever the outcome - I was doing the right thing, and if he did it again it would help as the woman would be believed if she reported as he'd done it before.
It is a very big choice to make and in some ways if you don't report at the time, you have the added advantage of being able to take your time to make the decision.
You are able to contact the police and ask their advice as well if you do not want to give your name or the perpetrator's name. (As long as you were both consenting adults at the time.) This might give you a bit more information from the police which might also help you decide.
This website has much useful info too http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/sexualassault
Whatever you choose to do, do what feels right for you.
I send you strength xx
I am sorry, but I forgot to mension - once you give the police a name the police make a decision based on the information you give them whether it will be considered for trial and court.
This is based on the amount of evidence and if it is in the public interest to prosecute. I don't think a victim is able to influence this.
It is worth bearing this in mind as this is a stage where the process is beyond your control. And can feel very difficult. xx
Bobits Thank you for telling me about your experiences. Sorry that this happened to you. You were so very brave in reporting him, and as you say even though your case is not going ahead, your action means that he will not get away with this if he attempts to do the same to someone else. That is exactly what I would hope to achieve by reporting my ex boyfriend.
If you don't mind me asking, I have read your thread about how you were treated well by 2 policeman but not by a third policeman. It sounds like all 3 policeman that you dealt with were male - was that the case? Did you also have contact with female police officers and could you have dealt just with female officers if you had wanted to? I am asking because if I do contact the police I would not want to speak to a male police officer. I think I had been assuming that police forces have female police officers who can deal with women reporting rape, but maybe that is not always the case.
Thedoctrineofennis Thanks, I have read through the We Believe You information/discussion links today. I think I do need to try calling Rape Crisis at some point in the next few days. I have found the last few days quite difficult as I am thinking a lot about what happened, and over the last 10 years I have generally coped best by not thinking about any of it. And that has meant that I've kind of opened a can of worms in that I am remembering other things that happened too - aside from the rape, there were other things that would probably be considered sexual assault and I won't go into detail about them suffice to say they are humiliating to remember. (I paint this awful picture of this man - and he was a monster in many ways, but in my defence obviously he could also be lovely and I loved him very much at the time.)
I do also have some logistical problems with getting the chance to make the phone call in the short-ish window that the helpline is available for (namely will my daughter nap at that time? and will DH be working from home, as I have not talked to him properly about any of this for such a long time and I don't want him to worry about me). But yes, I am planning to try to get through to Rape Crisis x
Hi, I don't mind sharing what happened with you of my experiences if it helps you, however people are all so different, so it very much is luck who you meet with in the police to speak to and how sensitive that particular induvidual is, and that is something that is outside of your control unfortunately.
The 3 police were all men but there are women in the police and you are able to ask to speak to a woman if you feel more comfortable with that I think, though because I didn't, I am not 100% sure of this, sorry.
I do think speaking to a woman is not nessecarily a guarantee that the process will be more comfortable. The reason I have for this is that I was raped by a taxi driver when I was 15. When it was reported through school 6 months later a female officer came to take the statement and made reference to me being in the wrong for drinking underage - which was very damaging for me at the time as it sent me a message that being raped was my fault.
During the most recent incident of reporting the police asked if I knew the seriousness of the crime of rape (i guess because it was historic and because of the fact we had a child together) I felt this inappropriate as 'obviously I did or I wouldn't be here?!' It also triggered my answer inside me of the two incidents and all the damage the police could not see.
When I called the dept. for some information I spoke to a female officer and queried this question, and she mentioned that it was a fairly standard question 'as some girls don't know'. So a female doesn't always equal sensitive in my experience and opinion.
Sorry for the long reply, I do wish you all the very best with whatever you decide to do - and again as you perhaps have a little bit more time to make up your mind and come to a decision, if you do decide to go ahead I would suggest you try to have a good support set up for during the process, people who you can offload to during it and hopefully this will help make it less painful
Thank you Bobits - that makes sense to me now. Sorry that you did not have a better experience with some of the police you have encountered.
I am sure you are right about the support network if I reported him and the case was taken further, however I was actually hoping that I would just be able to make a statement and it not be taken further. I feel I need to report him so that if someone else reported him for rape they might be taken more seriously because I had already reported him, but I do not actually want to have to go to court myself and go through that experience. Therefore I am hoping that I could report him and actually not have to go through telling and talking to family/friends about what happened.
Though from your experiences it is clear that the woman is not the person who decides whether the case goes to court (I guess I am just hoping/assuming that it would not go to court given that it was so long ago and there would be no physical evidence). x
OP on this board you never have to speak in your defence for staying in a relationship with your rapist. We know that happens and we still believe you.
Re the police statement I think the formal status is witness so they do formally make the decision but I'm sure you could talk through with them before beginning any statement what you were happy with doing and go from there.
Can I ask something else related to rape myths, it is something else that I have remembered over the past few days. I hope won't upset anyone reading but this is something I could not find anything about on the We Believe You links (though I may just have missed it).
Is it still rape if the woman has an orgasm? After I said no repeatedly my ex would then make it his personal mission to try and make that happen - I think probably just to feel a personal sense of vindication for his actions. Sometimes he did actually manage to make that happen - although I did not enjoy it and it was actually very upsetting as my feelings did not match my physiological response at all.
Then the next time, he could say that although I was saying I was upset/angry/ill/meant to be somewhere else entirely, clearly I had said that previously but actually it had not been true, and it 'had all been worth it' as I had 'enjoyed it in the end'. This was also part of the reason why he refused to acknowledge his actions as rape on the occasions I tried to talk calmly with him about it.
I also am ashamed to admit that I probably encouraged him in this by starting to fake it sometimes just so that he would stop - which I know was probably just fuelling his belief that he 'knew I wanted it really'.
Thank you for reading.
Beth, yes, I think that's still rape.
Yes, it is still rape. xx
Yes it is still rape. We believe you x
Yes it is.
When I was raped I remember feeling completely ashamed that during the act I became "wet." I told myself that deep down I must have wanted it and I only read years later that the body has ways of protecting itself from damage like this - i.e. becoming wet to avoid further damage to the vaginal walls.
I'm so sorry someone treated you like this.
BTW the idea that a woman "could have bitten, or something" doesn't hold up. IMO, the type of man who would force you to give him oral sex is the kind of man who would be extremely dangerous to be around if you bit down.
The part about men "having" to have sex after physical contact is so, so damaging.
Thinking of you x
Hey Beth, hope you're feeling ok-ish and getting some support from talking to us on here. Many of us have been through very similar situations. We believe you, we understand how all these different aspects can make you feel you were responsible for what happened. Sheila Jeffries in 'Anticlimax' talks about the body spontaneously reacting to rape with an orgasm response and how distressing this can be. Rape Crisis were very helpful to me 30 years after the event.
Thank you for your replies. It is so helpful to know that I am not the only one who has had this type of experience, although obviously I am also sorry that others have had to go through similar things.
When my daughter was napping today I had a window when I could have tried calling Rape Crisis but I felt a huge sense of panic and couldn't make the call.
My head is saying that I should make the phone call but my heart is saying not to. Rationally, I believe that I will feel better in the long run if I can talk about what happened, and if I can provide some sort of statement to the police to remove some of the responsibility I feel for not reporting this man earlier.
But irrationally, I am afraid of starting the conversation and what I will say. Also I am so afraid as to how I will stop talking (once I've started) and what I will say once I start talking. I think it's because I was with this man for a few years and a lot went on and the memories are very intertwined. So talking about one event is going to lead on to me recalling something else and it will spiral from there. I basically feel afraid of what I will say and how saying it out loud will make me feel.
The time that has elapsed since this all happened has also made me much more angry than perhaps I would have been if I had talked about it at the time that it all happened (because my sense of self esteem is so much higher now than it was a decade ago when I was in my early 20s - things that I had blocked out that I have recalled over the last few days just make me think 'how dare he...' whereas I never had that sense of outrage at the time).
But I guess I will just have to bite the bullet x
It's extraordinary what one can come to perceive as 'normal' when you are living with someone who is abusive. But it's what happens because you are living with someone abusive, and they wear you down, damage your self worth. You know this already, of course. But make sure you don't blame yourself for any of your responses.
So sorry you have been through this. I believe you. And I believe you will have the strength to bite that bullet. Going through it all may be painful, but I feel sure it will help you to do it.
From the tone of your posts you sound as if your only just beginning to untangle alot of hurt from inside you - I'm glad you feel safe and comfortable to open up here xx
I think I can understand whet you mean when you get panic about making the call. I too found that I felt alot of anxiety when I was 'making it real' and talking about it in real life.
I also desperately wanted to talk, to get it out, (I guess a problem shared and so that I wasn't carrying the burden of the knowledge of what happened all alone) but still now find it hard. For me talking about it takes me back to a place where I feel scared and vulnerable and my mind is telling me not to go there - it's a bad place, so I think it is a natural response. Do not feel unhappy with yourself for this. Your mind and body is trying to keep you safe - let it and take your time xx
I had posted a thread and if you would like to read it, I put alot of my feelings into it and you might be able to relate?
Wishing you strength and peace xx
Thinking of you
I tried to call Rape Crisis but couldnt get through. I know I need to try again and resist the little voice telling me this failure to get through is some kind of sign that I am being over dramatic and/or it wasnt really rape...
I think maybe I was feeling a sense of panic when I tried to make the call because I have no proper explanation as to why I behaved the way I did (i.e. why did I stay in a relationship with my ex for so long?). I feel that I will not come across as credible unless I can explain why I stayed with him.
And I cannot explain it. I was financially independent, we had no children. For most of the relationship, I wasnt even living with him. So, if I define it as rape, what on earth was I thinking staying with him? It would seem that I kept going back to get hurt.
And it was not even a one-off incident; it was a whole series of incidents. Afterwards, he usually knew he had done something wrong, but would wait to see my reactions before deciding whether/how he would excuse his actions. But because we were in a relationship, the forced occasions were interspersed with consensual sex, which makes it all so bizarre. The whole relationship seems surreal now.
It would be so much easier not to see it as rape. Then my own behaviour would seem far more acceptable as I could just pretend that it was all consensual.
I have read through some of the rape stories linked to the We Believe You campaign, and thought how terrible many of those accounts are, and how important it is that more women come forward to report it. I believe all of the accounts I have read written by other women, yet somehow I still cant really believe that I was raped (and not just once, but many times).
And I dont feel like my entire life has been shattered by my experiences. I have a nice life now. I could possibly just put it all into a box and forget about it for another 10 years. Which feels wrong, I feel as though I should be more damaged if I accept that it really was rape.
But although it seems that rape should be one of the worst things that can happen to a woman, actually one of the worst things he did to me was something else that was sexually abusive but not rape.
I must be over-thinking this; I am going round in circles.
Beth we believe you even if you doubt yourself. Will post more tomorrow xx
Beth hope you are OK this morning.
Lots of women stay in relationships with their rapists. Lots have consensual sex with them sometimes too. Rape Crisis will believe you just as we do. You don't need to justify yourself - the man who did this is the one who is wrong.
I would urge you to keep trying rape crisis but you could also speak to the Samaritans if you think it would help as I think they have longer opening hours.
There have been posters on here in the past who also felt their rape wasn't the worst possible thing to have happened to them, either because they didnt want to be defined by it or because they had, say, seen a friend suffer a late miscarriage. Someone who had been, say, both burgled and assaulted in a pub fight might find the burglary more traumatic although the assault would carry a longer sentence and be more "serious", because they found the loss of security in their home hard to process. It wouldn't mean that either crime became less serious though.
Could I just mark my place, please, and come back to this thread when I have more time, since I have similar experiences to work through? Hugs to you, Beth, and thank you for starting the thread.
Thedoctrine - thank you for your reply. Can I ask whether you really believe that there are many women who stay in relationships with their abuser, even where they do not live with them? This is where I am struggling not to see it as partly my fault - as I could have left him because I was living independently and we had no children. I did try to break up with him a few times, and he would employ various tactics to persuade me we should stay together, and I was sucked into whatever his latest excuse was.
Ultimately although I realise I don''t need to justify my own behaviour to anyone on this board or anyone at rape crisis, I feel the reality is that I will need to justify it to the police if I take it forward and make some form of statement. And I need to justify it to myself, so that I can stop feeling responsible for my ex's behaviour towards me.
Also it does make more sense to me now as to why I found that being forced to have sex was 'less bad' than the other thing he did that was not rape. He did the other thing whilst I was unconscious, whereas usually I would be fully conscious when he forced me to have sex. So I think the other thing was so much more upsetting in many ways because I was completly unaware until afterwards (and it was something he had asked me to do previously and I had said no! )
Yes Beth I do believe that. There are some great posters on MN who I know went on in relationships that weren't co-habiting or with kids after they were raped. A friend of mine also did this. I believe her and I believe you.
You are not responsible. You are not.
What he did to you when you were unconscious was also rape/sexual assault as he did not have your consent and could not reasonably have believed he had your consent. I can understand why it was so upsetting as there is no way either of you could have "pretended" it was something other than what it was - him acting for his own benefit with no care for you.
Rage I hope you are ok xx
Next time my DD's nap overlaps with the rape crisis opening times I will try again. If I become anxious about speaking to someone because I feel so responsible, I will re-read these comments.
And if I can't get through, I may well try the Samaritans instead. I would much prefer rape crisis as the person who answers the phone will be expecting a conversation of that nature. But it is crushing to psych yourself up to speak to someone and then not manage to get through, so I will see how I feel as I may just really want to talk to someone/anyone!
I can't speak to DH in too much detail as he will feel angry on my behalf and I don't want to upset him too.
Rage - I also hope that you are ok, please do come and talk when you feel ready x
I'm so sorry that this has happened to you. I'm in a similar situation myself and I can understand your need to find out why you stayed and why you feel responsible for your ex's actions.
I stayed with the ex for 3.5 years (lived together but no children). I understand why I stayed - I loved him, he could be a wonderful man, he made me feel so special. He also was also emotionally, physically and sexually violent. He used every trick in his book to break my confidence, to make me feel worthless, to rely on him, to be responsible for his moods and actions, to isolate me. Bit by bit he wore me down. I couldn't see another way out, I didn't think that there was one. I stayed because it took me a long time to realise that I could go, that the relationship was not normal and that nothing I could do could change him and I was very scared.
I need to try again and resist the little voice telling me this failure to get through is some kind of sign that I am being over dramatic and/or it wasnt really rape...
Yep, I understand this too. I called Rape Crisis, Women's Aid, emailed my UK local Rape Crisis centre, called at the doctors twice - no-one answered. I finally contacted a counsellor who answered promptly, made an appointment and is helping me to deal with it. I've spent many hours trying to convince myself it wasn't rape, just sex I didn't want, that he didn't understand what he was doing, that it can't have been that bad or I would have left, that it was nowhere near as horrific as some rapes.... trying to downplay it is common.
You've gone through something terrible and it's understandably still affecting you. Please don't be tempted to lock it all away again, you deserve the chance to heal.
Be kind to yourself, you are not to blame. The woman you were then was being seriously abused. I hope you manage to get through to Rape Crisis soon, counselling will help you to work through this and to understand that it was not your fault.
Beth it is not uncommon to want to re-live a trauma by replaying it, this time while having some control over it.
I went out on dates with my rapist for about a month after he raped me.
For years I beat myself up about that, wondered why I did that to myself.
It took me years to understand that it was because I knew that I would not get justice for rape. Nobody would give me justice and so it was easier to pretend that I wasn't raped - that way I wouldn't be a victim, I'd be someone who had had an unwanted fuck but hey, it was no big deal, look how hip and cool I was, I could go out with him and do it again with him, this time of my own free will.
The psychological need to take some remnant of control back over my life, was incredibly strong. When he phoned me to go on a date with him, I didn't even think of saying no; I wanted to prove that I was in control, that I called the shots, that I wasn't just some rape victim who he could fuck in an alley and get away with it. If I went out with him, it was the beginning of a romance, not the visceral feeling of invasion and helplessness it felt like.
Stop beating yourself up. You are not responsible for the fact that he raped you. Having a relationship with him afterwards doesn't make the rape any less true and doesn't make you a loon or a liar. It just makes you a normal woman doing whatever it is you had to do to come to terms with what happened to you.
Given that we don't get justice, we have to deal with rape in other ways.
Thank you for your concern, OP and Doctrine. I was orally raped by a person in authority over me. I find it hard to think or talk about it, and haven't even been able to read all the posts in this thread. What I have found really helpful is finding out from MN that "oral rape" is what it was. It's much better for me to think of it in those words than "something that happened". I am beginning to talk about it, but have been thinking that contacting Rape Crisis would be good. Does anyone know if there are therapeutic groups where women can talk about being raped? I feel a need to "talk it out". I see a counsellor (male) but would really like to be with other women in dealing with the detail of it. It was shit and it really affected my life. It happened when I was a teenager, so is very historic...it has been very deeply buried all these years.
Hi rage I am so sorry
I am sure there are such groups, Rape Crisis should be able to point you to one local to you or could you ask your counsellor or GP for suggestions?
I just wanted to post an update and say thank you to the people who have talked to me here.
I managed to get through to Rape Crisis today, and for the first time in years properly spoke out loud about my ex and some of the things he did. It was scary but not as bad as I had imagined. I feel that having 'talked' about it on this thread made it easier to put into spoken words.
Unfortunately, the woman at Rape Crisis did not think that I would be able to make the kind of statement that I had hoped to be able to make to the police (I had hoped I could just make a statement so that, if anyone else accused my ex of rape, my statement could perhaps be used to support their case. I didn't want to actually 'have my own case', as it were, as I didn't want to risk having to go to court). But she explained that the police have a duty to follow up all cases of historical rape - which I guess makes sense really it just seems to make it all a bit more daunting on my part. However she has given me the contact details of the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor in my area and suggested I get in touch with her to talk it all through in more detail and make a decision as to whether or not I do report him to the police.
Thank you again x
Rage - I am sorry. I agree with TheDoctrine that it would be worth you contacting Rape Crisis too x
Beth I am glad you got through and that talking helped, hope you can get more advice about the police xx
Hi, I've just read this thread, and I just want to say how much I admire your openness, sharing your experiences here. It's a difficult thing to do.
I'm a therapist, and I would advise, that even if Rape Crisis are't able to help you with long term counselling, actively seeking out therapy will help enormously as they will allow you to process it in your own time. A psychosexual counsellor would be the best sort, or even somewhere like Relate can help both you and your DH work through this together and individually.
I really hope you manage to work your way through this and move forward with your life. You've taken the first step by asking questions and being proactive.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Beth, really sorry that happened to you. I'm glad you decided to contact Rape Crisis and they gave you sound advice. They're awesome people.
Unfortunately historical rape isn't taken as seriously as it should be. I reported my ex for rape (anal and oral, so you can be raped that way too, unfortunately - Many ((hugs)) to you) and I nearly ended up prosecuted.
I also ended up having a long term psychological/emotional damage due to the contacts/interrogations done by the police officers, to the point that if it wasn't for my new life and a happy relationship with my current bf, my intention would be to sue half of the police department that handed my case. Patting rapists on the back and saying everything will be ok and treating rape victims as criminals should be punished or women won't ever have any justice.
My ex had previous allegations too, so to answer OP's question, reporting someone to do a favour to other women can be useless. I felt that way and stated it to any abuse and rape groups and charities from Shetland to London.
Despite it can seem an unpopular opinion, I think I stated many times that it's not a good idea to report a historical rape, especially if you were in a relationship even after what happened (yes, you can be raped and still hang on an abuser and rapist, although we were not living together, ever).
To change this, us women should probably find a way, all together, to make our voices heard. And that doesn't concern going to police, maybe petitioning against police's behaviour and policies could be a better idea.
We're not to blame, our rapists are.
Thought I would update again to say that I have now spoken to the police about my ex.
In the end it transpired that different forces have different policies as to whether it is possible to simply 'log' information. My local force are able to do that, and so the information that I have given can be used as intelligence. I have given his name and told them in some detail what happened, but I have not made an allegation (only provided intelligence). My ex lives in a different area to me, and I understand that the information will be passed to his local force who will likely run some checks, but I have been assured they will not treat the information as an allegation either.
I am very glad I have been able to do this. Although it was difficult to talk through the woman that I spoke to was very sensitive and made it easier than it could have been. I felt on a bit of a high afterwards that I had managed to go through with it, although I feel a bit wobbly now.
I am hoping that I will now be able to have some kind of closure and not think about it all too much again. I have been offered counselling but I am not sure whether to take that up as I find it all so difficult to talk about.
I wish that more women were aware that they could just provide police intelligence re sexual abusers. I have heard the theory that it is a relatively small number of men who are responsible for a disproportionate number of the rapes/sexual assaults that take place, and so I can see how this type of intelligence could be really useful.
It just seems such a lottery though as to how sympathetic the police are, and with so much variation by area - MerlinScot your experiences sound so terrible, glad that you have a new life and relationship now.
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