Reporting Rape to the Police
I am not sure why I placed such faith in the police to prosecute my ex-partner for sexual violence. I don't know why I thought I would be different and they would help me when I reported historic rape. The actual rapes and sexual abuse may be historic in the sense that they happened approximately two years before I finally reported them to the police, but emotionally they still felt as though they had only occurred recently. That never goes away.
My experience of reporting historic rape straddled more than one police force and there were failing at each and every stage to the process. I cannot print all the failings for fear of being identified, but they were of such a magnitude that not only was I left feeling suicidal, but also hellishly let down by the very institution that is meant to protect and provide legal redress. The major failings occurred within the police unit that has been heavily criticised for failing to adequately investigate sexual violence offences in the South of England.
I believed the investigating officer when he promised me that under no circumstances would the suspect see my ABE video unless the case went to court. I therefore gave a full video statement lasting over 2 hours feeling protected and reassured. I must have been very stupid for believing the police.
Even though the police refused to pass the case to the CPS for a charging decision, that did not stop them from giving the suspect's legal team a copy of my ABE witness statement. This means that the very man who raped me and sexually abused me has been allowed to sit in his lawyer's office in London and watch the video of me giving evidence against him even though the police dropped the case. At the same time, the police also passed the video to my ex-husband's legal team, meaning that he too may have seen it. I have no idea if he has, but it is a highly distressing thought that he might have. The police did this at a time when the suspect was still harassing me, I was living in fear, and was in a grave state emotionally.
The legacy of reporting rape and sexual abuse to the police has been devastating. I feel morally judged, not believed, let down. As they have also consistently failed to investigate the suspect for ongoing harassment, I am left wondering just what he has to do to me or his child before he is finally stopped. I start each day knowing that the police failed to investigate him. And I start each day knowing that they gave him the ABE video. Knowing that he has watched me give evidence, knowing that he has seen me in the highly distressed state describing the sexual violence, has nearly pushed me to the brink of suicide. I feel gravely let down by the police.
We do NOT give permission for posts published as personal experiences to be reproduced, translated or otherwise published elsewhere. We will not contact people who submit their personal experiences on behalf of journalists, bloggers or other third sector organisations. These testimonies remain the intellectual copyright of their authors and must be treated with the ethical guidelines used by academics for research involving human subjects. Our full guidelines can be read here.Download this post as PDF? Click here