“What would you like to see happen as a result of this process?” I was asked this question by friends and family in late October of 2012. Then in November by two officers from the LAPD. Later, by a detective. And three more times by the university staff members assigned to adjudicate my report of sexual assault –– most recently, on April 2.
This question has haunted me, as I infer it haunts other rape survivors. I have never been able to answer it. Until now.
Invited to write about my experience as a rape victim who is attempting to “seek justice,” it occurred to me finally: I just want to stop the rape. That’s what I want.
My rape and the ensuing process was fairly typical. I trusted a man I was getting to know not to rape me. Then, once raped, I struggled to re-interpret myself as not-raped, because the pain and horror of accepting I had been raped was too much for me to bear. Typical.
Where my story isn’t as typical begins about one month ago. After my university failed to take immediate action against the student who raped me (despite having been provided with several audio recordings in which my rapist confessed to raping me) and after I became so socially ostracized that I contemplated suicide, it was suggested to me that I did not have to wait for the world to decide whether it would advocate for me or not.
I could self-advocate. I could post my name and photograph and his name and photograph to the Internet.
And so I did. Keep reading »