Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Let down by the system

I was raped 9 years ago at a party. I had been fine drinking at bars with my friends, then one suggested a party at someone she vaguely knew house. When I got there I had probably half a drink and felt terrible. I was apparently out in a bedroom because I had passed out, my friend checked on me then went back to partying. I don't know how much time had passed before I woke up and a man was raping me. I pushed him off and he acted like I had wanted it and went to find my friend. We left immediately. I didn't report him until two days later, but at that point there was no evidence. It only took about a week for the police to phone me to say there were not pursuing it. I don't know how, I pointed out the house it had happened in, gave the name of the person, but nothing.

Flash forward to three years later, and I see on the news that this man and two of his friends had been arrested for gang rape and drugging Of another girl.

So I'm plagued by guilt for going to that party and what happened, plus I'm overwhelmed by guilt that I didn't do enough for them to believe me and he did it to someone else. I just can't stand it any more.


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11 thoughts on “Let down by the system

  • Admin says:

    This is not your fault. The only person responsible is the man who chose to rape you; the man who chose to rape another woman. The failure of the police to appropriately investigate your rape is not your responsibility. Even if you had not reported to the police, it would not be your fault.

    These are the free phone numbers for the national rape crisis organisations in the UK. The phone lines are staffed by trained volunteers who are there to listen. Please reach out to talk if you need but remember this is not your fault. You have done nothing wrong. And we believe you.

    Rape Crisis Scotland: http://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk
    Freephone 08088 01 03 02
    (Every day, 6pm to midnight)

    Rape Crisis England/ Wales: http://rapecrisis.org.uk
    Freephone 0808 802 9999
    (12-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm every day, and 3-5.30pm weekdays)

  • Julia says:

    What he did to that girl was not your fault – it was not your job to stop him, and it was not your job to make the police believe you. They should have believed you, they should have stopped him, he should just have not done it. It was his choice to do it. None of this is on you. Much love to you. xxx

  • Jilly says:

    I believe you.

    You did nothing wrong. The only people at fault here are the rapists and the police.

  • Lorrie says:

    This isn’t your fault, OP – we live in a system where everything is skewed against you as a survivor of rape.

    The rape was not your fault. Systemic ‘justice’ system and police failures are not your fault. The very justified fear that no one would believe you is not your fault. The fact that this man chose to rape again is not your fault – there’s no saying that anything you might have done differently would have prevented this from happening. It’s not on you – please know that.

    Sending you love and strength x

  • Gemma says:

    None of this is your fault – none of it. The man who raped you and the other woman: his fault. The police that failed to investigate to the fullest of their ability: their fault.

    Sending strength to you.

  • Gina Lewis says:

    Please know that you did nothing wrong, you tried to get the perpetrator arrested and even if you hadn’t, it’s an extremely traumatic thing to have to do. Rape and and abuse convictions are appalling anyway. The rapist is the only one who should be punished. Please do not punish yourself over something that you were an innocent victim of. Stay strong, get as much support as you can and know that we all here with you.

  • Lilly says:

    In no way was this your fault. He is responsible for his actions, not you.
    The police fail a lot of victims.
    That is their failure, not yours. It’s their job, they get paid for it. And trained for it.
    I’m glad he has been caught.
    Is it possible you could look into bringing the police to account for failing to get justice for you and subsequently putting his later victims at risk?

  • Cath says:

    The person responsible for rape is the perpetrator; he chose to do this. You wouldn’t blame yourself if your house was robbed, the police refused to look for the culprit and he robbed another house, would you? You would blame the police for not doing their job.

    There is no difference here at all. I hope you can remember this when you are feeling down. Also try and remember that this feeling of guilt might possibly be a way of you expressing your feelings about what happened to you. There is no correct/right way of feeling about rape. However you feel is Ok. But, I strongly recommend talking about it: the helplines at the top of the thread are amazing.

  • Heather Downs says:

    so sorry this happened to you
    none of it is your responsibility or your fault
    the man chose to assault you
    the police failed to stop him
    sending love and best wishes

  • Julie Bindel says:

    You are not to blame, he is. But well done for being so brave to write about it. I wish you all the peace and happiness in the world, Julie Bindel

  • Kelly says:

    I have to agree with the above comments. Your feelings of guilt are very real but misplaced. Talking about it with someone trained to deal with these things could help you a lot. x