I had to stand in a courtroom to prove he raped me, he had fled the country but walked free as there was not enough evidence.
This is my story
I was sixteen and had just started doing a childcare course at college.
I had lots of friends, was fun-loving and pretty laid back and loved having a good laugh.
I also had a lovely boyfriend and life was good.
But on October 18th, 2005 my life changed forever.
I had been talking to a bloke in the local shop who seemed friendly but that was all it was.
Out with a friend on the evening of the 18th, he pulled up in his car and invited us out for a drive.
I was reluctant but my friend persuaded me.
So off we went for a drive and have a few drinks (vodka).
I tell him I have to be home and he agrees to drop me off.
He dropped my friend off first and then went to drop me off.
We went along the main road, he suddenly pulled up a side street and locked the car doors.
It was then when he attacked me and raped me.
I am now 24 yet still remember the smell of him on me, still remember the song that was playing on the radio: Mariah Carrey’s “We belong together”!!
I still have nightmares about him touching me
Some days I still scrub my skin because I feel dirty.
When he had finished, he calmly started his engine up and dropped me off on a street near my house.
I went in the house and went straight to bed.
I lay in bed that night and cried.
The next day I just wanted to forget about it all and tried to carry on as normal.
I got ready for my college placement in a local school and set off for the day.
On the way, I saw this ‘man’.
He told me if I told anyone what had happened he would hurt me and make everyone think I was lying.
That morning I tried to act as ‘normal’ as possible.
One of the teaching assistants sat next to me in class at break time and said she knew something was wrong.
I told her everything
She took me to the headteacher who rang my mom.
My mom came to get me and we both just cried.
She rang the police who met us at my mom and dads house.
The two policemen were very understanding and took a statement from me.
Then a female officer came and took me and my mom to the hospital where they have a sexual assault unit.
There I had to take blood and swabs were taken.
I had to take medication to make sure I didn’t contract anything.
When I got home that night and I had to tell my friends and boyfriend what had happened.
They were all so supportive of me and really helped.
That was until the next day when my boyfriend dumped me.
His dad had said it was my own fault I had been raped and that I was bad news.
I was heartbroken.
Over the next few days, I had to give more statements.
The man who had attacked me was arrested and interviewed.
He denied the whole thing
He was released on bail.
This is when he then fled the country.
Turns out he was an asylum seeker from Iraq.
Over the next few months, I was interviewed and asked more questions.
A court date came up.
18th October 2006, exactly 12 months to the date.
I went through the court case.
He did not as he had fled the country
The jury was not told why he was not present.
Two days of grueling court really took its toll on me especially as I was 8 months pregnant (that’s another story I will share one day)
The jury found him NOT GUILTY!!
There was not enough evidence to prove he raped me
Yet they had DNA evidence off my clothing including underwear.
DNA from swabs taken from my vagina, neck and under my nails.
I was so angry and still am to this date.
This man raped me but walked free because there was not enough evidence?
What more did they need?
That man ruined my life and he got away with it.
So many people had turned their backs on me
I had lost all my confidence, I became obese.
I became secluded and I hated my life.
From that day on I trusted no one.
I kept myself to myself.
I slipped further and further into depression and self-harmed often.
Years passed …
I now have a beautiful 7-year-old daughter, a lovely man who understands and a small handful of friends.
I have a good job, have completed university and have a good life.
That man ruined my life but now I am stronger.
It has made me the person I am today.
Yes, I am damaged but I am still me.
Please do not allow this experience to put anyone off reporting rape, sadly it wasn’t enough to punish this man but I hope your experience will be more positive.
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