Three years ago,
I was a happy excited 20 year old looking forwards to an evening with her life long best mate.
If only I knew less than 12 hours later my world would be turned completely upside down.
We were getting ready for an evening in the local town, and her cousin who we were good friends with invited us round to his friends house for a free pre-drinks before we all went out, me and her being usual girls had bought a few outfits and shoes along as we didn’t know what to wear!
We went along, and had a good start to the evening, i never was a big drinker, i was always ‘the mummy’ of the group.
Anyway fast forwards through the night to getting back to the flat where we’d had pre drinks. There were only two bedrooms, and my mate had already gone and got in the single one, so i was fine with the sofa, assuming her cousin and friend would have the main room.
An hour or so later, her cousin remained in the living room where i was on the sofa. He tried to make a move on me, i refused, i wasn’t interested in him, I had a boyfriend, and I did not want any activity between us. He was super persistent, he got angry, cutting it short, he threw me of the sofa, ripped my clothes and raped me.
Wow, those words are actually really hard to write. I’ve never actually written this out.
Thats not the most difficult part of the story, little did i know how difficult the next few years would be.
After it happened, He ran out of the flat, and drunk drove his moped home.
I chucked on some clothes and ran to my car, i screamed, i cried.
Realization hit me about what had just happened.
As i was in my car, my work friend messaged me asking how i was, i just replied ‘help’, he came immediately to my rescue.
After a few hours, he convinced me to go to the police.
I didn’t realize then, that this would be the biggest regret of my life. Not because i didn’t want to go to the police, because of how this story ends.
I spent the night and following day in a sexual assault unit, seeing all sorts of people, nurses, sexual assault counsellors, photographers, police etc. I gave 100% evidence, swabs, photos of me naked to show scratches and bruises, gave them my clothes, every piece of evidence imaginable i gave it. The police even convinced me to do a 2 hour long video evidence going through the night again, which was horrific, i felt like they were just calling me a liar every time i spoke. But they said i would never have to go to court if i did this, so i made the decision to proceed.
After a grueling 2 days I was at home unable to move myself from my bed and face up to what had happened.
I waited and waited to hear anything from anyone, they did not keep me updated like agreed. I found out on google that he had a court date set. They never even told me.
This court case went on for 1.5 years, until one day i got a phone call, an absolutely dreaded phone call, demanding me to be in the crown court in a few hours time, with no notice, to face questions from his defense.
So I had to go. I got to the court, and they nearly sent me to the wrong case! When i corrected them on who i was and what case I was involved in, they sent me to a room, where i was just left, for what felt like hours and hours. Eventually some sort of officer walked in and put on a video, it was my video, my video evidence from that night, i just broke down.
After that amount of time, i was being forced to relive every detail.
They then introduced me for the first time to the man who was working for me, the prosecution.
He introduced himself and said ‘don’t worry, with all the evidence, he’ll get what he deserves’.
A few hours later, i had to go live to the court room and face some horrific questions, they only defense they had was to try and make me look like a liar, so made up some bizarre occurrences, like saying i had kissed him previous to that night, that i had made advances to him. None of which were true. The defense lawyer, had used a piece of evidence, my other shoes. I had taken a few pairs of shoes with me that night, i ended up throwing the ones i had gone out in as the heel broke on one, so as we got in a taxi i threw them away. However, the defense lawyer said “he was even such a gentlemen to you that he carried your shoes all the way back for you”, Obviously i objected and gave my version of events, the truth.
After this horrible day, i thought that was it, i had done everything i could and all the people i had met that day commented on the mass of evidence against him and how strong my case was.
A few days later at work, i got a phone call.
My world turned, they had found him not guilty.
The man who raped me, was free.
Three years on, i’m still the one who seems to be suffering, i don’t go out, i have never partied since, I hate the thought of meeting someone i like, because i am so scared of not being able to have sex with them like a normal person.
I lost my life long best friend. I moved away, I moved away from my family and friends, I left my life behind, Because of Him.
He’s still free, I dont understand how a criminal Justice System can let a victim down like this, how a pair of spare shoes made his case. The bruises i had, the carpet burns, the scratches, the DNA of his all over my body, the bite marks, the fact he fled the scene, everything, all the evidence against him, and my spare pair of heels saved him.
If someone approached me and said they’d been raped, I would say for me, i just wish i hadn’t reported it, they tell us to stand up against it, but for all the pain and loss its caused me, i definitely wouldn’t report it if it happened again. I have no faith in the system.
Still to this day, i break down in every day situations, Still now, it kills me.
I guess i was just ready to tell my story, I have never spoken about it to anyone apart from everyone already involved.