It was a typical girls night out, enjoying the music and drinks flowing. During the end of the night I noticed my bag was missing, with my money and phone. I searched everywhere, whilst my friends were chatting with the bouncers. I had one last attempt to search going back to the girls toilets, I was followed in by a male who tried to close the door trapping myself and he inside. I yelled at him to leave!
Surprisingly enough he did. I didn’t find my bag as I was in a hurry to get out, when meeting back with my friends, they were still laughing and joking with the bouncers. I angrily asked them why they didn’t help me. They continued laughing and joking, by then I’d had enough and walked off..kind of hoping they would follow and apologise, but that wasn’t to be. As I continued walking, the busy night life grew silent. I found myself heading into a dark narrow path with the road to my left, it felt like I hadn’t seen anyone for a while. I looked back regretting my moment of anger, where was I? I decided to turn around and head back the way I’d came, hoping to bump into my friends.
A car slowly passed, the first relieving sign of life! The car window came down and two males asked if I was OK, I explained I had lost my friends back in town they will be looking for me but I have no phone to contact them. The men asked if I wanted a lift, they offered to help me find them. I gazed at my appending fate down the creepy dark path, and the two seemingly helpful men in the car. I opted for their help, they steadily drove through the busy town, I gazed out the car window hoping I could spot my friends searching for me. The driver and his friend were muttering between one another, but I was so focused on finding my friends. The driver said he needs to quickly grab something from his house, this is when my mind began questioning my decision! I said it’s OK, I’ll get out here I felt safer as there were plenty of ppl about. The driver shook his head, “no, no, no”, smiling, “we won’t be long we can help you!” I sat quietly, I even stopped looking out of the window, I just hung my head thinking what have I done!
They pulled up outside the house, I said “I’ll wait in the car, you won’t be long will you?” I’m trying to act all innocent at this point! The men encourage me to wait inside, they have to collect something off someone and they should be here soon. I very reluctantly get out of the car hoping a dog walker would pass by or someone! I head inside the house, the smell of weed instantly hits me, theres a few people inside music playing, drinking and smoking. They don’t acknowledge me, or say hello they all just stare. I begin panicking so I ask to use the toilet, as I lock myself inside, I try and find an escape I already know I’m not safe here. As I try to open the window I unlock a bolt which makes a loud sound. The man is waiting behind the door, and bangs it loudly. He starts to shout, “what are you doing get out of there!” I tell him I just wanted fresh air, he tells me to sit down and hands me a glass of water…my head feels heavy and I black out.
I remember waking up on a bed with a man trying to turn me over with his trousers down. I scream at him, and he apologies quickly leaving the room. I look down and my underwear is on inside out, I have no trousers on either, In a panic I quickly dress and walk out of the room. The one man tells me his going to find my friends let’s go, I follow him into the car dazed and drowsy. Everything is flashing, I feel sick and my head hurts. I ask him to stop the car as I’m going to be sick, he throws me out on the road and speeds off. I walk through a parkland before finally seeing a security guy outside a building, he offers to help me. He places his jacket upon my shoulders sits me at the drivers side of his car and he sits on the brick wall talking about his wife and kids. I didn’t have to say much, he knew what happened.
He calls the police and they take me to the station. I insist nothing happened I just got lost and I’m tired. They take me to my boyfriends house, in shock my boyfriend screams for his mom. I’m covered in bruises, grab marks, finger prints the works. The police are back and I have to go to a safe house to be investigated. The nurse and male forensics take photos of my naked body, I see a diagram of a human and every inch apart from my face is circled, for marks. They give me a blood test, and finally I can have a bath! By then I had been awake for 24 hours, the detectives arrive and separate me from my boyfriend and his mom. They say it will be too distressing for them to hear. I’m taken in the detectives car, a female and male begin questioning me, did I provoke this? Did I give them the wrong impression? Do you know, if they’re innocent you could put them away for over 7yrs! Can you face your own parents telling them you was raped!? Can you face these men in court? And their families! So much was going through my head, my dad’s face, my boyfriend never looking at me the same again, my mom’s broken heart! The woman officer shouted, “Do you know a boy was accused of rape by his girlfriend because she wanted revenge!”
I kept saying I’m telling the truth, but it didn’t feel like it, surely they saw the bruises the actual hand shaped prints around my inner thighs. Yet they still didn’t believe me! All that went through my head was my parents, seeing their faces I didn’t want them to know I’d been through this. I asked the detectives to turn the car around I needed this nightmare to be over! I was a young woman, a woman who wanted her dignity to remain intact, I didn’t want my parents to know about this nor my boyfriend. I wanted to protect them, I have a duty of care towards the ones I love.
The detectives should have had a duty of care to protect me, instead they bullied and harassed me, they made me feel guilty! Months had passed and bruises healed, however I was about to embark on another journey! I was pregnant, my boyfriend wanted me to have an abortion, my sister had recently lost her baby and said she would never forgive me if I do. I couldn’t sleep, I would run to her house early hours of the morning counting 9months from that dreaded night. I was so scared of having a R baby. The hospital rushed my scan after I told them what happened to me, I was 8 weeks pregnant. The timing was so close! I decided to continue with my pregnancy, when the baby arrived he had the most beautiful blue eyes like me and blonde hair. I was finally at peace with a new love I could turn my focus on.
I still suffer flash backs, and I feel more hurt by the detectives than the men that did this to me. I feel let down by the people I should have trusted! I have kept this to myself for all these years only a tiny handful know about what happened but they’ll never know the full extent.
Constabulary: West Mercia Police
Timespan: Two decades ago.
Did you report it to the police?: Yes
Do you want to revisit this with the police?: Prefer not to say
Your ethnicity: White British
Have you experienced suicidality due to this?: Attempted suicide more than once
Are you disabled as defined under the Equality Act 2010?: No
illustration by Danny Noble