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To ask for your experience of reporting a historic offence?

(3 Posts)
betteristhebutter Sun 24-Mar-19 21:51:31

I'm considering reporting a historic rape.
I'm under no illusions- I know it won't be prosecuted. Too much time has elapsed, and he no longer lives in this country. And yet, it happened, and I never reported it. That doesn't sit easy with me.
Would it be wasting police time to report it?
Has anyone done this, and can you shed any light on the process for me please?

I know this is AIBU but i'd appreciate supportive replies. Even asking this question isn't easy for me.

gokartdillydilly Mon 25-Mar-19 00:22:29

I don't know what the answer is OP. I'm so sorry this has happened to you my love.

After the #metoo movement it had me thinking about a time when I was 19 (I'm 49 now) at university and I got myself so drunk I ended up in a hotel with a guitarist from a band that was playing in the city I was living in.

I was very very drunk and I don't remember him taking me to his room. When I woke up in the morning I was naked and he was on top of me. I pushed him off and got dressed and went back to my halls. I told no-one about it; I was a bit embarrassed I'd got myself into such a situation to tell the truth. He kept in touch with me for a month or two by letter and occasional phonecall, but we didn't meet again, and I wasn't bothered. I just got on with my studies and moved on.

Years later, and it's got me thinking was this one night stand actually a rape? I've come to the conclusion that it was. I put myself in a very vulnerable position but he raped me without consent. Only back then I didn't realise that that is what it was.

Thirty years down the line I'm married with three grown up kids and I've been going over my past and how, if I'd reported it back then I think I would have been the one to blame. But I know now I wasn't to blame.

Saying all that, and it feels weird to write that experience on a public (anonymous) forum when I have never ever told a living soul, it has not impacted on my life, except that now I think he did something to me that he shouldn't have done. A very very long time ago. But does his whole life, and mine, need to go through the trauma of reporting? Police investigations, questioning, recriminations, lives possibly ruined? He hasn't ruined mine, that's for sure. So no, I won't be reporting this historic crime.

I'm not traumatised, just resigned to the fact that it happened to #metoo. I just don't think it would be to anyone's benefit to report something that happened such a long time ago.

@Betterisbutter your story may be very different to mine, or quite similar, and I hope you get some closure on it. I'm only sorry I can't offer any further advice about whether or not to report. Hopefully someone reading your post will have some practical advice for you. Best wishes to you x

ILoveMyCaravan Mon 25-Mar-19 01:25:28

Hello. I reported historical sexual assaults about five years ago. You would not be wasting police time and they would take you seriously. I was only able to report it after months of counselling with a clinical psychologist.

To give you an idea of the process:

I phoned 101 and said I wanted to report historical sexual assaults (more than one). They took quite a few details over the phone which I wasn't expecting. Dates, location, name of perpetrators, their addresses, my address etc. He said someone would call me back. Within one hour I was at my local police station and interviewed by a specialist female police officer. I think they call them nightingale officers. They are trained in rape/sexual assaults. She was lovely and understanding. She asked me to explain what happened and she wrote it down.

Some days later I was contacted by the detective who would be handling my case. Again he was a specialist officer. I didn't mind that he was Male as he was very straightforward and understanding.

A few days later I was interviewed on video tape by a female policewoman whilst the detective watched from behind a screen. She just asked me to to describe everything that happened.

After that they contacted the perpetrators and got them in for questioning under caution and with their solicitors.

Then followed months of various investigations and evidence gathering. The CPS took a long time consider the case going to trial. I then had to do another video interview where they asked questions that I would likely be faced with in court to see how I coped under cross examination. That was very hard.

More months passed by and eventually I was told the CPS had decided not to Prosecute as the burden of proof was too high and they couldn't guarantee a conviction.

The whole process took nearly two years.

I would say it was worthwhile but don't expect it to be quick. I felt better that what they had done was on record in case anyone else came forward in the future.

Hope this has given you some insight as to what to expect. I didn't have a clue what would happen beforehand.

The waiting was the worst bit. You will need some support once you make that first call.

All the best thanks

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