It’s a scary statistic – that out of every 100 rapes, only two rapists will spend a single day in jail. What happens to the other 98? They walk free. They live out the rest of their lives as they choose. 98 of every 100 rapists blend in with the rest of the population. They work regular jobs, they live in regular neighborhoods, they walk among us at the grocery store. 98 out of every 100 rapists do not pay for their crime. Mine didn’t.
The aftermath of being raped was confusing, to say the least. I wasn’t sure what to do or how to feel. After my little brother made me pancakes on “the morning after”, I drove 30 miles in pain to my best friend’s house. As soon as I walked through the door, I collapsed onto her bed and just cried; I cried because I didn’t want this to be my life. I didn’t ask for it, and I certainly couldn’t understand why God sat idle while I was in turmoil. I cried because I was scared. I cried because I knew that for the rest of my life, this would be a part of me. As a 19 year old girl, that’s pretty damning. At moments, I gave into what society was telling me. Somehow it must have been my fault. Whenever I had heard of girls being raped, there was an image of a girl at a party, half naked and drunk. Was that how I had appeared to him? Was that how I would forever appear to others who heard my story? As I cried on my best friend’s bed, I racked my brain for the missing pieces of the puzzle. Why couldn’t I remember everything? When I couldn’t find the memories I so desperately needed to fill in the gaps of the night, I continued to come to the same conclusion – he drugged me. I kept thinking back to the number of drinks I had. Three small drinks in an 8 ounce glass. Three tiny drinks don’t cause a blackout. Earlier in the day, I reached for my phone to read back through the text messages about him selling drugs, desperate to pinpoint some sort of warning sign from our prior conversations, but they were gone. Deleted; like they never even happened. Why would he have thought to go through my phone and delete our conversations? As countless thoughts flooded my brain simultaneously, confusion set in. Instead of going to the police right away, I suppressed my feelings and tried to pretend it didn’t happen. Accusing someone of rape is not something I took lightly. How could I accuse him when I couldn’t remember everything? After countless tears left my eyes, I peeled myself off the bed and tried to act “normal”, but I learned for the first time that my “normal” didn’t exist anymore.
When I finally mustered up the courage to talk to my big brother about it two weeks later, he encouraged me to go to the police – something I did not want to do. Not only was I scared, but I was also uneducated. What is a girl “supposed” to do after being raped? I called the YWCA, and wasn’t given much information. What do you do when the one resource that is available doesn’t offer any help? With a few pep talks with friends and family and a desire to prevent this from happening to anyone else, I decided to speak with the police, and found myself in a small room with my best friend and a detective, reliving my nightmare. I remember vividly recounting the details to Detective W, tears forming in his eyes as he stared at me. “I have three little girls of my own,” he said. “We’re going to get him.”
That meeting led to months of heartache, and pieces of my history that I never had imagined. It was the kind of things you see in movies: A detective’s business card in my wallet. Using a recording device with my cell phone to try to get a confession while sitting in a police car in a carpool parking lot off the highway. My little brother being interviewed in my parent’s living room. Receiving phone calls in the middle of class, leaving the room to get the latest update. Submitting my underwear to a lab in a brown paper bag. A rape kit… with my name on it.
In the weeks and months after, I became a different person. I was constantly living in fear. Fear of running into him. Fear of being pregnant. Fear of going to court. Fear of losing my case. Fear of it happening again. Fear of what people would think of me. Fear of how this would change my life forever.
I remember months passing, though I am not sure how many did. I got a phone call from Detective W, and my heart sank into my toes as he told me that the case was being dismissed without a hearing. Sure, we had physical evidence; the bruises were still visible two weeks later, Detective W had seen them during our initial meeting. The rape kit came back positive with physical proof. Witnesses had said that I wasn’t acting “normal”; wasn’t acting how a normal drunk person would. A friend we were with that night had seen him with the pills. In the end, it just simply wasn’t enough – it was his word versus mine. His won.
Prior to being raped, I was the happy-go-lucky, bubbly, center of attention, life of the party kind of girl. Seven years later, I’d give anything to get that girl back.
I never meant to be the girl who lost herself to a rapist.
Originally posted on inevermeanttobethatgirldotcom