My husband and I emigrated to Toronto from the uk in 2001 with our 2 daughters. Our youngest daughter, Abigail, was raped in 2005 whilst celebrating her graduation from high school. The tradition here is to go camping in a group the weekend after the graduation ceremony and prom.
She had been shadowed constantly by a former student of the high school she had attended and a close male friend who was present told me that he followed her every move that night. Everyone was drinking including my daughter and when she became intoxicated he carried her to a tent and raped her. When he was finished he carried her back outside and put her back on the ground beside the camp fire.
I got a phone call from her the next day while at work and she was frantic, she said she needed the car and was her dad home so she could get it. She sounded really agitated and not herself and she sounded really panicked but I didn’t really understand at that time what was going on.
When I returned from work her boyfriend informed me of what had happened and we called the police. Abigail was really angry with me and I didn’t really handle the situation in the best way. I was full of anger and wanted the person who had hurt my child to pay for what he had done.
We were taken to the rape crisis centre at our local hospital where she underwent a whole series of procedures involving the rape kit needed to obtain forensic evidence. Throughout this procedure my daughter was violently sick on several occasions and after speaking to a nurse I was told that this is very common with rape victims. She had to take a cocktail of drugs to hopefully minimize the risk of std’s which also made her very ill over a number of days.
She was interviewed by police the following day and this was videoed for evidence and names of other people present at the celebrations was given to police. The offender was questioned by police and witnesses were contacted and it is at this point that the most hurtful events transpired. Several parents refused to let their children be questioned and as a result of several calls from peers who were present, Abigail refused to continue with the investigation. She was basically bullied into submission by these parents.
She went through a dark period for about a year after this, going out with friends and getting intoxicated and I was so very worried about her mental health. I got information for her and contacted a crisis centre and she did go for a few counseling sessions but I really don’t think she found it helpful.
9 years down the road she is living with her boyfriend in Australia and although she seems happy, I think a lot about how she really is mentally. She won’t discuss the event at all now, it is a taboo subject and it is years since we talked about it and even when we did it was minimal.
I have found it difficult to forget, it prays on my mind, what did he do to her, why did no one stop him, how could a parent refuse to allow testimony. It has left me with a hatred of this country, a hatred of Canadians and guilt that if we had not come to this country then this would not have happened.
I myself have had counseling which helped me cope with what happened but my worry is that my daughter has not fully recovered from this event and is in some ways traumatized and I worry for her so much. She’s so far away and although she is in a loving relationship with a man who adores her, I have no idea whether he is aware of what happened to her.
I know this may be a bit mixed up and garbled but it all just came out this way.