Guest post: The whole thing shredded her

Originally a comment by Eristae on A witness steps forward.

I’m not really a fan of “and the victim should go to the police” routine. I’ve seen it play out in person.

When I was in High School, my best friend was raped by a similarly aged family member. She told me many months after the fact. She was depressed, suicidal, and suffering from a host of physical ailments brought on by stress. She didn’t want to tell anyone. I convinced her to tell the school’s counselor, who in turn either convinced her to tell the police or who told the police herself (I believe it was the former, but I am not certain).

The whole thing shredded her.

The police didn’t believe her, told her so, and insisted that there must be something “wrong” with her (like an STD) that was causing her to make up such lies about an upstanding young man. She asked that the police wait until after a school break to tell her parents, and they ignored her pleas and told them right before the break, leaving her isolated with parents who (while they didn’t react as badly as she thought they might) viewed her as irreparably damaged. Her family splintered between those who believed her and those who did not. Afterwards she expressed that she wished she had not gone to the police; that doing so had only made things much, much worse. And I felt horrible, because I had convinced her to go to tell. I, who had bought into the narrative that You Must Involve the Authorities, believed I encouraging her to do what was right. In the end, she just ended up feeling more victimized and violated. And, to all the nits who are thinking, “Well, yes, she may have been more traumatized, but that’s the price we have to pay to keep him from raping another woman!” let me be absolutely clear: the rapist was not subjected to any kind of sanctions at all. He spent no time in jail, was not charged with anything, was not held accountable by his family or peers, and in general suffered no ill effect. Nothing that we did in any way limited his ability to rape again.

Even in hindsight I don’t know what the best course of action would have been. I don’t know if my friend was better off in the long term for having the assault brought out into the open; she stopped being willing to hang out with me soon after this had died down a bit, so I couldn’t even ask her. But what I do know is that if I had it to do over again, I would listen to what she wanted to do more and tell her what to do less. If the police were going to be involved, it was her decision to make, not mine. I didn’t have to deal with the fallout of what happened the way she did. It was her life, her trauma; it should have been her decision. I regret that she had to suffer so much for me to come to this realization.


  1. Jason Dick says

    “The police departments need to be fixed so that they actually listen to rape victims” must occur before “the victim should go to the police.”

  2. sathyalacey says

    I remember back in high school we had some occasional presentations in classes from the either the police department or other groups that talked about sexual assault, and yeah, they definitely stressed the “you’ve got to go to the police, it’s your responsibility to help prevent abuse/assaults to others in the future” bit.

    Nowadays I’m wondering why the fuck police departments bother constantly saying that. Clearly, they don’t give a shit and do not actually want to process sexual assault/abuse crimes – so why do they encourage people to come forward as much as they do? Is it just a strategy to get as many potential cases before them, and they specifically pick the ones that look most open-and-shut, preferably with a narrative particularly suited to making the prosecution look good on the news?

    On a completely different note, I recall some of the presentations talked about rape in a remarkably non-gendered terms, and actually stressed the fact yes, men can be raped by women. (This was in the mid 90s.)

  3. doubtthat says

    In addition to the absolutely grueling and humiliating process, a case that doesn’t go well can also leave a victim vulnerable to lawsuits.

    It’s “amusing” (as in, darkly funny) how quickly all the folks who were doubting Alison Smith IMMEDIATELY shifted gears to wondering why she didn’t go to the police or why the witnesses didn’t go on her behalf. Sadly, there’s much more to consider when filing a police report for sexual assault than just punishing the bad guy and making sure they can’t hurt anyone else.

  4. immunogoblin says

    As someone who works in a university setting (in the USA), I’ve recently been wondering about a somewhat related issue. All campus bathrooms have signs that say something along the lines of (paraphrasing here) “have you been raped or sexually assaulted? call this number to get help”

    If a victim decides to come forward, is on-campus reporting typically a better idea than going to the police? I know that American colleges and police forces both have less-than-stellar reputations with this, and that my question might lead to different answers depending on the individual school and district involved… thoughts? is there any third-party, anonymous service a victim could contact for advice in this difficult position?

    (I ask not as a victim, but more as someone who might be inclined to start writing additional notes on those stickers)

  5. Hj Hornbeck says

    This is somewhat relevant:

    Sixty-nine percent of police departments surveyed in 2012 said that dispatchers like this one, often with little training, are authorized to do the initial coding of sexual assault crimes.

    That’s important, because miscoding of such crimes is masking the high incidence of rape in the United States. We don’t have an overestimation of rape; we have a gross underestimation. A thorough analysis of federal data published earlier this year by Corey Rayburn Yung, associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, concludes that between 1995 and 2012, police departments across the country systematically undercounted and underreported sexual assaults.

    Yung used murder rates—the statistic with the most reliable measure of accuracy and one that is historically highly correlated with the incidence of rape—as a baseline for his analysis. After nearly two years of work, he estimates conservatively that between 796,213 and 1,145,309 sexual assault cases never made it into national FBI counts during the studied period. […]

    How are police departments undercounting sexual assault?

    One of the primary ways is that officers discount victim testimony, categorizing complaints as “unfounded” or reclassifying allegations of rape as “noncriminal” minor offenses. In 2013, a 196-page report by Human Rights Watch documented widespread, systemic failures in the Washington, DC, police department’s handling and downgrading of sexual assault cases. Last month, an externally run audit of the New Orleans police department found that 46 percent of forcible rapes were misclassified. The New Orleans study indicted the department for having submitted rape statistics that were 43 percent lower than those from twenty-four comparable cities. And in Baltimore, reported rapes showed a suspicious 80 percent decline between 1995 and 2010, compared with a 7 percent national reduction. Yung also reveals that officers sometimes simply fail to write up reports after rape victims are interviewed.

    This anecdote has solid data backing it up: the police are horrible at handling sexual assault cases. No wonder two in five of the people who didn’t report cite police and judicial hostility as a reason.

  6. Dunc says

    Nothing that we did in any way limited his ability to rape again.

    It’s worse than that – it’s been made perfectly clear to him that he can rape with impunity. His likelihood of raping again has very probably been enhanced.

  7. Kevin Kehres says

    That’s the problem I have with this whole “don’t report it if you don’t want to” thing. I understand it’s traumatic — though I admit I can’t even imagine how bad it is, because I’ve never been through anything remotely like it.

    I also understand that police are under-trained and way under-empathetic.

    But if you don’t report it, you’ve just given the guy permission to commit his next rape. Because he got away with yours and it’s likely he’ll get away with hers. And the next one and the one after that.

    This is how Jerry Sandusky got away with his predation for so long.

    And others…(CONTENT NOTE: Rape)

    18-year-old high school student in Arizona has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting at least 10 and as many as 18 high school girls, and authorities continued to plead Friday for any additional victims to come forward.

    Tyler Kost was being held without bond after being arrested late Thursday. In court documents and statements, the Pinal County Sheriff’s department has described Kost as a “serial rapist” who impregnated a 15-year-old and allegedly threatened to shoot in the head each girl who rejected his sexual advances.

    His three-plus years of suspected escapades appeared to be well-known around school, and some of the assaults allegedly involved girls whom Kost was dating.

    Girls and their family members accused Kost of using texting, Facebook and other messaging apps, including Snapchat and Kik, to befriend girls, invite them on dates and then kiss them before growing rougher. The assaults are suspected to have taken place in his San Tan Valley bedroom, girls’ bedrooms and in public spaces, such as parks and parking lots.

    “He was, from all of the accounts of the victims, somebody who was highly manipulative, very charismatic and charming,” Sheriff Paul Babeau said at a press conference Friday.

    Maybe if he had been reported to the police the first time, he would have been able to explain it away. But the second time? Once may be a misunderstanding…but twice? That’s a pattern. Prosecutors love patterns.

  8. Mickey Schulz says

    Did you not read the post? She WENT to the police, and not only did they treat her like shit, they basically gave her rapist carte blanche to rape again, because they demonstrated his victims wouldn’t be believed.

    Have you ever been the support of someone trying to file rape charges? And heard a female policeperson, no less, ask if she wanted to ruin that nice young man’s life? Do you have any idea how de-humanizing rape trials are for women, if, on the off chance, they are believed by police and prosecutors?

    I didn’t report my rape because I was the school slut (even though I was still a virgin, explain that) and he was a football player, in a land where football was king. I KNEW how that would play out. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knew how that would play out.

    I suggest you learn exactly what the fuck you’re asking rape victims to do before you ask it.

  9. qwints says

    I worry sometimes that some comments I’ve seen go past respecting victim’s choices into actually discouraging people from going to the police. That’s the fault of the horribly broken criminal justice system, not the commentators, and the solution, as Jason Dick wrote is to fix the system.

  10. Mickey Schulz says

    qwints, it’s not discouraging women from going to the police, it’s encouraging them to make sure they can cope with the extremely nasty fallout. Extremely nasty.

  11. Pteryxx says

    Kevin Kehres, don’t do this.

    But if you don’t report it, you’ve just given the guy permission to commit his next rape. Because he got away with yours and it’s likely he’ll get away with hers. And the next one and the one after that.

    That’s yet another form of victim-blaming that survivors have to suffer from. Reporting formally has a very small chance of accomplishing anything, and a much larger chance of exposing the reporting victim to further trauma, retaliation, and humiliation (very dependent on how much social support the victim has, which is why it’s so important to contact rape counselors who accompany victims to police).

    Rapists don’t have or NEED the victim’s “permission” to rape, FFS. Rapists already have cultural permission, bystanders’ permission, and permission through the active indifference of people in authority who should be doing their jobs. Don’t put that responsibility on those who suffered the most and have the most to lose. Change all the OTHER permissions first.

    Why #ididnotreport

    Does my fragility mean that the person who assaulted me went on to assault other girls? Maybe. Likely even.

    Here’s the thing that keeps me from killing myself over that, though. (Yes, I mean that literally.) I’m not a victim of sexual assault who just happened to be too weak to report. I’m a victim of sexual assault because I was too weak to report.

    The guy who assaulted me didn’t assault every woman or even every girl he came across. That isn’t how this works. It isn’t any sort of “bad luck” that some women are assaulted repeatedly while others aren’t. It isn’t an accident that children and women who are poor, immigrants, non-white, non-gender-conforming, etc. and on are assaulted at much higher rates. They are assaulted exactly because they are the people with the fewest resources to report and fight back.

    They choose those of us who have been pushed to the edge of the herd. There’s a reason we refer to them as predators. It’s because the analogy fits.

  12. says

    But if you don’t report it, you’ve just given the guy permission to commit his next rape. Because he got away with yours and it’s likely he’ll get away with hers.

    This is a horrible thing to say to a rape survivor.

    “It’s your fault if your rapist rapes someone else.”

    Guess what? It’s the rapist’s fault if he rapes someone else.

    You disgust me.

  13. Pteryxx says

    quints #8:

    I worry sometimes that some comments I’ve seen go past respecting victim’s choices into actually discouraging people from going to the police. That’s the fault of the horribly broken criminal justice system, not the commentators, and the solution, as Jason Dick wrote is to fix the system.

    Giving the victim support is absolutely vital. The best way to protect someone’s choice *to* go to the police is to help them find a rape counselor from a local crisis center. A counselor’s job is to let the person know what to expect from the process so they can prepare themselves, and then to accompany the person through the physical examination, rape kit process, and through interactions with the police to stop them asking biased or intimidating questions or violating the survivor’s rights. (EEB’s account at “I am a false rape allegation statistic” describes some of her legal rights that her rape counselor wasn’t allowed to safeguard.)

    The rest of us, as bystanders, should be doing everything we can to ensure victims have access to support – from their communities, their organizations, their police departments, and their crisis resources.

    More info (as a graphic via feministbatwoman, not sure of the original source):

    DID YOU KNOW after a rape or sexual assault…

    – You can go to the hospital and not report to the police
    – Evidence can be collected up to 5 days and will be held up to 6 months whether or not you decide to report to the police
    – Testing for Date Rape Drugs can be done from 24 hrs up to 72 hrs
    – Medications to prevent STD’s and Pregnancy need to be started within 72 hours
    – A rape crisis counselor can go with you to the hospital

    Everything you do/ don’t do is YOUR CHOICE

  14. Seven of Mine: Shrieking Feminist Harpy says

    @ Kevin Kehres

    But if you don’t report it, you’ve just given the guy permission to commit his next rape. Because he got away with yours and it’s likely he’ll get away with hers. And the next one and the one after that.

    Because that’s exactly what rape victims need, isn’t it? It’s not bad enough we blame them for their own rapes, we have to blame them for the rapes of other people too. You seem to mean well but you have a bad habit of spouting off about shit you clearly only have a superficial familiarity with.

  15. xyz says

    Kevin Kehres: no. It is not the victim’s responsibility to preven their attacker from attacking again. As the post above notes, reporting sometimes doesn’t stop a rapist at all. What is the victim to do then, turn to vigilantism?

  16. Eristae says

    @Kevin Kehres/7

    I’m sick, sick, sick (temperature of 103°F, wheee) so I really can’t engage in this much, but a couple of things popped into my head when I read your post and I wanted to get them out before my fever addled brain loses hold of them.

    1) What is it that is making you advocate the belief that the most appropriate way to combat rape is to throw enough traumatized victims at the police that perhaps eventually the police will eventually take one of them seriously? Because that’s what your advocating, and we don’t need to get theoretical about whether or not your approach would work in my friend’s situation: it didn’t work. It’s been over a decade since the whole thing went down and I still live in the town that I went to high school in, and so does she, and so does he. At no point was he brought to anything approaching justice.

    2) Why do you think rape is bad? I ask this because it my belief that rape is bad because of how harmful it is to the victim, and as such I have never understood why people think it is okay to traumatize a rape victim in the hopes that traumatizing the rape victim will prevent future people from being traumatized by rape. This argument is saying, in essence, that we will traumatize someone who has already been traumatized in the hope of preventing as of yet non-existent, future trauma. Even if we assume that my friend reporting didn’t just send the message to the rapist that he could get away with it (especially if he, a white young man with community ties, picked vulnerable women like my friend, a mixed race girl who moved from out of town), why would it be acceptable to knowingly traumatize her in the hopes that the rapist would rape enough women over enough of a time span that eventually one of the victims would report and be believed?

    There may be more that I should be saying and I hope my writing is clear enough to make sense (temperature of 103°F, wheee), but that’s what I can come up with for now.

  17. Pteryxx says

    immunogoblin #4 just out of moderation: (bolds mine)

    If a victim decides to come forward, is on-campus reporting typically a better idea than going to the police? I know that American colleges and police forces both have less-than-stellar reputations with this, and that my question might lead to different answers depending on the individual school and district involved… thoughts? is there any third-party, anonymous service a victim could contact for advice in this difficult position?

    (I ask not as a victim, but more as someone who might be inclined to start writing additional notes on those stickers)

    That’s what rape crisis centers are for – see my #14 above. A local rape crisis center *may* know how a given college or campus police department conducts itself toward victims. (A campus conflict resolution service worthy of the name *should* have a close relationship with a crisis center to begin with – and this is something prospective students and allies can check for, by calling the campus and digging into their process.)

    Many campuses also are starting to have student-run survivor advocacy groups, who likely won’t have protecting the school’s rep as their primary goal. The help number on the flyers you’re seeing could be for a student group, a campus resource, a local crisis center, or even a campus police unit trained for sexual assault response – without further information there’s no way to tell.

  18. Onamission5 says


    You say you can’t imagine the trauma. Well here you can read about some of the effects of that trauma:

    Note that rapes victims are 13 times more likely to attempt suicide than non-crime-victims. Thirteen times. A third of rape victims develop symptoms of PTSD. A third.

    Now you get to read about secondary victimization:

    I feel the need to mention here that this is not an intellectual exercise for me, despite what my flat tone may convey. I am represented amongst both the suicide statistics and the demographic whose pain you are so eager to couple with blame, more than once over.

  19. Eristae says

    @Kevin Kehres

    I thought of something else I wanted to add.

    You’re likely to get a lot of really hostile responses from people about this because a lot of us bought in to what you were saying, went to the authorities as we had been told to do, and were absolutely destroyed when doing the “right” thing made everything worse.

    When I convinced my friend to Go To The Authorities, I wasn’t even actually looking to get the rapist convicted of anything. I was well aware, even then, that rape is incredibly difficult to get prosecuted, and my friend had waited months before telling anyone, making the whole thing even more difficult to prove. Instead, what I wanted was for my friend to get some help. She was fantasizing about committing suicide. She was severely depressed. She was having trouble with her classes. Her body was literally starting to tear itself apart from stress. I was, what, 14 years old? 15 years old? This was way above my experience level. I had no clue how to help her with any of this. I wanted nothing more than for an adult to come and make things better. I wanted her to see a psychiatrist for her depression, maybe get put on some anti-depressants, see a doctor for the stress based illnesses she was suffering from, and have people allow her to not be at gatherings with him without her having to make excuses. I also had a secondary goal that the rapist be sent the message that what he had done was Not Fucking Okay and Would Not Be Tolerated (even if it couldn’t be proven and thus no legal sanction could be imposed), but my main goal was to help my friend. To keep her from killing herself, either overtly through suicide or covertly through the long term effects of the massive stress she was under.

    I did not get what I wanted. I did not get either my primary goal or my secondary goal. I was not able to get her help; all I was able to do was to get her further traumatized by the police. I was not able to get the message sent to the rapist that what he had done was unacceptable; both the police and his family accepted it just fine.

    It’s not impossible that things would have been worse if we hadn’t told. I have no way of knowing that, especially given that our relationship fell apart after her trauma at the hands of the police. But what I do know is that my certainty that I knew the right thing to do was profoundly misplaced. I didn’t mean to be arrogant and dismissive of her fears about going to The Authorities, but I was, and in the end, she was right and I was wrong. And the worst thing about her being right while I was wrong is that she was the one who suffered for my being wrong. If I learned nothing else from this, I learned I do not have the right to mandate that other people (people who are already profoundly traumatized) subject themselves to even more trauma because I think it will ultimately be better for them to do so; after all I’m not the one who is going to pay the price if I’m wrong.

    You have an incredible opportunity here. You have the ability to learn this lesson without fucking up someone else’s life the way I did. You don’t have to put yourself in my shoes: you don’t have to make a mistake that will cost someone else more than you can possibly measure. If someone who has been raped comes to you, support them. Treat them as autonomous human beings who are valuable in their own right and are worthy of respect. Let them make their own decisions. Don’t make them feel even worse; don’t traumatize them further. Don’t treat them as merely a means to an end (another number on a spreadsheet of people who have made reports of rape). This is someone’s life we’re talking about, and it isn’t our own lives. We are not justified in fucking up other people’s lives for the sake of principle.

  20. Krasnaya Koshka says

    SallyStrange @12 is 100% correct. I’m sick of this “It may be your fault, rape victim, that there’s another rape victim”.

    Bullshit! It’s the rapist’s fault and also the cops’ fault for not believing us in the first place.

    Guess what, Kevin Kehres @7, I tried to stop it and it was horrific for me. And, in the end, nothing was done. I wasn’t even taken seriously. I seriously doubt WE are discouraging women (or men, or children) from going to the police/authorities (I laugh in the general direction of “authorities”), with our negative stories, as much as it is the police making it impossible/nasty/traumatic to do so. I don’t think we victims are as stupid as you think.


    In my case, the first time, it was my father.

    My parents had been having world class fights… let me correct that, my father had been beating the shit out of my mom for about a year. Every month or so it escalated into on the street brawls, my mom trying to get away. (I’m super tempted to blurt out everything, but it’s not on point here.) I just recall that either I or neighbors called the police and the same cop showed up every time. Officer O’Donnell. “Do you really want your dad to go to jail?” That was about the domestic violence. I, being 13, was pressured into saying, “No, he didn’t actually hold a gun to my mom’s head. He was only joking.”

    Well, at the same time, Dad had decided I was quite interesting and nightly visits happened. I absolutely disengaged from my body at that time. I was only my brain and my eyes and hands. If I could keep them “clean”, I would be clean.

    Because of the violence at my home, I was called into the guidance counselor’s office in Junior High several times (mortifying for a 13 year-old). One time, Officer O’Donnell was there instead of the regular counselor (whom I never spoke to, anyway) and he took me into the library (why?). He asked me a bunch of questions and I robotically answered. Then I said,

    “My father raped me.”

    He looked at me and started laughing. “I guess that’s enough for today,” he said and left me there.

    When I was sexually assaulted the next time, when I was 17, I didn’t even consider going to the police. Why would I?

  21. xyz says

    Eristae, I want to say, thank you for relating this story. And, as someone who tried to help support a friend through something similar without going to the authorities – let me tell you I have occasionally felt just as much guilt over my inadequate form of support and wondered whether things might have been better for my friend if she’d found a therapist earlier instead of leaning on an informal, sometimes flaky, support system for so long. In fact, another friend who was living with her at the time suffered secondary trauma as a helper.

    Bottom line is, none of this is easy, and after someone is hurt in such a wrong way there is no right answer as to what to do, even if everyone is acting out of love and in good faith.

  22. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Eristae @ 20 and in the OP:

    You did what you believed to be best. We all want to believe in a Just World, especially when we’re young.

    You’re a great, empathetic person and had you known the consequences, of course, you wouldn’t have followed through. You have definitely learned (painfully so) and I think it’s awesome that you’re trying so eloquently to stop others from making the same mistake. You’re a great teacher (I’m sorry that it’s caused you so much strife).

    I’ve always valued your comments precisely because you’re you. I hope you feel better soon!

  23. Hj Hornbeck says

    Kevin Kehres @7:

    That’s the problem I have with this whole “don’t report it if you don’t want to” thing. I understand it’s traumatic — though I admit I can’t even imagine how bad it is, because I’ve never been through anything remotely like it.

    I can give you some idea, via a court case I’ve heard about. [TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, SELF-ABUSE]

    The “Melfort” case goes something like this: three men find a woman in front of a bar, they all go drinking, then the three sexually assault her. Should be a pretty simple case, right?

    Judge Fred Kovatch’s sentencing report assessed her probability of “consenting” to sex on the basis of evidence that she may have been sexually abused in her home before the assaults. But there was little evidence of her actually saying or doing anything to convey consent. […] Yet defense attorneys Hugh Harradence, Mark Brayford and Stuart Eisner argued consent on the basis of prior sexual victimization by another man.

    The stark illogic of this proposition—that being sexually victimized in the past means consent to three on one sex with strangers–was minimally disguised by medical opinion which broadly pathologized victims of child sexual abuse as “usually sexually unpredictable.”

    Saskatoon pediatrician Anne McKenna’s evidence was out of step with the psychological literature—which suggests sexual acting out, seen in a minority of victims, is much less common than underdeveloped sexual desire as an outcome of abuse, so it cannot be described as “usual” at all. And, McKenna’s evidence was twisted by the defense: Brayford intimated “usually sexually unpredictable” meant “sexually aggressive”.

    Yep, the defense actually tried to argue she’d consented to sex, on the basis she’d been sexually abused before, and that she was sexually mature and aggressive. Did I mention she was 12 at the time?

    The alleged victim in a sexual assault trial wailed loudly and covered her face when the Crown prosecutor on Tuesday presented her clothes from the night three men allegedly attacked her.

    “I don’t want to look,” the girl cried, burying her face in her hands.

    She sobbed and sniffled throughout her testimony and was nearly inaudible at times, her voice being washed out by the whir of ceiling fans. Justice Ellen Gunn repeatedly asked the girl to speak clearly for the jury.

    On several occasions, Crown prosecutor Robin Ritter had to repeat his questions and implore the girl to respond, as she often sat for minutes in silence.

    “It’s important you tell us what happened. I have to ask the questions,” Ritter said.

    “I can’t talk about it anymore. I don’t like speaking in front of a lot of people,” said the girl, who cannot be identified.

    She eventually identified a pair of jeans and socks as the ones she wore […] when she was 12 years old and a runaway from Porcupine Plain.

    Not only was her entire sexual history put on display for the world, the entire process was repeated in six separate trials over a span of seven years. One article I read (which I can’t find a link for) mentioned she only slept during the day to avoid the nightmares, and had been self-harming.

    What’s most shocking about this case isn’t that it occurred in some backwater developing country, but in Canada, where we have some of the best sexual assault laws in the world, and it happen less than 15 years ago, decades after those laws had been put in place. This is an extreme case, sure, but every victim of sexual assault knows they could be subject to a similar ordeal. Should they report, and put their private lives in the spotlight, fend off repeated questions and well-entrenched myths, and do it all repeatedly for years? Or should they stay silent, and just try to move on?

    Only the victim can make that decision. Not you.

  24. emilybites says

    @ Kevin Kehres I reported my rape. Reporting did not affect the rapist’s freedom to keep assaulting women. I reported like a good citizen, but I did not get a gold star for fucking up my life, and it will not have stopped him doing it again, because nothing happened to him.

    As Pteryxx @11 says, the kind of serial rapist who makes up the majority picks the more easily victimised, and chooses or engineers plausibly deniable situations. The police told me I was a poor witness due to age, being drunk, delay in reporting, and familiarity with the friend of my family who raped me. A drunken fifteen year old slut (another virgin at the time…almost as though ‘slut’ doesn’t mean ‘has lots of sex’ but rather ‘don’t believe her’) with a crush on a married twenty-seven year old = a plausible situation, not a rape.

    I’m sure it was embarrassing for him, but he is free to keep raping drunk and vulnerable women in social situations. I bet he has. I, on the other hand, largely from being disbelieved and called a homewrecking slut in my home town, became depressed and commenced self-harming. What really fucked me up was that when I reported to the police and told my parents, people didn’t believe me, and they didn’t care. They didn’t perceive what he had done to be a crime.

    Do you get it, Kevin Kehres? There is more to do than make rape victims smash their own heads against a brick wall and throw up our hands saying, ‘Oh well! That didn’t work!’

  25. Anne Marie says

    A friend of mine was raped by her then-boyfriend. She went to police like she was supposed to and they told her it was part of adult relationships and that she’d learned a lesson for next time. I just looked up the case and yep, “NOLLE PROSEQUI.” The whole thing also lasted a year and a half before they gave up on prosecuting it.

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