Anna, my heart goes out to you and your daughter for all you have been through. It’s truly a horrible, horrible crime.
However, the suggestion you make that the blame lies with me, should my rapists strike again, is abominable. Rape is the fault of one (or in my case, and that of your daughter and many others, two) person(s): the rapist(s). I won’t go into the reasons that I have not yet pressed charges. I will point out that the statute of limitations on rape charges in Massachusetts is fifteen years. My decision to break a yearlong silence is the first of several decisions I will be making in regards to how I move forward with what has happened to me.
I’m so glad that your daughter didn’t take the same actions I took the night I was raped. I’m glad she immediately sought help for what she knew had happened to her. I hope that means she didn’t spend months justifying to herself what had happened, trying to convince herself that she had wanted it, denying that such a horror as rape could have happened to her. That was (in brief) my experience. “Women like me,” and all victims of assault, have a right to a recovery and recourse that feels healthy and safe for us, and if that means taking legal action at a later date, so be it.
If the men who raped me harm another woman in the time it takes for me to press charges, I will be heartbroken. But it will not be my fault. It will be their fault, because they are rapists.