6 months ago I was raped while at college. And I still have no idea who by. I was walking by a lake to get some fresh air and he came from behind. I never even saw his face. It all happened so fast that I completely froze. I didn’t fight back, didn’t scream, nothing. I am still so ashamed. Ashamed, because I was out alone when it was beginning to get dark and ashamed because I didn’t fight back. I know it was in no way my fault, but that doesn’t change the fact that I think I could have somehow prevented it. Afterwards, I felt so embarrassed, so dirty. I showered about 3 times and still felt disgusting. I was at school at the time and decided I needed to get the hell away from there, so I left. When I finally got home and told my family, they strongly encouraged me to report it even though I did not want to at all. I knew deep down it was the right thing to do, but at the time I didn’t care what the right thing to do was. I just didn’t want to have to tell my story over and over again, which is what ended up happening.
Anyways, I did end up coming forward. I got a rape kit and reported it to the police. At first, they were very nice and compassionate. They even came to my house to interview me. But, after a few days they called me into the police station to ask me more questions. When I got there they basically accused me of lying. It was as if I was emotionally raped all over again. They told me it is rare to be raped by a stranger and for that main reason they didn’t think I was telling the truth. This is something I would never in a million years lie about. Being accused by the police, who are supposed to be on my side, was the worst feeling in the world. I don’t think the detective on the case knows how much he messed me up by accusing me of lying. I am aware that some people do lie about this, but before you accuse a victim you should be 100% sure they are lying. When this all went down I got so angry with the detective and was able to let some of my anger out at him, which felt good. But, it wasn’t enough. I wish I could somehow make him feel how he made me feel. I am not going to say don’t come forward if you were raped, but if I were able to do it again I definitely would not have come forward.
I still have nightmares every night about the rape. I don’t get much sleep, because I know when I close my eyes I’m going to have nightmares about that night. I have so much hatred and anger in my heart now. Hatred for the man who took my virginity, my safety, and my life. I also have hatred for the detective who took my courage, my trust, and my hope. This was easily the worst thing that has happened to me. It has brought me to my darkest place. I am depressed, anxious, and sometimes I wonder what the point is of living anymore. I hate that I am so low to the point of having thoughts of suicide. I hate that this rape changed my entire life and has changed me as a person. I wonder if I will ever get my life back or will ever be normal again.
— Survivor, age 19