I found out my rapist raped someone else. At first, I was angry. Why didn't she tell on him? Why didn't she go to court? Why did it happen to me after? Could she have stopped it from happening to me? Who was she? His ex? A friend, like me? Did it happen the same way? All of these questions ran through my head.
I was FURIOUS. I was so angry. I thought she could have stopped it from happening to me.
Then I remember, I didn't tell on him after it happened. I hid. I cried. I stayed away. I needed a mental health day every day the week after. The people I didn't tell were worried about me. I remembered these things and it brought me back to reality. She literally went through the same as me, yet here I am angry at her for what I also didn't do (at least for months).
Then, I remembered my thoughts after it happened: no one will believe me. It's my word against his. I don't want to ruin his life. He's my friend. It was a mistake. What if they thought I deserved it because I was drinking? What if they thought I deserved it because I was with only guys? I knew that all of that probably ran through her mind as well. She went through the same thing as me. Instead of being angry at her I, out of all people, should understand.
I can't believe I was victim blaming. Blaming her for not pressing charges. I eventually found out she reported it. She could have pressed charges and nothing happened. Instead of being mad at her, I feel for her. I understand. I am angry at the police and county that we are in for not doing anything. Not doing something the first time or the second.
So yes, if you know someone who has been raped, inform them about going to the police, but don't make them do anything. They will or will not do whatever, based on what they are capable of doing. At first, it is extremely hard to even do daily activities, I couldn't imagine going to the police right after it happened. Hell, I was still trying to figure out what had happened at that point. I wasn't able to call what he did to me rape until weeks after it happened.
I only reported it and pressed charges so that it wouldn't happen to another girl by him again. I know I wouldn't have been responsible, but I sure as hell would feel like it. I commend myself and any other girl who reports it. It is a tough thing to do. You have to relive that night over and over again retelling multiple people. Just being a survivor is hard enough.
I just want to say to any survivor, if you have or haven't done anything: you are a warrior and I am so proud of you for being you, for surviving this traumatic thing. You didn't deserve it. No matter what you think, no matter what you were wearing. Nothing matters, except consent. If that person who did this to you did not get consent: they were in the wrong. I don't care who doesn't believe you, I believe you. Nothing matters unless they got consent and I'm sorry if you think or others tell you otherwise. I just want to tell you that I believe you.