Earlier today on my Instagram story I posted a video showing me emptying police evidence bags onto my bed. The intention for this wasn’t to cause any harm or to alarm anyone, but for me to continue the journey of processing what happened to me on that night. This is something that has affected my life massively and the way I treat and respect myself.
Looking at my clothes from that night taped up in cellophane bags brought a lot of emotions and feelings back which I didn’t want to keep inside so I thought I’d do a quick post to get some stuff off of my chest.
My clothes were seized by two police officers on the 17th March 2018, nine days after the initial incident. They were put into evidence bags, taken to the station and filed along with my first initial statement. The reason they were seized is because I was sexually assaulted on a date.
I am not here to play the victim or to ask for sympathy or to even tell my story. I am strong enough to be carrying on with my life despite everything negative that happens. I am here to try and be a voice for men and women who have been in the same situation as me and let someone do something they were uncomfortable with.
‘I didn’t say no and I didn’t make him stop so it’s my fault’ I had these thoughts too, but consent is more than saying ‘yes’. Convincing yourself that it wasn’t really assault or rape and you ‘probably got the wrong end of the stick’ is not okay. If you feel uncomfortable at any point then it should stop. You can be frozen in fear and too shocked to say anything but your body language should speak louder than you can. If you are too afraid to stop it then say something, tell someone. You will not be judged, or mocked, or hated, you will be supported and loved and cherished.
I didn’t have the strength to go to the police myself and was struggling internally about what to do. I was torn, had I just got the wrong idea? No, I hadn’t. I knew how that event made me feel and I know how it has affected me since. I spoke out to my friends and family who encouraged me to step forward. If it wasn’t for one family member in particular I honestly don’t know how I would be coping right now. Speaking out helped me be able to accept what happened and to grow stronger. Going to the police was terrifying but ultimately gave me the closure I needed. There wasn’t an arrest, but I got so much support and was taken very seriously despite me thinking my case ‘wasn’t as important’. All assaults are important and you are important.
I don’t want to get into the ins and outs of consent and what is wrong or right because I am not anywhere near as educated as someone who deals with this as a profession. Please take a look at the Consent is Everything site which really helped me through my own self-doubt. Don’t ever feel like you have to do something, even if it’s kissing someone, you go at your own pace.
I’m sure there are plenty of other sites which can also help so please do send me them if you know of any. Again, I didn’t want to cause a fuss, I just wanted to get the word out there that you aren’t alone if you have been assaulted or raped and I will gladly help anyone who needs support.