I had just moved into the neighborhood to start my new job at a high school when my housemate introduced me to our neighbor and his two kids. We hit it off right away and became close friends. He’d always invite myself and others to dinner where he would cook amazing meals. I became very close to his daughter who lost her mother a few years earlier, and acted as a female role model for her. At the time, I couldn’t work out why she hated other girls so much…
We were never in a relationship, only friends, and I constantly made this clear. It also seemed pretty obvious given that I was already in a relationship.
One night, he invited myself and other neighbors over to dinner as usual. Within seconds of the last person leaving, he quickly took advantage. The word ‘no’ obviously wasn’t in his vocabulary and, within moments, he was forcibly removing my clothes before raping me.
Thanks to my parents teaching me to stay calm in any situation, I remained focused and took mental notes of everything happening while continually trying to get him to stop. After 45 minutes, he finally got the message. I was scared and furious at the same time. I was ready to yell and scream at him, but something made me stop. It was like he completely changed the second I was standing and telling him to ‘piss off’ when he tried to lunge at me. Suddenly, he was saying things like, ‘after everything I have done for you, this is how you treat me’ etc.. Something inside told me not to make any sudden movements or noise that might set him off while he paced back and forth in the kitchen. It that moment that I truly feared for my life.
When I left his unit I went straight into shock. But, again, thanks to my parents teaching me from a young age that, in any situation, don’t panic and seek help, I did just that.
But that’s where the REAL rape started.
The police turned up to take my statement. They asked me what I wore that night, they asked me why I didn’t just get up and leave (yeah, with a guy sitting on top of me… sure). They asked me if I said ‘no’.
They took photos of my bruises, I gave them a very detailed statement, right down to the minute, and provided them with one witness who appeared briefly in the room at the time. I also provided the names of friends who could confirm that he and I were never in a sexual relationship.
Two weeks passed before they even bothered to contact my rapist for an interview. During this time, I was a complete mess, not sure if he had been interviewed or not, and was constantly paranoid that he would turn up at my door to do it again for revenge.
Then another two weeks passed before they finally called me and said “there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him”. I broke down and screamed at the police. How could they even say that? By now I had collected five other names of women who had fallen into this guy’s trap and still the police didn’t want to touch it. What were they being paid for?
All I could do was get and AVO out against him which he contested because it included not being allowed to go the school in which I worked, and in which his kids attended.
It’s only been five months since he raped me. I moved to a neighboring town, but recently learned that he intends on moving to the same town in the next few weeks.
I contacted the police about it, stating that I’m already a mess psychologically and that seeing him at the one supermarket in my town would send me over the edge. Again, they didn’t care, saying that he had every right to move.
What about my rights?
What about the rights of every woman who has been raped by this man?
Are we supposed to just get raped, then get over it?
And what about his daughter? I wonder how she will react when she eventually learns that the women who have come and gone in her life were not ‘drunks’ or ‘psychos’ but in fact victims of her father’s misogyny?
The silver lining in this story is that it has inspired me to share my story to my female students and teach them skills to avoid men like him and, despite the police being absolutely useless, to still speak up. So far these workshops have proven to be successful in bringing about this awareness.