I am a rape survivor. I reported it the first time went to court and the accused was released due to a lack of evidence.
TRIGGER WARNING: Descriptions of rape, violence.
Saying that, there were the eye witness accounts of myself and my friend, who they also raped. We explained the whole thing, but because there was no DNA they got off. It was something to do with the fact that it may not have been them and because they are so familiar due to the fact we had trained with them in the same swimming club for 5 years.
Due to the failure of the trail my friend and I and our close friends had to change clubs because no one believed us, even though our coach was one of the people who found us in our own blood and ripped clothing. I still do not swim even though I was really good at it. My friends still try to get me back but the idea of placing myself in a place were I have to see them and were I’m called a liar and ruined their lives. I have not gone back.
The second time it was the same guys but 6 years later, bearing in mind I am now 20. They raped me again as “punishment”, as they put it, for reporting them and making people judge them. I don’t know why they did it the first time but I did not report it the second time even after talking to a lawyer as he pointed out that the first trail would have a negative effect on this one, and I realised that I couldn’t handle an open court. Very few of friends at school know about it but the silent protest did help me tell people.
I wouldn’t like people to know who I am due to the fact that I was unable to tell my father the second time. He was unable to be in the same room as me for about 2 years after the first rape, as apparently I did something to invite it, and discourage disgraced the family. After the first attack I was in hospital for about a month, and today I still struggle with side effects of damage they caused.
I did not have to go to the police station afterwards as my health was critical but got examined in the hospital, the officer forgot that some white people can speak African languages, and in front of me they were talking about what I did to deserve being raped.
Another incident was when I told some friends. They refused to touch me and look at me, and we are no longer friends after that. I don’t have a disease or anything but they act like they might catch something. Generally people just ask if I’m joking because I’m not the ‘type’ to be raped, as if there is a type.
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.