Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Let down by everyone…

I feel suicidal as I write this. I'm a 35 year old married woman with 2 children. My husband is a nurse and 2 and a half years ago he got a job in Jersey, Channel Islands. We jumped at the chance as we lived in a very built up urban area outside of Glasgow. We had antisocial neighbours, the police were always there and we decided that Jersey would be fantastic for our children to grow up in. Part of the relocation package for nurses is that you get housed in an estate that is exclusively for health workers. The kids love it as it is enclosed and they can play all day, there are lots of kids here....we were so happy in giving them something that they never had before.

Last year in August, one of the nurses organised a community BBQ on the estate. It was great...everyone was mingling, eating, drinking, the kids were having a ball. It ended at about 12am, I went in my house, phoned my sister for an hour. I ran out of cigarettes but I could hear voices outside so I went out to see if I could get some. 2 people were there, 'Mark' and 'Greg'. Mark is the son of nurse, he is an 18 year old ADHD sufferer, a lovely, gentle boy. Greg is a social worker and I had very minimal contact with him since living here and at the BBQ. I sat next to Mark on a chair. Greg went into his house then came out with a baileys drink and gave it to me. I stopped drinking at about 11pm and had started sobering up. I drank it, then said goodbye as I was tired. I walked the 10/20 yards to my back gate when all of a sudden, Greg grabbed my arm from behind me. When I turned around he said 'oh Lola, I really like you'. I told him to go home and turned around to get to my gate. This time, he grabbed me again really hard and said, 'no, you need to understand'. Again, I told him to get lost and cut it out.......the only thing I remember is being flat on my back and feeling a lot of pain, I opened my eyes and he was on top of me. I didn't know what the hell was going on and at first I didn't even know it was him. The pain was awful, I was moaning and put my hand down below to find that he was violently thrusting his whole hand inside me. I felt really weak but managed to push him off, he got up and walked away without a word. I was dazed and confused...went in my house and passed out.

When I woke up I was totally shocked and in a state of disbelief. I was sore internally and my back was sore too. I kept having flashbacks, remembering how I told him twice to go away then wakening up with him on top of me, doing something to me that my husband and I would never do. My husband asked me what was wrong but I couldn't tell him as I was trying to make sense of it. Later, he went to his car and my panties were at my back gate. He asked me and I just said that I wet myself.

Anyway....I tried to play it down and I think I was in denial. I just couldn't accept the reality of what happened to me. I blamed myself for going out there, for accepting a drink from Greg, for not being able to control what happened etc. I decided to just 'get over' it. But that was a con. I started drinking heavily to blot it out. This caused problems between my husband and I. It wasn't fair on the kids. But in my mind, I had 'made my bed' and had to lie in it. My husband would've been devastated if he knew and very very angry with Greg and would probably react violently. In a warped way, I was trying to protect us by keeping quiet.

A few months later, one of the neighbours told that everyone on the estate thought I was a 'slapper' because they could hear me moaning. And that moaning was due to the 'fact' that I was having sex with Mark, the 18 year old boy with ADHD! I was shocked. So humiliated, again. One of the main gossip mongers was/is 'Leslie'. I confronted her and told her that she didn't know what she was talking about and that she should stop. I said why on earth would I have sex at my back gate with my husband and children sleeping at home, and what business was it of hers....she cried but I think it was more because she was found out.

Fast forward to May this year, another neighbour, Rebecca, invited us to her house on the estate for a drinking session really. Leslie was there. In my drunken state, I told Leslie that it was not Mark, it was Greg ( who has a wife and 2 kids). I left, went home. The next day Rebecca asked me to pop over....she said that Leslie said that I was lying because Greg told her that I had sex with Mark and Greg subsequently spread that around the estate. Rebecca told me that she knew it was bullshit because she actually saw me and Greg having 'a good time'. Later that night I facebooked Rebecca and told her how it really happened. She told me to just get over it.....she denied my experience.

I couldn't take it anymore, I told my husband. We phoned the police. I gave my statement. They investigated....they believed me, were very good. They handed it over to the jersey prosecution services, which said that there couldn't be a trial because Rebecca and Leslie gave statements saying it 'sounded consensual'. I'm devastated. Greg was interviewed and was uncooperative. The police were disappointed. We are crushed.....I have been stigmatised by some of the neighbours as some sort of a liar.....I feel suicidal.....there are no rape/sexual assault specialists in jersey....I have an appointment on the 18 th august with a psychologist. Had to wait since May for that. I can't believe that women can treat other women like this. I feel like ending it all.


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5 thoughts on “Let down by everyone…

  • susan says:

    Some women are so ignorant. I’m so sorry for what you went through, and what you are going through now. and I believe you. Poor mark also. That Greg is a really nasty piece of work.

    Please I hope you have stopped blaming yourself, it is not your fault.
    Only Greg Is to blame here. and the uneducated ignorant women who are bullying and victimising you.

    Sending you love and peace. X

  • Ash says:

    Firstly, I am so sorry this has happened to you. To have such a traumatic experience and still have people calling you a liar is incomprehensible. But I believe you and commend you. I’m so glad you had the courage to contact the police about this matter, and that your husband has been supportive. Please DO NOT end it all. You are far too important to your family and loved ones. Contact your psychologist and request you see them at an earlier date. If that doesn’t work, speak to the police detectives you made the statement with, tell them you are not coping, and hopefully they will be able to assist in getting you an earlier date. This is very important.

    Next, deactivate your facebook account, delete these people from your email lists, etc. The last thing you need is negative reminders from them about your ordeal. Focus all your attention on yourself. Join an online forum for sexual assault survivors, there are many out there. Speak to people who have had similar experiences. I know when a person is a victim of sexual assault it can make them feel extremely alienated from the rest of the people around them. But these online communities are so helpful. I know it made me feel like I wasn’t completely alone.

    Lastly, if this behaviour from your neighbours continues, then speak to your husband. First priority should be about you, and your safety. Not his job, or how much the kids love it there. You are important to them, and your husband will understand if you tell him you can no longer live in a place where you are constantly victimised. Dont be afraid to speak up about this, and please do not blame yourself. You did absolutely nothing wrong! Love and light to you.

  • Admin says:

    We believe you and this is not your fault.

    Rape Crisis can offer you support if you phone them here: http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/rapeampsexualviolence2.php As Ash says, there are lots of online support groups which can offer you support. Please get in touch with a support group as you need to surround yourself with people who believe you.

  • Tracy says:

    I am so sorry this had happened to you.
    You have been incredibly courageous in confronting your neighbours, going to the police, telling your husband, trying to ‘get over it.’
    Don’t blame your self. This is not your fault. I believe you.
    Sending you strength to get through this.

  • Lola says:

    Thanks so much.
    Ash…..you are so right. I have deactivated fb, and we are definitely moving ASAP.
    Thanks for the encouraging words here xx