Information on Reporting Rape
I’m writing this to you, maybe you’re like me, maybe you’re someone entirely different, but this is for you.
You’ve recently been raped. You tried telling people and no one really knew how to help, and maybe some or all of them didn’t believe you. You’re scared of the person who harmed you and you don’t know where to turn. Maybe people tell you to go to the cops, but you don’t feel like that’s an option. Some people have told you to call rape hotlines. Other people say get counseling. What do you do?
I’ve been there. I had no friends support me and the cops bullied me. I was scared to talk to the rape hotline people and my friends kept sending me numbers for rape hotlines not in my area. I wish I knew what I knew now. If you are in a similar position, I hope this can help.
If you’ve been raped, call the local rape hotline in your area. I know it’s scary and the last thing you want to do is talk to a stranger, or maybe anyone about what happened, but I highly recommend calling. Just google search for local rape hotlines or rape counseling and call the closest one. When they answer they will ask you why you are calling, which seems a little redundant since it’s a rape hotline. However, answer them and you may be surprised how little or how much you might say in your panic and confusion from the attack you’ve experienced.
Why do I say call the rape hotline first? First before cops? Yes. Even before friends? Possibly. If it’s more comfortable for you to have a friend help you through this, do this with a buddy you trust. I recommend you call the rape hotline/counselor first because they are trained to help you. Their job is to help you. You can talk through what happened with them, and you can request an advocate to help you through the process. The advocate will be able to guide you through reporting the rape to the police.
Reporting the crime is important. It’s scary and having a buddy and/or advocate there with you will make the process a little easier. Reporting the crime gets it on the books that the person who raped you is a perpetrator of sexual abuse. Getting your report in writing with the police makes a legal record of what happened, so if anyone else reports this person they will be taken more seriously. In reporting, we protect ourselves and others.
I’m writing to you knowing the fear and the shaking and the trauma, and wanting to deny it’s even happened. I know you want it to just go away. You are strong. And you can stand up for yourself. You can stand up for others.
Maybe it will take a little while, maybe years. It’s never too late to call the rape hotline. It’s never too late to report rape. Your experience is relevant. Even if it happened a long time ago, it’s good to report now for the sake of potential victims. Protect yourself and protect others. Call a rape hotline. And file a report with the police if you can.
In this way, we help protect each other.
In this way, we are survivors.