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Rape and shame

(36 Posts)
huckleberrry Mon 24-Oct-16 15:46:36

Sorry if this is in the wrong place.

CPS just gave me a very detailed explanation about why they won't charge the man who raped me. Apparently I messaged a friend about it at the time and it doesn't tally up with my video statement to the police. I was really shocked because I recall telling that friend at the time about the details of the rape and she was supporting me, and still had the messages which I haven't reread but assumed would support me to get it to court etc.

Reading their explanation, I was so overwhelmed with shame and self hatred that I must have made a mistake somewhere (I don't think so?) and people must think I'm lying, the police must think I'm either lying or stupid. And everything has come crashing down and can't seem to breathe or think straight, I just wanted to self destruct and harm myself.

I suppose I was just wondering if this is normal, the shame, the agony, not being able to think through it and make sense. Has anyone else ever been through this? Did it ever go away?

Marbleheadjohnson Mon 24-Oct-16 15:53:41

I'm sorry to hear that flowers

It's shit. The more I hear about this the more angry I am about it, and the more I feel the decision not to report in my case was the right one. It shouldn't be this way.

I don't think the police will think you are lying or stupid. They will be looking at it in a sterile way thinking what will stand up in court. It's shit.

It's not unusual to feel shame. But you have nothing to be ashamed of. Do you have anyone professional you can talk to? Rape crisis?

Queenoftheblues Mon 24-Oct-16 16:41:51

The police don't think you're lying. Without knowing the facts in detail I would say the cps know the defence would jump on the discrepancy and give you hell in court. The cps have to gauge is there likely to be a conviction? In your case they have decided no. I am so sorry this happened to you. If you feel strongly enough you could try a private prosecution. Women Against Rape have supported women through this

Queenoftheblues Mon 24-Oct-16 16:45:12

And yes I have been through the shame you feel when mine was found not guilty. I had to dig deep for my self esteem, it was a long process but I got thru it. Keep posting here for support sweetie - I believe you x

Thisjustinno Mon 24-Oct-16 16:50:36

They don't think you're lying, they just know that any discrepancies would be leapt on in Court and the defence would therefore plant doubt in the minds of jurors.

The CPS won't take a case forward if they think there is less than a 50% chance of prosecution. That's what I was told by a Police Officer recently anyway.

AntiSocialInjusticePacifist Mon 24-Oct-16 18:11:03

I'm so sorry to hear this. I wish I give you what was in my head and make it real for you. In my mind what you did was nothing short of heroic. It was the system that failed you not the other way around.

Rapists are the scum of the earth, and you did everything you could to try and stop one. To do that whilst carrying the weight of what happened is pure courage.

Like I said I wish I could give you that, as it couldn't be clearer to me that you shouldn't feel one mote of shame in fact quite the reverse. I suspect though it will never be as easy as a few impersonal words on the internet, but there it is anyway for what it is worth. I wish you the very best.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Mon 24-Oct-16 19:24:54

I'm with Antisocial. Reporting rape is an outstandingly courageous act. You should be proud of yourself, huckleberry. The CPS decides whether to prosecute on the probability of winning and rape cases are hard to win. A woman I know had the same experience but at least, having accompanied her, I could reassure her that the police officers were sure she was telling the truth because I'd been sitting with them while she was seeing the doctor. They believed her. It was the CPS that dropped the must be really upsetting for dedicated police officers when they hear that a case like yours or hers is being abandoned.

Huckleberry starstarstar

HillaryFTW Mon 24-Oct-16 19:48:23


You did great.

Agree with the others, I don't know what the discrepancy was but can imagine the defence would say if there was a mix up there, there could be one elsewhere, even if it was just about the colour of his top or something (not a lawyer)

This does not mean the police or CPS think you are lying or stupid. Truly it does not. And your report will be there and help if he does anything like it again.

Many flowers

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Felascloak Mon 24-Oct-16 20:23:30

^^ what they said.
You could ask what the discrepancy was and you also have a victims right to review, if you still want to pursue it (basically ask the CPS to reconsider the prosecution).
Thank you so much for reporting. When the scumbag does it again, your report will be useful corroboration if his next victim reports it. His DNA is on file should he choose to stranger rape someone. You have reduced the chances of him getting away with this, even if it doesn't feel like it flowers

MostlyHet Mon 24-Oct-16 20:28:12

This is terrible for you, but as others have said, it is the system which has failed you. The CPS know how hideously defence barristers behave, and that the smallest discrepancy will be picked over to undermine you. Of course this is bollocks - no witness, of any crime, is 100% reliable - memories just don't work that way. The human brain isn't like a tape recorder which plays back exactly what has happened, and on top of this extreme trauma affects the way your brain works as well. It is not surprising, in fact totally to be expected, if there are small discrepancies between what you told your friend and what you said to the police. It's just that the CPS know that the system isn't fair, and that the defence would make out that unless your memory worked exactly like a tape recorder, you weren't to be trusted. But that's defence lawyers being shits and the CPS being cautious.

I believe you. flowers

lollylou2876 Mon 24-Oct-16 20:34:50

I believe you too 💐 it must be horrible to muster up the courage to report and not even get to trial.

In my experience the perpetrators of rape tend to commit the same crime again, eventually. Hopefully you & your statement will called upon then.

Best wishes thoughts & prayers xXx

huckleberrry Mon 24-Oct-16 21:36:53

Thanks all. I've read your replies again and again and again to get me through today to try to make my thoughts shut up. I hate him so much for raping me and I hate the police so much for letting him. But all of that anger I'm putting on me, because they are putting it on me by saying that this discrepancy of what I supposedly said in a text message (?) undermines what I've told them happened. And I was so, excruciatingly honest during that interview, I didn't lie about the long list of things I regretted or was ashamed of that I felt made the rape my fault. I gave it to them exactly straight so that this couldnt happen but it has.

VestalVirgin Mon 24-Oct-16 22:31:40


You are very brave, and I agree with what others have said; the rapist will likely rape again, and then your statement will help.
If that is any consolation.

I also think this is a flaw in the system, and that this has everything to do with patriarchy. The system is just not fair.
One shouldn't have to pass a memory test to be protected by the law.

AntiSocialInjusticePacifist Mon 24-Oct-16 22:34:45

You didn't put a foot wrong, you are 100% not at fault. Keep this thread, print it out if need be and read it again whenever any thought of shame/guilt flashes in your mind. Then maybe throw it away on the day you no longer have need of it. Nobody asks for this.

I stand by what I said earlier you are incredibly brave, and I'm talking the sort of bravery I can't say for sure I myself could muster in the same circumstances.

flowers you have been so brave and done so well to report it.

I believe you.

mynameiscalypso Mon 24-Oct-16 22:43:48

I've been exactly where you are and I know exactly how you're feeling. However hard it is to believe, it's not your fault at all - you've done an incredibly brave and strong thing and it sounds like you did absolutely everything you could to get justice. As previous posters have said, the system is broken and stacked against victims in so many ways.

Have you spoken to the police at all? They were really helpful with me in putting the CPS decision into context and they can also appeal the decision to a more senior lawyer in some cases (separate to your right to get the decision reviews).

Queenoftheblues Tue 25-Oct-16 00:19:20

Huckleberry you say you hate the police for letting him do this to you. Was he a partner/ex partner with a history of abusing you? I think you should examine the discrepancy and consider asking the cps to look again.

huckleberrry Tue 25-Oct-16 06:01:14

Yes he was a partner. A short term abusive and controlling relationship. I imagine whatever the discrepancy was it was probably linked to me trying to minimise what happened. The rape wasn't one that was ambiguous, he physically forced me after I'd verbally said no and tried to get away so I broke contact initially because I was so angry and knew it was the right thing to do but I was weak and he was controlling and I went back to him. My friends were furious and it took them about 2 weeks to get through to me and make me see sense.

I'm terrified to ask exactly what the discrepancy is. In their letter they make out like it undermines the whole case and without it they would have charged him. I just don't understand what on earth it could be.

mynameiscalypso Tue 25-Oct-16 08:32:42

Don't read too much into the letter - the police told me that they were almost totally generic and certainly the one I received has absolutely no reality to what the CPS told the police about why the case was dropped.

I'm so sorry about what happened to you. None of it was your fault and you were not weak at all, he sounds like a predator.

Xenophile Tue 25-Oct-16 08:52:06

I believe you.

The chances of getting a case of rape to trial appears to be negligible and, given a recent high profile trial, it seems that men can behave in the most appalling ways and get clean away with it.

YetAnotherSpartacus Tue 25-Oct-16 09:53:00

I am so sorry to hear your tale. I do suggest you seek counselling and maybe work with the support organisation to mediate with the police about why the evidence was not sufficient enough to meet the stupidly high standards obviously required in the patriarchal court system? flowers

HarleyQuinzel Tue 25-Oct-16 09:58:40

The police probably do believe you. It's not their opinions that count, it's the cold hard facts that they can prove.

A police officer told my dad he was certain I was telling the truth and if it was up to him he would be behind bars. Only something like 6% of rape cases reach conviction, so you've done brilliantly to make it this far.

And yes it does go away, you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

Felascloak Tue 25-Oct-16 10:03:33

It's not the police's decision it's the CPS. The CPS are quite hard nosed about only proceeding if they believe there is a good chance of conviction.

Felascloak Tue 25-Oct-16 10:05:57

Might be worth following up.

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