Being the victim in a rape case
Ilovemycatsomuch · 15/10/2021 17:24
I was really upset when I watched channel 4 news yesterday ....there was ALOT on there about misogyny, sexual assault etc. Don't get me wrong, I 100% believe that this is what we as women are facing.
However, some of the information was wrong.
I've been through this procedure myself. I was raped. By a stranger. Who I invited into my home while I was drunk and high. Yes it was awful and I sometimes think that I was as traumatised by the investigation as I was by the rape.
However, I'm really upset by what people say, as in other victims. It bothers me. It puts people of reporting for the wrong reasons. I'm talking about "disclosure".
The police made it extremely clear to me that the reason they needed my school records, medical records, counselling records etc, was not because they didn't believe me, it was because the DEFENCE lawyer has a right to request that stuff and may use it against me in court (horrific, but that's the fact unfortunately).
So the police and cps wanted to get it first, so they could be prepared and stop the defence using anything in my past against me in court.
I was very very far from a perfect victim. I had been drinking all day, I had taken drugs... and I was on sick leave from work due to long
term mental illness.
Once they got all my life story and history, they then had meetings with the defence team, and as a result, at no point was my mental illness brought up in court. It wasn't allowed. Defence and prosecution had all my life records.... but they had to agree in advance before it went before the jury, what the exact point was that they were going to argue over in court. Police and cps made it clear in those meetings that my mental health and my past was irrelevant to the case. So it was never brought up in court.
That's just my experience and I appreciate other people may have different experiences.
My friend who was supporting me was like, omg they are treating you like the criminal!! Yes it felt like that. Yes it was awful. Yes knowing my rapist could read all my medical records was horrendous (especially because of my long term mental health problems).
But it was explained to me. I never thought that the police were doing it to question my credibility. They did it to protect my credibility.
I went to court in 2019 and the jury unanimously found my rapist guilty.
It was truely the most difficult and awful time of my life. I lost so much during that time....including my home, many friends, my career, and my health. I'm still not recovered now.
I'm not really sure that going through court is always the most helpful thing. To be honest, I ended up suicidal.
However, it is really really wrong for people to say that the police and cps won't believe you and will dig through your past to test your credibility. They are doing that to protect you from the defence lawyer.
Also, my phone was never taken by the police ....because after the guy raped me he stole my phone and my laptop (scumbag). I'm not sure I would have been so brave to continue engaging with the police if they had taken my phone.
Anyway, that's what happened to me. Yes it was horrendous and to be honest it ruined my life. I'm still recovering years later .... I will never be the person I used to be.
But to be honest, the police were ok
Dartfordwarblerautumn · 15/10/2021 18:58
I think it is still appalling you had to go through that
so, my question, and I genuinely don’t know, is what other crimes is a witness’s medical history, social historian , social media etc trawled through by prosecutors and defuse to discredit them? Does it happen for a witness of murder or a man who is assaulted such as GBH
anyone who knows the answer to this?
Ilovemycatsomuch · 15/10/2021 19:49
Yes I do wonder about this myself. I don't know the answer.
So many questions.
Also what other crime, when you confide in your friends and colleagues (because you have to continue working while enduring the investigation).....what other crime, do people you confide in take it upon themselves to discuss wether they think you are telling the truth, are you lying, were you mistaken, are you just making it up to get an easy time at work?!
Wow, I was so incredibly naive. I told people around me what was happening....because it was very relevant to my every day functioning. I was completely shocked by the amount of suspicion that fell on me.
Like I said, it was utterly the worst 10 months of my life. It's over 2 years now and I'm still not the same person. My life has been ruined.
PlanDeRaccordement · 15/10/2021 20:03
*what other crimes is a victims medical history, social history , social media etc trawled through by perpetrators defence to discredit them?
Discrimination on basis of race, sex, religion, national identity, etc.
Also, it is fair to point that these things are not just examined if you’ve been a victim of a crime. These records can also be examined as a condition of employment for some jobs. Many employers will look at medical records, require medical examinations (I.e military, airline crew, medical staff, bus/train/HGV driver). Vast majority of jobs today the employer will also “trawl through” your social media and do a background check into your “social history” to look for undesirable things.
So to my mind it’s not unusually invasive to request access when investigating a crime.
Felix125 · 16/10/2021 03:57
Loads of crimes really, although it has to be relevant. And it depends what is raised as part of the enquiry or raised as a defence.
Breach of restraining orders
The list is endless really - we can also use it in cases where we believe there is a serious threat to life before a crime has actually occurred.
But, it has to be relevant and proportional to the enquiry.
MimiDaisy11 · 16/10/2021 04:41
Sorry you went through that OP. You’re right that news should be accurate. They shouldn’t paint a rosy picture but also shouldn’t go too far in other direction. I guess though if it’s guests they have on they’re not always going to be aware of exactly what they say but hopefully should have a mix of guests to balance things out.
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