I was raped when i was 18 or 19. I don’t remember the date, but know it was during my first year of uni.
I want to share some of the reasons i didn’t and haven’t, or haven’t yet, who knows, reported to the police the time when i was forcibly penetrated without my consent, that is; my rape.
I didn’t report my rape at the time because my best friend at the time, the only person i told for years, said it probably wasn’t rape and i was mistaken.
I didn’t report my rape at the time because we were all mates and i wanted it to have been a mistake.
I didn’t report my rape at the time because i had no proof and thought no one would believe me.
I didn’t report my rape at the time because i hadn’t locked my door.
I didn’t report my rape at the time because i’d slept with my rapist before with my consent.
I didn’t report my rape the week after because i didn’t like to think about it.
I didn’t report my rape the week after because it hadn’t been done with a weapon or down an alley and so i thought it could have been worse.
I didn’t report my rape the week after because i started forgetting the details, the finer details, so knew i’d not be believed.
I didn’t report my rape a couple of years after it happened, when i told my then best friend, despite her saying she’d support me. I don’t know why i didn’t then, but i didn’t.
I didn’t report my rape a couple of years afterwards when i told my mum, because she told me it happens to everyone and we just learn to live with it.
I didn’t report my rape a few years after that, when i was told my rapist had also raped someone else, because the guilt i felt made me ashamed and i didn’t want to talk about it.
I didn’t report my rape last year, the closest i’ve ever been to reporting it, when i felt justice should perhaps finally be done, because i just couldn’t face retelling my story to strangers. I couldn’t face the questions, the probing, the renewed violations of me. I nearly did it, but i wasn’t strong enough to be raped again, albeit through my memories.
I didn’t report my rape yesterday because i was at the gym and the shops and i did some housework and because i’m not ruled by this horrendous act of entitlement this man 15ish years ago did to me. (There’s nothing wrong with those of us ok/okish with it and there’s nothing wrong with those who are not ok with it – we can’t help our reactions and shouldn’t be shamed either way).
I didn’t report my rape today and am highly unlikely to report it tomorrow or the day after that, either, for all the reasons i’ve outlined above. Maybe one day i will, but i doubt it.
No one has to believe me, of course, but it doesn’t stop it being true. You might know someone who’s been raped and their story might be told or untold, just thought i’d point it out. Even those who are ok with it, or who are sometimes ok with it, doesn’t make our experiences disappear.
If you’ve been raped and you want to report it, you should and you should be supported for this. If you’ve been raped and you don’t want to, i understand, i support you too and hope those close to you do too.