Why report rape?

file-20190813-71905-1o6199v Here is another post titled with an unfortunate question. Before I give my answer, I need to emphasize that this post is not intended to cause any victim or survivor to feel pressure and/or shame over their choice on whether or not to report a rape. Many factors go into this very personal decision and you must always put your personal safety and well-being first. That being said, there are two main reasons to report a rape.

Serving a Public Good

Reports become statistics. Governments and non-profit organizations rely on these statistics to understand the scope of the problem. This information can lead to changes in public policy, funding for support centers, and increase the chances of getting justice for the next victim – because a rapist never rapes just once.  

This does not mean you have a moral or social responsibility to report an assault. However, it may be empowering to know that you have done what you can to prevent and reduce the incidence of sexual assault in our culture and your community.

Enhance Your Path to Healing

As I stated in my previous post, reporting a rape can be an empowering experience. If you do choose to report, I strongly suggest you proceed with the support of your local crisis center and a close friend or family member by your side. Nobody should have to walk this path alone.

If you are not comfortable (or safe) reporting an assault, there are other ways you can find empowerment. “Blocking” can be a powerful tool. If the perpetrator was an acquaintance, block their number on your phone. Even if you are not “friends” or “followers” of one another on social media, you still have the power to block them on whichever platforms you utilize. Use that power – it is yours to exercise. Right now, you need those reminders that you do have power and control over who is allowed to be included in your life. 

Another option that you might want to consider is speaking out about your experience on social media, but please wait to do this until you feel ready and have support from your inner circle to handle any backlash you may encounter. Personally, I have been quite vocal and public about my experiences with sexual assault. However, it took a great deal of time, intensive therapy, and loving support from my own inner circle to find my voice again. But even with support, evidence, and documentation, some people will still refuse to believe you. They will call you names. They will threaten you. They will try to hit you where it hurts. 

If and when those attacks come your way, please remember you are glorious and have survived a trauma they could only imagine. You are stronger than them. You are braver than them. And your spirit shines all the more brightly because their mudslinging can’t come close to touching your beautiful soul. You are glorious!

Just like me, you are not just a “victim” – you are a SURVIVOR. And you too have valuable insight to bring to the conversations occurring around rape and domestic violence. Your voice deserves to be heard. Please find the voice that is uniquely your own and come join me.

***

“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down, I’m gonna send a flood gonna drown them out. This is brave. This is bruised. This is who I’m meant to be. This is me.”

The Greatest Showman

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