It was my birthday and for the first time in my life I allowed my friends to take me out and we had a great time,I then decided to end the day with my boyfriend at the time.Four drunk and high guys came out of nowhere,next thing I knew my jeans were torn and my panties halfway my legs.
I tried screaming but to no avail because they were choking the life out of me.They took turns while my boyfriend laid there like a life-less body and when they were all satisfied they poured liquor over my genitals which made me feel like a dirty prostitute.
I wasn’t ready to be labelled as an attention-seeker because my community reckoned I asked for it since I was drunk and all.I wasn’t ready to retell that story to an unfeeling detective who,quite frankly,did not care about or understood what I went through.I wasn’t ready for the “ooh shame” stares and I certainly wasn’t ready for my story to be dubbed as a losing case because there just “wasn’t enough evidence”.A year and a few months down the line I am glad I didn’t because I am healing on my own terms.
If you are rape survivor and need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to call the ‘Stop Gender Violence‘ helpline at 0800 150 150.
Note: Rape myths abound after the Vavi rape accusation was brought to light. These myths hurt all rape survivors – and if you ever experience sexual violence, these myths will hurt you too. The most common myth I’ve seen is the fallacy that if you don’t report to the police, it didn’t happen. (See here.) I put out a call on Twitter for survivors who didn’t report to send me their story. To follow the series, see here.
If you would like to include your story in this conversation, please email me: michelle at journoactivist dot com. I will assume anonymity for all submissions unless specified otherwise.
Until its happened to you – you don’t understand the guilt. You know, in your brain whats right and wrong, that you didn’t deserve it and it’s not your fault. What you feel in your gut is a different thing. Sexual crimes are an internal thing, their damage is on the inside, its like they jar into every part of your spirit. It is like climbing everest, getting over every bit of yourself that is like a tide, pulling you back, to break out and speak out, and externalise what has happened in your most private space. Its a genuinely difficult thing to tell someone. And lets just be honest, reporting a rape does not always mean he is off the streets, and that you have saved someone else. It means you have to go through it all again, tell at least 5 different people, in detail, have a doctor examine you etc. It’s like its happening all over again, I’m sure. Yet – with a 6% conviction rate, he’ll probably walk free.The first person he did it to, matters as much as the 5th. Just like it wasn’t the 5ths fault for wearing/dinking/acting in any way, it’s not the 1st’s either. You know what the number one, and only cause of rape is? A rapist deciding to rape.
It is a sad world when woman won’t report rape. I have three daughters. Woman need to be safe and I believe they must report rape. Was a man in the Army I knew. He rape 5 people. The fifth person reported the rape. He raped both men and woman. Got them drunk and raped them when they were passed out. Bad people need to be punished. Thank you for sharing the story.
I think as long as women are victimised for being rape survivors it’s unfair to expect women to report. I also don’t believe it fair for you to blame the four survivors raped before the fifth, who reported that man. Until we have safe and supportive spaces for survivors to come forward, this will happen again and again. Those of us who victimise survivors are to blame, not the survivors themselves.
I didn’t blame them. It taught me can’t trust all people. I was glad they came out. Poor man who was raped was consider a liar till the other people reported their attack. This is a hard subject. Thank you for standing strong on a important topic.
Thank you very much for your support. It means a huge amount.