After I shared my sexual assault story I received numerous questions on my Instagram from followers who wondered why I didn’t report my rape. I feel like it’s time to share my reasons for not reporting my ex-boyfriend/rapist to police.
My #MeToo Blog Post
After reading my blog post talking about my assault my parents called me. My dad said to me, “how do you feel about filing a police report?” My parents knew a little bit about what I had experienced in my abusive relationship, but they did not know the full extent of it until I had shared every detail in my blog. There is so much more information and stories I could have shared. Sharing my story was probably the scariest thing I have ever done. I had to close my eyes to hit “publish” on those first three posts about my abusive ex.
It was very clear that my parents wanted to seek justice for what had happened to me. To hold my abuser accountable for the abuse I faced for 10 out of the 15 months we were in a relationship. When asked if I’ll report my ex for my rape, the answer is still no. Until you have been in a situation like this, you cannot begin to understand or even comprehend all the emotions involved in this.
I am happy now. I am happy and I don’t live in fear. Does it still make me mad or emotional when I think about my rape? Yes, ONE.HUNDRED.PERCENT. But it doesn’t affect me like it used to, he doesn’t have any power over me anymore. Would you want to open an old wound which has since healed completely? Probably not.
However, now that I think about it, that once opened wound isn’t fully healed. There are some things that I still suffer from. Things that I finally got the courage to tell my husband about since it was slightly affecting our relationship. I have started writing about it for a future blog post, but it is so personal that I have put it on hold. Maybe once I work up the courage I will post it, because I know without a doubt in my heart that it will help other women who are still struggling.
Why I Didn’t Report-
For those who are new to my blog click here to hear about my sexual assault. I was 18 years old, and my virginity was taken from me by an abusive boyfriend. I lived in fear of him before I was raped and I lived in fear for years after I was raped. I was so young, so naive, and so scared.
I wanted to report my abuse and sexual assault many many times but I was always too scared of getting in trouble with the Honor Code at BYU. I also feared that he would hurt me if I ever questioned him about raping me. I knew that if BYU investigated my claim of abuse and rape that I would get kicked out or suspended since there was alcohol involved. (It’s against BYU’s Honor Code to drink or do anything sexually before marriage). The fear and embarrassment of losing my scholarship and getting kicked out of BYU weighed heavy on me. I couldn’t risk it.
I mentioned this in a previous blog post, but whenever I tried to get out of our horrible relationship, he always threatened to turn me into the Honor Code. This is why I always ended up staying with him.
Not long after my sexual assault, we had a meeting for student-athletes about Title IX. For an explanation on what Title IX is, click here
In this meeting, I distinctly remember the presenter saying that they would investigate reports of sexual assault, but the Honor Code would have to get involved if there was any drinking or other consensual sexual acts prior to the assault. As soon as I heard that, I knew that I would never tell anyone about what had happened.
Keep in mind this all happened in 2014. Within the last couple of years, BYU has changed the policy. They now have an amnesty policy that gives you immunity from getting in trouble with the Honor Code for any kind of sexual assault. But my question is, where was the policy when I was assaulted? BYU, weren’t you supposed to protect me as a student-athlete representing your school? I am not bitter. I have so much love for BYU… but not the Honor Code.
After the Title IX meeting, I lost hope, I knew I could never seek justice while I was still at BYU. Tears welled in my eyes as I walked out of the meeting, but I blamed it on allergies… allergies I don’t have. Even if I couldn’t report it, I just wished I had someone I could have talked to it about. I felt so lonely. No one to turn to. Once again having a Mormon background prevented me from going to my family because I worried about disappointing them.
Other Reasons Why I didn’t Report
Every sexual assault victim has the fear that no one will believe them, and it was mine too. Was it my fault it happened to me? We did other stuff consensually in the past so was I to blame for my sexual assault? I was embarrassed about it and ashamed. Admitting to my friends that I had been sexually assaulted would make me look weak. Let alone, admitting it to myself would make me weak I thought.
Being naked with someone else is super personal, but someone seeing your naked unconscious body is even more personal… regardless if this person is your boyfriend or has seen you naked before. To have your body violated against your will is traumatic, and humiliating. For someone to have that power over you makes you feel weak and useless. You succumb to their manipulation and abuse. You start to think you deserve it… and then you believe you deserve it.
Another reason why I didn’t report is that I never wanted to see him again. If I reported my sexual assault I would have to see him. Probably multiple times… and I would have to feel that anxiety and fear all over again. As it was, just coming back to California the summer after I was assaulted made me feel uneasy since he lives there too. My heart would start beating out of my chest if I was even remotely close to the area he lives in.
When I was pregnant I would have night terrors about him. The dreams were so vivid even after a year and a half since I had last seen him. I would dream that he was trying to take my baby or tell me that he was the father of my child (he wasn’t for those who are new). I was re-living my abuse through my dreams at least three times a week. That is how much he affected me. Yet, I stayed strong and didn’t talk about it. I held it all in… I started to feel like a ticking time bomb.
I felt silenced, so I lived in silence. I lived in denial. I thought that maybe if I didn’t talk about it or tell anyone then the feelings would all go away. Maybe it would feel like it never happened.
Like I mentioned previously, there are still some aspects of my abuse and sexual assault that still affect me today. Even just this week I had a night terror about my abusive ex-boyfriend. I will still get them about once a month or so. Thankfully I have found ways to overcome this so that it doesn’t affect me too much when I wake up. Music is typically my muse for this.
Sometimes I wonder if he even thinks he did anything wrong. I wonder if he even knows the trauma and hurt he has caused me. I saw a quote not too long ago that said, “I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn’t sorry, and accept an apology I never received.” I can’t even explain how true this rings. It takes strength to get over something like this, but it also takes forgiveness. Forgiving someone who isn’t worthy of my forgiveness is important.
Yet, the only way to get over something like this is to accept that you’ll never get an apology but you’ll have to try to forgive anyway. Over time I have learned to forgive him. Not because he deserves it, but because I deserve it. I deserve to heal and have peace and now I do. It isn’t always easy since some things still hurt to this day, but I do my best. Forgive your abuser, but don’t forget what they did to you because it while it hurt, it also made you stronger.
If this post has been beneficial or positively impacted you, please share it with others! I know it can help so many others in the same situation. Share my blog on your Instagram story and tag me so I can repost it on mine!
Like always, you guys inspire and motivate me and none of this would be possible if it weren’t for you. Yeah, YOU! You may think one person can’t make a difference but you are SO wrong! Each and every one of you who reads and messages me makes a positive impact on me, and I am so grateful.
I get a lot of DM’s from girls who say, “you probably won’t see this” or “you may not respond to this” and it makes me so sad… SIS, I SEE YOU! As long as I have fingers I will always respond to you! Bloggers, Influencers, Instagrammers or whatever you want to call them… if they aren’t responding to you, then they aren’t doing their jobs right.
Anyways I love you all and can’t wait to see you in my Instagram Q&A tomorrow!