Our fears as survivors of rape are endless. ‘Will they believe us?’ ‘Will they judge us?’ ‘Will they blame us?’ ‘Will the perpetrator hurt us again?’ These were the exact fears that went through my mind ever since it happened.
In 2017, I was dating someone for a few weeks and things between us were very fresh and new. He did all the right things, said all the right things and really made me feel like he liked me and wanted to see where things would lead.
It wasn’t until that very day in June, where he took everything away from me. I should have spotted the warning signs before it even happened. How he got really aggressive on the taxi ride home, shouting at me and being hostile. No matter how much I wanted to get out of the situation, I wasn’t able to. I had lost my voice.
I remember getting into bed and seeing him lying there, drunk and passed out. I quietly stepped over across him, trying so hard not to make a sound. He woke up and started kissing me, touching me and I told him to stop and that he was hurting me. He carried on, even though he knew I was on my period.
Waking up the next day was the most difficult. The blood stains on my bed and feeling like my body had been abused. I was terrified. I didn’t want to believe that someone who I thought liked me and cared for me would do such a thing. The next few days, I tried to digest it all and make sense of the situation.
I never really thought about reporting to the police as I thought that there would be no point and I just wanted to get on with my life. 6 months had passed and I knew I couldn’t continue on like this. My mental health was deteriorating, I was shutting myself off from family and friends and kept getting panic attacks.
I was too scared to go to the police station and too scared to call them,so I reported what happened online and in a matter of minutes, they knocked at my door. Two police officers arrived and asked me questions about what had happened. All I remember was clenching my hands on the sofa to centre myself as it didn’t feel real. Nothing did. They left an hour or so later and told me that an assigned police officer will be in touch an invite me for a VRI (video recorded interview).
A month later, I found myself at the police station, being recorded by an officer going into details of what had happened. What I was wearing, what he was wearing, what I said, what he said, what he did, where we were, what time did he leave. There was so much detail and my mind couldn’t think straight. I was incredibly fortunate enough to have the support of an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advocate) throughout the whole Criminal Justice Process, without whom, I would not have been able to go through with it.
The entire process from the initial report, through to the result took just under a year. Almost 12 months of my life was consumed in worry, thinking about what had happened, wondering if the perpetrator would be out to get me and thinking about whether or not my case would be taken to court. I guess I knew all along that there would be no conviction, based on all the statistics, but there was always a small hope that he would be.
There are many people out there who have been through something similar and unsure what to do with regards to reporting, and I was in the same position. What I would say to you, is to do it for YOU and for you only. I am personally happy that I went through the process and my soul is now at peace and it’s time for me to continue on with my journey, that is life.
I decided to start a social media account, alongside my blog where I talk not only about mental health, but relationships and fitness as they are all topics which are important to me. I’ve always been quite introverted in a sense and was always worried about what others may think of me. I wanted to share my story and hopefully inspire others that there is life after rape and that things WILL get better.
If you need some advice about anything, or just want to chat, please reach out to me on my social platforms. You are not alone.
Love and light,
We are so proud of Susie for bravely sharing her story with us and our community. You are amazing Susie! As mentioned in her story, Susie writes a blog! Her blog chats about fitness, mental health and alongside this she also has dedicated an Instagram channel to document her journey. Please see the details below and visit her page
Love Team Arla X
Link to blog: www.susielevien.co.uk