I’m going to talk about something I don’t often speak about but I’ve seen something that has quite frankly pissed me off and I need to say something. A few people have posted pictures of a campaign by the NHS and I’m disgusted. It advertises that one in three rapes happen when the victim is drunk.
Imagine a 17-year-old girl goes for a drink with her mates one night, ok she’s underage but by 3 months. It’s only a quiet local pub. She chats to the regulars as always, enjoying a white wine spritzer. One night she goes back to one of the lads houses, he lives a few roads away and she’s chatted to him for a few years. She enjoys a few vodkas and then mentions she wants to go home. She’s persuaded to have one more drink and gives in reluctantly, not wanting to be the party pooper. Next thing she can’t move from the couch, lying there scared but feeling silly when everyone laughs coz she explains how she’s feeling. She doesn’t realise she’s been spiked.
The next bit is all a bit of a blur but then she wakes up with a sharp pain, one of the men is inside her, the pain searing through her body as he thrusts as hard as he can. She goes to scream but her punches her to the floor and carries on… He finishes and leaves her lying there scared and hurting, not knowing what has happened, what to do, how it happened. Too afraid to get up and leave the house for a good while after, then going home and sobbing hysterically because of the pain. Imagine how she would feel when she sees a poster like that.
I can tell you that she would feel partly to blame, like she can’t tell anyone in case they told her it was he own stupid fault, like they wouldn’t take her seriously because she’d been ‘asking for it’. How do I know this?
‘She’ is me.
I didn’t report it until three days later and even then I was too scared to tell my parents so decided not to proceeded. And I can tell you now its my biggest regret not having the courage to speak out when it happened. I now know the attacker is a cab driver and it sickens me to think of him working the Saturday night shift, picking up some young girl, probably drunk but even if not still helpless. I could’ve done something to take this creature off the streets but my fear of being judged prevented me from doing so. So now while he probably doesn’t even remember me, I still carry guilt.
I know I’m not alone in suffering in silence for that reason. This campaign is just going to silence even more people who go through it as this poster sends out the message that you’re partly to blame if you’re drunk. There is one person at fault and that is the rapist. Simple. It also makes people like myself feel like their story is less serious than those who suffer rape while sober, that shouldn’t be the case at all. I understand them wanting to stop binge drinking but is rape the right way?? There are enough stupid regrets that people feel after a drink so why pick on the one that ISN’T THEIR FAULT?