I Regret Everything: Not Reporting My Rape

January 16th, 2005.  The Colts were playing the Patriots in the play-offs.  There had been a huge ice storm and the roads were awful.  It was a Sunday, but I was supposed to be waitressing a late party.  I needed to be at work around 10pm and I had an 8am Monday morning class.  It’s a date that sticks in my head.  It’s the day I was raped.

It’s easy to say that I regret everything leading up to that night.  I would love to wish away the job that introduced me to a woman, who I thought to be a new friend in a new city.  I can regret whatever was slipped into my drink as we sat around eating chicken and asparagus, watching the Colts gets beat.  I can regret being a Colts fan, which was the reason for the get together.  My new friend and her boyfriend were having a dinner party so that I could watch the big game.  I regret my lack of TV channels in my dorm room.  Hell, I can regret my entire college choice, for bringing me to a city where these people lived.

I’ve spent a lot of time regretting every choice that brought me to that night.  But those aren’t my deepest regrets.  Those are peripheral “I wish it could’ve been different” regrets.

My real regret, the one that I had the power to change and didn’t, is that I never got help.  I never reported my rape and I never spoke with a counselor.  I spent weeks locked in my dorm room, letting my voicemail fill up and my e-mail go unanswered.  I spent months out partying, trying to pretend that nothing had happened.  I spent years refusing to admit that I was still hurt and petrified and ashamed. Years later, I looked up Rape Crisis numbers online, but I figured that it had been too long to talk to anyone.  I thought that about reporting it, no matter how long it had been, just so it was on the record.  I would like to think that I would’ve reported it back then, if one of my rapists wasn’t a police officer.  But I have no way of knowing that.  The fact is that I woke up in a shower, searched for my clothes and ran home.  I don’t know that I could’ve spoken to anyone for days, let alone a nurse or detective.

As time goes on, I’ve opened up a little about my experience.  I finally admitted it to my mother, who thought that I was on drugs during my trying-to-forget stage.  I told my boyfriend, when January 16th rolled around and I spent the entire day in bed.  I haven’t sat down to talk to a professional, though someday I think I will.  But my real regret is letting one day, admittedly a horrifying one, take control of my life for such a long time.  I let that day change me and I didn’t fight to fix that.  That those people might have hurt someone else, that’s a regret that I could’ve changed.  That’s so much worse than all the others.  If I had to pick just one, to declare that it’s the deepest, it’s that I never got help for myself or for anyone else.

Share This Post:
    • Stephanie

      Stay strong girl. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Eileen

      Thanks so much for sharing this. I hope your horrible experience can encourage other women who end up in similar situations.

    • langer

      What Stephanie said.

    • Hayden Tompkins

      At first I wanted to share my story with you so that you could know that someone understands; that I understand what that fear and panic and anxiousness, guilt and shame feels like.

      But I think it’s more important to tell you this: please, pretty please consider calling a suicide helpline.

      Before I started volunteering for one, I thought they were only for people who had thoughts of committing suicide. The truth is, however, that anyone can call for whatever reason is causing their emotional pain.

      That person will listen to you with absolutely no judgment whatsoever, and be there for you. It’s completely anonymous – at least where I volunteer – and they are there any time of day or night.

    • Ms. Pants

      I didn’t report mine either, for various reasons. I didn’t talk about it until over 10 years later; by then, I believed I was over it and everything was fine. I was wrong. Talking helped a lot. Please consider talking to a therapist or a crisis hotline. (If you’re in the Houston, TX area, I’m more than happy to share my therapist. Sarahnoid / gmail)

    • Jessica Pauline Ogilvie

      What a powerful story — thank you for sharing it.

    • Christie

      My story almost mirrors yours. I was raped by a long-time friend nearly 10 years ago and I just started dealing with it a couple of years ago through LOTS of counseling. I didn’t realize how much pain and anxiety had built up over that much time. I never reported him because I was in so much shock, I didn’t know what to do. I had no one to talk to and let it eat me up inside for a long time. Thank you for sharing such a powerful moment of your life here. There are plenty more of us out there that share this story.

    • Lynne

      I never reported mine, either, because: a) I felt guilty for putting myself in a situation where that could so easily happen (went to his place, alone); and b) the guy is from a wealthy, very politically-connected family, whereas my family is neither, and I felt that probably no one would believe me or do anything about it other than try to quash it. I should have gone to someone, though, who would at least listen and maybe help me cope. I still haven’t even told my parents.

      I feel that I’ve gotten over it, but it’s taken YEARS and I’ve done it on my own. The way I deal with it really is just trying not to think about it. It isn’t easy. One thing that I guess I am thankful for is that I can certainly understand why a woman would not report a rape, something that I don’t think I would understand so well if it wasn’t for my own situation. Not thankful for being raped, of course, but hopefully you know what I mean.

      But mainly I wanted to say, like several others here, thanks for sharing your story. Maybe it will help you and help some other woman know that she should report it if it happens to her, or else she WILL regret it, most definitely.

      Don’t let those bastards ruin your life; they don’t deserve that. You are about so much more than that one part of your life.

    • Carrie

      Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. My heart breaks for you… No, not in a pitying poor-you sort of way, but in an I-can-relate way. I was never raped, but I was bad-touched growing up, and I never told my parents out of fear. And, when I was older, and they did find out, I discovered my fears were justified.
      I hope you’re not harboring guilt over the way you handled your situation. Guilt is such a destructive emotion… You coped with the tools you had. I hope you are able to heal, and make things right with yourself. And I hope you feel the support you’ve gotten by coming forward here.

    • sara

      1 in 3. That’s the statistic. One out of every three women will be the victim of sexual trauma. And us survivors, we typically don’t report. For all the reasons that have already been mentioned. But we do deal with our trauma in self destructive ways. When you’re ready, talk to someone. It helps. Pinkie swear. I’m a survivor AND a counselor. And someone who just started talking 16 years after my trauma. It’s never too late.

      • Kimberlee

        If I could high-five you, I would.

    • Kimberlee

      Man, this breaks my heart. Thank you for being strong enough to share it with us.

      Please please please consider speaking to someone. You’re a survivor. Keep it up, lady!

    • Sophia

      I went through a similar situation with someone who lived in my apartment building who I thought was a close friend. I didn’t get roofied, but he basically tried to ply me with alcohol and then rape me. I was able to fight him off though, and even though I wasn’t raped it was still the most traumatic event I’d ever dealt with. It really changed me and made me scared.

      I was so afraid of retaliation that I didn’t want to report it, but one of my best friends stuck by me and told me I had to, so that I could save all the other girls this man might try to hurt. I’m so glad I did. It was hell then, but it provided me with a lot of closure and the knowledge that even though I couldn’t save myself from that trauma, I could save somebody else from it.

      I hope that you find the strength to report it, even though it’s been years. Doing something about it might help you, just like it helped me. It sucks that it might put you through further pain, but in the end it will help you. I promise.

    • Faith

      I was raped as a child and while I told my mom and she got me help I never felt she understood how much it changed me and made me who I am. I trust very few people and I have a hard time letting someone love me because I still feel I am too ugly to love and too damage to have a real realationship.
      The is not a time that I go out with a new man that I do not imagine that he might do the same to me. I sometimes still go to a place in my relationships where I do not feel anything where I cannot feel

      Sex has always been important to me but I sometimes feel its a horrilbe thing and no one should do it. I at time still just give in to men because I feel that this is where the relationship is at. I feel I need the closeness but I do not always feel the feelings that should come. I am afaird to trust and without trust my realationships have not lasted.

      I feel empty all the time and long to find a safe place where the humming that I hear in my head would just go away. If only I could find that then I would be okay.

    • Faith

      I was raped as a child and while I told my mom and she got me help I never felt she understood how much it changed me and made me who I am. I trust very few people and I have a hard time letting someone love me because I still feel I am too ugly to love and too damage to have a real realationship.
      There is not a time that I go out with a new man that I do not imagine that he might do the same to me. I sometimes still go to a place in my relationships where I do not feel anything where I cannot feel

      Sex has always been important to me but I sometimes feel its a horrilbe thing and no one should do it. I at time still just give in to men because I feel that this is where the relationship is at. I feel I need the closeness but I do not always feel the feelings that should come. I am afaird to trust and without trust my realationships have not lasted.

      I feel empty all the time and long to find a safe place where the humming that I hear in my head would just go away. If only I could find that then I would be okay.

      • Anonymous

        I am so very sorry. It’s impossible for anyone to understand the effect that such a traumatic event will have on your life. Each of us has to cope in our own way, and there’s no right answer. I think it makes rape even harder for us to talk about, because I want to tell you that I understand. I want to say, I’ve been there and I honestly believe it will get better.

        But it’s not fair for me to say that. I haven’t been in your shoes. We each had our own separate experiences and they were both tragically painful.

        I will say that I hope it gets easier to deal with. I hope you find a man who you can be honest with. Sharing my experience was scary and my boyfriend had no idea how to respond or react. But he listened and tried his best. In the end, it helped me a lot to be open with him. My boyfriend is now my husband and his support has helped me on every awful anniversary since.

        Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope you find your safe place soon.

    • Lisa

      It’s so hard not to regret the little things. I look back on that day and I see a million ‘signs’ telling me I should have stayed home that night, I shouldn’t have gone back to the bar where I worked.

      Most of all though I regret that I spent the first year after it happened blaming myself, I took responsibility away from him, I not only let him physically go free but mentally as well. In my head it was my fault because I’d had a few sexual partners that Summer, it was my fault for not watching my drink, it was my fault because no matter how drunk/drugged I was I apparently went outside willingly, I apparently had sex willingly, I apparently was quite happy to let people watch and film.

      It’s only during the past 6 months that I’ve begun to slowly realise it wasn’t my fault, it’s not something I need to punish myself for. The attitude of my so called friends at the time didn’t help either, ‘you wanted it’, ‘you’ve flirted with him in the past.’ This attitude was despite the fact that I woke up the morning after and someone had smashed my face in – two teeth cracked, fractured jaw, bust lip, black eyes. It’s almost as though everyone wanted to downplay it for their own sanity, didn’t want the drama in their comfortable little lives. Plus it’s a common thing for people to assume woman deserved it, we live in a society that is constantly telling women how not to get raped but doesn’t do much in the way of telling men not to rape (and vice versa, I’m aware rape happens to both sexes).

    • sara

      can i report a rape that happened in 2008 if i know the person?

    • deb

      Hello. I feel your pain. You could say I have been raped ,3xs. First I was 14 about. Second 17 after celebrating graduating w 20 yr old boyfriend and last when I was sent away by my patents at 20′. That was the worst. Attending a Christian college and snuck out w a friend top a frat party. Don’t know what happened to her but I think I was drugged and last thing I remember walking up on the third bunk bed and a strange man just finishing off. 1986′ . Do the math.I am 48′ . Still fucks w my head.Probably y I can’t cope w life. Can’t do a marriage and wish so many times I was dead cause that night I died.