Looking back at the minutes following my rape I have come to realise how lucky I was. How lucky I was to have someone there to answer the two hardest questions I think I have ever been faced with. What just happened? And what do I do now? If I did not have someone there to answer those questions for me I believe that the events that followed that evening would have been very different.
I would not have reported my rapist to the police.
I mean why would I? I knew the man that raped me. The man that raped me was someone that I was once friends with. And I was drunk. Not the ‘oh dear I might have had a few too many’ drunk, the ‘shit I’m absolutely smash’ kind of drunk. The night ended and I willingly followed him back to his flat. I mean, what was I expecting to happen right? And to top the whole evening off I didn’t fight back. I woke up to find I was being raped and I did not fight back. I literally just froze (pathetic I know). Surely my rapist is going to get away with it?
But then what if he doesn’t get away with it, don’t I have a responsibility to report the rape? If I don’t report the rape to the police wont I be putting other potential victims at risk? I have been given the opportunity to protect other women. Haven’t I?
Doubt is understandable. In fact I’d go as far as to say doubt is normal. We live in a society that blames victims and survivors. It is a society where it is more shameful to be raped that it is to be a rapist. But when it comes down to it, no means no. Intoxication means no. Unconsciousness means no. Hesitation means no.
Only yes mean yes.
The biggest piece of advice I could give to anyone battling with the decision to report their rapist or not is its up to you. It is your decision and do not let anyone else tell you otherwise. Do I regret reporting my rape to the police? No. Has it been easy? No.
Everyones rape story is different therefore the best way to deal with being raped is different for everyone. Just make sure you look after number one. Because its only you that matters in this situation.