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Why are women still being pressured to report?

(54 Posts)
PanicAndRun Wed 27-Nov-19 18:50:04

Every time there is a thread on here about rape, a lot of posters jump on the victim to report. The posts vary from "strongly encouraging" to victim blaming, shaming ,guilting and pure pressure.

You have to report to keep others safe. Even when OP says she can't handle it. Even when OP says she's been through the process before and it nearly broke her. Even when OP is obviously struggling mentally,physically and dealing with enough guilt and shame.

We see time after time no justice being done. Victims on trial. Panties and sexual habits brought into questions.

Plenty of outrage and sympathy and heartbreak when a victim is torn to pieces, but none of the sensitivity or empathy if she doesn't want to report it.

Entirely fair enough when they are considering it or just need support and a bit of a boost that they are doing the right thing.

Why are we still trying to bully women into reporting when they don't want to?

slipperywhensparticus Wed 27-Nov-19 18:58:17

Ive jumped out of that thread because its a huge pile on it's been a week she has washed there is no physical evidence plus they are letting men get away with murder rough sex gone wrong yes men will get away with rape time after time and that's not changing anytime soon

PanicAndRun Wed 27-Nov-19 19:06:58

This is not a TAAT, but I guess my rant was inspired by a recent one. Actually more than one,including one where a mother was encouraged to report what happened to her daughter behind her back.

It happens every single time and all the support is lost in the pile on of you must report because "other women" or "do it for all of us who stayed silent".

I "stayed silent" no one owes me shit. I've been assaulted by someone who had done it before, his other victims don't owe me shit.

I've seen what happens to victims,not just in papers but with close friends. I wouldn't wish a rape trial to my worst enemy.

If a woman chooses to report I'm 100% behind her,but I don't blame any for not wishing to do so.

Northernsoullover Wed 27-Nov-19 19:08:58

I remember seeing a thread like this a few months ago. She was told it was her duty...

LangCleg Wed 27-Nov-19 19:11:03

On FWR? Or MN generally?

picklemepopcorn Wed 27-Nov-19 19:14:08

No, everyone has to do the right thing for herself. No one else gets to make that choice, just to support her in the choice she makes.

PanicAndRun Wed 27-Nov-19 19:14:33

Sorry on MN in general, but I wanted a discussion on FWR as to why it happens and how damaging it can be.

allmywhat Wed 27-Nov-19 19:16:13

Is it some kind of Just World Fallacy? It is very scary when you realise how completely the criminal justice system is failing women. Maybe women just can't admit it.

I stayed silent too. It does not give me the moral standing to pressure other women into doing what I couldn't face doing myself. Totally the opposite, in fact.

suesylvesterr Wed 27-Nov-19 19:17:45

I'm always honest on those threads and tell them my experience of reporting.

Rape and sexual assault is so hard to prove. I personally wouldn't go through reporting again. On those threads I'm generally one of the only people being honest about how it actually is. Luckily never been called out on discouraging people though.

PanicAndRun Wed 27-Nov-19 19:24:23

I stayed silent too, mostly because for the incidents i was either a child or a teenager with no support.

It's a kick in the guts to read over and over again how I failed others by staying silent, even if it's not about me.

I've also seen a friend be abused and further traumatised during a rape trial, and advised not to seek counselling and help for her PTSD until after. I cried with her on the floor,I was on suicide watch, I looked after her kid when she couldn't get out of bed. She lived in refuge,moved miles away from everyone,changed her name to be safe. All that to be treated like a spiteful,horrible,revengeful slut on the stand, listen to what a nice family man he is and a not guilty verdict.

Fuck that.

LangCleg Wed 27-Nov-19 19:26:21

Sorry on MN in general, but I wanted a discussion on FWR as to why it happens and how damaging it can be.

Phew! I can't imagine the FWR regulars doing this.

SimonJT Wed 27-Nov-19 19:29:35

I had to refrain from commenting on that thread as I would have found it difficult to be polite to some of the posters.

To be honest I think the right thing is to not report, it’s a decision I know was definitely the correct thing for me, if anything were to happen in the future I would not report it. But there is no way I would ever try to influence someone else’s decision, it’s taking advantage of a vulnerable person.

Lysistrataknowsherstuff Wed 27-Nov-19 19:30:32

Last year Rape Crisis estimates there were 85,000 rapes in the UK. There were 1,900 convictions. Why the fuck would anyone report when the odds are that even in the unlikely event it goes to court, he'll get off?

I've supported a friend through a rape trial (not in the UK though). Up until that I thought that reporting was the right thing to do. Nope, not any more.

PanicAndRun Wed 27-Nov-19 19:33:57

Lang I guess I needed this board to talk about it as I don't think I could cope taking the pile on myself on AIBU or chat.

Why? Why would they do that to another woman?

Mentioning other victims from the press, describing worse things he might do,how he's probably finding another victim right now.

Don't we go through enough when we are raped/abused?

PreseaCombatir Wed 27-Nov-19 19:34:41

I wouldn’t ever encourage anyone to report tbh, it’s a disgrace how rape victims are treated. It’s supposed to not be allowed to ask about what they were wearing and sexually history, yet every case seems to bring it up in ‘exceptional’ circumstances.
It’s infuriating

ohwheniknow Wed 27-Nov-19 19:38:20

People don't get it. And I'm not sure they care.

I eventually reported decades later and it was a car crash. All I wanted to do was protect others but reporting rarely achieves that. And it sacrifices the victim in the process.

The list of ways in which rape victims are blamed for the rapist's actions seems neverending.

The idea that there are women out there pressuring others to report because they hadn't felt able to themselves is really distressing. Even women whose rapists are convicted frequently say they would not report again.

PanicAndRun Wed 27-Nov-19 19:39:06

It really is. This blind belief in justice contrary to statistics,testimonies,cases in the media etc. is mind boggling, especially when it doesn't even work.

RadicalFern Wed 27-Nov-19 19:39:37

These sorts of reasons are exactly why I didn't continue with the police case after I was assaulted. I could hardly bear to give my statement to the two (lovely, female) police officers who the (kind, gentle, female) nurse had called for me (when I said I wanted to report). I couldn't imagine having to do it in front of people. Lawyers. A judge.

The person in whose house it happened hasn't ceased contact with the person who assaulted me, partly BECAUSE I didn't continue with the police. I can't bear to go there any more. I'd known their family for 14 years...

PanicAndRun Wed 27-Nov-19 19:44:36

* partly BECAUSE I didn't continue with the police.*

That's just an excuse, and distancing themselves from the fact that it happened in their house. Plus it got them out of an awkward situation with the rapist and put it all in you.

I bet next would've been because it didn't go to court,or because he was found not guilty.

Rapists seem to get away with every excuse under the sun,while women get blamed for everything including reporting or not reporting.

ReceptacleForTheRespectable Wed 27-Nov-19 19:46:24

I read that thread and totally agree. Having testified against a rapist myself, I would never tell another woman she has to do so. Dealing with the legal system as a rape victim is horrible, and the trial process horrific.

PanicAndRun Wed 27-Nov-19 19:50:11

I am so sorry for all of you that have gone through this. thanks Even more so if you were further victimised after reporting.

PreseaCombatir Wed 27-Nov-19 19:52:31

The thing I can’t stand as well is that so many people don’t understand the difference between ‘innocent’ and ‘not guilty’.
So many stories about it was ‘proved’ that someone was lying because someone was found not guilty.

PanicAndRun Wed 27-Nov-19 19:57:29

Oh that is even worse. "Innocent until proven guilty" gets trotted on a lot as well.

Good enough for the law as good or bad as it is, but I'm not the law, I'm an individual and I'm allowed to make my own judgement and decide who I'll be in contact or not regardless of their criminal record.

I wonder how many of those posters would still insist on "innocent" if it was their rapist that got not guilty. Or their friend's, mother's,daughter's etc.

BarbaraStrozzi Wed 27-Nov-19 20:01:31

I was on that thread explaining that (a) forcing women to report retraumatises them and (b) achieves sweet fa given the atrocious rates of conviction.

ohwheniknow Wed 27-Nov-19 20:01:46

I think a lot of this is people trying to make themselves feel safe. "I would know if someone was a rapist therefore I can protect myself", "the justice system will protect me if the worst happens to me"... Etc.

Wish they'd stop throwing us under the bus just to make themselves feel less unsafe.

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