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My name is Mary
I am 58 years old
When I was 24 I was living in Holland
I was raped at knife point
I went to the police on the same day I gave a full statement and had to be examined
The rapist was never found
Many years later I spoke to a counsellor about the details of that rape and she helped me to see that the rapist had stalked me for many days leading up to the actual deed of the rape itself. Up to speaking to her I had not been able to see he had stalked me but as soon as I spoke about it I saw it for what it really was. Being raped was in itself so horrendous but realizing I had been stalked before hand was even harder.
When I was 30 I got married
I trusted my husband with the knowledge that I had been raped.
2 years later he raped me He came home late at night drunk and I believe he was also high on something – he took a lot of drugs at the time. He lay down beside me in bed and began to fondle me. I pushed him off and said no,but he ignored me and then he raped me. Afterwards he fell asleep immediately. I was awake before him the next day, when he woke up we didn’t speak about what had happened. I didn’t tell anybody for a very long time,, many years.
I didn’t report that rape at that time.
By then I had become his victim on so many levels
He abused me in every way possible including, keeping me isolated financial abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse and physical violence
During that time he also molested our son age 3
I challenged him about it but he denied it, he was an expert liar and when he denied it I believed him, but he spoke to a friend living in the same street and she called a social worker and the police, they came to the house and spoke to him, but they didn’t charge him
After 10 years of being with him I managed to end the marriage and get him out of the lives of me and our 2 sons.
Our sons made contact with him again when they were 17 and 18. My older son quickly decided he could not spend time with his father, my younger son entered a codependent relationship with him and with his girlfriend and girlfriends son.
Sadly he was to find out that no matter what he did, his father had not and would not change. He remained a violent addict. My son often witnessed his father attack his girlfriend and his girlfriends young son. My son fell into the role of protector to them. His father stole from him and was verbally demeaning towards him.
In April last year my son was visiting his Dad and discovered his Dad had been accused of raping a near by neighbor and of molesting her teenage daughter. The charges were dropped soon afterwards but the damage to my son being around all of this with his Dad was huge emotionally. We spoke at length just a couple of days later and he told me that for the first time he was questioning in his mind about the truth of what had happened, his Dad was denying all of it, my son was so uncomfortable that when his Dad touched him on the shoulder my son physically flinched and told his Dad never to touch him again. When my son said this to me, finally 22 years after it happened we were able to speak about what his Dad had done to him when he was just a little boy It was a very hard conversation and in the days following I searched my heart over and over again, worrying about what impact the conversation would have on my son. In the months following that conversation I would hear from my son by phone and each time it was clear that he was emotionally deteriorating. Just 5 months later my son got a call from his Dad’s girlfriends son, telling my son that his Dad had tried to strangle him. My son was in the army at the time and immediately took compassionate leave. He went to his Dad’s place and called the police. When the police arrived he was very open with them about the violence he has been witnessing almost all of his life. The police asked him to give a statement. When my son gave his statement the police asked him to speak about his childhood and the violence. My son was very brave and open and he spoke about his Dad sexually molesting him. The police asked if anyone could corroborate what he was saying and he said yes my Mum can do that. In October last year the police asked me to give a corroborating statement to support my sons statement. I spoke openly and honestly to the police and in my statement I told them that my ex husband had been physically, emotionally, sexually and psychologically abusive to me. The police called me back in November last year and asked me to elaborate on saying about physical and sexual abuse so I told them that he raped me.
Since then both me and my son have given video statements and the police are trying to build a case against my former husband.
It is such a difficult time because we have to wait and have no guarantee that he will even be charged. Due to the constraints of the system of law in the UK first they have to gather intelligence, then they have to put an allegation to my former husband and give him the opportunity to answer, if he does not answer this first informal request then they can arrest him and put the allegations to him. Again they have to give him the opportunity to answer. Still after all of this they may not be able to take the case any further, dependent on how he responds and also the strength of the case. There is a body called the CPS – they have the final say on allowing a case to go forward.
My son has left the army, he was asked to leave and given a medical discharge as it was clear he was deteriorating at an emotional level. He is living with me now and I am witnessing his rage about everything that has happened and his struggle with his mental health
I am waiting for some support from a local counselling service, the waiting list is at least 3 months long. I am experiencing so much painful emotion from all of the feelings I had repressed without even knowing I was repressing them.
It is such a difficult time in our lives. I wish it was all over and done with. The waiting is emotionally exhausting
Tonight I was looking for some form of escapism browsing through Netflix and I found Brave Miss World, I watched the first episode. It was intense, listening to her speak of her rape and near death experience and watching her witnessing so may women speaking about their rape. I found myself sobbing as I watched it and kept hearing Linor say about people telling their stories on her website.
I decided that it was okay for me to find the site and tell my story. I have cried over and over again while I have been writing this. I am so thankful to Linor, her family, friends, the other women featured, the men telling of their rapes and the producers and everyone else involved in making it all happen
I don’t know what will happen next. I a unable to speak to my family. I am estranged from them, so it has been amazing for me to find this space and be so open. Thank you for being here and being my witness. We may never meet but please know whoever you are, that by being my witness you have become part of my healing. Thank you!

— Mary


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