Sometime during the night of November 20, 2010, I was raped. Not by a stranger or an evil villain hiding in some dark alley that caught me off guard and raped then beat me and left me for dead. No, I was raped by someone I knew, and not just and acquaintance but someone I knew very well and trusted with all my being. I was raped by my best friend’s husband, in the guest room of their home, while she lay sleeping in their bed only 50 feet away. How the evening of November 20th started: My best [then] friend, her husband (the rapist) and 3 other couples went to an annual event at a local hotel in our little town. My husband works at the hotel and had worked all day there so he chose not to go to the event with us even though we had purchased tickets in advance. All of us had drinks and wine before we left their home and 2 more glasses of wine each at the event. We were only at the event for less than an hour when both my friend and I started feeling very “drunk”. That in itself was very unusual because we drank wine together all of the time and we never felt that way after only 4 glasses. My friend’s husband decided he had better get us out of there so he rounded everyone up to leave. The car was valet parked so by the time the car arrived, I had passed out in the driveway and had to be carried into the car, none of which I remember. In fact I don’t remember anything from the time I walked outside of the hotel at the event and up until the moment I opened my eyes and was being raped. I later learned that my friend had passed out also and her husband carried us both from the vehicle into their house. He carried her first to their bedroom then me into the guest bedroom. No one else was there but us 3 and he was the only one that was not incapacitated. I believe I was drugged, however there is no proof of that because I didn’t get to the emergency room for the SANE exam until more than 24 hours after the rape occurred. I also believe that my friend was drugged so that she would not be a problem and get in the way of “his plan”. I don’t believe it is a coincidence that we both got so drunk that we both passed out at the same time, in the same place and on the same night. I was unconscious for most of the rape but when I came to; I saw the shadow of a very tall man towering over me. I knew who he was and I think I may have even tried asking him what he was doing, when I realized he was raping me. I screamed as loud as I could but I didn’t hear my scream. I fought as hard as I could fight, but I was not moving. I tried kicking and punching him and tried to squirm away but he was still pounding his body into mine. It was if I was paralyzed and I had to watch everything that he was doing to me without the ability to do anything to stop it. He was hurting me and I was helpless and scared. He had total control over me.
Our lives changed that night and we will never be the same. My husband and I filed charges on my best friend’s husband for raping me and when the grand jury finally got our case, he was “no-billed” (failed to indict). If there had been any relief of pain in the 4 month’s that past, it was all back and worse. We hired a lawyer a filed a civil lawsuit and eventually it went to court and he was found “not guilty”. The words pain and suffering are too small to describe how we felt. We thought that if we went through the pain of reliving my rape, day after day, week after week, month after month for 2 years, that there would be justice. Justice (or injustice) is what it is, and the rapist got away with the crime. We spent 4 days in a courtroom listening to the details of the rape, most of which I didn’t know and learned at the trial. I was made out to be a promiscuous whore and a drunk, while the rapist was made out to be a nice guy and a good friend to anyone that knows him. When I heard “not-guilty” come out of the judge’s mouth in that courtroom at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 26, 2012, I was done! I was done with God. I was done with ever trusting anyone again. I was done with the justice system. I was done with this fight! I (we) had no fight left in us so we just quit fighting.
Since those first few days and weeks of anger, confusion, pain and hurt of that night and enduring the trial, our fight is back with a passion. In the past 4 years we have questioned God, our love, our marriage and we vowed not to let that rapist take these things from us as well. Our marriage and love for each other is now stronger than ever before. Our faith in God is stronger than ever before. We ask God every day, to get us through another day! Life is a giant walk of faith. If we are not counting on God-sized miracles, then we are not really living. We understand that to whom much is given, much is required. Most of all, we believe that in our weakness, He is strong!
We decided that my rapist might have gotten away with his crime, but he would not win and “RapeVine” began. I worked on the idea of the RapeVine for many months before I showed this website to my husband. As soon as he heard me talking so passionately about it, he immediately wanted to be a part of it. He made me see that we have to spread the word of RapeVine as a couple. He, as the secondary rape survivor has as much to offer RapeVine as I do. My rape has given us purpose. We can share our story and our pain and suffering with someone that has been raped and doesn’t know what to do, what to say, where to go, or who to turn to. We want to offer help and support with compassion through the RapeVine. With RapeVine as a rape support network for all rape victims (non-stranger/acquaintance and stranger), secondary survivors and their families, we ultimately WIN!!
– Patty Jackson